Friday, January 29, 2010

The Little American Visits The Opera House & La Conciergerie


bonne journée à vous tous une fois encore d'après le peu américaine! This morning, my parents are taking me to visit the Palais Garnier commonly known as the old Paris Opera House which was built in the late 1800s during the Second empire of Napoleon III. My parents both love the musical Phantom of the Opera which was fashioned after the original fiction created by a French journalist & author named Gaston Leroux. Daddy explained that the author was inspired by an actual event that occurred in 1896 when one of the counter weights for the theater chandelier fell and killed someone below. In addition, the cave-like subterranean lake that serves as the Phantom's home actually exists below the Opera.


So, these very steps were used by lovers of the opera in the 19th century. Here I am in the 21st Century, totally amazed by the artistry of the past.

Daddy couldn't stop laughing when he captured this pose. Papa says I look adorable. But, Daddy suspects I will make him delete this picture and any copies when I'm older.

The grand lobby staircase inside the opera house.

There again sits moi, atop the very same staircase taking in all the wonderfully intricate ornamentation. L'amore l'amore! No wonder my parents love it here.

Voila! The beautiful gilded and multi-chandeliered foyer at the opera house.


Daddy and Iwould love to create a tablescape in this room.


An amazing ornate fireplace at one end of the grand foyer.


Daddy took these photos of theater from one of the private balcony booths. I got us in trouble when I slammed the door shut after we exited locking the door. A nearby docent had to come and re-open it for other visitors waiting to take a peek inside. Needless to say, I was put on a time out shortly after. How many kids can say they were given a time out at the famous old Paris Opera house?

The ceiling was repainted byRussian-French Artist, Marc Chagall in 1964.


There was an actual opera rehearsal taking place on that morning.

The workmanship is just unbelievable up close.


The theater seats 2,200.

I just had to step outside onto the second floor balcony for some oxygen after my breath was taken away from the beauty in the Opera (and running up and down the foyer) . I couldn't believe what I had just seen. I was too excited after this much exposure to art and history to think about napping . Daddy said not to worry, he would make sure this exploration did not keep me from getting his my rest.

It began to drizzle a bit after my nap time, so I suited up in old yellow with umbrella in hand and marched off to our nearest underground metro to La Conciergerie where Daddy said one of France's most famous Queens, Marie Antoinette, was imprisoned and lived until her execution.

The exterior of the Conciergerie.

This used to be the kitchen for the Conciergerie palace.

I think it makes the perfect playground for running....

and hiding indoors on a rainy afternoon like today.

Like the kitchen, the rest of the museum did not have a lot of furniture or colorful and shiny things that looked breakable or important which is why I didn't understand why my parents still insisted I behaved quietly.

These are mannequins used to portray aristocrats that were imprisoned in some of the cells inside the Conciergerie.

The wealthier you were, the more privacy you were given to read,write and sleep.

My parents were saddened by much of this tour. They became especially sad when we arrived at the cell of Marie Antoinette. Her life story has captivated the both of them and the scene brought to life a history they have studied for years. I wondered why she didn't ask if she could stay in the kitchen since it was empty with lots of room to run around. Yes, Daddy was upset because I wouldn't stop talking about going back to the kitchen and play. I hope we go back there after this.

These are 2 soldiers that stood guard over Marie Antoinette in her cell.

Papa thought I was being reflective when he saw me doing this, but Daddy knew I was just getting impatient and wanting to move on.

After the Conciergerie, Papa insisted we visit the Sainte Chapelle next door which he thought would really impress me with all the beautiful stained glass work.

I must say he was right! It really did put a smile back on my face. I was giggling with laughter from the beautiful prisms filling the room and tickling my face.

I couldn't stop smiling even after we exited the chapel. Especially because I knew what was next...dinner time!!!! Well, that's it for today's adventure. Thanks again for joining me on this tour. I'm looking forward to sharing our next trip which is to the Carnavalet & Archives Nationales Museums in the city's Marais district. à toute à l'heure from the Little American!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tablesetting Cues From The Courtyard At The Four Seasons In Paris

Happy Tablescape Thursday From Another Beautiful Paris Perfect Apartment!

(The Four Seasons George Sans Hotel Courtyard)
The above image of the Four Seasons Paris Hotel courtyard was the inspiration behind this tablescape setting. I love all the manicured evergreens surrounding the crisp white table linens and aged urns.

(Above photo from parisperfect.com)
This is a photo of the apartment's dining room as pictured on the Paris Perfect website.

The Richebourg Apartment is located on the famous Avenue de la Bourdonnais in the 7th Arrondissement across from the Parc du Champs de Mars. The 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom luxe apartment is beautifully decorated and well appointed with everything you need for the perfect Parisian stay. For more details on reserving this or any of Paris Perfect's beautiful apartments, visit parisperfect.com.


Rich evergreen topiaries can be seen throughout the city in front of storefronts,apartment entryways and on beautifully adorned wrought iron balconies in the 7th district.

I purchased the 2 large boxwood toparies I put on the built in sideboard from a floral shop at the Rue de Cler market which is only a couple of blocks away from the apartment. The table cloth and napkins were purchased from a nearby linen boutique.

The large candelabras and rest of the tableware ( stemware,dinner and flatware) are all included with the apartment.

I really like this angle with the window in the back drop. I thought it captured my vision of the Four Seasons courtyard.

The miniature topiaries were from another floral shop located directly across the Cafe Constant, owned by a Michelin star chef, Christian Constant.


I found the apple green candles from a gift shop located on the Rue de Grenelle.


We are really going to miss staying in this apartment when we return home.





And of course, the final aerial shot. Thank you for stopping by and visiting my contribution to Tablescape Thursday. For more unique and creative table settings, click on the tablescape thursday logo below, or visit Susan's Between Naps On The Porch blog.


Au revoir from Paris!