There seems to be a rash of “life lists” and “bucket lists” circulating on the ol’ blogosphere lately. And while I don’t have too many “life goals” at this point, I do have an ominous event looming at the end of next summer: I’ll be leaving Paris. I don’t have a firm departure date just yet, but like all good things, this one will be coming to an end sometime in early August 2011. The mere thought of it makes me sad, and a few days ago I sat in the park in front of the Musée Picasso (closed interminably for restoration) and wept at the thought of having to leave this city. I’ve never been happier in my life than I have been living here. And while I’m excited for the next chapter, it’s still going to be a tough transition come next summer.
It’s easier than you think to become complacent when you live in a place like this for a long time. While I’ve certainly done plenty of amazing cultural activities since my arrival, I’ve also managed to avoid some really important one (like, uh, stepping foot in the Louvre). So I have compiled (along with B) a “to-do list” of sorts so I don’t forget all the things I want to do before I leave. I’ll share it with you, dear reader, and periodically update you on my progress. Some of these things are pretty cliché, so I’ll ask you to promise me that you won’t make fun. Telling you about things has been a great incentive to do things over the past ten months. Better yet, if you are in Paris (or are planning on being in Paris) and want to join me in any of these activities, let me know!
Muesums and other cultural attractions
Buy an annual passand tour the Louvre from top to bottom (this will take a while, so I’ll list the collections so I can cross them off periodically: Egyptian antiquities; Near Eastern antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman collection; Islamic art; sculpture; decorative arts; painting; and prints and drawing). See the Jean-Michel Basquiat show at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris before January 30th See the Arman show at the Centre Pompidou before January 10th
- Visit the Musée National Gustave Moreau museum
- Visit the Musée de l’Orangerie
- Visit the Musée Carnavalet
Tour the Catacombes
- Take B and M to the Cimitière Montparnasse
- Visit the Crypte Archéologique in front of Notre Dame
- Visit the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle
- Visit Fondation Dubuffet
- Visit Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
- Visit the Musée du Vin
- Take B to the Musée du stylo et de l’écriture
- Visit the Maison Rouge
- Visit the Musée des arts forains
- Visit the Musée de la vie romantique
- Visit the Musée Jacquemart-André
Go to the top of the Tour Eiffel
- Go to the top of the Tour Montparnasse
Go to Versailles
- Go to Chartres with B
Go to Giverny with my mom
- Suck it up and go with B to Parc Astérix
Ride bikes to the Bois de Boulogne and have a picnic See the tulips in the Bagatelles in the spring Take my mother to Parc Butte-Chaumont and buy her a drink at Rosa Bonheur
- Take my dad for a bike ride along the Promenade Plantée to the Bois de Vincenne and rent a boat
- Return to Fontainebleau with B in the spring and find some morels
Movies and Concerts
See Nouvelle Vague at the Casino de Paris on November 30th with M, AC, and B See somebody at the l’Olympia, preferably somebody French and venerable See The Gospel According to Matthew, Oedipus Rex, and Accattone! at Accattone, thus completing the project of seeing all of Pasolini’s films on the big screen
- See 8 1/2 and
La strada, thus completing the project of seeing all of Fellini’s films on the big screen
- See Les Quatre Cents Coups, À bout de souffle, Pierrot le fou, Les Carabiniers, Masculin, féminin,
Week End, Vivre sa vie,and Cléo de 5 à 7 on the big screen
Clarence, King of All Things Good and Plentiful
- Eat as much charcuterie, foie gras, rillettes, truffles, rabbit, duck, rotisserie chickens, and oysters as possible
- Try as many French cheeses as possible and keep a record of ones I love
- Try as many French wines as possible and keep a record of ones I love
Learn to shuck oysters and do so for my friends on New Year’s Eve Eat at Spring (B snagged reservations on January 6th , probably didn’t need that kidney anyway) Eat at Yam’Tcha
- Eat at Frenchie
Eat at La Gazetta Eat at Rino Have brunch at Rose Bakery with M Go to Marché des Enfants Rouges as many weekends as possible and take my mom there when she visits Eat a Pierre Hermé white truffle macaron and a foie gras and chocolate macaron (if possible) Throw a proper ex-pat Thanksgiving feast
- Throw a party for Fête de la Musique and make a thousand paper cranes to dump on the crowds for Raidd Bar’s annual block party
Save Me From What I Want
Buy an oyster-shucking knife and an oyster-shucking glove from E. Dehillerin Convince B that the only thing we can afford from E. Dehillerin is an oyster-shucking knife and glove, or, price shipping costs for copper cookware and cast iron pots from E. Dehillerin Buy the rest of Lacan’s seminars in French (four to go!), figure out how to ship books internationally on the cheap
- Find an amazing set of vintage Laiguole cheese knives, preferably with wood or horn handles
- Buy the perfect beret
Find vintage lithographs of our favorite landmarks in Paris (including the Hôtel de Ville, preferably on fire, Tour St. Jacques, Porte St. Denis, Notre Dame, Église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and Sacré-Coeur) at le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen
- Find a vintage map of the Marais (Saint-Ouen, you’re on notice!)
- Visit Deyrolle, the famous taxidermy shop. Resist buying a stuffed bunny.
the list must be checked off periodically and looked at often or it will not all happen. Make it happen!!!
Put us on the Catacombs list when we come over in April, plus any good restaurants you want to try.
Sounds like an ambitious 9 months! I’m wowed by the dad activities and am eagerly anticipating a non-stop fun-fascist tour with my darling daughter. . . Spring 2011
This post made me miss France – a thing I believed impossible. Even more, it made me want to eat France.
M and Lena, THAT’S WHY I MADE THE LIST! SHEESH!
Blair, Yay! I’m so happy to hear that you guys will be visiting again in the spring! I think the catacombes sound like a great idea.
Tony, you’re my favorite fun-fascist ever.
Communard, thanks for reading!
may (or march?)
there’s your concert.