Springtime in Paris

As I sit here in Antwerp, Belgium, I’m taking some time to catch up on the blog before my buddy gets here tomorrow.  This is from the week before last.  On Thursday, March 27th I went to the Orsay late night opening and on Monday,  March 31st,  I went to the Orangerie.

Yes, the sun is shining and unfortunately, that means everyone is out and about.  😦
Yes, I frown at that because that means crowded streets, museums, cafes, parks, etc.

Ok, so I’m selfish.  I want the streets to myself, nice dark clouds and temps with highs in the 60’s.  It was a very mild winter here according to the Parisians.  There was no severe dips in the weather and no snow!  That was a bummer.  I really wanted me some photos of Paris with snow.  Was not to be.  Damn global warming!  
So, I resign myself to going to museums at night when they are less crowded to avoid the masses and rarely have I gone to hang out at cafes, too damn expensive.  Thursday night the Orsay has it’s late night opening and I went.  Always a good choice, the Orsay has beautiful 19th century art in a former central city train station.  As many of you may know, the Orsay train station closed it’s doors decades ago and in the 1980’s the Orsay Museum was opened.  Since I wasn’t allowed to take photos in the museum – except for one – here is the Wiki page on the Orsay and you can see a lot of the paintings contained therein. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musée_d’Orsay
The museum is famous for it’s Impressionist art but they also had some pretty cool art deco furniture set up as the rooms they were meant to be in.  They had beds in bedrooms and work desks in libraries, that sort of thing.  They currently have two exhibitions, one has Van Gogh, which I did not go in to because that line was huge, and the other was Gustave Dore.  I recommend you look into this guy, he has some pretty awesome stuff.  He did illustrations for literature, like Dante’s Inferno and Puss in Boots.  Neat stuff.  
I bought a two-fer ticket at the Orsay for the Orangerie, a sister museum.  The Orangerie is at the end of the Tulieries Gardens right at the Place do la Concorde, almost right across the river from the Orsay.  An orangerie is a greenhouse and this one used to belong to the Palace of the Louvre.  In this greenhouse, there are no plants, but one of the most famous panels by Claude Monet, The Water Lilies.   The panels hold the prestigious place in the museum, two oval rooms with the panels on the walls beautifully lit from sky lights above.  Then, downstairs, a very fine impressionist collection.  They also had an exhibit here that was pretty cool.

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