Weekly Wilson - Blog of Author Connie C. Wilson

Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books—-her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Category: France

“An American in Paris”: hôtel de ville

The hôtel de ville in the fourth arrondissement is only open to groups by arrangement.  Our class was fortunate to have the opportunity to see the interior of this beautiful building.  It is a 19th century reconstruction of the 17th century town hall that was burned down in 1871.  It is highly ornate with elaborate stonework, turrets and statues overlooking a large, beautiful square complete with fountains and night time illumination.   The square was once the main site for hangings, burnings and other executions.  It was here that Ravaillac, Henri IV’s assassin, was quartered alive, his body ripped to pieces by four strong horses.

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interior…

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“An American in Paris” by Pamela: le Métro ? ? ?

Here is a picture of Ms Wilson and me, Pamela.  Connie thinks we were in a photo booth in the Paris Métro.  I am not sure about that but it looks like we were having a good time.  There are many photo booths in the Métro.  A photo is required to be placed on the “Carte Orange,” the pass that allows you to use the Métro.  Of course, you can buy individual tickets, but if you plan to spend some time in Paris and if you think you will be using the Métro to get around, a “Carte Orange” is definitely the most economical way to go.

Connie is blonde; Pamela is brunette.

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“An American in Paris” by Pamela: musée Rodin

The musée Rodin is one of my favorite museums.  It was opened in 1919 in the hôtel Biron and surrounding grounds.  Rodin used the hôtel Biron as his residence from 1908 and subsequently donated his entire collection of sculptures along with paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Pierre-Auguste Renoir that he had acquired to the French State on the condition that they turn the building into a museum dedicated to his works.  This picture of a rose in the rose garden was taken in the month of November 1997.

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interior…”le baiser”

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“An American in Paris” by Pamela: Normandy

When I was a student in Paris our class took an overnight trip to Normandy.  We visited Omaha Beach, explored the German bunkers and paid our respects to the many brave soldiers buried in the American cemetery.

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German bunker…

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interior of bunker…

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American cemetery…

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“An American in Paris” by Pamela: Vaux-le-Vicomte

Vaux-le-Vicomte is another stunning château not far from Paris.  Nicolas Fouquet, a powerful court financier to Louis XIV, challenged architect Le Vau and decorator Le Brun to create the most luxurious palace of the day, and the result is one of the greatest châteux of the 17th century.  It was perhaps a little too luxurious, because when King Louis XIV saw it he was furious that anyone dare surpass him in this fashion.  He ruined Fouquet by arresting him and confiscating all his assets.  Fouquet never recovered. Louis XIV took charge of Fouquet’s gardener, André Le Nôtre, who went on to design the gardens of the château de Versailles, his greatest triumph.

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Some aerial views…

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“An American in Paris” by Pamela: Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau is a beautiful château located near Paris.  It is a cluster of styles from different periods.  Louis VII built an abbey here that was consecrated by Thomas Beckett in 1169.  A medieval tower survives, but the present château dates to François I.

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Aerial views…

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Interior…

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“An American in Paris” by Pamela: Antibes and Monte Carlo

During our orientation in Cannes, we took trips to Antibes to visit the beautiful Picasso Museum and to Monte Carlo and the famous Musée Océanographique et Aquarium de Monaco.

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“An American in Paris” by Pamela: Cannes

Why did I go to France?  For most of my life I have wanted to be able to speak French.  I studied French in high school and I majored in French at the University of Iowa but even after all that study, I could not speak French, at least, not very well.  I enrolled in the American Institute for Foreign Study and on September 14, 1997, I arrived in Cannes, France to begin a two week orientation before my trip to Paris and the beginning of my great adventure. Here are some views from my room at the International College of Cannes and across the street on the beach of the French Riviera.

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