Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Stroll Down the Boulevard St-Germain

A really cool thing in Paris is that on the first Sunday of every month, most of the museums are free - for everyone! They are always free to people under 25 (which is also a fantastic thing), but on the first Sunday of the month they open up for the masses. This is such a great way to get kids involved in art and culture from an early age and to give families something to do together that doesn't cost anything. I love France!

Of course as with anything that is "free" there are the corresponding long lines to go along with it. And so, just like last month on the first Sunday of the month - I tried to go to a museum (the Musee Orsay) - but when I got there, I just couldn't deal with the idea of waiting in line for an hour to get in. The temperature was in the mid-30s today and I was fine as long as I kept moving, so I decided instead to take a long walk from the Musee Orsay all the way down the Boulevard St-Germain through the Latin Quarter and over to Notre Dame Cathedral.

It's a Sunday afternoon ritual for Parisians to stroll down the Boulevard St-Germain. You could see that it was mostly locals walking around. There are lots of stores to window shop in - antiques, furniture, clothes - and of course lots of cafes.

I passed by two cafes - almost next door to one another - that have a history of being the hangouts of intellectuals and artists, the Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots. Back in the 1920-30s, Earnest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde and Picasso used to hang out at Les Deux Magots! Today apparently, the Cafe de Flore is the more "fashionable" of the two cafes to people watch from :-)

Speaking of Hemingway... I recently discovered a great quote by him and then coincidentally when I was in the Shakespeare and Company bookstore today, saw it again up on the wall...

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young [wo]man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." - Earnest Hemingway

Click here to view all of today's photos (12/07/08)

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