7th Arrondissement

Friday 10: Pies, Poison, a Podcast, and Passes

This week has flown by! I had my birthday on Tuesday and pretty much ate my way through it. Then on Wednesday, S and I went to a Toronto Maple Leafs game. I think it was my first game at the Air Canada Centre and we had a great time. The Leafs destroyed the Bruins. We paid approximately 1 zillion dollars for me to have a collectors cup full of Coke Zero. I drank it all. I don’t think I ever want to drink Coke Zero again. We stayed up way past my bedtime and I think I’m still paying the price. I am old now, what can I say?

So figured it was a good week for a link roundup! There’s some Ham, some Histoire, and some Travel. 

The Ham

#1  We received a huge pile of carrots in our CSA box this week. Melissa Joulwan’s recipe for Cumin Roasted Carrots came highly recommended to me. It seemed perfect for the season, so I’m giving it a try tonight. 

#2  On the less healthy side, Serious Eats’s list of 11 Must-Try Pies Across America seems like a good reason to go on a road-trip, right? Not to be biased, but I’d probably start in DC for the Baltimore Bomb which is described by Dangerously Delicious Pies as “loaded with Berger Cookies (a Baltimore specialty) that melt down and swirl into a sweet vanilla chess filling.” Sign me up!

#3  Italian master barista Ettore Diana gives coffee at McDonald’s and Starbucks a thumbs up. Take that coffee snobs!

The Histoire

#4  My favorite video and link of the week. Vince Speranza, a WWII vet, tells the story of returning to the French town of Bastogne 65 years later and finding out he’s a legend. It’s a must-see! You’ll probably want to check this out after you watch, too. 

#5  A look at the strange, fascinating history of poisonous Victorian clothing (link via Stuff You Missed in History Class). The exhibition that inspired the article, Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Centuryis on at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum until June 30th, 2016. 

The Travel

#6  I’m daydreaming of staying in the Ufogel (€120/night), a Tyrollean house and "spatial wonder." I can just imagine cozying up with hot drinks to watch the snow fall on that beautiful landscape after a long day of attempting to ski.

via  Apartments for Sale Paris  and Paris Perfect |  Saint Aubin

via Apartments for Sale Paris and Paris Perfect | Saint Aubin

#7  I’m also daydreaming of buying this fully-furnished Paris apartment. It’s located in the 7th arrondissement and has an Eiffel Tower view. I’m not sure if €915,000 (approximately $1.2 million) is a deal or not, but it seems like it after seeing what Toronto prices have been doing lately. 

#8  I have been looking into the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France a lot  lately and this lovely post about the seaside town of Collioure from Girl in Florence has only sparked my wanderlust more. 

#9  Are those museum passes worth the money? I generally skip them because we don’t hop from museum to museum fast enough. The New York Times takes a look at Amsterdam, Madrid, Florence and Paris to see what kind of bang for your buck you are actually getting. 

The Wildcard

#10 And, finally, I’ve been completely mesmerized by a podcast called Serial. This season (I say that in hopes that there will be more) is all about the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a young high school student in Baltimore. If you are one of the few who has not heard of it, give it a listen.

That's it for this week! The flurries were flying as I wrote this. I think I'll go settle down with some tea, a book, and a down throw!

I hope you have a happy and warm weekend. 

Happy Birthday, Auguste Rodin

In honor of Auguste Rodin's birthday and the fact that I now have all the photos from our France trip, today is a great day for a little picture post from the Museé Rodin. I can't really say that the museum is a hidden gem. Everyone and their guidebook recommends coming here, but I think it often gets pushed aside in favor of some of the bigger, more grandiose sites.

The museum and its gardens, however, are gorgeous. They are worth a leisurely, relaxed visit and a perfect way to discover Rodin's works.

