PARIS — Part of the fun of traveling is the random discoveries, the things one doesn’t look for but just appear — what the painter Bob Ross calls “the happy accident.” That’s how we ended up in the Le Swann Hotel Littéraire. Much of our European trip had been planned, but leaving room for some flexibility … Continue reading The Grand Tour II: ‘Remembrance of hotels past’
PARIS —I knew that Lamar University was running a study abroad trip to Paris, but running into my colleague Clinton Rawls was unexpected. Clinton teaches film studies and during our chat he suggested a visit to the Musée du Cinémathèque in the Bercy district. A short metro ride later we found ourselves surrounded by all … Continue reading The Grand Tour II: ‘Reeling’ in history
PARIS — When one goes to Paris, one must visit the Palace of Versailles — I believe it is a condition of entry. Versailles is opulent, extravagant, luxurious and a little bit tacky all at the same time — to be fair, the same could be said for quite a few of the major palaces of … Continue reading The Grand Tour II: ‘Masterpiece of bad taste and magnificence’
PARIS — While the Louvre is a sprawling mass of broad history, the Musée D’Orsay is tight, concise and an art lover’s dream. To use a boxing analogy, it is pound-for-pound one of the best museum’s in the world. The museum features mostly French art from 1848 to 1914, a period that saw a move from … Continue reading The Grand Tour II: D’Orsay is focused and magnificent
Paris — Got your attention? Of course, that headline is misleading. The Louvre has one of the greatest collections of art in the world. It has a history and cachet that makes it a required stop for any art lover visiting the French capital. But it is so expansive that it is difficult to enjoy … Continue reading The Grand Tour II: The Louvre is a terrible museum!
Paris — “The City of Light” is an appropriate moniker. There are two reasons Paris earned its name — as one of the leaders of the Age of Enlightenment and also as one of the first cities to get gaslight. But there is a more obvious reason. Early in the morning or late in the … Continue reading The Grand Tour II: Bright Light City
Review: 'Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World' by Billy Bragg In mid-1950s England, a type of music flared up, shone bright for a couple of years, then faded into obscurity as the juggernaut that was rock and roll swept away everything that had passed for popular music. But in his new book … Continue reading Skiffle: Music to ‘Bragg’ About