Thursday, February 24, 2011

From the farm to the Louvre, an American Renaissance Woman in Paris.

Had an eventful few days.  As promised on Tuesday I went to the Salon International de l'Agriculture, which was essentially the best collection of food and beverages under one roof I think I've ever seen.  But I'll go chronologically so as not to confuse any unsuspecting readers who are undoubtedly starting to wonder how I spend my hours and hours of time off work.  I remember times in my life when I would kill for free time.  Ironic.  I feel like it's summer break and I'm bored with staying at home with mom but this is only a 2 week vacation.  Some summer weather would certainly make things easier though, it's a lot harder to make myself brave rain and near-freezing temperatures than it is to go swimming.

Day 51: 2-20-11 - a cosmetics store I pass as I walk through the hood on my quest for free cous-cous at Tribal Cafe.  Those better be damn good cosmetics to justify a name like that.  Something tells me they're not.

Day 52: 2-21-11 - St Philippe de Roule, a church 2 blocks away from me that is right next to the boulangerie I've been going to but that somehow I have never noticed.  It's apparently quite uneventful, though, there isn't even an English wikipedia page on it, and although it was built in the 18th century, was never completely finished due to lack of funding.  I didn't go in because I already had my baguette in hand but I will have to take a look around sometime.
Day 53: 2-22-11: Agriculture Expo!  Back row from left: Matthew, Eric, Pierre; Courtney, Rachel, et Moi.
Really the first exciting thing to write about in a while.  If anyone ever gets a chance to go to Paris in mid-to-late February, this is a must-do.  It is essentially a multi-story Taste of France festival, including food and beverages of each of the regions in France PLUS all their outlying territories/regions such as Martinique, New Caledonia, etc. etc.  Among the list of foods I dégustered (and would gladly pay the 6 euro entry fee to déguster again) include a foie gras sandwich (which made the last 23 years of my life seem dim by comparison), dried sausages that taste like slim jims (and were served beside the pig livestock exhibit, a little morbid really), oysters, some sort of ice cream toffee cake, a bread/cake/pastry thing that was literally called "pure butter" (and tasted like it), dates, various fruit spreads, a few wines, a locally brewed beer, several apple-based ciders and liquors from Normandy, and various rums, including one with chunks of actual fruit in it.  I'm fairly sure there was more but it is all running together into a big delicious rumpus.  Tomorrow is the last day.  I might go back, if nothing else for the foie gras sandwich that was 7.50 euros but was sizable and served with a plastic cup of deliciously sweet white wine and seemed to melt in your mouth into a forcefed-livery goodness. (But if you ask the French about the animal rights objections, they will probably tell you "We don't do that in France."  Nice try froggies.)

On the oyster note, I've tried them twice before, and never really liked them but I have heard they are an acquired taste.  I don't really get "acquired tastes" because all that really means is that you ate something and hated it, but then kept eating it anyway, which just seems silly, but I guess I am a bit ridiculous because I was determined to like them and so I tried them again.  And, voilà, it worked.  The bread and wine didn't hurt either.

dressed the part to sell their meats/cheeses

foie gras sandwish = heaven in your mouth

 not posing at all...

bar a pommes (literally, apple bar.  which it was) 

 Normandy's Medal d'Or apple alcoholic beverages.  They don't mess around.

The French go tropical. 

Oh yeah, there were animals too:
The French really like their horses

Donkey. He liked me. 

German Shepherd puppy that I  wanted to take home with me

Maybe Pete is in there somewhere

cuddling sheep.

Black sheep. We've all been there.  I think he could smell the rum in my cup. 

 weird cowbell processional.

This cow did not trust me.

So all in all I got a taste of some French foods I would be embarrassed to leave saying I'd never tried, saw more breeds of livestock than I knew existed, and left well fed and exhausted.

And since I was on a roll doing exciting things, and since the next day was rainy and miserable, I decided to hit up the Louvre.  I really like that I can say that: "Hmm rainy day, what should I do?  Guess I'll go look at world famous paintings and ancient artifacts at the most famous museum in the world."  Considering the last time I went with Leanne we spent most of the time making irreverent comments about the statues' male genitalia, I figured I owed it another go.  All the pictures are a bit dark because the sun had already gone down and of course I couldn't use a flash, but you get the idea.

crown jewels. 

the medieval foundations of the original Louvre structure


Ancient Egyptian frogs.  Weird, they look just like our frogs... 

One of the Ramses 

Hieroglyphics (I got this one: "man at beach, sees seagulls and starfish."  Man I'm good.)

 Army of funeral servant statues in the dead things and sarcophagi room

Gator mummy.  Go 'Noles. 

Cat mummies.  Mom should be glad I just asked her to bury our cat in the backyard. 

Around this time I lost interest in the old stuff and started paying more attention to the architecture and decor. 

Greek painting on a ceiling.  I have a feeling this wasn't originally there. 

Nike of Samothrace.  Was probably quite attractive at one point but seems a little scary now.

Day 54: 2-23-11 - another ceiling that distracted me from 3,500 year old artifacts.  You shouldn't put important stuff in a room like this and expect me to pay attention.

So c'est tout pour maintenant.  It's 11 am on Thursday and I'm contemplating how to spend my day.  I will probably go for a run and then play eenie-meenie-miney-mo between Musee d'Orsay or the Rodin Museum.

Oh, and I also booked my tickets to Amsterdam in Brussels in April with Caitlin (assuming she doesn't get thrown into some African prison before she gets here).  2 trips planned in 2 months; I'm quite the world traveller.


  1. So what caused the sign off change from "An" A.A.P.i.P. to "The" A.A.P.i.P.? A tip of the hat to "The" FSU? Thanks for going to the Louvre for me, as we all know my fear of flying, despite my shiny new passport, will prohibit me from doing so!

  2. I don't know I was just responding to the multiple concerns that my blogging could be identified by undesirable people and so I changed my name and photo. I didn't put a whole lot of thought into it. And you're welcome. You should pop a Vicodin and come anyway.

  3. Although, on second thought, I've posted pictures of myself so anyone who knows me personally could figure it out pretty easily. At least they won't show up in a google search for my name or anything.