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ah, paris… just thinking of it makes me sigh…

February 18, 2007

just had my first bagel in almost a month… wasn’t the best one but still… i’m back in new york finally…
so paris… it doesn’t even feel real that i was there for a week… had a very exciting and “(a)live” gig with vijay and mike that the audience was very responsive and enthusiastic… the venue was pretty nice theater outside paris called… then had a solo set at this club called le triton which i think it went pretty well… the thing about playing almost everyday is that you kind of get sick of what you are doing… especially doing solo stuff… feel like you are repeating yourself yet again… and i hate that feeling… the first piece was more abstract and noisy but then the last one was only notes which will make some of my friends “proud”… just joking… and everybody at the club was so nice and open… i was a bit nervous since i was opening for a rather straight jazz trio… but they were really responsive and made me feel comfortable…
then had 3 full days of just wandering around… well, the fist day which was sunday was not so eventful since so many things were closed and i was exhausted after changing the hotels… after wandering about a little bit, i went to see a concert at instant chavirés… it was concert of lebanese improvisors collaborating with other european musicians… and the entire night was great… those are the people i wouldn’t have heard unless i lived in europe…! and they were making some unbelievably cool stuff… although i wasn’t so crazy about the place itself…
then the next morning, i went out to get lost in the city… and can i just tell you, paris was way more beautiful than i even imagined… all the endless array of amazingly beautiful buildings and bridges and everything… every block i was in awe looking at all the details wondering who in the earth had the right mind and time to do all that… then they were living in a very different time for sure…
the first place i went to was napoleon’s tomb along with army museum… actually i was heading to eiffel tower but got turned around and ended up there… and when i walked in, i just couldn’t believe my eyes… the size of it and how elaborate the whole thing was… as if they tried to make him into a god or something… his coffin, although hard to believe there was something really in it, was at the bottom of the building and surrounded by this female figures gazing onto it, guess there were 12 of them… actually i didn’t count but it looked like some kind of clock so i’m just assuming… then on the ground floor there some of his swords and pistols and they were so beautifully ornamented…
then made a quick stop at eiffel tower… thought about going up there but then the line was long and somehow i didn’t feel like doing it by myself, if you know what i mean… looking at the tower from the bottom was really beautiful anyway… and when i saw it later at night time all lit, it was just gorgeous…
went on to louvre and i have to admit i wasn’t so crazy about it… first of all the size was way too intimidating and there were just so many paintings and not every one of them are masterpieces… i ended up only going to the italian painting section then i also got weirded out by the fact that most of those paintings were stolen… maybe i was focusing too much on darker side but still… well, i though i would go back to check out the french section but it wasn’t meant to be…
then did a quickie shopping since practically every shop in paris was having a huge sale… heh heh heh… i’m just glad i didn’t have that much money to spend… otherwise…
then when i thought i couldn’t walk anymore, somehow ended up near the arc de triomphe and decided to go up… after walking up the spiral staircases that made me dizzy i got to see the paris at night and it was breathtaking… the fact that the city had so many roundabouts that had some kind of beautiful structures in the middle made every single section of the city unique and charming… then that eiffel tower lit up with the spotlight rotating all over the city… ah, it was beautiful even when it was drizzling…
the the next day… went to musée d’orsay and oh, my, it was a fabulous museum… they had some fabulous manet, monet, cezanne, van gogh and my love, toulouse-lautrec…! and although i was never been a huge fan of degas but there were many gorgeous pastels works of his displayed under dim lighting and they were stunning…! the way he colored human flesh was absolutely genius… and this piece called… by monet was such a delight to see in person… i’d seen it many times on books but too see it in person was so different and could only imagine how surprised people must have been back in the days… it was so abstract but caught exact the impression of the sunlight and wind yet you cannot even see her face…! oh, even some of renoir pieces had similar effect on me… then i walked into this room full of toulouse-lautrec’s pastels… oh, my god… his usage of green is just out-of-this-world marvelous… and the expressions he got were so alive you could feel the personality of each person… wow… was blown away again by him… then of course van gogh… one of the paintings was his portrait and it was touching in so many ways… his gaze and solemn expression… and another one with farmers sleeping next to haystacks painted in his famous yellow… wow… oh, forgot to mention i did see some of van gogh’s work at the national gallery in london and they were unbelievable… i’m seriously running out of vocabularies to describe all these amazing paintings… and i’m sure i’m forgetting to mention so many other great works…
then my new discovery was hector guimard… he was an architect/designer from art nouveau who also created “metropolitan” sign outside some of the metro stations… and i almost didn’t make it to his room at the museum because i’m not such a big fan of furniture but then when i saw his green couch with cabinet on top of it, i was in shock… was one of the most beautiful thing made out of wood i’d even seen… the shape of it, flow of it, compositions of it… it was perfect… then jewelry by rené lalique was another discovery of mine… wow… how did they do it…?!?!
then i was too stimulated to go to any other museums really… thought about going back to louvre but thankfully it was closed because it was tuesday… then ended up wandering about some more… oh… i really need to go back and just go to all the museums… it was such a fabulous deal to have that museum pass… not only the price but the fact that you don’t need to wait on line to get in… oh, and yes, paris metro is the best… never had to wait more than 3 minutes ever… and so easy to get around and figure out where to get out… although there weren’t any lifts or escalators so it was a bit hard to get around with my cello flight case… then the last day, one lady offered to help… thank you who ever you were…
you might have noticed that i have’t mention a single food i’d had in entire trip… well, it’s because i’m going to talk about food separately… what do you think about that…? wait and see…

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