Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Morning in the Mansion

rooftops in Paris

I'm getting to the point now in Paris where I've done everything. Well, not everything. But if feels that way sometimes. That paired with this oppressive summer heat wave has absolutely wrecked my motivation to join the civilized world. July is here, and with it some blazing hot weather that will make you forget Parisian fashion decorum and reach for your pair of shorts. But time is ticking away on my countdown to my U.S. return. And since I either be hosting or traveling during my last two months in Paris, I need to really take advantage of every spare moment I have!

Initiate: Plan Get Motivated to Go Explore Paris Even Though You Think You've Done Everything. (It's a working title...)

Step 1: Live on the top floor of a non-air conditioned building during 100^ heat in a room with one window facing the sun all day. Can't stay in bed past 9 am or I am sticking to my sheets. Check.

Step 2: Get a good breakfast. Lately I have been obsessed with toasting whole grain bread loaded with seeds and topping it with fresh goat cheese and prune jam. Giving up coffee for a few days and sipping on some iced mint tea instead. All fresh points, taken!

Sunshine and Paris architecture
Step 3: Have a plan. Every Sunday I make a list of all the places I still haven't been or want to see that week and make a point of scheduling them with other people to keep me accountable. I find having a schedule in place keeps me on track and motivated versus waking up and randomly picking a place. My list is majorly dwindling lately, so I have been turning to Timeout Paris a lot for ideas. Today's schedule only allowed me two hours in the morning, which isn't much, but I was determined! I picked Musée Nissim de Camando, a mansion belonging to Les Arts Decoratifs collections of Paris. It was close (in the 8th arrondisement) so I knew getting there and back would be quick and no-hassle (versus Luxembourg Gardens, which I love but is virtually a dead zone in regards to buses and metros from the west side of Paris). I guess a millionaire mansion with one of the greatest collections of interior arts in Paris would do.

Musee Nissim de Camando

Step 4: Research. This morning I was feeling the heat and thinking, maybe it's best if I just don't go. I only have two hours anyway. Is it really worth it? That's when I pulled out my best friend, Google Images, to breeze through some photos of the museum. This may not work everywhere, but in Paris seeing these gorgeous places online and knowing you are literally right beside them... There is no way to stay home now. Just look at this place! (My photos, not the internet's...)

Musee Nissim de Camando: Interior Decorative Arts

Step 5: Get there, already. I love biking in the city. Sometimes it's the fastest route. This morning, it was in the 90s by 10am, and I knew I would melt away if I tried biking. So I have myself a break and rode the bus there, metro back. Normally I would scold myself for being a wimp, but better to get there fast and enjoy then arrive irritable and soaked.

Step 6: Lose yourself. Set a timer on your phone for when you have to leave, and then lose yourself in the scene. It wasn't hard at Musee Nissim de Camando. Note: free for those under 26 living in the EU! The audio guide was great at setting the scene, and there was a moment I almost believed I was a houseguest floating through the halls in 1930.

Musee Nissim de Camando: mansion staircase

Old Parisian Elevator

Julia Child would have died happy in this kitchen. The copperware! I have decided my dream kitchen would look exactly like this. Black,white, and copper, and huge.

Paris 1930s Kitchen: stove

Paris 1930s Kitchen: copper pots

Paris 1930s Kitchen copper and tiles

After the museum, I had a bit of time left over, so I walked to the nearby florist to smell all the blooms and enjoy some AC. Then I took a shortcut through the ever fabulous Parc Monceau to my metro. Maybe it was the heat, but something set me in a heady daze after my museum visit. I remembered: I live in Paris. 

Everything was beautiful. Everything was worth shooting, everything begged to be adored, and I happily complied. Paris will do that to you, make you fall in love, even on 100^ days in July, if you only give her the chance.

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