Monday, June 06, 2011

Iceland/France/Italy Day 10: Pompidou

May 8, 2011
France Day 10: Pompidou

Norm and I started off the day by heading to Bakery Kayser to get some pastries for breakfast based on a recommendation from a friend at work. We got some flowers for Mom for Mother's Day and brought them back to the apartment. It was nice to have a bit of a later start today after a few days in a row of mad schlepping!

We headed off a little later than usual and arrived at the Pompidou Center. There was a HUGE line outside, but it appeared to be for something other than the museum. We asked someone and it was a huge lineup for the library?! For some reason?! Anyway we proceeded to the non-existent line for the Modern Art Museum and were pretty happy that our line was way shorter. :) We went up the fancy escalator and started off with a light exhibit by François Morellet called "Réinstallations". It was fun, lots of interesting neon lights and I liked the ones where the audience could participate by pressing buttons or stepping on pedals to control the lights. There was a funny section called "Geometrees" which were drawings on the wall connected to real pieces of wood or tree branches on the floor in the gallery.

We then checked out the main exhibit and there was some awesome stuff by Picasso, Braque and Kandinsky. After some time on the main floor we checked out the restaurant on the roof but it was way overpriced. So we went down to the modern exhibit which was pretty great too, and I particularly liked the photography section. It was then definitely time for lunch so we headed down to the cafe area near the Stravinsky fountains and had an awesome classic French lunch of crepes, Kir, and I got a Croque au trois fromages.

After a tasty lunch, we headed to the Jewish Art Museum to check out the Chagall and the Bible exhibit. It was really interesting to see his artwork for other faiths too (eg stained glass windows for a church) and his Jewish themed artwork was excellent as always. Keeping on the Jewish note, we then headed towards Rue de Rosiers, the famous center of the Jewish district in Paris. We found a tasty bakery shop there and bought some cheesecake, a strudel and tons of other amazing food. There was a deli there too where Mom and I walked in and chatted with some locals about our trip and then bought some Kosher salami.

On the way out of the street, we noticed a crazy line at a place called L'As du Felafel, and some very impassioned salesmanship by the guy who worked there. He was carrying around an order pad, and excitedly pulling people passing by off the street to come and try a Felafel. "Come on, try it! We make the best Felafel! What can I get for you!" The poor competitor Felafel shop across the street was also trying to use some of the same tactics but you could see they were just copying the masters of salesmanship at L'As du Felafel, as they figured they had better adopt some more aggressive tactics to be able to compete with their intense neighbours. The guy was hilarious and I ordered one Felafel. Soon after, Mom, Dad and Norm walked over and he was about to pounce on them to try to sell them one too, when he noticed they were with me. "Oh, are you all together?" "Yes", I replied. "Well, if you decide you want anything else, you know who to talk to! You come see me and we'll make you another great Felafel!" Hahaha so awesome. And boy, he was definitely not kidding. Dad and I literally launched directly into the Felafel and just LOVED it. The sauce was excellent, and there must have been like 10 Felafels inside that one pita, maybe more. It was very garlicy and stuffed to the max with vegetables and amazing hummus. So good!!!!!!

On our walk back we saw the outside of an Art-Nouveaux Shul and then took the subway back home to the apartment. We had dinner and cheesecake and croissants and apple strudel!! I caught up on my journal and then we had those amazing tarts we bought at breakfast time for dessert!! What an amazing dinner. Later in the evening it was time for some news and chillin'. Off to bed with a good plan to go to Montmartre tomorrow.

Cool buildings along Rue Monge
Norm and I bought Mom flowers for Mother's Day, a lily and one of those purple puffball things!
Amazing pastries from Boulangerie Kayser
The view from our stairway
Our apartment from the outside
Pompidou Center
Love this design
Escalator at the Pompidou
Paris buildings
Tour Eiffel
Haha, exhibit called "Geometrees"
Cool neon tubes
Braque's "Woman with Guitar"
Loved this one
Mondrian painting that matched my shoes :)
Sweet Calder mobile
Norm and Le Nez
Wicked Cartier-Bresson photo of a boy on Rue Mouffetard, where our apartment is!
Another amazing Cartier-Bresson
Mom and Dad with a blue square!
Awesome Kandinsky
This Kandinsky is one of my favourites
Modern Art self-portrait :) (See me taking the photo in the reflection of the metal ball)
Mom and Dad at lunch
Tasty vegetarian Croque Monsieur I got
Mom and Dad enjoying lunchtime
Alex, I didn't know you had a bakery in Paris!
Epic felafel that we bought at L'As Du Felafel on Rue de Rosiers
Haha this guy was SO crazy!!! He was such an intense and hilarious salesman! He was grabbing people left and right and convincing them to buy a felafel. Hilarious.
Apparently "The Hangover 2" needed a different English translation in France
Mmm, Poulet Tikka
Musicians on the subway

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