PARIS Part One
4 May, 2009, 12:03 pm
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit

A week later and I still don’t think I can put my trip to Paris into words entirely. In the five days that we were there there was plenty to do. In some ways this prevented me from taking in the city on a grander scale. On the flip-side, because of the way things were scheduled, I got to see plenty and some things I probably would not have been able to do if I wasn’t traveling with school. I had a little journal with me in which I tried to write things down to help to remember certain details of the trip and share with you later. That didn’t last long. The pace of the trip, the amount of things I saw, my want to just enjoy what I could and my inability to truly follow through on most of what I do prevented these writings from becoming anything cohesive. Where they are appropriate I shall insert a few them.

We got up early Wednesday morning and caught a bus to the city of Avignon. From there we rode the TGV to Paris. Once we arrived in Paris we walked along the river Siene to our hotel in the Latin Quarter. Almost immediately we could see Notre Dame looming large in the distance. Holy Shit! I’m in Paris. I felt a weird sense of comfort knowing I was in a big city. After getting checked in at the hotel and heading back out to grab lunch, that sense of comfort diminished slightly as I remembered that I spoke very little french and ordering food could prove to be difficult. A good amount of Parisians did seem to speak English but that still led to some interesting exchanges. Besides that, I wanted to be able to ask for things in French when I could. I succeeded sometimes. After a few of us grabbed lunch together we headed towards Notre Dame, which was only blocks from our hotel. Some people decided to go inside while Tom and I opted for a seat at a sidewalk cafe.

“04.22.09, 12:05pm – In Paris, enjoying cafe au lait @ Aux Tours Notre Dame. Tasty! ‘have longed for something brewed and not out a vending machine.”

After our brief trek, I met up with all of the Graphic Design students back at the hotel for the afternoon’s events. We first headed to Galerie Sit Down where we viewed an exhibit of posters advertising art exhibits. Art about art, if you will. After that was a trip to a shop with archives and archives of all sorts of publications dating back to the early 20th century. I bought a really cool looking poster from 1973. The type, colors and texture on it are gorgeous. The highlight of the night proved to be our trip to renown poster designer Michel Bouvet’s studio. He invited us in and talked to us about his work (which included sharing his sketches for the posters he creates) and answered any questions we had for him. After an hour or so our professor thanked him and said that we had taken up quite a bit of his time. To which, Michel instructed us to sit down and after walking out of the room briefly, returned with beer, wine and peanuts for all of us. He spent the next hour showing us some really cool books and answering more of our questions. It had been a long day, so after dinner I called it a night and went to bed.

Thursday started with a trip to the Louvre. I know I barely saw a fraction of everything contained within the great museum. But I was able to see the winged Nike, the Venus de Milo, some really small painting called the Mona Lisa or something like that (honestly, it was very small and didn’t really compare to some of the other works in the museum… not too mention it had a huge ass crowd surrounding it). After a while the Louvre became a bit overwhelming and I was hungry for lunch. I found the Museum of Decorative Arts (Les Arts Decoratifs), located right next to the Louvre, to be more interesting. There was an exhibit of posters and other contemporary design by the design duo of Antoine+Manuel. Just outside of that there was an exhibit of really interesting French television advertising that included Michel Gondry and a gentlemen named Antoine Bardou-Jacquet that used type to illustrate all kinds of animated objects. In another wing there were some really cool political posters.

“04.23.09, 3:32pm – Sit in courtyard outside of Louvre – enjoy Parisian sun… ”

With a bit of time before my next appointment I decided to enjoy the weather and view outside. Around 4pm the Graphic Design students headed to the Grand Palais to catch the exhibit “Le Tag.” The exhibit consisted of a bunch of graffiti artists doing an interpretation of the word “love.” There were some really great pieces that exhibited a great amount of control and talent in the graffiti medium. Something different to open up your mind and expose you to great art.

“5:28pm – W. Blake w/Tom”

After that Tom and I caught the William Blake exhibit across the street at the Petit Palais. I jotted several notes about his printmaking processes which we were told to pay attention to by our printmaking professor (who happens to be one of my favorite professors from Atlanta, if I have not already mentioned.) Tom and I then walked the long walk back to the hotel and took in the sites as we went along.

“6:35pm – Pont Alexandre III – EPIC!!!”

We crossed the Pont Alexandre III, which is a huge bridge in Paris that crosses the River Siene and is decorated by cherubs, nymphs and winged horses at either end. As we got closer to the hotel we stopped and had crepes with nutella and bananas. Soooo freaking good! Needless to say, after the walk home we were beat. I think grabbed dinner but for the most part, thus concludes day 2 in Paris.

More words and all of my pictures from the trip coming soon… must go eat and do work now.


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