Posted by: vlibrizzi | December 6, 2009

Strikes and Snapper

The other day, we both had the day off (although I was supposed to be studying for my exams), so we went into Paris to see an exhibit on Venetian artists at the Louvre. As we approached the entrance to the museum, however, we saw all of these people crowded around the entrance. Thinking that it was just a sign of a very long line, we approached the entrance only to find police officers blocking off the main pyramid. We asked what was going on and we found out that the workers of the Louvre, the Orsay, the Pompidou, Versailles, and many other museums are on strike. Just our luck!

But, just as we were about to bag it and just walk around Paris for the afternoon (not such a bad alternative), a security guard told us that there was another (secret?) entrance to the Louvre that we could access by going to the Carousel de Louvre (the underground shopping mall) across the street. So, we stealthily walked over to this mystery entrance, climbed down a flight of stairs and, voila!, we were in the museum, waiting in line to buy tickets. 

So, the Louvre isn’t closed after all…just the main entrance is blocked off.

Some kind of strike! 🙂

As we waited for our tickets, we watched the workers toss down flyers from above (as you can see in the photo above, they stood on the ground level while we were underground). I picked up one of the flyers to see what the fuss was all about and, not surprisingly, it was written in English (I wonder who their target audience was…tourists?!?!). It said that the workers are striking for increased job security (but doesn’t France have a reputation for having already ridiculous job security measures?). 

Besides having to listen to the strikers playing their strike songs (which consisted of a lot of 1970s American rock music), the exhibit we went to was awesome! It compared the three great Venetian artists of the 1500’s (Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto) in many interesting ways. For example, one room focused on comparing their similar paintings of a woman looking at herself in a mirror. The comparisons were really fascinating…one could easily see how much these three were influenced by one another. 

As we left the Louvre, we took some photos of the Pyramid, and then walked around the neighborhood for a bit.

Then, later that evening, C. too me out to dinner to celebrate the end of my year of French classses at the Sorbonne (I took my last exam yesterday!). For the occasion, went to L’Epigramme, a cute restaurant in the 6th, that we have been wanting to try for months. I had an absolutely delicious red snapper for my entree, and C. had a yummy piece of lamb atop sweet potato puree. Dinner in Paris was the perfect way to celebrate the end of my year as a French student…bien sur!

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