Paris Part Two
9 May, 2009, 4:59 am
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit, Uncategorized

Metro in Paris!

so… where was I?

Ah Yes. Paris.

Friday ended up being my favorite day, I think. The day started with a trip via the Metro to the Musee D’Orsay. As a former Chicagoan and lover of public transit in general, riding the Metro was an exciting pleasure. (It’s the little things, right?) The Musee D’Orsay (which is a former rail station) housed plenty master pieces by Cezanne, Van Gogh, Manet and other impressionist and post-impressionist works.

“04.24.09, 10:10am – See Cezanne’s Mount St. Victoire and almost weep.”

As silly as it sounds, when I spotted Cezanne’s masterpiece (or one of, anyway… ironically his favorite painting of mine lives in Chicago) I began to tear up. The great thing is that this would hardly be the end of seeing some incredible original works. I saw Manet’s Olympia up close and personal and she was beautiful and naked and brazen as ever. There was a Rodin exhibit which also included some beautiful sculpture by Wilhelm Lehmbruck. One of his works struck me in particular. I wrote it down and did a (very) crude sketch of it in my notebook. Before leaving the museum, I had lunch with some friends on the top floors of the museum which allowed you to peek out through the large clock faces of the museum and out into the city of Paris. Beautiful! From there, I met up with Professor Clifford and the other printmaking students and headed to the Bibliotheque National. There, we met the head curator of the archives of original prints stored within. We met in a large room filled with humongous books that contained original prints bound into them. We were there for over two hours just looking up close and personal at amazing original works. I saw Picasso’s signature in fucking pencil for God’s sake!

“4:56pm – Durer, Picasso, Miro, Redon and many others spill from eyes!”

As amazing as it was – it was also overwhelming. Had we stayed another minute my eyes would have exploded. This is a good thing though… the incredible thing is that we probably saw the smallest fraction of works contained in that room. Still reeling from that experience, my friend Kyle and I and a girl named Rachel headed out to meet up with the Graphic Design students for our appointment at Porchez Typofonderie.

“5:07pm – LOST!!!

We were sure we were in the right area of town (which is to say we were actually outside Paris city limits at this point) but we couldn’t find the address we were looking for. To make matters worse, no one at the post office we stopped in had any inkling of an idea of where the address we were looking for was. Luckily, Rachel had a cell phone on her and had our Professor’s cell number. We found out we were just a bus ride away from our destination. Porchez Typofonderie turned out to be a small apartment turned into a studio for a two man operation. A very humble space for the man responsible for a great deal of typefaces currently being used in France and Europe and responsible for logos for Air France, La Poste (the post office in France,) Gloria Vanderbuilt, France Telecom (sort of their version of AT&T,) Uncle Ben’s and many more. Like Michel Bouvet, Jean Francois Porchez proved to be a gracious host as well. He had drinks and snacks available for us as he talked to us about his work and answered questions. We finally got back to our hotel around 8pm. I grabbed dinner with a few other students and then met up with Tom and my friend Allison for a drink. Our waiter ended up being originally from the States.

On Saturday, Tom, Allison and I decided to make it a day of shopping and exploring the city. This was the first day we didn’t have any kind of required itinerary with school. There was also a lot of traveling via Metro on this day. So this ranks as probably my second favorite day in Paris. ‘mostly because I wasn’t on a tight schedule with school and we just ended up going to different places on a whim. We walked up the Champs Elysees, from the Louvre up until the Triumphal Arch. We had lunch at a sidewalk cafe right before getting to the Arch. I can’t even necessarily recall specific events in any order from after lunch up until dinner but it involved riding the Metro around and randomly exploring Paris. At one point I did buy a new sleeve for my MacBook Pro made by Freitag (the people in the Helvetica movie that make bags and wallets and other fun things out of used truck tarpaulins.) I’ve never seen any of their products in the states (though I’m sure they’re available) and decided this was going to be my splurge while in Paris. For dinner we traveled outside of the touristy part of Paris with our friend Derek while he snapped some photos for an assignment. After our meal we headed back into the heart of the city and went to the Eiffel Tower. As typical and touristy as it may be to go see the Eiffel Tower while in Paris, it was pretty epic and a fine piece of construction. And as cheesy as it sounds it made the trip to Paris complete. ‘like something I could check off the proverbial list.

Before heading back to Lacoste on Sunday, I made a point to make it to the Pompidou Centre, where I saw contemporary works by Calder, Rothko, Van Doesburg, Duchamp, Dali, etc. Pretty cool. Great bookstore too. Then I hightailed it over to the Grand Palais to catch the Warhol exhibit before meeting back up with everyone at the train station.

There it is. My Paris trip… only took me forever to blog about it. C’est la vie!



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