04 January 2009


If you lived in Paris year round and went to the Louvre once a month you’d pretty much see everything after five or six years. Then again maybe you should make it once a week.
The missus and I skimmed the surface of the edge of the tip of the outer portion in our afternoon there today.
I did see a lot to love, admire and say “oh my” about. The Mona Lisa was not among the most impressive sites, especially given the huge crowds around it the security and the fact that that when all is said and done its just another painting. Make of it what you will. Greatest. Most famous. Most hyped. There’s simply too much else to see to bother with the masses that flock to it.
I loved the Rubens and many of the other Flemish works, Boticelli and other Italians of the early Renaissance, and most of all Napoleon's Coronation by Jacques-Louis David.
The Louvre was particularly exhausting because of the size of the place and frustrating because we could only see so much -- but what we saw!
Next back to the apartment then a trip to a French laundromat. Couldn’t figure out how to work their washers but a lovely young French woman saw me through the process. She’s probably big fan of this blog (the French love Riku Writes, ya know).
In the evening we took youngest daughter out for her 18th birthday dinner. Walked around half of Paris and couldn’t find the restaurant we’d selected. Having given up we were happy to stumble upon an American style diner called -- get this -- The Diner. Feasted on fries and other American cuisine, a veggie burger in my case. And what was this on TV? A bowl game on ESPN? Who’d have thought such a thing possible in the heart of Paris?
From the Mona Lisa to college football in a single day.

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