Rodin museum and roses
Rodin museum and roses
Rodin Museum Paris gardens
Rodin Museum Paris gardens
Rodin The Thinker
Rodin The Thinker
Rodin's The Thinker and Roses
Rodin's The Thinker and Roses
Rodin Museum The Thinker
Rodin Museum The Thinker
The Thinker Rodin Museum
The Thinker Rodin Museum
Rodin Museum Paris
Rodin Museum Paris
Rodin Museum Paris
Rodin Museum Paris
Rodin Museum painter
Rodin Museum painter
Rodin Museum gardens Paris
Rodin Museum gardens Paris
Rodin Museum gardens Paris
Rodin Museum gardens Paris
Rodin Museum Paris gardens
Rodin Museum Paris gardens
Rodin Museum Paris
Rodin Museum Paris
Rodin
Rodin

There's something magical about being so close to those massive sculptures that you can see every chisel mark and then walking through those gardens and stumbling upon something unexpected amidst the flowers, trees, and meandering paths. Pictures can't do it justice and without Rodin's work, this little oasis in the midst of an already overwhelmingly beautiful city wouldn't exist.

Thomas Jefferson Hearts the Hotel de Salm

When I say "hearts," I mean he really, truly loved it. While in Paris for five years in the late 1780s, he wrote that he was "violently smitten with the hotel de Salm". Violently smitten! What a wonderful expression.

So what's the deal with the this place? I know I've walked by it before and never noticed it.

Well, the Hôtel de Salm is located in the 7th arrondissement just next to the Musée d'Orsay. If you're standing facing the Musée d'Orsay, the Hôtel de Salm is the next building to the right, just past rue de la Légion d'Honneur.

A fellow history lover told me the story about it just before my last trip to Paris and I made it a mission to see it. It's one of those wonderful stories that's hiding in plain sight.

Pierre Rousseau originally designed and built it between 1782 and 1787 for Frederick III, Fürst of Salm-Kyrburg. Since the 7th has long been home to nobility, it's fitting that he was a German Prince. I imagine that even in the 1780s, a piece of property on the Seine was worth a pretty penny--err--denier.

During the construction, apparently Jefferson would spend hours watching the building process. Here's how it looked in 1786, the way Jefferson would have seen it.

Americans or American history lovers might see something familiar. Here is the Jefferson statue's current view.

Do you see it? Yup! Monticello!

Jefferson loved architecture. He once said, "Architecture is my delight, and putting up, and pulling down, one of my favorite amusements." [1] That's just what he did with Monticello.

Jefferson's original design for Monticello took inspiration from renowned architect Andrea Palladio's Italian villas. He was happy with it for a while.

But in 1784, he went to Paris for 5 years as Minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin in 1785. He fell in love not only with the Hôtel de Salm but with Paris and France in general. Of the French he wrote, "I do love this people with all my heart." [2]

So, when he returned home, he took his newfound inspiration and redesigned/Salm-ified Monticello.

On July 4 in 2006, Jefferson's statue was unveiled across the street from the Hôtel de Salm as a gift from the Florence Gould Foundation and Alec and Guy Wildenstein. The University of Virginia alumni in Paris, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, and Guy Wildenstein worked for over a decade to get the statue installed. [3]

In Jefferson's hands are a quill and his design ideas for Monticello, based, of course, on the Hôtel de Salm.

As for the Hôtel de Salm, it is now also known as the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur. Napoleon established the Légion d'Honneur as the highest decoration in France. You can go visit the National Museum of the Legion of Honor and the Orders of Knighthood there. It is open on Wednesdays through Sundays between 1 pm and 6 pm. The entrance is at 2 rue de la Légion d'Honneur. Its free (!) and they provide an audio guide.

I didn't know it was a museum until today, so I guess I'll have to go back to Paris at some point. Oh, darn.

Frankly, it was a rush for me to finally stumble on the statue and building while we were there. In my head I was going "OMG! It's Thomas Jefferson!" I guess that's just my history nerd shining through, though.

A Quick Note About Sources and Further Reading

There's lot of in-depth information on Monticello's official website for those interested in more details.

The University of Virginia has a bit more information about statue's installation here.

I also found this September 1987 article from the New York Times travel section on Jefferson's travel experience in France fascinating. Did you know he wrote a travel guide entitled, Hints to Americans Travelling in Europe?

As I read, the article mentioned a slave, James Hemings, traveling with Jefferson. It's was eerie to see that name after now knowing about Sally Hemings. Well, I did a little quick digging, and it turns out James was Sally's brother and she actually ended up in Paris as well. I know that's not a happy note to end on, but it may be interesting to some.