FOR THE TIME BEING... - FEBRUARY 2006
From Parc Monceau to Grand Cafe des Capucines - 10:30 a.m. through 2:30 a.m.!
"PARC MONCEAU is one of the most attractive parks in Paris, and it became a favourite resting place for those looking to get away from the city bustle. It was started by the Duke of Chartres (later Duke of Orleans), who purchased some land in 1769 to build a garden. The Duke hired Louis Carmontelle to design the gardens in an English style. Carmontelle added sculpture of famous Frenchmen as well as a windmill, a pyramid, and some Corinthian pillars to the already existing pavilion that had been built in the centre. When the Duke was executed in 1793, the garden reverted to public ownership. It was sold to the city of Paris in 1860 and opened in 1861 by Napoleon III"
"CERNUSCHI MUSEUM - Few of the people who visit the Parc Monceau realize that a stylish white stone mansion at the edge of the park, built in the 1870s, houses one of the most remarkable collections of ancient Chinese art in Europe. The Cernuschi Museum was left to the City of Paris one hundred years ago by Henri Cernuschi (1820-1896), a Milanese financier and sympathizer with the 1871 Commune insurgents. When we visited, further to the permanent collection, there was an interesting exhibition of Chinese erotic paintings (The Spring Palace Paintings)"
"TAVERNE KRONENBOURG - A nice place for a late lunch or late dinner break"
“THE PYRAMIDS at the Louvre courtyard are probably the pièce de résistance of I.M.Pei's legacy to modernism. Of all President Mitterrand’s Grands Projets in Paris, none was as controversial as the Pei Pyramids. The main Pyramid, which unquestionably disturbs the balance of the old Cour Napoleon, provides an entrance to the galleries of the Museum. Time has somehow rounded criticism, though its role as a protected entrance against the elements is rather unsuccessful"
"COUR CARRÉE - Built shortly after 1190 by King Philippe Auguste as a defensive fortress, by the 14th century the Louvre had become a residence occasionally serving as a royal home. François I turned it into a Renaissance palace and Louis XIV, who resided there until his departure for Versailles in 1678, completed the Cour Carrée (Square Court). In 1793, the Louvre became a museum"
"LA SAMARITAINE seen from the pedestrian bridge over the Seine. Founded in 1870, it was one of the first «Grands Magazins» in Haussmann’s Paris. Acquired by LVMH (Louis Vuitton group) in 2001 is now closed for long term works, they say. It used to have one of the best Paris views from its terrace"
"PONT NEUF also seen from the pedestrian bridge over the Seine, near the Louvre"
"CAFE LAURENT at the D’Aubusson Hotel (a city mansion from de 17th Century located in the historical centre of Paris, at walking distance from the Louvre museum) is one of the Jazz sites in Paris. Thursday, Friday and Saturday it’s show time"
"STREET PIANIST - My Parisian friends surely have met this piano player several times near the Abbey at St. Germain des Prés"
"CAVEAU DE LA HUCHETTE – The famous jazz cellar has an interesting story. Before 1551 the building at nr.5 Huchette Street served as a meeting point for the members of the «Brethren of Rose Cross» and of the «Order of the Temple». In 1773 it became a lodge for the Freemasonry. With secret tunnels departing from there, the building hosted the Clubs of the Montagnards during the Revolution, when it was known as «The Terror Cave». It seems that Danton, Saint-Just, Marat and Robespierre were frequent visitors to the Tavern that was then located in the upper floor. It also seems that a court, a prison and an execution hall functioned in the building. At the end of WWII, swing and bebop invaded Paris, and «Le Caveau de la Huchette» became the first jazz club in Paris. Sydney Bechet, Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey and the Messengers and many others played there. Nowadays it’s still a nice spot to spend an evening"
"THE GRAND CAFE DES CAPUCINES - And when you leave the Caveau, there is always a nice place to have a supper. The Grand Café was already «in» when it opened in 1875. It has everything to be an exciting spot: an «Art Déco» décor, large hotels, luxury boutiques and the Opera around the corner, as well as a round the clock appealing cuisine. Oysters, Lobster, Smoked Salmon, Scallops or Duck with olives are a delight to your taste"