[Paris] Jouy en Josas and the Jardins Tuilleries

Paris himself
So having told you all about my exploits at the fashion shows and mind-enriching exhibitions, my general escapades in Paris are also worth a mention; and this post would have appeared sooner had the power not been down in my house the past week!

Flying into my favourite city in the world, I was blessed with a breath-taking view; the low winter sunlight and clear skies meant we flew in over the most fabulous panorama of the city. Of course, by the time I'd collected baggage, re-located the RER and got into the city, the sunshine was all but gone. I met my friend Jessie on the steps of the Musée d'Orsay and we went out to  where she lives and works at the HEC in Jouy en Josas, a leafy town on the outskirts of the capital. We opted for a quiet night in given respective travelling and hangover tiredness, and I was bright and fresh for the next day,

When in Paris, I am hella lucky to often have loan of my parents' friend Claire's apartment. She doesn't live in Paris but has a gorgeous little flat in the 11ieme Arrondissement. With gorgeous antique furniture, its a lovely pad and all amenities are on the doorstep. I got myself set up and went round to the local market for a few essentials to cook up little French feasts every night - bread, cheese, salad, paté and white wine.

I met up with a pal of mine Sylvain for drinks at Bastille, a spunky little Parisian quarter for an evening out, although not without the tourist crap. The cocktails oiled the old French vocab so I was feeling fluent in no time; the operative word is, of course, feeling; no doubt I was making less sense in French than a kid on a first time school trip!

The next day, I met Sylvain again at Bastille and we cycled on the Velib' to see the Jean Paul Goude and jewellery exhibitions at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. In the bookshop, I got a tome: "100 Idées qui ont chnager la mode" (100 Ideas That Changed Fashion). I wanted something of an overview on fashion as I feel I have heaps to learn, although the designer-specific ones like Alexander McQueen and Thierry Mugler are definitely next on my wish-list.

After lunch, we parted company and I checked out the work of Diane Arbus on show at the Jeu de Paume. It was excellently curated, with the works first and biography and explanations at the end, including acdemic and journalistic criticism and examples of the cameras she used. It meant you really paid attention to the art, and I loved her perspective on life in the USA in all its shapes and sizes. She is a real icon, and as with Jean Paul Goude, I know I had some of her photos on my bedroom walls years ago even if I didn't know much about them. I cycled back to the flat straight after and ate in the flat.

As Sylvain is learning English, we agreed to go and see J. Edgar in Version Originale at the Bibliotheque Nationale Médiatheque. Although I have to say I found the politics suspect, the suiting was a delight - a great warm-up to fashion shows, though the shows definitely didn't make me sob quite so much........

A retro van in Jouy en Josas
Claire's flat


Pyramide at the Louvre

Mini Arc de Triomphe at the Jardins Tuilleries
Place de la Concorde with Eiffel Tower and Grand Palais in the background

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