Paris Trip 2010 Day Seven – Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Angelina and Le Malakoff

A week in Paris was like going down our hotel’s spiral staircase; it seemed to go on forever until you realized there was actually an end to it. Two more days and we’ll packing our way back home.

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Jovie had a makeup job on this day for another bride-to-be. To save time, and for a change, we settled for Japanese lunch at the restaurant next door. Rice and seafood sounded nice and good.

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So, we parted our way after the meal; she headed back to hotel her job, and I was about to travel alone for the first time in this city. Where to go? The choice was obvious.

Traveling alone in a foreign city, I felt as if time moved slower, actions louder and emotions amplified.

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Escalator-maintenance guys inspecting the non-relevant item. They noticed me seconds later with my camera and giggled at each other.
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The cliché, the irony.
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The legend. The decisive moment. The heritage.
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I was greeted by Fondation Henric Cartier Bresson in the form of an unassuming and elegant building in a small and isolated cul-de-sac.

A nursery was just next door. Obviously photography wasn’t allowed within the building.

I paid my entrance fee of 6 Euros at the reception on the ground floor.  Exhibition rooms are located on the first and second floor, and a relaxing space on the third floor. Perhaps this was as close as I could get.

I was grateful to witness one of Irving Penn‘s monumental work on the exhibit. The Small Trades was a series of portraits in the early 50’s of skilled trades people dressed in their work clothes and carrying the tools of their respective trade from Paris, London, and New York. Newspaper seller, fishmonger, fireman, waiter,  rag picker, contortionist, seamstress, brick layer, chimney sweep. You name it. The subjects were intriguing and the prints were breathtaking.

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Made a short trip to Montparnasse Cemetery, another famous resting place of many illustrious Parisians.

To name a few  – Guy de Maupassant the novelist, Samuel Beckett the playwright and André Citroën who founded France’s Citroën automobile factory.

My mobile rang – she’s done. Enough of arts and history tour. Time for Angelina Jovie (no typo).

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The tea salon Angelina on the Rue de Rivoli is famous for its Mont Blanc and hot chocolate.
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Very very very sweet. That's all I can say.
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Think Milo-gao to the 5th power. Add some cream. That's somewhere close.
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No chance for Laduree. So we settled for the macaron at Angelina as well.
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Karl Lagerfeld's alter ego.
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Street performance was not unusual, but performing within the train added additional challenge of both time and space. Nonetheless, I was rather entertained and moved by the performance of the accordionist and his singer partner.
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You're welcome.
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Trocadero at night. To mark our one-week milestone in Paris, we decided to go for a feast in a better French restaurant.
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We wanted somewhere with tender escargots.
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Somewhere with rich and creamy foie gras.
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Somewhere that makes your partner look especially ravishing.
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Somewhere with well-browned and crisp duck confit.
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And somewhere that would end our night with a sweet and refreshing sorbet.

The service was excellent, as the waiter kept checking with us if there was anything we needed. With no wine, the meal at Le Malakoff costed us 69 Euros. We’ll definitely come back again some day.

Paris Trip 2010 Day Five and Six – The Louvre and The Eiffel Tower

Day Five was the day that Jovie had started to work. Since we covered roughly the same places on the day and the subsequent, I’ll combine them together in a single post.

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Colorful rectangles and a head at Quality Burger Restaurant.

That was where we had our breakfast together with Derrick, Crono and Tze Pen. Little chatting, little planning. Back in the hotel, while they worked on their stuff, I kept myself occupied with online surfing. It was noon time when Jovie was done with her job.

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Rush rush rush

We dropped by at Musée de la Mode et du Textile (Museum of Fashion and Textiles), part of Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The fashion museum boasts a huge collection of costumes, fashion accessories and textile as well as work of celebrated modern designers such as Paul Poiret, Madeleine Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Raoul Dufy, Sonia Delaunay and the embroiderer Rébé.

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Finishing the museum, we exited into Jardin des Tuileries, the formals gardens  that were laid out in the 17th century, and later restored and filled with striking modern and contemporary sculptures.

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Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (background) built by Napoleon as an entrance to the former Palais des Tuileries.

The anti-climax of the day was when they discovered that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays! Blind spot – the guidebook says it is open 9am-6pm Wed-Mon (to 10pm Wed, Fri). Judging by the number of people, we were not alone. So we hung around the area for a while.

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What's up birdie?
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A bird in hand.

Shopping was the next item on the agenda, and we headed to Boulevard Haussmann. I helped myself with the street outside the malls.

