Sunday, May 18, 2008

A night at the Museum


I'm back! And what is the first thing I did after dropping my suitcase at home? Well I rushed to the Arts et Métiers Museum to take a photo! Why? Because, like in many cities in Europe, last night was "The Night of Museums", an event that was created in 2005 by the French ministry for culture. The principle is to open some of the museums late at night (until midnight generally) and to let people go in for free. Huge success, as you can see in this photo that I took around 11:30 PM in front of the Foucault's pendulum.

51 comments:

  1. Uh oh. Looks like the guy in orange might be taller than Gary.

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  2. LOL Gary. Is it me, or is it only in Europe where a bunch of people would go out on a Saturday night to visit a museum? When I was younger, that was the last thing on my mind! Well, actually, even today it's not what I would plan to do on a Saturday night, but I love the idea.

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  3. Oh, and by the way Eric, HAPPY SAINT ERIC!

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  4. Oh Saint Eric, this should give your "loyal subjects" something to comment about on your special day!

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  5. The Foucault's pendulum was the first (and is the only?) demonstration of Earth's rotation.

    Once a pendulum is swinging, its absolute direction doesn't change... Still from an observer on Earth it looks that it turns. The fascinating thing is that if the pendulum is long and heavy enough it swings for hours!

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  6. Welcome back, Eric. I'm impressed with your dedication to us!

    The Night at the Museums was lots of fun ... we did the Musee du Monnaie (yup, exactly what it sounds like, with the added attraction of a Freak Show exhibition -- you have to see it to believe it), followed by the Grand Palais for the Richard Serra Monumental exhibit.

    It's a great way to see inside beautiful buildings you always wnated to visit, and to see exhibits you're not interested in enough to pay for. Both were so good I'd go back and pay to see them again.

    Lots of people were lining up to get into the museums, especially the big name ones. Were you able to jump to the head of the queue at the Arts et Metiers Museum because you were posting for the world-famous PDP?

    Barbscoot

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  7. I wish I could have been there to listen to the docent. I always learn so many interesting things listening to them. Welcome back, Eric!

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  8. The CNAM museum is certainly one of the coolest - in a geeky sort of way. That's the one with a mini replica of the Statue of Liberty, right? :)

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  9. Welcome back, Eric. That is a great initiative! Here, you can get in for free on Friday nights (if you are a local). Plus, little known fact: many museum have a suggested donation policy. Which actually means that if you want to pay just one dollar, you are totally free to do so.

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  10. Is this at the Pantheon? I'd love to see it. We missed it on our trip. I'd even go on a Saturday night!

    Happy Saint Eric's day, everyone.

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  11. igor - I knew I had seen one as a kid somewhere, and found the Griffith Observatory on this List of world wide pendula. It's fascinating to watch. (Okay, I get it. That makes me a geek.)

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  12. Eric did you hear what this guy was saying? People seem quite interested, and you've captured some great stances and hand-on-face concentration poses. Great idea to get people into museums. I finally went to this museum after walking by it many times and thinking it was a church. Really cool inside; lots of neat little exhibits. And the pendulum of course is a bit mind blowing.

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  13. There are few things sadder than a mentally slow geek. But there I am. Eric's link goes to the Wikipedia info too.

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  14. Thanks for heading out on our behalf to take this photo and let us know about the Night of Museums.
    Michael -- here in Brooklyn, entrance is free at the Brooklyn Museum on the 1st Saturday of every month. There's usually music and dancing too, and always a huge crowd. But I don't know of any other museums in NY that do this. Paris is SO great.
    Last time I saw Foucault's pendulum (2006), it was in the Pantheon (???).

