Paris. A word with millions of significations for each individual.

I have been wanting to go there for many years now. My first visit to Paris was many years ago on a tour, and I remember I only had couple of hours to view the city. As photo lover that I am, I remember I took some nice photos for memories. Unfortunately, the luck did not meet me that day, therefore due to a technical error of my camera, I lost all of them. But I knew I would come back not just for this reason, but for more.

 On another note, it seemed rather funny, to have lived so many years on Paris Street here in Bucharest and not having a full Parisian experience.

I had to wait for 2024 to have this big wish fulfilled, and I guess that it was a perfect timing from a personal but also from a professional point of view!

I spent 5 days In Paris alongside a very good friend of mine. Both art lovers, romance lovers. We share other beautiful values that made us a good team for this trip.

We arrived late at night at Beauvais airport and from there we booked a shuttle to take us to the centre of the city. Our accommodation was a decent Airbnb studio located on Rue Chenier.

Even though it was April, Paris weather reminded me of Copenhagen and its crispiness.

We began our proper visit, the next morning by foot towards Montmartre. I will not say what everyone already knows it is there. But even so that neighbourhood besides its history, its name even, carries with it almost a sacred artistic energy that welcomes you and wraps you in a spell.

Hundreds of years ago Montmartre was a village, where you could find moulins and animals, peasants, monks, and probably one or two artists that would want to escape the city madness and paint the landscapes.

 In time, Montmartre has been home for big artists such as Degas, Renoir, Picasso, Modigliani, Monet, Manet, Lautrec and many others. Their energy is still there, in those cafes, on those tiny, picturesque streets, in the cobble stone where you place each one of your steps. Like an open-air sanctuary.

I almost was expecting to see one of them coming through from the numerous tourists.

I did see couple of artists walking around with their painting tools, the famous French beret saluting each other or simply drawing or painting. I found it fascinating. We also had some sun which helped us now and then to warm up and change our colours from purple, yellow to a shy and pale rose in our cheeks.

We continued our journey in Montmartre towards the famous supermarket where the movie Amelie was filmed, and then towards Moulin Rouge.

The cozy cafes on our way kept us dry and warm, from the rain that poured insanely from a sudden. I am generally not a big fan of rain and yet somehow Paris helped me accept it differently. Staying at a café with a warm chocolate, waiting for the rain to pass, watching people how they walked, each of them in their rhythm carrying their life. I liked observing and being served by the Parisian waiters. I could immediately see and sense that they love what they do and they respect their profession at its best. Many of them dressed in suits, with bow, they exposed an elegant manner of serving and behaving around you that I have not seen a very long time. It felt that I went back in time where manners and elegance towards clients were a must. And at the same time a way of living.

I do have a regret concerning Montmartre: I have missed the cemetery that is the place of rest of many personalities and artists dear to me: Nijinsky, Alexandre Dumas Fils but most of all a lady that has enchanted a whole world with her life story: Marie Duplessis (the real Lady of Camellias).

But not all was lost! I did manage to see a bitt of Pere Lachaise cemetery, another jewel of Paris, on this end. I went to see Frederic Chopin’s gravestone. I felt while being there, that I should have a little “Thank You Maestro” moment.

Frederic Chopin Gravestone, Pere Lachaise cemetery

 Since a child I grew up with his music, that over the years has been a comfort in my low moments, support when needed and joy when I needed something for my soul.

From there we continued our walk by the famous Notre Dame Cathedral that sleeps under the big reconstruction site and waits for her big coming back somewhere in 2025.

Luxembourg gardens were like an oasis where I did not know what to do first:” walk and see more of it? Or sit and inhale beauty and harmony”?

Luxembourg Gardens

We had dinner at the well-known restaurant “Le Dome”, a historical place, that has greeted many artistic personalities over the years. If you are in Paris, it is a must. From the serving to their seafood profile. Exquisite!

After my first full day in Paris, I remember I returned in the studio we called home, both exhausted but happy, I crushed on the bed and with joy and a big smile on my face I simply declared: I AM IN LOVE! With PARIS!

Second day, started with a fine breakfast at “Café de Flore”, followed by a visit to Orsay Museum, which beside their usual collection, it guested the exhibition ‘The Beginning of Impressionism”.

Cafe de Flore

It was not the first time I saw some of the paintings exposed. But seeing them there, seeing those big titans of the Impressionism brush was breath taking. With each painting I saw, It felt that I gained another 10% percent of my energy!

Orsay Museum

We walked after to Jardin Les Tuileries where the Sun gently greeted us (finally) and invited us to sit by the big fountain and sunbathe while watching les petites bateaux on the water. As that moment marked my very first time in the gardens neighboured by Le Louvre, I could not resist in saying that Paris is a city where, no matter where you would look you see aesthetic harmony and beauty.

