Monday, 31 January 2011

Mondrian and Georges

The other morning my husband and I went for breakfast at Le Georges restaurant, yep that's the one, the fancy one on the top floor of the Beaubourg. He had won breakfast for two plus a private guided tour of the De Stijl exhibition at the Pompidou Centre (Eurostar frequent traveller competition). Let's just say, we don't get out much, certainly not to places like Georges, so this was quite a treat. It started off very well!
After filling up on viennoiseries and coffee we were guided round the exhibition, much of which revolves around Piet Mondrian, the Dutch artist born in 1872. Mondrian spent quite a number of years in Paris and the French have adopted him as one of theirs. Here in France Mondrian seems to be a mandatory part of l'Éducation Nationale curriculum for three to six year olds. Later when the exhibition was open to the public the place was swarming with very young school kids. Here are two Mondrian oeuvres produced by my kids in the École Maternelle, at the ages of three (left) and five (right). 
At the end of the guided tour the first photo I took was this. I was apparently influenced by all the squares!
I then took pictures of Le Georges restaurant, a frankly spectacular space designed by architects Dominique Jacob and Brendan McFarlane. What a venue, amazing interior and amazing views. Amazing prices as well, but that was of no concern for us!
The chefs are stylish too.
I was rather partial to the red 'room'.
And then of course there's the view.
For more of my photos of Le Georges Restaurant, please click here (thumbnails) and here (slideshow)

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Des Abeilles

Did you know there were bee hives in the Jardin Luxembourg? I didn't. That just goes to show how much more I have to learn about this city. Apparently they have been there since the mid 19th Century.

The first clue we had was this.

The 9 year old spotted this sign first and hooted with laughter. Bees? In January? They have got to be joking? 

And then we saw these. Aren't they lovely?

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Please...take a seat

Parisian park chairs and benches are an important and enduring symbol of the City of Lights. 

Perhaps most notable are the green chairs to be found in the Jardin Luxembourg or the Jardin des Tuilleries. They sometimes gather together in clusters...
...or on their own.
I saw these in the Merci Concept Store, the Parisian park chair has become a sought after trendy icon.
Here is a bench in the Parc de Bercy, the very pale mint green is unusual for a Paris park bench.
More benches in the park below the Sacré Cœur.

Periodically a park bench will disappear and return a week later, freshly painted. I think this may happen to these quite soon.
Here are two chairs in the Tando Ando Meditation Space at UNESCO
Artists' chairs on the Place de Tertre.
Shiny chairs at Parc de la Villette.
And then of course there are the infamous Parisian café chairs. 

Red ones. With snow
Without snow.
Red and black.
Light brown.
Middle brown.
Dark brown.
And of course, rainbow chairs as seen stacked outside the L'Eté en Pente Douce cafe just to the east of the Sacré Cœur. 

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Jardin des Tuileries with sun and stripes

On Sunday anybody who lives in Paris will know that it was a beautiful day. Blue blue skies, not a cloud, and mild. In order to try and catch as much sun as possible we headed to the Jardin des Tuileries which has large open spaces, and consequently a big sky, thus maximising our chances of catching the rays. It was such good medicine for the soul.

Look at this blue sky.
Gold looks better in the sun too, not to mention galloping horses.
We were treated to a moon as well.
The pigeons were still grumpy, however.
There were still a few puddles, but even they were bright.
I then became preoccupied with stripes. Long looooong winter shadows.
Sometimes the straight lines curled.
If you stand at the right angle the heavily pruned trees have a red fuzz around them.
Which close up looks like this.
We ended up having a tussle with a lion.
For more photos of the Jardin des Tuileries press here (thumbnails) or here (slide show)