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  15. Art Museums in SF have set aside free days for admission since the 1990's. And you know who goes on those days/nights, a man from Paris! LOL -- that's how I know about it. USElaine I was thinking the same thing. The Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park (where they shot the film "Rebel Without a Cause") has a gigantic Foucault pendulum. I have been there more times than I can remember. It was first exhibited in 1935. Here's a photo http://www.griffithobservatory.org/exhibits/brotunda.html

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  16. Happy Saint's Day Eric! Do you have any parties planned? And presents from pretty girls? (I stole that line from Lucy in "Peanuts"). She cracks me up.

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  17. What a cool idea!! We have visited some museums in Chicago that have free days, but never late at night! That sounds wonderful.

    I had a nice, though rushed, vacation to visit family this week (2 great-grandmothers in their 90's) and had the chance to have a small PDP Midwest picnic on Friday. So lovely!

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  18. it does have the mini statue of liberty. Not one of my favorite museums.
    I am on an iPod and can't figure out how to access the past few days. Can any one tell me how uklynn is doing?

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  19. PHX she's home and resting, even posted a couple of witty paragraphs a few hours ago. She'll be in fine form soon, sounds like.

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  20. Christie, I heard about the Midwest PDP picnic from Kelly. Was it in Geneva? How was it?

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  21. Did you encounter any dinosaur skeletons that came alive and chased you down the hallway? Hahaaa...welcome back (though I don't have any idea where you went...)

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  22. I saw the Foucault pendulum in the Pantheon, but did not know there was one in Arts et Metiers. My apartment was two blocks from the Musee des Arts et Metiers but I did not visit it. Too busy, I guess, sipping and thinking about. Prochaine fois.

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  23. Lois and U.S. Elaine,

    Remember the breathless wait for the Griffith Observatory Foucault pendulum to knock over the little black cylinders?

    And to think the first one happened at the Panthéon.

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  24. Bonne fête Eric et bon retour parmi nous.
    Bravo et merci de ne pas avoir interrompu les photos quotidiennes pendant les vacances.
    Certaines personnes devenues accros auraient eu du mal à s'en remettre !
    Tomate farcie, yes there is a whole collection of drawings (gravures)and documents , a mini statue, part of the scaffolding used to assemble the statue but I think they could present all those things in a little more attractive way.

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  25. Welcome back!

    Well, in London at least, overnight, thousands of people shed clothes and went for a long walk.... (pictures tomorrow)

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  26. I forgot about those, Tall Gary! But now, yes!

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  27. Hi Eric.
    Thanks for your lovely photo. Last night was Museum Night here in Barcelona as well (what a great tradition!) but I was chaperoning our high school prom. It was a worthy sacrifice, though! Glad that you are back!

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  28. What a great idea Eric and terrific photo of the pendulum.
    Michael, you really come up with the most amazing things. So, happy birthday Saint Erik(c).

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  29. Bonne fête, Eric !
    I guess you're back at work tomorrow ;-( So ENJOY today..
    And BTW, thanks for having brought the sun back with you...

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  30. Bonne fête Eric!
    Nous avons un point commun aujourd'hui ;) mais il faut le savoir...:). Bises!

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  31. How many Foucault's pendulums are there in Paris. I remember one at the Panthéon. Did they move it, or just construct a new one?

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  32. We have a similar pendulum at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. This was one of my favorite places to visit when I was younger!

    Petrea, our Midwest USA coffee was wonderful! It was a pleasure to meet Christie and her family, and I was so honored that they would take time out of their very long drive home to spend some time in Geneva! It was also nice to hear of your connection to Geneva. I will try to post a photo for you later this week.

    Lynn, glad you are feeling better! I have missed reading your posts.

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  33. Corinne,
    Serait-ce ton anniversaire ?
    Would it be your birthday?

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  34. Salut Thib,
    Thanks for asking !
    No, it is not my birthday :-) but it is really something common with Eric's day ;) Well, it is not really known, I must admit it!
    I hope everything is fine with you!

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  35. Eric, I e-mailed you in March asking where I could find the third Statue of Liberty in Paris and your directed me to the Arts et Métiers Museum - thanks again. It's a great little museum offering a host of interesting things to see. I've posted a new work on Paris Photo Art, please stop by for a view.

