Monday, July 20, 2009

Music of the Night

Before I left for Paris, I promised Rick I would take a photograph of a doorway on Rue du Rome.

This is in the music district and the doorway was the former publishing house of Max Eschig, a publisher of music for classical guitar.

I had reviewed the map numerous times to figure out which line to take to get there. Jerry helped me immensely and I learned that it wasn’t far at all.

So, this morning we hopped the Metro to the “Europe” station by the Gare St. Lazare.

Here’s Monet’s painting of it, from the Musee d’Orsay.

And here it is today.

Rue du Rome is clearly the music district, and as soon as we rounded the corner, we saw one music store after another.

I found this one, Pappadaro et fils, which focused on classical guitar, and while there bought Rick some music.
(I’m rethinking the wisdom of one of the pieces – it’s not very pretty, and rather difficult – which both appeals to him and after listening to it all weekend, is appalling me!) The proprietor was charming; I should have asked his advice!

We also got the coveted Eschig photo!

From there, we walked to Printemps, a high-end department store and then Galleries Lafayette, another elegant store.

Frankly, neither were particularly impressive to me. Oh, the merchandise was elegant (and I did buy a couple of things on sale there). But my favorite was BHV, an enormous department store in the Marais. More about that one in another post.

But Gallerie Lafayette did have a spectacular view of Paris!

Jerry had to go to work, but we were near the Paris Opera. Who could resist the setting for “Phantom of the Opera”? Not me!

(from Musee d'Orsay)

(Unfortunately, the auditorium was closed for a rehearsal, so I didn’t get to see the magnificent hall – depicted here in a model from Musee d’Orsay.

But I did take a peek into one of the uncurtained windows!

And while I didn't see this (also from Musee d'Orsay)...

I could certainly imagine what it would be like!

Officially titled Opera National de Paris Garnier, it was designed for Napoleon III by Charles Garnier in 1862.
Marble. Stone. Bronze. Gold. It’s all there in the lobby, with its massive staircases.
Beautiful balconies...

...elaborate chandeliers...

...and massive scale.
A grand foyer, with its magnificent hall of mirrors would be a fine place for guests to promenade.
And on warm nights, one could step outdoors to a balcony and strolling portico...

While I missed seeing the Marc Chagall ceiling in the auditorium and the small lake underneath the building that is told of in “Phantom,” I certainly didn’t feel cheated in the slightest!

The building also holds a museum, with costumes, rendering and models of scene designs, many paintings and books related to the opera.

It was stunning. One could simply imagine the characters in the “Masquerade” number of "Phantom" working their way down those stairs!
The exterior was grand as well -- the gas lights...
The steps -- a gathering place...

The requisite Paris pigeons...
And this massive look back as one headed down the steps to the Metro and home.
That evening we had dinner with friends of Jerry’s at the neighborhood cafĂ© and I enjoyed a fish cassoulet that was delicious!

And that was followed by an excursion into Jerry’s ribbon stash and button box. But more on that later!
Things I Learned Today:
Attractions not on the top of your list (the Opera house) might end up being near the top of the list when all is said and done. Take recommendations from the locals!
The music district is off the tourist map, but if one loves music it's a grand spot to come home and a good place to find a wonderful souvenir of your visit if you like sheet music.
Fancy doesn't mean better. I just wasn't fond of the grand department stores. I'm glad I saw them, but I wouldn't go back.
There may always be an easier way to get someplace than you think. Ask!


paris parfait said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
paris parfait said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to the music district and the Opera, but you must not have been paying attention at Galeries Lafayette! Did you not see the MAGNIFICENT stained glass rotunda and the store's innovative circular layout - not to mention the fabulous merchandise??!! :) xo

Sugar Bear said...

Oh sigh, I hope to get there someday. So loving to see your photos.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This gave me a wonderful, vicarious, mini-break.

I so agree that sometimes it's the unexpected finds that make a place special.

Annie said...

Hi Jeanie. I loved the contrast you gave up of Monet's trainstation and how it appears today. I loved see the continuity of the two pictures.

anno said...

Those music stores would make me swoon -- have you ever read The Piano Shop on the Left Bank?

These excursions through Paris have been wonderful!

joyce said...

I enjoyed seeing some of the more "modern" parts of Paris...and I especially like the picture of the view of the city.

Beth said...

Oh, I would have swooned to see the Opera as I Love Phantom of the Opera so much! The music district was totally cool too. And the department store and the view of Paris from there. So beautiful!

beth said...

I love where you add "what you learned today"....

trips away do that to us, don't they ?

jet1960 said...

You do such a good job telling a story with your words and your photos! I've enjoyed catching up and visiting Paris! said...

Beautiful!! (and sounds like you learned some good tips)

Oh said...

I am not at all caught up but started here with L'Opera and it brought back tons of memories. Tons. Loved your store references; I never knew what to buy in those places and just sashayed through.

Your pictures and narration are such a treat. Tomorrow, I will work my way "backwards" through all that I have missed.
You know you must put together one of your books and focus it on all these wonderful outings and discoveries.

ols1 said...

The architecture of these buildings is amazing. I loved the first photo of the sign - that is how I imagine all of the roads to have those quaint little signs.

Relyn said...

What a great, no amazing post! That first photo has me swooning. Love this!

Relyn said...

OK - the next word verification is cousin. I just had to write again so that I could use it. Today is our first day home from three weeks of vacation. I think Sloane will soon be suffering cousin withdrawals.

Joanne Huffman said...

Wondeerful photos. I think the fact that you're open to reorganizing your "schedule" leaves you open for surprises and adventures.


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