Ugh. Didn't fall asleep until 4 AM this morning even though I laid my head on my pillow at 12:15 AM. Perhaps because I ate a gluten-free muffin for dinner? My blood sugar was wrecked. Adrenaline was high. And consequently, I woke up at 1:30 PM this afternoon. Reaaaaaally hoping to break the cycle tonight.
The museum was spectacular.
I'll admit, I usually get bored and impatient at museums. What kind of artist am I?!? A performance artist. I watch lots of theater. Pictures that don't move make me antsy.
However, in this collection, it was like a play. There were characters, and a plot, and there were even videos and a recording of a ballet. The story began with Olga, Picasso's wife, from whom he separated less than 20 years after their marriage. Their relationship was fascinating - she was Russian and left her country to pursue a career as a ballerina. When she met Picasso, her family was experiencing financial strife, and was suffering pretty intensely. Olga, on the other hand, was enjoying a life of luxury, being that Picasso was a virtual celebrity. She experienced significant guilt due to leaving her family and living the good life, so her fortunate circumstances were perpetually clouded by melancholy. Picasso captures her in the majority of his work--which is incredibly beautiful to me, having a person you love who is also your muse--and he depicts her melancholy with such perfection that I found myself in tears the minute I walked into the first exhibition room.
My eyes and heart devoured each and every work. I felt as if their lives were tangible, and being that I now live in LA, all I could think was, who do I know that can write a screenplay about their relationship?!?!!
There were photographs and home videos of them and their son Paul, and it made the experience even more mysterious. Who were these people REALLY? What were they thinking? What was Picasso truly attempting to express in these paintings and drawings of his wife, especially once their relationship became strained and he took up with a mistress? The experts have their theories, but I want the truth. The truth that only the actor playing Picasso in the movie of the screenplay that one of you writes can impart.
This visit changed my opinion of museums. The exhibition itself was a work of art.
I would have walked through the entire thing all over again, except my stomach was screaming at me, so I went in search of the falafel place recommended to me by two different friends. It did not disappoint. Fresh, authentic, and hit the spot.
I walked and ate my way over to the Bastille. This did disappoint. I was expecting for breath to be taken away, but the poor monument was being repaired and the construction area was papered with a series of mindless advertisements, so it was not possible to view it in its full glory. I got a good pic of the upper half of it.
As big as Paris looks on a map, it took me less than 20 minutes to walk from the Bastille to my flat - I've walked everywhere in the city so far, no public transpo needed whatsoever. I made a pitstop at home, got the taxes sorted out, took a shower, got dolled up, and went to meet a bunch of strangers for some drinks.
Airbnb has started meet-up events for travelers, which is brilliant. I walked over to the Belleville area, a bit sweaty and nervous, as making small talk is not my forte. But I put my big-girl panties on as I walked through the door of Les Pauiles, ordered a cider, and sat at a table with 2 young ladies. They turned out to be the sweetest Argentinian girls, and they are winning at life because they speak two languages. We chatted in English for over an hour, and it was nice to have a conversation with someone after almost 5 days of just taking to myself. We took the elevator up to the rooftop, snapped some shots of the Eiffel Tower and Sacre Coeur, and then went our separate ways. A very nice Italian lad tried to start up a convo with me, but I was beyond hungry and basically ran away from him. Sorry, Alessandro!
I yelped a place that was still serving food, and walked through the door of their restaurant within 5 minutes of walking out of the first spot. Sat at the bar, asked the bartender for his best recommendations, and savored a meal of salad, tartare, roasted potatoes, and red wine, followed by some creme brûlée. Healing? Perhaps not. But come on, it's PARIS, people.
Seriously, I'm going to bed early tonight. Yell at me if I start texting you right now.