Paris after Nightfall

Friday is one of two much-anticipated days for the youngins. After 6 p.m., the Louvre is wide open and free to anyone under the age of 25 until 10 p.m. I had been told the Louvre is the museum to conquer all museums, but never ever did I anticipate the grand behemoth that I would encounter.

After a quick security check thanks to nearly nonexistent lines, we chose to tackle the Sully wing.


The sheer number of artifacts from ancient Egypt was astounding: miniature carved animals, the Book of the Dead, hand mirrors, a mummified crocodile (yeah, it was awesome), sarcophagi and sphynxes… And that all completely ignores the fact that the Louvre is a masterpiece in itself. I would encourage anyone to sit back and admire the ornate ceilings, if only for a short while.

Just a sliver of the Louvre's permanent Egyptian collection.

Just a sliver of the Louvre's permanent Egyptian collection.

Since the crowds were mostly gone, we headed to the Jaconde, or Mona Lisa. Not only was she – or he, depending on who you ask – behind glass, roped off and superbly itty bitty, she was all alone in the center of her very own GINORMOUS wall. What amuses me even more is how she hangs facing The Wedding Feast at Cana, which is about 500,000,000 times her size and totally barren of ropes and security.

I tackled a lot in three hours, but all too little in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps this Wednesday I’ll attempt the Greek and Etruscan sculpture!

What would I do without the Métro?

Ah, the Metro.

Entrance to the Louvre, half hour after closing.

Entrance to the Louvre, half hour after closing.

The night has just begun. Kathleen and I follow the advice of someone on the Metro and head to The Financier, a so-called British pub that oddly resembles a discothèque. Fancy that. At midnight the room is incredibly packed with kindred spirits eager to show off some moves.

I try ordering a French beer that’s advertised all over the city – 1664 – but I just can’t quite figure out how it’s meant to be pronounced. “Mille six cent…”

Frédéric, a stranger who overhears my dilemma, chimes in: “Seize soixante-quatre?” Yeah! That one! Somehow it sounds so much better: sehz swahsahnt katruh. To toast, it is customary to say à santé, to health, but one must be sure to maintain eye contact while managing to not spill foam on your new friend.


1 Response to “Paris after Nightfall”

  1. 1 Travis
    June 14, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Also, during toasts if the arms cross it’s (verbatim as explained to me) “7 years of sexual misadventure”.

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