So I was sick last week (which was lovely) but I’m feeling much better now!
Classes have been going well. Super long day on Monday– Art History, French lit, and French Society & Politics – but it will only get longer when Sorbonne classes start next week. I have to go to the Sorbonne tomorrow to figure out what class I’m in.
This past weekend we went to Chartres to see the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral there. We had a great tour from Malcolm Miller, who has been there for over 50 years and knows everything there is to know about the cathedral and it’s history. Had a wonderful provencale lunch courtesy of Accent. Later that night, we went back to our favorite restaurant/bar Aux Bons Crus on the Rue des Petits Champs right near the Louvre and had the most amazing dinner (salmon with mashed potatoes and vegetables) even though we had to wait over an hour for a table.
Today I went to the Louvre for the first time!! Saw the Coronation of Napoleon by David, which is absolutely massive and insanely crowded (both the figures in the painting and around the painting with tourists) as well as some Ingre and genre painting. Our art history professor is fantastic– he likes to teach Mad Libs-style, where he starts a sentence and expects us to complete it. “And the white drapey dress gives the figure a sense of…. *class shouts out* The winds of history! …No. Classicism! Precisely.”
Needless to say this is highly entertaining, especially when done in the galleries of the Louvre where artists who are allowed to paint from the physical works on Wednesdays are annoyed by the disruption.
After my lit class this afternoon we went to the Musee Carnavelet, which is a museum of the history of Paris, to see an exhibit about Louis Vuitton. It was super interesting, with lots of the old trunks, the development of the trademark pattern, the House’s involvement in the Expositions Universelles, custom made luggage for celebrities, and kits for the Red Cross. I was really drawn to the posters for the Colonial Exposition. The exoticism of the Polynesian motifs was really great and I’ve decided that I either want to go there, or start collecting Polynesian things… but that could veer very quickly into tackiness a la 1955. Maybe I should just stick to Trader Vic’s. I also loved the stickers on the trunks for the places their owners had visited. Reminded me of all of the classic ones I’ve seen in my research for Catalina. Now that would be something to start collecting.
Had a really wonderful dinner with my madame tonight. It was really tasty even though it was quick (steak with green beans and onions and creme fraiche, with chocolate cake and fruit for dessert) and we talked for a really long time about the American obsession with royalty (The King’s Speech and the upcoming wedding) and the differences between French and Americans.
Going to Chantilly tomorrow with Danny to check out the Chateau there and hopefully get some of their famous cream. Then off to Dijon/Beaune on Friday for the weekend, which will hopefully include touring and wine tasting.