Monday, August 23, 2010

Trip Reflections: Paris, Picasso and Heartstrings (a year ago)

A year ago today I was in Paris and in Picasso heaven.

That's where this picture was taken, in the sculpture garden at the Picasso Museum. I can still remember how excited and inspired I was that very day. To read my blog post from Paris on August 21, 2009 on my day with Picasso there, click here.

I feel so lucky to have seen the Picasso museum in Paris, as it is now closed until sometime in 2011. That's bad news for those in Paris, but it's good news for people around the world who will see some of it's 500 Picasso works in a travelling exhibition. I understand it has been in Helsinki and Moscow so far, and is still overseas. The exhibition is coming to the Seattle Art Museum in October and I think it just might be reason for a road trip (with some nudges from my sissy).

So... back to Paris. All told (or is that "all tolled"?), I was there about a month, and it was heaven. HEAVEN.

What great fun it was to have my niece Branwen visit me for my time there. And what a year it has been for her since then. She hadn't yet graduated from her jewellry program and we spent many an hour having cafe au lait and pain au chocolat - in our fav cafe - and talking about what she would do when that day came. How awesome is it that today she has her own studio, a website ( and her Chicadora line is a smash hit at art shows and at Favorites in North Vancouver. I remember going to a flea market in Paris with her where she was hunting out old silver spoons; she'd begun making them into jewelry... and today her spoon rings are constantly selling out. I love mine. And I still can't believe all that has transpired for her in that time.

Some fav moments and memories:
  • Our sweet little apartment in the Marais, and how we would greet each other with "Bonjour Madame", calling out the window when the other came home and entered the courtyard below
  • Paris Plages, and my meal on banks of the Seine - and the elderly man I met who told me all about his life in Paris - and the couple I gave my doodle of the scene before me to (more here)
  • Throwing out my backpack and getting a suitcase on wheels!!! (what had I been thinking?!?!)
  • The Kandinsky exhibit I went to at the Pompidou Centre
  • Discovering the Opera Garnier, quite by accident, and how amazing it was (including the underground waters that gave birth to the Phantom of the Opera story) (more here)
  • All my adventures exploring the old Paris Metro stations and the underground subway art... wow, wow, wow
  • Wandering the covered passages (more here)
  • The violin concert we stumbled on in a little church one day
  • The day we got caught in the most tremendous rainstorm and ducked into a big 'ol bookstore... it rained so much that we had to walk around buckets... I left with a wee Picasso book - in French!! I figured it would help me with my language skills(I just came across it the other day)
  • Getting lost and separated from Branwen and Maryanne at Pere Lachaise cemetery
  • Hanging out with Marjorie
  • Connecting with Shawn and Jessica from the states whom I'd met in Barcelona
  • The day Branwen saw one car drive up and over another car at the Arc de Triomphe
  • My first "stand and pee" toilet!
  • The day I - for some confounded reason I still cannot explain - bought a fondue pot
  • Discovering the teensy skinny Pilot G-TEC-C4 pens that I still draw with today, and my first doodle with such fine lines!
  • And, oh, the fresh baguettes, the cheese, the pastries.... ooh la la!!
Oh, Paris, how you grabbed hold of my heart and didn't let go. I still feel it.

I actually went back to Paris again on my 51st birthday in January - story and pics here.

I'm sure I will return one day. Paris is one livable city.... would love to go back for a few months or even longer one day.... but, heck, I'd be happy with a few days, just to be there... (sigh)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ahhh..... such great memories! I saw Maryann yesterday and we reminisced a bit. Yes is has been a year since I walked the cobblestone streets of Paris. Not to mention the amazing food, beautiful sights, and well "the sights"!!!! ;-)

Let us toast to being back there again one day- perhaps I will need a studio there!?!?