I sleep here:
I was a little nervous the first night, but now I'm a pro on the ladder and not so concerned about falling out of my little cave. The rest of the apartment is great, and it has everything we need plus a view of the Tour Eiffel!
Oooh! And the first night, there was a manifestation (protest/rally/demonstration) in memory/support of Clément Méric and the anti-fascist movement generally (http://news.fr.msn.com/m6-actualite/france/manifestation-antifasciste-%C3%A0-paris-14-interpellations#tscptmf). As a matter of fact, it held up our traffic and made us late to meet the person with the keys to the apartment, so our taxi driver suggested we get out at the corner and walk down the street. And per normal course of the universe slash my luck, a torrential downpour began the moment we got out of the cab. But I nonetheless think the manifestation was super cool and am glad to have been even the teeniest bit part of it. I think something else may be beginning ce soir, because from the balcony I saw a bunch of people run down our street to join a group shouting something I couldn't quite make out. We shall see.
On Monday we took it easy, slept in, and went over to see the Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. I very much enjoy both stores, but I have to consider much of their women's fashion to be more museum than store. All of the clothes are, nonetheless, gorgeous. And the ceiling is fabulous at Galleries Lafayette as well, but I think I put a picture of that in a blog post from last year, so I wont repeat photos. I got a new one of the parentals on top though! Not as nice of a day as when my friends and I went last August :( Oh well! You can still see the Tour Eiffel.
That night, my mom and I saw a performance of La Sylphide at the Opéra Garnier. It was simply fabulous. And it was a special performance for Pierre Lacotte, who put together the choreography after it had fallen out of circulation for years. This meant that everyone was a bit more dressed up than usual, and certainly more than us, but it was an honor just to be in Lacotte's presence. For more on La Sylphide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Sylphide
Not my best photo, but the Opéra was all decorated with fantastic flowers!
Also, it was evidently totally cool to take photos during the curtain call, so of course, I did. These dancers were amazing. The man (red) was incredibly powerful, and "la sylphide" had impecable lines and precision. All in all, beautiful. Pierre Lacotte is onstage on the right.
And of course, we've found a bakery nearby, recommended to us as having "the best croissants in Paris." I haven't had all the croissants in Paris, but these are, indeed, excellent.
Tuesday was Giverny. For all of my gushing about flowers, see last August's post. The flowers weren't quite so fully blooming this June, but we had a lovely trip, a lovely lunch, and a nice visit to the Musée d'Impressionisme and Monet's tombstone.
And everyone got photos on the bridge!
Last night and tonight we made dinner here, which I must say is actually quite nice.
And after some rest, we got up today to go to l'Orangerie (a personal fave!) and the Louvre. Here's my obligatory photo of the Mona Lisa:
But after a lovely lunch at Café Marly (home of a delicious whipped avocado and crab dish as well as a particularly good looking waiter), I split off and went to see the new (ish) area for l'Art d'Islam. I'd been wanting to see it for a while but didn't get there last year. I would definitely recommend it.
For example, one can see this super cool Mughal warrior outfit plus weapons and tools from various societies of various countries.
And many many gorgeous pieces.
All in all, a great few days. Tomorrow we are off to Versailles, which will be a big day but is always super interesting and awe-striking. I'll keep you posted!