A Parisian Peruse

Last month, my sisters, Emma, Joanna and Alison, and myself took a trip over to Paris for a girly weekend.

Here are a few of the things that we done, and places that we went, while perusing Paris.

Afternoon tea in Le Dalí, Hotel Le Meurice. The staff were amazing and the food was beautiful! The flowering jasmine and green tea added a little theatre to the occasion.

Lunch in Ladurée on the Champs Elysees…….Parisian Pastries!!!!

St. Ouen Flea Market – One of the most famous flea markets in Paris.

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This is where I picked up an amazing blue cloak, which I wore as part of my flying fish costume for Halloween.

Shakespeare & Co. Bookshop and The Abbey Bookshop

Shakespeare & Co. featured in the film ‘Before Sunset’ (a chessy and cringy film at times I know!…but I got hooked on them!). It’s the bookshop where Celine arrives at Jesse’s book-reading. I really liked this place, its nooks and crannies are filled with lots of interesting bits and bobs. Upstairs in the children’s section there is a wall that is filled with messages from past visitors, we added our own message to this lovely collection.

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There is a great saying written on one of the walls “Be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise”. This was written there by the past owner, George Whitman. His vision was to create a haven for poets and dreamers.

Upstairs in a back-room a small gig was taking place. It was as if we had all just called over to a friends house. There was such a nice atmosphere in both bookshops, I could have stayed there for hours.

Our Love-Locks

Recently we heard about the phenomenon of the ‘Love-Lock’.  It is where a couple writes their names on a padlock, locks it onto a bridge and then throws the key into the river as a symbol of their undying love.  In Paris there are two bridges to choose from. The Pont des Arts bridge is for your committed love, while the Pont de l’Archevêché bridge is for your lover. We decided to go with Pont des Arts. My sister Emma is expecting a baby.  She is the first of all four of us to have one and we are very excited about this news. As part of Emma’s love-lock we attached an added lock, linked into her own one, especially for our mystery little baby bump. They have also started to use the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin for this tradition too.

My Love Lock

‘Going solo’ lovelock..?????

The Love Lock Bridge

Love Lock Bridge

The Louvre IMG_5816

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The artworks below are my top two favourite paintings from the Louvre. IMG_5853‘Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta appraised by Dante and Virgil’ (1835) by Ary Scheffer  IMG_5858‘The Young Martyr’ by Paul Delaroche (1855)

‘Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss’ by Antonio Canova

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I have  fallen in love with this sculpture!

The story/tale behind it is really interesting!

The Tale of Cupid and Psyche By Bingley

Cupid and Psyche is a story from the Latin novel Metamorphoses, also known as The Golden Ass. 

Once upon a time there was a king with three daughters. They were all beautiful, but by far the most beautiful was the youngest, Psyche. She was so beautiful that people began to neglect the worship of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Venus was very jealous, and asked her son Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with a horrible monster. When he saw how beautiful she was, Cupid dropped the arrow meant for her and pricked himself, and fell in love with her.

Despite her great beauty no-one wanted to marry Psyche. Her parents consulted an oracle, and were told that she was destined to marry a monster, and they were to take her to the top of a mountain and leave her there. The west wind took her and wafted her away to a palace, where she was waited on by invisible servants. When night came her new husband visited her, and told her that he would always visit her by night and she must never try to see him.

Although her invisible husband was kind and gentle with her, and the invisible servants attended to her every desire, Psyche grew homesick. She persuaded her husband to allow her sisters to visit her. When they saw how she lived they became very jealous and talked Psyche into peeking at her husband, saying that he was a monster who was fattening her up to be eaten and that her only chance of safety was to kill him. Psyche took a lamp and a knife, but when she saw her beautiful husband, Cupid, she was so surprised she dripped some hot wax onto his shoulder, waking him. He took in the situation and immediately left Psyche. The magnificent palace she had been living in disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Psyche roamed about looking for her husband, and eventually in desperation approached his mother, Venus. Still angry, the goddess set various tasks for Psyche, all of which she passed, with a bit of help from ants and river gods. At last Cupid found out what was going on, and he persuaded Jupiter to order Venus to stop her persecution of Psyche. Then they were married and lived happily ever-after.