Tuileries gardens

 I remember very well that at some point we sat down watching towards the gardens. And from there, you could admire from a distance the perfect order that ruled the gardens, the colours of the blossomed flowers, Rodin’s statues frozen in a time where the art of living was in bloom. People enjoying sun, a little break maybe, life or just each other’s company. On the left side from where we were sitting, the famous Eiffel Tower was raising in the distance like a fine drawing above the bushes and the trees. I was simply mesmerised.

We ended the day with a gorgeous sunset on Champs Elysees and with The Eiffel Tower and its light show at night.

The next day was beautiful and very special as well. Trying to adapt still to a very cold spring, we went to see Brâncuși exhibition at Centre Pompidou. I have personally seen some of his works in Timișoara, Romania in November last year. Seeing Brâncuși’s works back then for the first time, I was utterly impressed. This time I was about to be blown away.

Today when you say Brâncuși you speak of Art at its purest, you speak of a Romanian artist that has put his imprint deeply in the history of Art and it is an international artistic landmark.

The exhibition at the last floor of Pompidou, was a proof of good taste, quality, and greatness altogether.

Brancusi At Centre Pompidou

We were among the first group that got to enter, so quite early in the morning. I have to say I became nostalgic seeing the huge collection of objects and papers that belonged to him. From the diploma from the School of Arts signed by King Carol I, to his passport or footage of Lizica Codreanu dancing in his Paris workshop.

It was also a sensation of pride and joy to call myself Romanian amongst a sea of French people and other nationalities. It made me think of our country, our roots, and our way of being. Our depth, our power and capacity of loving and living life at its fullest.

Seeing his work, at that scale and seeing it curated so beautifully, I found myself captured by a humble feeling. His sculptures speak of nature, they speak of women, speak of his village, of life, love for the Romanian spirit. They also speak of how you can find greatness in such simplicity.

The section dedicated to flying , his vision of birds, staying tall and proud above all Paris was speechless…

I will mention that after such a dose of beauty, the visit at the Pompidou library and the boutiques left me paradoxically quite frustrated. It is hard for me, to understand why I must go there and buy books, or a poster with his work, or such materials as those, and here at home the market is so poor in this sense.

But the thought comes and goes …and we were on a mission! Paris offered us that evening more rain, but before that we had the chance to walk on some notable boulevards such Boulevard des Capucines, Boulevard de la Madeleine, Montmartre Street and inhale again the history that lingers there, the Parisian atmosphere, the elegance of the city, and its tastefully and timeless dressed citizens. I did notice and not just once their beautiful and yet powerful taste in fashion.

 I simply adore that.

Towards the end of journey, we saved Garnier Opera and The Louvre for our last day. For Louvre I guess I could write essays and never finish in describing what is in there. For me it was a double fascination point of view:

The history of the palace and of course the art collection that lies in there. While absorbing the beauty that I passed by, I did imagine, that all those sculptures, the paintings, the mummies, maybe at night they might be coming to life, telling stories about their lives, about the lives of those who lived and created them and so on… I am not trying to create a “Night at the museum 5.” I would rather like to underline that there are so many stories to be discovered and to be passed further on. The imagination is fuelled there!

Egyptian art , Louvre Museum

Least but not last Garnier Opera… well… of course I was astonished by Garnier’s architectural vision. Who is not…? The opulence and the artistic level are hard to put in words.

I will say though that for me from a ballerina point of view, The Opera was like a Mecca for the dance world. Taglioni, Grissi, Lifar, Nureyev, Guillem, Bejart, Ravel, Platel, Faure… These are just a few of the names of artists that have crossed my mind rapidly and that I admired even today. All of them have worked and left something of their own both off and on stage. Their energy, their spirits for those not alive anymore, is still alive inside those beautiful walls.

I was filled with such an emotion when I entered the auditorium, and it was so big that I could not even say:         

 “ Wow, how beautiful it is”! It was more a quiet feeling in front of an extraordinary place where pages of history both in music and dance, have been written.

Opera Garnier

In the chapter of books, perfumes I will admit, that I have reached a state of grace! There lies a universe that I must explore and indulge in, way more!

When I left for Paris, I knew I would find beauty, but I did not expect honestly, to be so impacted by it.

Here everything was on a high! There is an energy there I believe that each artist that crossed the borders of this city has left behind. And with each year, month, year century it only grew bigger and powerful.

Paris is a place for artists of all kinds. A sort of meeting point where creativity and reality bond to unleash the imagination. It has been shaped by the art of its artists over centuries, through good and bad times.

The little time I had spent in Paris has filled me with a big amount of energy and beauty regarding life and what it has to offer. What I felt while I was there…I still carry today with me!

 I also had an enormous feeling of gratitude in the sense that I was able to admire and take with me or better said, let myself be swept off my feet by the legacies of so many  unique artists, that are blessed to live forever!


Opera Garnier

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