Posted by: vlibrizzi | January 18, 2009

market, matta, and monet at the marmottan

Say that three times fast! 🙂

img_1911 Today C. and I took the train into Paris and visited the 16th arrondisement, a swanky, but family-friendly neighborhood across the river from the Eiffel tower. We started by walking down Rue de Passy and window shopping (sadly, all stores are closed on Sundays in France) at all of the shoe and botique clothing stores along the road. I’m actually in the market for a new pair of weather-proof boots, after dealing with too many days to name of wet socks due to poor footwear here in France, but alas, no dice this time. I’ll have to stop into some of the stores in Fontainebleau this week to find some tall black boots—a french wardrobe staple. 

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We veered off of Rue de Passy and found a great indoor foods market right behind a huge McDonalds. The photo above is of the very bustling area surrounding the market. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why, with the food stores and markets so crowded on Sundays, the French don’t open all of their other stores. In Fontainebleau most of the stores are even closed on both Sunday AND Monday. Aren’t we in a recession? Keep those stores open, man! This American girl needs her boots! 

You can see me (bootless) in the photo to the right. I’m standing in front of the Marmatton, an impressionist museum with tons of Monet paintings that we visited after we had a fabulous pizza lunch at La Matta. img_1912C. was in need for some comfort food after a long week of studying (er…socializing) and there’s nothing he likes more than pizza, so luckily, we found a mini-Italian neigborhood, stopped into some shops to buy authentic pasta sauce and olive tapenade, and then veered right into this amazing pizza place. We shared a carafe of red wine and ate way too much pizza, but we definitely walked off our huge lunch later in the day (more on that later). img_1914

The photo above is of the stairway at the Marmatton museum. As you can see, there are Monet waterlillies as far as the eye can see, and so many other great impressionist artwork. Amazing! 

We were also in for a treat because the museum had a special exhibit about the colors Monet used in his paintings. In the photo to the right, you can see one of Monet’s actual palettes from his later years. We had no idea how much the colors he used changed over the 50+ years he was painting. He first began painting with more basic colors (browns, blacks, etc) and then, as he aged, he painted with brighter colors (purples, pinks, lime green). One scholar says that the reason for his use of brighter colors and the overall haziness of his later paintings is that he suffered from cataracts. Huh. Who knew?img_1917

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking through the parks in the 16th arrondisement and observing all the kids at play. You can even see the Eiffel tower in the background in the photo on the right. We absolutely loved this neighborhood and plan to come back when it’s a bit warmer to sit in the park and stroll around the streets. 

The only challenge of our day was that the train back to Fontainebleau from Paris was about 15 minutes late, which meant that we missed our bus back from the station to our house. But since we were in a walking mood, had so much good food in our stomachs, and were not too deterred by the cold wind, we decided to walk back to our apartment. It took about 30 minutes and by the end we were frozen and sniffly, but it was the small price we had to pay to be able to spend such a great day in Paris.

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