The Louvre leg kick!

The Louvre leg kick!

This has started to become a little tradition of mine.

 

‘Anamorphose’ by Pascale Peyret, Church of Saint-Merri, Rue Saint MartinIMG_6095

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The Church of Saint-Merri is a small church, located on Rue Saint Martin, which is near the Pompidou Centre.  It is a very understated church and from the outside it looked shrouded in scaffolding, dark and derelict, however, when we entered we were pleasantly surprised by an art installation titled ‘Anamorphic’ by Pascale Peyret.

‘Anamorphose’ is a large scale, living art installation, created from cuttings of ‘Tradescantia’ plants. These cuttings draped from small bags filled with water and hung in clusters through the nave of the church. Anamorphosis: the evolution of one type of organism from another by a long series of gradual changes.

www.pascale-peyret.com

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The Igor Stravinsky Fountain

The Igor Stravinsky Fountain was created in 1983 by sculptors Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle. It consists of sixteen colourful sculptures which move and spout water. They are all contained within a large rectangular basin on Place Stravinsky, next to the Centre Pompidou, in Paris. The works of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky inspired this work. The fountain was originally named ‘Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)’, after one of Igor Stravinsky’s most famous compositions. Tinguely developed the technical machine sculptures that form part of this sculpture from black iron, while Saint Phalle designed the creatures and colorful Nanas from brightly coloured fiberglass. Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle’s work couldn’t be more different, yet the two poles form an exciting contrast.

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The Pompidou Centre IMG_5668The Pompidou Centre houses the Bibliothèque publique d’information, a vast public library, the Musée National d’Art Moderne which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe, and IRCAM, a centre for music and acoustic research.

It is named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974 who commissioned the building.

The completed building was created by architects Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Su Rogers and Irish structural engineer, Peter Rice. One of the key design elements of the building was to place all of its functional structural elements such as escalators, water pipes and air conditioning to the outside of the building, thus freeing up the interior space for the display of artworks. The pipes and ducts were all color-coded: blue for air, green for water, red for elevators, yellow for electricity, gray for corridors and white for the building itself.

The street art in Paris was amazing! I loved the big face that is telling you to be quiet on the side of a building in Place Stravinsky. The stencil work which included Charles Bukowski’s quote – “You have to die a few times before you can really live.” really struck a chord.

We took a bus tour around the city and seen all the sights such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysées, Notre Dame Catherdral, the Moulin Rouge and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica or the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, where we lit a candle and tried to recreate a scene from the film Amelie.  

Cafe Des Deux Moulins from the film Amélie. I love this film so much! I had heard bad reports about the food and service here, but I have to say I had one of the best cappuccinos in Paris here and the staff were lovely.

The Eiffel Tower, by night and by day.

Check out the short movie I made of our trip to Paris. I used an iphone app call iSupr8 to get the olde worlde effect.

Comme Moi / Like Me

Maybe someplace else
There’s a woman
With a heart overwhelmed by joy
Like me
And with a blissful gesture she lifts
The blue silk curtain
Like me
Looks down
Her love will come along
And take her in his arms
Like me
She’s waiting for her lover
The eyes of her lover
The arms of her lover
Like me

Maybe also
At this moment she has
The best time of her life
Like me
And closing her eyes she gets lost
Her hand in her hair
Like me
Maybe she pins
A flower to her chest
And then looks at the clock
Like me
She thinks of her lover
Of her lover’s eyes
Of her lover’s arms
Like me

And maybe even
She will hear
Her heart beating faster and then
Like me
She will want to cry
When hearing a footstep on the stairs
Like me
Like me for a moment
Where my heart
Holds on to you in suspense
And then to die my love
In your eyes, my love
In your arms, my love
My love

  © All photos shown have been taken by Rachel or Alison Kiernan and are not to be used without permission.

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