New Years Day started with coffee. As our host only had a pod machine, we had bought what we thought were tea bags with coffee grinds at the grocery store the day before. Turned out they were pods also, just incompatible with his Nestle machine. So, Matt ended up breaking them open and using the grinds within with some hot water.
Matt served me my cup in bed. I didn’t want to leave the comfort of the warm blankets. It’s so cold in Paris apartments! It was lovely to sit curled up in bed with a hot mug of coffee, knowing that outside the window, the Eiffel Tower was just over the rooftops, hidden by the fog.
Matt set out a spread of baguette, cheese, and yogurt for breakfast. We watched a local news, where we heard over half a million people gathered at Champ des Élysées for New Years Eve the night before. We were glad that we chose the Tower!
Musée Des Arts et Métiers
We took the subway for the first time on our trip. The automated machines weren’t intuitive, so we bought a ticket from a teller who would much rather be on her cell phone than help us, despite a friendly bonjour.
Our first stop was La Gaîté Lyrique, a digital arts gallery. Unfortunately it was closed until January 10th (Google lied to us!). Next we went to Musée Des Arts et Métiers, an industrial museum. As it was the first Sunday of the month, we got in free!
We wandered Musée Des Arts et Métiers looking at various inventions and products. I wa surprised at the different types of keyboards that had been invented over the centuries! There is a school attached to the museum, and I thought how wonderful it must be for design students to come over here to look at all the different ways everyday items have been approached over the ages.
Next we went to the Pompidou where we lined up for a hour. There was another long line for coat check so we chose to carry our winter coats with us. We read a sign that said people under 25 were free, so we went to the ticket machine to buy two tickets. We later found out that everyone had free admission today, and we’d needlessly spent 14€ a piece!
Our tickets got us into the special exhibition, but we didn’t fancy standing in yet another line, so went downstairs to the galleries. There was Duchamp, Kandinsky, Rothko, and other greats. Matt found a new artist he really liked called Basque (?) from the mid 1900’s – always a joy to discover something new!
In the glass covered stairway that overlooked the city, we munched on leftover baguette from yesterday. It was a bit stale and we decided that we needed something more substantial to sustain us. We followed the signs for the restaurant, ending up at the top of the tower among a series of abstract pods and low set tables set with long stem roses. The menu was far above our budget. When we asked if there was another restaurant, staff said they didn’t know! Really…
We made our way downstairs, finding a cafe on the second level. We got a chicken sandwich, two coffees, and a moelleux aux pommes for the same price as a starter soup at the fancy Pompidou restaurant upstairs. Ha!
Next we went to the contemporary art section on Floor 4. There was an exhibit titled Polyphones which I found interesting. The theme was voice and the human body. The first piece was a series of music stands in gravel by Leibovici, the second a video by Oliver Beer, and third sculpture by Danz. I found the video most moving – children singing into a piano as the camera focused on details on and around them. It was disconnected and haunting.
Matt had more museum stamina than I. He returned to the modern classics while I made myself comfy on the cushions on the main level. I am amazed at how many huge museums there are in this city! The quantity of them and the content within is overwhelming! You’d need to live here for years to soak it up properly.
We took the subway home. On the walk back to our flat, I noticed how there was gold confetti along the sides of the streets. It sparkled in the lamplight – everything in this city sparkles!
We made pasta for dinner with tomato sauce and goat cheese, opening a bottle of wine from Bordeaux. We ate some cheese and fish rolls as an appetizer we’d picked up at the store yesterday merely because they intrigued us. I didn’t like them, but Matt sure did!
After dinner, I sat on the couch with a glass of wine and enjoyed the view. Outside the window were classic shuttered windows, red clay chimneys, and flower boxes. Above the roof, the sky shown yellow where the Eiffel Tower lay beyond the fog, flickering ever so slightly when it put on its hourly strobe light show. Smoke rose up into the night air from a chimney, black against the lit up sky. A quiet end to our third day in Paris.