The Donjon  of Chateau Vincennes
is now open for tours! They've done
a great job of restauration.
Interesting church -- on the
corner of Rue de Rivoli and
Rue de l'Oratoire. (We cannot
find the name on any map or
in any guidebook!)
On Thursday, 14 June, we attended an exhibition of Gobelins
Tapestries 1607-2007, and we were so busy oohing and ahhing at the
displays that we forgot to take pictures until we got outside the
building. We'll try to go back again and capture it in photos. Oops!
Place Rene Cassin in front of
St.Eustache
Beautiful Vine Outside of
Les Halles
(in the Passion Flower Family?)
17-VI-07 The Montparnasse
Tower is a wonderful place
for a panoramic view of most
of Paris.  It was completed
in 1973, and denounced by
some Parisians as, "bringing
Manhattan to Paris."  Very
soon the city passed an
ordinance prohibiting any
structures of this size in the
heart of Paris. You can ride
an elevator up to the 56th
floor, and climb three flights
to the top of the tower, for
a breathtaking view.  The
blue sky, clouded over; the
wind started to blow, and we
descended the tower.  It
was raining by the time we
exited the building.  We ran
to a nearby café for a glass
of wine and a cup of tea, and
we watched the rain shower
the city, as we sat, warm
and safe under a canopy.
Tour Eiffel
Jardin de Luxembourg
Les Invalides
This is where I
lived in 1980-81.
(Rue St. Jacques)
On 19 June 2007, we set out on a mission.  During several previous stays in Paris,  we had gone searching for
Descartes' tomb in the Pantheon, where several references claim he was buried, and we could not find him.  This
time, armed with different information, we went to Iglese St. Germain de Pres.  As we entered the church, I would
have known we were in an old Catholic Cathedral, even if I had been blindfolded.  This is a monument embued with
Catholicism -- centuries of the scent of frankincense and candle wax mixed with the sacredness of ritual and fervent
prayers infused into every block of its dark, ancient rock walls. ("Once a Catholic...") We walked the entirety of the
place and still couldn't find him. We refused to accept defeat and searched again.  Sure enough, we found him in a
darkly furnished alcove of St. Germain de Pres known as St. Benoit's chapel, bracketed by two lesser-knowns (no
offense!) (both Benedictine monks, scholars and scientists), Mabillon and Montfaucon,  only a bust of Mabillon
overlooking the triple tomb plates.
Finding Descartes:
A Lesson in Perspicacity
(Je Pense Donc Je Suis)
For history buffs: Descartes died on Feb. 11, 1650
in Stockholm, Sweden, where he was serving as a
teacher for Queen Christina.  He was buried in a
graveyard mainly used for unbaptized infants in
Stockholm. During the French Revolution his remains
were moved from Sweden to the Pantheon and in
1802, the village where he was born was named
after him.  He was moved again to a church, Ste.
Genevieve du Mont and then, again, to a second
church, St. Germain de Pres. He is known as the
Father of Modern Philosophy and of Modern
Mathematics; he created the Cartesian Coordinate
System, founded analytic geometry (a bridge
between geometry and algebra and the basis for
calculus); he was one of the key figures in the
scientific revolution.
After paying homage to René, we
crossed the street to pay homage
to more contemporary denizens of
the 6th arrondissement at Les
Deux Magots Café.       
ˇ
Les Deux
Magots
This neighborhood  (in the 6th
arr.) was the post-war home of
existentialism.  Café Les Deux
Magots, which is famous for its
crowd of surrealist artists and
literary and intellectual elite,
attracted an intellectual bohemian
crowd such  as Sartre, De
Beauvoir, Giraudoux, Camus,
Hemingway and others.  The
cafe's name comes from the two
statues of Chinese commercial
agents that decorate one of its
pillars.
 
One is a gourmet as one is an
artist, as one is a poet.
--Maupassant
Picasso
hemingway
giraudoux
This is the oldest belfry
in Paris.  It was built in
the 11th century.
to read this, click on the picture
to enlarge
forgive
Do not Forget . . . .
Stairway down into the
memorial
There is no common ground
(nothing the same) between the
real fight and a crushing in the
night.  --Antoine de Saint Exupery
My best translation: "So that
the memory may live of two
hundred thousand French
voices, who were
exterminated in the Nazi
camps, in the night and in the
dark."
And the choice that each one made
about his life and, about himself
was authentic, because it was
made in the presence of death.
--Jean Paul Sartre
I dreamed so strongly about you -- I walked
so much, talked so much, loved your shadow
so much, that there is nothing left of you.  
The only thing left is the shadow between
shadows, the one that will come back to
mind."  from Ensoleillee -- Robert Desnos
--This monument was inaugurated on April 12th 1962 by General de
Gaulle, President of the French Republic, as a place of
contemplation and remembrance of the suffering caused by the
deportation.
(
Excerpt from the explanation at the entrance to the Memorial)
"[The Memorial] was
created by the architect
Georges-Henri  Pingusson,
and depicts certain
features that define the  
concentration camp
environment:  narrow
passages, tight staircases,
spiked gates, restricted
views with no sight of the
horizon, and frequent
references to the triangle,
the distinctive mark of the
deportees. "(excerpt from
sign at entrance)
"Triangular recesses inside the
crypt show the names of the main
camps, enclosing earth and ashes
that were gathered from each
one. ( excerpt from sign at
entrance)
The thousands of sparkling lights that
can be seen in the gallery represent
the deportees who never returned.
La Tour d'Argent Restaurant
Musée des  Arts
Decoratifs
This museum is huge!  It has 5 floors and over 100 rooms of
decorative and ornamental are, from the Middle Ages to the
present.  Plan to spend at least a whole day, if you want to
see everything in detail!  
Mèmorial de Martyrs Français de la Déportation de 1945
French deportation Memorial
This memorial commemorates the
French citizens who were deported
to concentration camps during
World War II.
19-VI-2007
ˇ
June in Paris, Part 2
Le Concert du Quatuor de l'Atelier
23 Juin 2007
Soprano: Josephine Chaumet
Alto: Catherine Piot-Leray
Tenor: Fabrice Bloch
Basse: Pascal Boyeldieu
Avec le concours de Michel Ollendorff
Tom decides to check out
the Bercy Omnisports
Stadium in advance.
Barbara Streisand is
coming to Paris!
Bercy Omnisports Stadium
Tuesday, June 26, 2007!
"I guess it's
okay, if you're
into vertical."
Hanging at Les Halles