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  36. Definitely think this is a great idea...to imagine a place that actually would try to promote culture. Lois...I, too, remember a trip to the Griffith Observatory as a kid and remember how cool that was. And, as you pointed out, "Rebel without a Cause" being filmed there. Let's see James Dean, Sal Mineo, Natalie Wood, James Backus...what a line up of "stars."

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  37. Lynn, glad to read that you are on the mend. You have been missed.

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  38. Hmm ... I've certainly seen Stockholm's coat of arms before and I think I've also heard that it showed Saint Erik - but more than that? Not really. Thanks for filling me in. There's such a lot that one doesn't know, especially when it comes to history!

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  39. Yeah, free night at the museum! Did anyone else read "From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" and fantasize about spending the night in a museum? hehehe...such a little nerd girl I was.

    We went to the Musee des Arts et Metiers in January, there was a special exhibit on Benjamin Franklin. I had to bribe my daughter to go, my mother passed on the adventure and regretted it later. There was a even a lovely little brunch on Sunday morning. :)

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  40. Bonjour, Eric!

    I was lucky enough to be in Paris once when there was free admission to the Lourve. . .first Sunday or something?

    Also, I wanted to tell you that CBS Sunday Morning did a piece on the Velib in Paris today. They said that several US cities are considering using it.

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  41. Jennifer, I loved that book too, although I didn't read it until a few years ago!

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  42. The Griffith Park Observatory has recently reopened after a complete remodel. I haven't visited yet, but I hear it was successful. They've had to close a couple of times since then due to brush fires. The most recent (within the last ten days) was minor. Last fall there was a serious fire, and you can still see the bare hillsides of Griffith from quite a distance. But the Observatory was unscathed.

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  43. Yay! Eric has returned! I agree with Katie about how wonderful it is that you've captured such expressions and stances of concentration in the crowd.

    Interesting tidbit: Several years ago, an American reality t.v. show called "The Amazing Race" made finding a particular Foucault's pendulum in Paris part of the requirement of the contestants. If I'm not mistaken, they had to guess which one they needed to locate in order to find their next clue.

    Jennifer, I remember "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler," and in fact, I recommend it to children on a regular basis!

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  44. Alexandra,
    What about the 3rd place final? Did you win?

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  45. Hey, Thib, nice of you to ask. No, unfortunately not - I think they were all quite exhausted from the semifinal. (Also, it might have had something to do with using the 3rd goalkeeper instead of the 2nd!) Oh well, c'est la vie. :) Russia won the gold medal game today, by the way.

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  46. Petrea, Phx, Kelly, Coltrane, thanks so much I'm still basically in bed but on the mend a bit each day and here i am, very gladly at Paris DP! I've posted my beautiful flowers over at Cheltenham.

    Eric, this idea is great for education i absolutely approve. Like Michael i wonder how many would attend on a Saturday night, however. I think i would, but then i'm a bit of a closet swot. lol great photo. p.s. Eric .....(whispers)....your kisses made me a little better today... mwaaah. Oh yes girls i had kisses at Cheltenham.... :)

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  47. Yes, Petrea, it was the PDP picnic in Geneva, a lovely town!! It was absolutely wonderful to meet Kelly and we had a great time. She encouraged me to start my own daily photo blog, and I did that on Sunday!

    I also loved the book "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler"! I always wanted to run away to the museum and not have adults know where I was. Somewhere to read and study for hours undetected....sigh. What a plan!

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  48. I've been to La cité des sciences de la Ville. Géééénial! It's for kids but when it's about maths and sciences, I'm (not more intelligent than) a kid. LOL.

    I liked this museum too Eric, I've there last year and enjoyed it a lot. But it's probably better with a guide...

    And I'm definitely fan of La nuit des Musées!

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  49. De la Villette* bien sûr! Où avais-je la tête?...

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