Big cities are not my thing .
A friend of mine sent me an e-mail yesterday saying which museums he likes best in Paris . He had a couple of tips , too , about which ones might be free and where to get a good coffee . Or something . I have to admit I didn’t pay much attention since we are not here to visit museums . To be honest I’m not much of a museum buff anyhow . I take ’em or leave ’em . And I’m not one to go anywhere mainly to say I was there , especially museums.
Hey , I went to the Lourve .
Did you see the Mona Lisa ?
Of course . It’s smaller than I thought .
I went to a great museum in Denmark once , the Louisiana , in a little town where my friend Ivan grew up , Homleboek . A museum setting with nice architecture , lots of glass so lots of light and lots of water outside . I remember seeing an Edward Hopper painting of people in a cafe titled Nighthawks . I remember being impressed by it . My Danish companion told me that Hopper is an American painter . I said that I’d never heard of him . The Dane gave me a look that might well have said : Americans are such uncultured dopes !
Now I have an appreciation for and very much like Hopper paintings. I’ve seen some at the Huntington Museum in Pasadena .
Now that I’m thinking of it , I like the Huntington Museum , too . There are a few different galleries , one being old man Huntington’s former house . Huntington owned and ran the extensive electric rail system in Los Angeles . Oil companies , car companies , cement companies , and others sabotaged and killed the electric rail system and replaced it with a freeway system that tore apart mainly poor and minority neighborhoods to build freeways , and then more freeways , and then wider freeways , and then ……………
An interesting thing to me is that a few years ago they tore up the old unused Huntington tracks that still stretched through my town , Arcadia , and laid down new tracks for the current Metro Rail system , putting the new ones exactly where the old ones had been , only now they had to pay a small fortune to buy up new rights-of-way because the rights -of -way that existed in the early 1900s and in some places until the 1960s had been sold, built over , and obliterated . Now we have our new electric rail system , at best a mere skeleton and faint apparition of the old extensive system .
Oh well , the beat goes on !
Which brings me back to that old Parisian , Baron Haussmann ( see my last blog post ) . After all of his efforts to modernize Paris he in the end got booted out by Napoleon III because the renovations were costing way too much money for lots of people to stomach . No good deeds go unpunished , I suppose .
So , nevertheless , some museums I like , but I remember a few Parisian museums visited in past years. I remember problems with the coat -check person in one , and hoards of visiting tourists in some , and a typical- for- me lack of the needed enthusiasm shown by me to satisfy Ada that I am not being a dead weight wet blanket downer no-fun-at-all buzz-kill . I think I even did see the Mona Lisa once , too , behind and through the crowd of tourist heads , all demonstrably more enthusiastic than me , I think , jamming in to block a closer view for others until I think a French museum agent provocateur shooed us all along so that another herd could munch the sweet grass for a short while .
I’ll get into a couple of these French museums this time , however , sooner or later . When in Paris ………… I’ll let you know how it goes . If it were just me , I think I’d let that particular experience go by the wayside , but I know Ada , and she won’t allow me to shirk my tourist duties . I’ve already seen the Louvre from the outside . I saw the glass pyramid . That should be good enough , don’t you think !
Did you go to the Louvre ?
Of course !
I remember meeting an Irishman , once , who told me that he’s almost been to America . I asked him about the “almost”.
” I went out to Galway and looked out over across the sea , ” he said , “and I knew America was out there someplace ” . Likewise , I reckon , I almost visited the Louvre . I looked at it and I knew the Mona Lisa must be in there somewhere , and all that other fine art should be in there too , behind the tourists . That should be enough high culture exposure for me for awhile I think . ( Don’t tell Ada .)