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Travel: Paris -Paris Experiences, Oct 14th 2019

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

Place : Paris Experience

Date: Oct 14th 2019

Metro versus BART

The human behavioral experience we observed during our stay of the past 2 weeks as related to those riding the French metro, is of a different peculiar kind, then of the ones riding BART in the San Francisco/Bay area

While on BART most passengers’ ears are being plugged with headphones, they seem like talking to themselves, or their gaze is transfixed on their phone screens, if not, they are inclined to read books, papers or magazines. However almost none of it is being encountered on the Metro.

Actually no phones' ringing is being heard on the Metro , and if people have cell phones, those rarely are in view. People on the Metro hardly read, and although their faces are not buried in phone screens, nor they talk on the phone, most of the time they just stare ahead in space. They may be free from these distractions, yet they will not talk to each other either.

I often wonder during our many rides, what actually does run in between the 2 ears of a French fellow sitting across from me, whose stare is licked on some hidden spake in air...

Neither are the Metro riders being "entertained" by spontaneous

performances of accidental "acrobats" and other loud weird trickers begging for money, as often is the experience on BART trains.

More to its credit, the Metro runs much more frequently, has many convenience stops close by the main cultural attractions, and is amazingly clean and punctual. It is also much more reliable than the French public Bus transportation, which often is being delayed by traffic jams or diverted because of daily unpredictable agitated demonstrators.

This morning we also arrived really fast by the Metro to

Musee Jacquemart-André - 158 Boulevard Haussmann,

This charming private museum opened in 1913 is highly recommended for art lovers and those who love the elegance and affluence of a period long gone. It is located in a magnificent Second Empire Grand Mansion built in 1869 (completed in1875) by the architect Henri Parent.

On view are ceremonial rooms, monumental stairways, winter garden, private apartments, and array of beautiful art objects: 15th- and 16thc Italian sculptures and masterpieces of : Donatello, Luca Della Robbia Botticelli, Botticini and Perugino, Bellini Bernini, Anthony van Dyck, Frans Hals, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Jacques-Louis David, Thomas Lawrence, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and Rembrandt,

It was the private home of the couple Édouard André (banker) and Nélie Jacquemart (painter) who were fantastic art collectors throughout the 13 years of their lives, and bequeathed it all for public display.

Édouard André, (1833–1894) the scion of a rich Protestant banking family that was involved in financing the modernization of France and large companies of the imperial regime, was also a politician, soldier and art collector who devoted his considerable fortune to buying works of art, and then exhibited them in his new built mansion .

He married the well-known society painter, Nélie Jacquemart,

(1841- 1912) who had painted his portrait 10 years earlier. Every year, the couple would travel in Italy, amassing one of the finest collections of Italian art in France. When Edouard André died, Nélie Jacquemart completed the decoration of the Italian Museum and travelled in the Orient to add more precious works to the collection. Faithful to the plan agreed with her husband, she bequeathed the mansion and its collections to the "Institut de France" as a museum.

After seeing that much French an Italian art, in the previous museum

balancing it with English art at the Luxembourg museum helped to maintain some artistic perspective..

Musee du Luxembourg - 19 rue de Vaugirard

An exhibit on The Golden Age of the English painting from Reynolds to Turner - a selection of masterpieces from Tate Britain, highlighted a key period in the history of painting in England, from the 1760s to around 1820, and displayed many grand portraits and characters of the English nobility from the period.

It was the first French museum opened to the public, in 1750. and is owned by the Senate., Designated in 1818 a “museum for living artists”, this museum of contemporary art had also showcases, David, Ingres and Delacroix, among others, In 1879, the Senate had the current building constructed between 1884 and 1886. and the first Impressionist exhibition was held here comprising of works by Pissarro, Manet, Cézanne, Sisley, Monet, Renoir, etc.

Blessing the Lulav and Etrog in the middle of the street

Upon our departure from the museum, a religiously dressed all in black cloths and hat, a Chabed young fellow, was walking on the same sidewalk, toward us, holding visibly his Lulav and Etrog.

David couldn't pass the opportunity to award this fellow with a Mitzva. Thus David allowed the tender guy in black, to lend him a Kippa as so David may utter the blessing on the "landed" Lulav and Etrog, right in the middle of the street, with the indifferent French just passing by, ignoring the entire comic scene of David's shaking the Lolav and raising up in the air, the ostrich egg-size yellow fragrant Etrog.

Concurrently, I was silently praying in my heart, that no radical

would incidentally pass by us, feeling provoked and having the urge to commit a terror liquidation of 2 peculiar uninhibited Jews, one a secular and the other observant, yet Joyous in their celebration of Sukkut's directive "Ve-Samacht Be-cha-gecha", right in the open public sphere.

Dining Bites

La Fourchette is David’s new bible, although just like the Red Michelin and the yellow Gault -Milau which are not reliable sources because , David says, they rely on some sort of democratic “ vote” in a form of art that requires expertise . Of course the most unreliable source is TripAdvisor in both hotels and restaurants . Only the negative reviews are worthy of consideration . So far in Davi's opinion , we had only three very good (8/10) meals . A very good meal we had in the opulent hotel Vernet. Second was Lilan, an upscale French food restaurant which is not yet on the guides, next to our apt.

Annd the third at Marty’s - a beautiful Belle Époque seafood restaurant

“Marty” (since 1913) - 20 ave des Gobelins

Chag Sukkot Sameach

To be continued.....


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