More from Paris

October 30, 2008 on 2:32 pm | In FRANCE | No Comments

Brothers
Still trying to stay away from the news, the places we are staying in don’t have CNN, so its all French. Feels good to be drifting in peace and adventure, I buy a New York Hearld once in awhile to see how my man Obama is doing, and if the USA is still in crazy-fear mode. Yeah, so I will have to come back and get a job, if I can find one, and ride it out, but till then I will refuse to worry, and still dig my little corner cafe here, and these little cups of espresso, and the Monet museum, Paris is a passionate city I can live in. Just walking around is fun. I love getting lost in a new neighborhood.
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Get this, today I am at this old mansion, turned into a museum, it is now an Oriental museum with an incredible collection of Chinese, Tibetan, and Cambodian art and sculpture, largest in Europe, especially from Anghor Wat, rooms filled, when I notice this small photo and a caption, in French of course, it says,”This is the room where Mata Hari did her first provocative dance.” What! Uh! Greta Garbo. Mata (not her real name) married young, and moved to Java and studied dance and the Java culture, came back to Paris and became a courtesan to the French generals and later to the German generals, She danced in a way people had not seen before, a Java-tease kind of thing, she was a good friend of Isadore Duncan. Later she is accused by France of passing on secrets to the Germans, but never proven, she just liked sleeping with men of power. That is what is challenging and invigorating about traveling-the learning part. Last month I lived in the country outside this village where Joan of Arc, at 16 or 17 showed up, I had to read and understand that, and Richard the Lionhearted was buried there, so Hollywood doesn’t always get this stuff straight. Then I discover, you probably knew this, but the Arc de Triumph was built in 1809 by Napoleon to celebrate his armies victories, but before it gets built he is looses all his power. …well the stories go on.

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The best and most discriminating art exhibit I have seen here is an all French pastel show at the Musee D”Orsy called “Mystery and Glitter” The French word just doesn’t translate well, it really means mysterious and magical light. Almost a religious¬† experience, well..I guess it was one.
Mark

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