Archive for July, 2018

One Week in Paris

Posted in Art Nouveau with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2018 by James Field

 

 

Holiday

noun  hol·i·day 

“A day on which one is exempt from work; specifically a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event”

Following the Webster definition of the word, the event that is in question was my Thirtieth birthday, which I was blessed to have spent in France. Follow me as I retrace my steps back to that One Week in Paris.

I arrived on the sunny Saturday morning of June 23rd. When I landed, I was hit with an immediate sense of adventure and excitement to experience all the wonders the city was calmly awaiting for me to marvel over.

My trip of course needed a central comfort base, and the quaint Hotel Boronali in the colorful neighborhood of Montmarte, was just the place. The hotel is perched atop a little hill with a cafe just on the corner, and surrounded by picturesque townhouses and restaurants.

The Hotel Bornali – 65 Rue de Clingnancourt, Montmarte neighborhood of the 18th Arrondissement

The Beautiful Sacre Coeur Basilica, at the top of a hill on the Rue de Chevalier de la Barre.

 

My room was located on the 3rd floor and overlooked an inner courtyard, but was very quiet and cozy. I flew into Paris from New York City, with a connecting flight in Toronto, so to say the least my back was in all kinds of knots. I immediately searched for a local spa. After being restored by a wonderful hour-long back and leg rub (fairly priced), I was ready to start planning my week, but not before a quick roam around the neighborhood to get a feel of my surroundings. I walked for about two blocks before I stumbled upon a bustling little market. The side streets were full of charming vendors selling 18th and 19th century furniture, vintage jewelry, and all sorts of objet d’art.

It wasn’t long before I spotted a vintage brown leather drawstring bag, a pair of red cotton and hemp slippers, a set of two watercolor paintings from 1960, and a mixed-metal African pendant necklace, before I calmly made my way to the hotel with the biggest grin on my face. I was absolutely thrilled and knew from that moment on the rest of my time in Paris would be a special one.

Unpacking luggage and organizing took about an hour and after grabbing a bite from a delicious local Turkish stand, the evening was upon me. I wanted to head out for a walk, so I showered and changed into my interpretation of a 1970’s Parisian club kid: A black silk velvet smoking jacket with no shirt under, a set of vintage 1940’s black silk pajama pants with gold thread embroidery, and finally topped with a vintage 1960’s black wool schoolboy cap.

Paris at night is sublime. The street lights collectively glitter like jewels that have been strategically placed about to adorn the great city. I walked and marveled for about two hours before stopping in a small bar for an evening nightcap.

The next morning I wanted to begin with a semi-traditional “French breakfast” so I made my way to the corner cafe on route to the center of the city, which would be my ultimate destination for the day. A warm and flaky almond croissant, black coffee with a little fresh creme, and a tart topped with fresh berries was appropriate, at least I thought.

It takes about a 30 minute walk down from Montmarte to the center of the city, so with music playing in my headphones I began to capture the sights along the way.

The iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral, 6 Parvis Notre-Dame Pl. Jean-Paul II

The Palais Garnier Opera House

The fountains at the Palais de Chaillot

The Place Vendôme

The Place des Victoires and the equestrian statue of King Louis XIV.

The inner courtyard (Cour d’Honneur) of the Palais Royal. I am standing on art, as the black and white columns are part of the famous installation “Les Deux Plateaux” by French artist Daniel Buren.



The Hôtel de Ville

 

Returning to my hotel that afternoon I was tired but began planning out my next adventure….Versailles. The famed suburb of Versailles is located 30 minutes by train outside of Paris. The historic Chateau de Versailles is unlike anything I have ever seen in person. The sheer scale of the building and gardens are breathtaking, but it is nothing compared to what awaits the eye once inside.

 

 

There is a reason my photos of the inside of the Chateau were void of other people (of course I was one of hundreds of tourist that day) and that is because I wanted to try to capture the still beauty of what I consider to be a work of art, in its own right. There are countless exhibitions around the world dedicated to the architecture, furnishings and gardens of Versailles that it made it hard for me to actually believe I was there. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited in my life. The photos and memories will truly last a lifetime.

The remainder of my time in Paris consisted of visits to the Louvre, Nissim de Comondo, and Arts Decoratifs Museums, and more fantastic views of the city below.

 

The Jardin du Luxembourg, June 25th my 30th birthday

 

 

Throne of Emperor Napoleon I

 

 

 

 

The French Crown Jewels

 

 

 

The Cafe Marly at Musee du Louvre

 

Musee Nissim de Camondo

 

Musee des Arts Decoratifs

A 1920’s Cartier clock at Musee des Arts Decoratifs

 

The Seine River

The Fountaine de Mars

 

 

Pont Alexandre III Bridge

Home

Before I knew it, it was time for my flight back to the States and I just couldn’t believe the week I had just experienced. It was an enchanting, wonderful, and special trip full of great memories that I will certainly cherish forever.

Thank you for reading.

(All photos are my own)

James

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