Saturday, November 5th - That night I went to a party at Francois' apartment, Bruno's brother. It was a housewarming and dinner was served. The French are fanatics on food and I love it. I read an article that said the Americans spend 1/3 of what the French spend on food. And, I believe it. I made two batches of brownies for that, and I guess they were good since I didn't get to taste them. We had a rice salad, fresh salmon, Westphalie ham, roast, million kinds of cheese - I'm becoming a cheese aficionado - don't know what I'm going to do when I return to the states, and lots of wine and apple pie and rum ice cream. French ice cream is really bad, compared to American ice cream, at least I think. Less chemical, though, as is everything else!
P.S. Celebrate - I'm a legal alien now!
Throwback Thursday -
Saturday, November 5th - This afternoon I went to see some of the Monet's paintings at the Musee Marmottan. I think he must be my favorite impressionist artist, if not my favorite artist. I still haven't figured out how he painted them because if you look at the paintings up close all you see is a blur - they only come into perspective at a proper distance. I can't really appreciate his later works since his vision was going bad and his perception was distorted, along with his colours, but those he did when he was in full form are really impressive.
Thursday Aerogrammes de Paris -
Continuation de la visite de la Conciergerie a Paris…
We saw the cell Marie-Antoinette stayed in which was minute and had almost no lighting. Although she had magnificent libraries at her disposal in the palace, she had never read but in the cell she read constantly since she was given no needles to stitch with. She was only 38 when she was executed, but she aged greatly during the month and a half she was at the Conciergerie. The Cour des Femmes was the daytime gathering place of the women prisoners. They were separated from the men by a grill. At the end of the day, a paper was published giving the names of those who were to be judged and sentenced and probably executed the next day. The men received it first and passed it along to the women through the grill.
On to the Premiere Chambre Civile, which is inside the Palais de Justice, where Marie-Antoinette was sentenced to death. Her trail took 2 days during which time she had to remain standing. She was sentenced around 400am in the morning after 3 hours of deliberation by the carefully selected jury. At one point in the trial, a document was presented signed by her son, which stated that she had had incestuous relations with him. Marie-A, being prepared for this, displayed no emotion. When asked, “Why?”, she merely replied, “I appeal to all the mothers in France.” Public sentiment turned somewhat in her favor, of course, to no avail. She was taken from the Conciergerie through the Cour de Mar in open chariot around 1030a to the Place de la Concorde and executed at 1215pm.
… Continuation de la visite de la Conciergerie a Paris…
We toured the Salles des Gardes & the Salles des Gens d’Armes – where the king’s personnel took their meals, then to the kitchen with four gigantesque fireplaces– each one specializing in some kind of food. The “Rue de Paris” which received the men who couldn’t afford to pay. They slept on straw and had to protect their faces and ears at night from rats. In the Galerie des Prisonniers, we saw the cell where prisoners spent their last night before execution, if they were sentenced after seven. If they were sentenced during the day, they were executed immediately.
Throwback Thursday – Aerogrammes de Paris - Saturday, October 15, 1977 - This afternoon I went to a “Visite-Conference” to the Conciergerie, a day before the anniversary of the execution of Marie Antoinette (October 16, 1793). Naturally, it is mainly known for its part during the reign of terror of the French Revolution. Most prisoners only stayed there for a few days but those who were “a la pistole” ie those who paid and had private cells, did so for a month. The stay was usually short. After a few days, they were sentence and nine of ten people were guillotined including Marie Antoinette, Mme. Elisabeth, Louis XVI’s sister, Mme Recamier. And, in the end, Robespierre and the public accuser Fouquier-Finville, who sentenced Marie Antoinette to death….