Sunday, June 13, 2004

Hello. I hope you are enjoying summer where you are. I finally was able to upload some pictures so go check them out. Gordy had left some pictures of Turkey there and it was wonderful to have that little snapshot of friends, a momento of Turkey.

Today we visited Rodin's museum, two floors of his works. Tucked away on the second floor were four little masterpieces by Van Gogh, little seen and totally unexpected. The burgers of Calais and Rodin's door to hell (inspired by the baptistry doors we saw in Florence by Ghiberti AND Dante's Inferno), though here with a more romantic twist -- literally, as the figures are strongly three-dimensional; tzisted, leaping, falling. Imagine a beautiful formal garden around a large Neoclassic mansion. Rodin at first rented a studio here, and as he became more and more established, he just rented more and more of the space. He lived here until he died, surrounded by lime trees, fountains, and lots of space for his sculpture.

We also visited the Museum d'Orsay yesterday. Only three floors and over 100 rooms (nothing compared to the over 400 at the Louvre), yet after four hours, we still found ourselves having only completed just about a third. I have renewed respect for the work of Toulouse Lautrec -- his pastels have amazing color and texture. We dallied also over the work of Delacroix and Manet and Millet. Then Allen said, Just one more room to take a preview of what we'll see on our next visit. We walked into the middle of the next room to find it completely full of Van Gogh, and tears came into my eyes.

We find ourselves mostly eating sandwiches, but we have also discovered crepes. Yes, McDonald's is here in Paris, but we also find creperies in nearly every neighborhood, melt-in-your-mouth crepes with sweet or dinner type fillings. We're starting to feel at home in Paris, though it's still pretty much a pinch me kind of experience.

We have a lovely TV in our apartment but still feel pretty isolated from the news as everyone speaks French here -- even on TV. So we're following the soccer competitions and translating the late night news as best as possible. Only 2 more weeks here, then on to England. Be well and write when you can.


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