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If anything, air is the only thing I have to complain about this lovely city.
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We met Derrick and the rest at Trocadero later and Jovie did some touch up for Tze Pen.

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Eiffel Tower from Trocadero in the evening.
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180 degree change. Eiffel Tower from Champ de Mars the very next morning.
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What's travel without some cheesy tourist pictures?
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Walked to Trocadero again. Why did the pigeon cross the road?
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Sk8erBoi.
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Sk8erGal.

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Galeries Lafayette. Heaven for women.
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Surprisingly a decent roast chicken set like this cost only 7.30 Euros at the foodcourt of Galeries Lafayette.
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Can't get enough of the tower. From the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette.

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Shakespeare and Company is literary landmark – a small, cramped but wonderful bookstore located in the 5th arrondissement, in Paris’s Left Bank. Definitely a must-go for book lovers. I purchased a copy of An Inner Silence: The Portraits of Henri Cartier-Bresson, complete with the bookstore stamp.

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Crew in action.

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Le Flore en l'Ile, located at the western end of the Ile St Louis, directly across the bridge from Notre Dame is a charming cafe with wonderful ambient and friendly service.
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The rich hot chocolate.
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Unforgettable chocolates.
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Even the sugar cubes look extraordinarily sweet!

We completed our round-trip as we landed back the Louvre.

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Jardin du Carrousel
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I admit I had developed a fetish for spiral staircases in Paris.
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The Louvre Pyramid at night. Daylight would not do justice to its grandeur.
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And the saxophone performer closing our night with his ending music to our long day.

Paris Trip 2010 Day Four – The Panthéon

Recovering from my flu, we started the fourth day late in order to rest more. First objective of the day was to go to M.A.C Pro Store at Rue des Saints-Pères.  But first, we had to have lunch.

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Choice of restaurant was Pizza Del Arte at Boulevard St Michel, with the cheapest decent set meal at 9.90 Euros, with a drink inclusive. I had a penne with veges, plus a Heineken.
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While she had a spaghetti with ham and mushroom with a glass of 7-Up.

Started to rain soon (again!) after our lunch. Chilling wind pierced through our jackets as we pushed on to our destination.

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Upon arrival, Jovie was like the proverbial kid in a candy store.

Easing into a comfortable sofa seat near the store’s heater, by the window, I allowed myself to dry up. With the only French magazine available flipped through twice, cover to cover, I could only fiddle with my camera and study the street outside.

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Separated through the window pane, I caught handsome guy discreetly through Live View. After finished smoking, he came into the store as a a makeup artist. Should have known.

As Jovie finished her first adventure of overseas stockpiling, we moved on to the next agenda of the day, the Panthéon.

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Story was, King Louis XV was sick and vowed that if he recovered from the illness, a prestigious church dedicated to  Saint Genevieve will be built. Obviously, he recovered. The design of the new basilica was entrusted to Jacques-Germain Soufflot, who planned in Neo-Classical style. Completed in 1790, the church was then turned into a pantheon, a location for the France’s good and great with the Revolution underway.

As it was our Day Four (with 6 more days to go), we decided to purchase the 6-day Paris Museum Pass at 64 Euros that allowed us free entry for unlimited time to over 60 museums and monuments around Paris. In comparison, an adult entry ticket for the Panthéon costs 8 Euros.

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Polishing the famous Foucault pendulum, named after the French physicist Léon Foucault, which was conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth.
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On the Dome of the Panthéon.

It’s getting even colder than it looks as the wind blew mercilessly. The convertible has decided to unfold her rooftop.

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Just because you don't see anything...

The Crypt covers the entire area under Panthéon building. Many French notables rest here. Amongst them – Voltaire,Victor Hugo, Pierre & Marie Curie, Louis Braille, Alexandre Dumas, Louis Pasteur. Their spirits could be roaming around.

We were more or less decided to try Léon de Bruxelles for dinner. Since there was a branch nearby, we took a slow walk there, observing the street, the people, their life and whatnot.

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"Damn, where are my keys?"

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Léon de Bruxelles at Boulevard St-Germain. Famous for mussels. Mussels from Brussel. That explains.
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Pretzels as finger food.
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Finally, the mussels from Brussels.

Cooked with wine, 17.90 Euros with slice of salmon and bread as starter and fries. The mussels are unlike anything we have eaten in Asia. They are super tender and sweet and rich in taste. There were  at least 40-50 mussels in the casserole.

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Baked salmon with rice. 14.70 Euros.