Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Lately, it seems like I've been going to museums and art exhibits a lot, well at least more than usual. This isn't a bad thing as Paris is definitely a city that caters to art lovers, but I keep forgetting to post pictures from all of the visits.

One of the most fascinating and most recent ones was the T.A.G. exhibit at Grand Palais. It displayed a collection of graffiti art collected by some type of art historian/profiteer (not really sure which because I couldn't understand everything he said) in a really awesome space in one of the smaller sections of G.P. With the exception of my visit to l'Orangerie, it was the longest I have ever queued for art.

Anyway, this man found some of the best known 'artists' throughout the world (but mainly NYC), gave them two panels each and told them to 'tag' one and paint their interpretation of love on the other.

Not being too into graffiti, I thought this exhibit was going to be a waste of time, but I was pleasantly surprised. I actually really appreciated all of the colors and designs and came to realize that some of the little delinquents who deface public property are indeed artists.

And while I am still not crazy about randomly damaging walls, metro, buildings, etc., it was nice to see that a lot of these people are crazy romantics. Yeah, sure there were a few paintings with messages of 'love kills', but for the most part, it was all hearts and butterflies. Who knew?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Arts et Métiers

Car suspended in the Arts et Métiers church.

I live next to Arts et Métiers museum. Not only is it a museum, it is also a school. I must admit, I am kind of jealous of the students because I can only imagine what it most be like to attend classes full-time in a museum.

Inside the church.

It is one of the more interesting museums because it displays a lot of technology throughout the ages. I love this museum because even for a non-scientific person (me), it is interesting.

Along with the normal science stuff, the museum also has computers, robots, clocks, cameras and doll houses. They even have a room with the bridges and models of the Statue of Liberty. It is so cool seeing the building process for the monuments. But the coolest space is the church. The museum had the inside of a church transformed to display airplanes and cars and the set-up is awesome! There is also a small likeness of the Statue of Liberty. You can go in this statue and see Ellis Island the way immigrants saw it as they were arriving by boat.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Brainless Act of the Month

Interesting traveler at the metro Nation.

At least once a month I do something absolutely stupid, something that really takes the biscuit. This month was no different. And not only was the thing stupid, it was also quite painful.

I love most types of food (with the exception of Chinese) and one of my greatest pleasures is learning how to prepare, cook and serve each type properly. Recently, I've been on a pho kick. It's a fantastically healthy, delicious Vietnamese soup.

Because I like to know how to make stuff, I decided to do it at home. I found a decent recipe, bought all the ingredients and started the process of making a relatively cheap soup from scrap (I probably could have bought about 5 prepared soups for the price I paid for all the ingredients).

One of the garnishes is a Thai chili pepper prik kee noo (translates to mouse shit pepper-attractive, huh). I always put some in my soup and have never had any problems with the heat of the pepper.

Like a first time cook, I forgot to wear gloves whilst cutting up the little mouse shit. At first, nothing happened, but as the night wore on, my hands, cuticles, fingers, fingernails, etc. started burning. The sensation was horrible and got so bad at one point, I thought I might cry (not a big crier). I couldn't keep my hands out of cold water long enough to search on WebMD to find a cure/home remedy/voodoo curse/prayer to a saint.

After trying vegetable oil, milk, tomato juice, burn cream and onions, I decided to coat my hands with plain yogurt. This, or the combination of all the other cures, did the trick and I finally got some relief, although I am still missing a layer of skin.

Lesson learned.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Bet My Day Was Stranger Than Yours

The last few weeks have been busy and odd. Probably one of the strangest days occurred a few weeks ago and it was bizarre even by my standards.

We’d been having wonderful weather so I wanted to have a picnic (I always want to have a picnic if the sun is out. It’s one of the nicest things about Paris). Paris has two major parks, Vincennes on the southeast side and Boulogne on the northwest side. I normally go to Vincennes with a friend for 2 hour walks so on this particular day, my friends and I decided to go to Bois de Boulogne.

For those of you unfamiliar with the reputation of this particular bois, it’s probably most famous for the beautiful Brazilian trannies who work there. As far as I know, they only come out at night so I figured since we were going during the day, we’d be fine.

We stayed on the main roads and for the first twenty minutes, everything was normal. We saw lots of people jogging, walking their dogs, having public liaisons, etc, but I started noticing a bunch of white vans with blacked out windows parked on the side of the road. On closer inspection (but not too close), we realized they were full of working girls and not so girly working girls. Some were downright foul, with beer guts and obvious Adam’s apples but others were decent looking for street workers.

Not being in the market to purchase any of their services, we decided to get off the beaten path and find some better scenery. It took some work because the park is riddled with paved roads, but we found a well-worn path that had some traffic. I think we’d been on the path for about 10 minutes or so when we saw a man pleasuring himself with frantic energy (Yes, I laughed). Needless to say, we didn’t continue on the path.

The next 30 minutes or so were relatively uneventful, that is until we saw the elephant. Yes, an elephant. I know, logically, it had to be there for some type of circus, but it didn’t diminish the weirdness factor. Imagine it, walking, running and then suddenly spying an elephant…in the middle of a park. It was a bit arresting to say the least.

Anyway, that was my weird day of the month: a walk in the park that turned in to a sightseeing tour which included prostitutes, transvestites, a masturbating man and an elephant.