Family Reunion: Part 2



Once things settled and I finally had some time off from school we tried to make the most of our time in Paris.


Versailles, Musée Rodin, Musée d’Orsay, the Tuilleries, the Ballet – it was a week and a half of relaxation and culture.


There were smiles and then points of ultimate frustration such as pickpockets stealing wallets and then the frustrating curse that is dealing with the fall out.


To say that Mum did not appreciate this act, that Paris is so famous for, is an understatement; but we handled it and moved right along.




First off the rank was a visit to Hotel de Ville to see the exposition Paris according to the Impressionists. It was refreshing, different and informative.





Second, a long awaited trip to Musée d’Orsay. The line was short by some miracle and we walked almost straight into the Manet Exhibit.


I had imagined going to the Musee d’Orsay for so long and expected to be blown away.



Instead I was faced with an incredibly beautiful converted railway station and was shocked by the rest.

Due to renovations and travelling exhibits from the collection the museum had been reduced to a figment of its previous glory. The museum organisation lacked any logic or natural flow, it was disorganised, disorientating, poorly arranged and intoxicating. How you may ask can a building be intoxicating? Well as evidenced by the countless people hidden in corners asleep, the environmental factors in the museum are not conducive to mental alertness or a sense of health. There was no air movement and it felt like there was a lack of oxygen. I was sickened by the stuffiness. And I was not being uplifted by the artworks with which I was facing.

I was completely and utterly spoilt as a developing child! I had a wonderful art teacher who blessed us with his wide knowledge of art history and encouraged us to compare and contrast works from throughout history. Even more so, I was privileged to travel to places and be exposed to such life-changing and awe inspiring collections such as those at the Uffizi Gallery, the MOMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the countless museums in London. I was enveloped by ancient historical sites in Egypt, Central America and South East Asia. I also live near the National Gallery of Victoria, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and The National Gallery in Canberra, museums which exemplify institutions which enhance their collections.

Now I have been to the Lourve, Musee de l’Orangerie and Musee Rodin. And so after a long I had finally made it to Musee d’Orsay… and I left after pushing myself for four hours through a disjointed and disparate collection that made little historical sense and did not have the same emotional pull. I am glad I visited but it is unlikely I will go again until it is restored to its true self.




Afterwards we headed back to the Tuileries for sunshine, fresh air and relaxation by one of the many fountains. Lazing on the chairs listing to the water in the warm sunlight was such a pleasure.

It acted as a calmative and rejuvenating force after the disappointment of the Musée d’Orsay.




Off to Chatelet to pick up our tickets and head to the Miami City Ballet, but not before a heart-warming Szechuan chilli meal to get our tongues and hearts racing.



Miami City Ballet and its Art Director, Edward Villella, are together one of America’s most respected ballet companies and we were absolutely spoilt by their performance. Including works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp we were amazed by the skill of the dancers – they were captivating.


The first act was classical perfection with the dancers’ regal and defying gravity on points. The second fluid and evocative yet exploding with power. The third piece danced to nine Sinatra classics was emotive and passionate with his voice carrying you away as the movement expressed romance, tragedy and comedy.


People say I exaggerated a bit, they may be right at times, but quite honestly that may have been one of the best performances I have ever seen.




Another day we managed to catch the metro to the Musée Rodin set in the beautiful gardens and estate of Hôtel Biron. Auguste Rodin is French master and a hero of ours, who could imagine a world without “The Thinker”. We all mimic this classical pose on a daily basis; he is the originator and creator of this work of genius.

The gardens were lush and green and hid pieces around every corner. It is possibly the most beautiful gardens in Paris and I could laze away all day in its tranquil beauty surrounded by such inspiring works of art.

Le Pensevr – The Thinker was just surrounded by people admiring it and getting lost in his face and pose.

We headed into the house and walked up the stairs through rooms filled with works of art, my favourite being the hands which harness humanity in the simplest of gestures.

We were able to visit his former studio in the Hôtel Biron and we were two of the last people to be kicked out as they shut their doors.




Our next course of action, a visit to the famed Architecture Museum of Paris – Cité de l’Architecture is a centre dedicated to the pride of the French – it literally houses replicas of some of the most important design elements of buildings all over France. It too plays host to exceptional exhibits of modern architecture and design. For the last 5 months I have been bombarded by advertising throughout the metro of a very captivating and dream like poster of a man standing in front of a fantastical futuristic cityscape which fully integrates the modern ideals of a step back in tune with nature.

Finally I was able to find 3 suitable partners to attend the exhibiton and it was an afternoon of insight into the projects and intentions of some individuals to make our world a better place to live in.

The way the musuem had been set up with a living forrest in the sub-basement was incredible and each stand had been fashioned with such attention to detail. I was amazed at some of the concepts, blown away by their beauty and ingenuity.

Leaving feeling a little smarter we headed to the permanent exhibition upstairs and walked the long halls with monuments literally leaping off the pages of worlds history.

They don’t make it too obvious that you should go upstiars, but it is a haven for modern design and architecture. If only I had been able to spend more time really enjoying it… sadly they were quick to shepard us out of the musuem as it was fifteen minutes prior to closing time.

What few realise is that the second floor has some of the best views of the Eiffel Tower from anywhere in Paris. As you walk towards the right the tower of steel emerges from behind the tree tops.




We had such a good time at the ballet last time that we went back for a second show this time with different performances. Only this time we had last minute 10 euro tickets with an obscured view and we talked our way into better seats after an annoying couple of old ladies decided to stand up in front of our line of sight for the entire first act.

Once again they were inspired and varied, with great partnerships on show.




We continued to explore Paris from our centre in the Marais, a vibrant and packed area.


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