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Fondation Louis Vuitton

When you are wealthy and could dictate the kind of legacy that will bear your (brand) name, why not hire Frank Gehry to build a museum with unique vessel-like architecture in the splendid setting of the Bois de Boulogne?

Fondation Louis Vuitton, opened with great fanfare and ticket giveaways last weekend, will house art works from Bernard Arnault’s personal collection as well as those owned by the LVMH group. In return for the permission to erect this monumental building, its ownership will be transferred to the city of Paris in 55 years.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Fondation Louis Vuitton

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Hidden Paris: A walk in the 16ème

Still trying to keep the homebody syndrome at bay, F and I cycled across Pont de Grenelle into the 16th arrondissement over the weekend, nodded hello to the Lady Liberty in passing, and intent on exploring the petite ceinture sort of adjacent to the Jardin du Ranelagh/Bois de Boulogne. This stretch opened a good few years ago, in 2007, thus predates the one in the 15ème which we visited recently.

A walk in the 16ème

A walk in the 16ème

Passing by many elegant buildings in this affluent neighbourhood, we finally spotted an entry into the former railway belt near La Muette and slipped through the low gates that are characteristics of many entrances to Parisian parks and gardens. Had it not been for the sign we saw just a minute ago, we would not have guessed that this was where the trains used to pass. Unlike the petite ceinture in the 15ème, nary a sign of abandoned rail track could be found here. They had been dismantled.

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Project 365 – Week 7

I have just realised, while I’m keeping up with this photo project, I am falling behind with my reading. A whooping seven weeks into the year and I’ve just finished my third English book, never mind none in French yet. And rather frantically, I haven’t been able to find my public library card either. A spring cleaning is seriously needed because I’m hoping to make this year the one where I make full use of the libraries around Paris instead of buying more books when I have no space to store them.

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Winter sunset

11 Feb: Frédéric often tells me how much he loves the winter sky, specifically the softer colour hue at the end of a fine day. This evening was one of those where you couldn’t take your eyes off the horizon, where shades of colours blended into one harmonious palate. I wasn’t the only one who stood rooted at a spot looking up – a number of people on my Twitter were excitingly sharing their photos of this beautiful evening.

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Musée Marmottan Monet

Musée Marmottan Monet is a gem. A little out of the way perhaps, it sits just at the eastern edge of Bois de Boulogne. There are no pomps to announce its presence just beyond a small playground in mainly, from what I gathered, a residential area. However, what’s hidden behind the seemingly plain façade is another story altogether.

The museum is one primarily dedicated to Impressionism, an art movement which I can’t seem to get enough of. I may as well admit now that I hold an annual pass to Musée d’Orsay so I could visit anytime in the year to indulge in my whims for the romance in Impressionist works, not to mention the added bonus of entry to Musée de l’Orangerie whenever I wish. Paris was central to the birth of Impressionism and I believe no better city could have been chosen for it to flourish. Today, Paris is also the best city to admire many of the masterpieces produced during the short time-span of the movement.

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Day 338: Giant flag

I have absolutely no idea where there is a giant flag hanging off the Arc de Triomphe. It wasn’t there the day after Armistice Day, and I’m not sure if there has been any date of significance in the French (civil) calendar between then and now. Oh well, in any case, the flag is there today. And have you spot the visitors looking down from the top of the arch? It is a pretty cool viewing point, especially in the evening.

On the home front, I’m finally all unpacked except for my books. It is a bit of a problem, that. I am not sure where I can stash them, and this apartment doesn’t actually come with any bookshelf. I could get one, but it still needs someplace for me to set it up to start with. I guess I’ll just have to read the books I have quickly and then set them free to other new loving homes. Have you checked my latest progress on this year’s big read? I’m getting closer and closer to the target of 100!

Day 78: This is strike country

Weekend numero deux in Paris and it is a cooooold Saturday despite the sunny blue sky. This morning, I conquered the communal laundry machine and dryer (yay) with the help of my neighbour and I am also all set for a weekend at the museums, thanks to Chloé’s mum who furnished us with a Télérama pass which entitles free entry (for up to 4 person) to selected museums both today and tomorrow.

But first thing first – la manif. Purportedly one of French’s favourite pastimes (apart from la grève), the educators are on the demonstration path this time round, starting from Luxembourg. When I went past, they were just getting themselves organised, with brightly coloured balloons, gigantic banners, oversized puppets, and photographers are swarming the place, amateurs (like me) and professionals alike.

I didn’t stay around. Instead I was away to the Musée du Quai Branly and Musée d’Art Moderne, near the neighbourhood of the Eiffel Tower. I know, I know, I haven’t yet taken a single photograph of that iconic Parisian structure since I got here. It’ll come, at some stage. Just not today. Stories of the museums to come separately when I have a bit more time to write. Plenty of accompanying photos as well. ;)

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