Saturday, June 16, 2007

A sleepy Saturday morning in Paris

The Arc de Triomphe on a rainy Saturday morning in Paris. Photo: JH.
Saturday in Paris. It’s been raining off and on here. Sometimes a deluge, followed by brief flood of sunshine. Tonight is the American Friends of Versailles’ Bal de Marie-Antoinette in the l’Orangerie at the chateau of the Sun King. Approximately 500 Americans from all over the country are expected and we’ll report on it on Monday’s Diary.

Yesterday after a tour of the Paris Opera
also known as le Palais Garnier (after its architect), we went to lunch at the l’Hotel de Talleyrand on the rue Saint-Florentin overlooking the Place de la Concorde where General George Marshall convened his Marshall Plan for Europe from 1947 to 1952. Besides once being the home of Napoleon’s foreign minister Charles Talleyrand, it was also the Paris residence the Rothschild family from 1838 to 1950. Baron Guy de Rothschild who died this past week at age 98, grew up in this house.

Later, yesterday afternoon, the intrepid American Friends of Versailles held a reception on the Left Bank at the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur (French for "Palace of the Legion of Honor") which houses the Musée national de la Legion d'Honneur ("National Museum of the Legion of Honour") and is the seat of the Légion d'honneur, the highest order of chivalry of France. The building is also known as the Hôtel de Salm was built just before the Revolution between 1782 and 1787 by the architect Pierre Rousseau for the German Prince Frederick III of Salm-Kyrbourg and nationalized right after the fall of the monarchy.

Early yesterday evening,
the American Ambassador to France Craig Stapleton and his wife Dorothy held a reception at the Ambassador’s residence for the American Friends of Versailles at which David Hamilton, husband of American Friends president Catharine Hamilton, was presented with the Legion d’Honneur by Jean-David Levitte who recently stepped down as France’s ambassador to Washington.

The calendar on this trip has been chock-a-block daily with events and activities such as the aforementioned. Because of this we’ve been way behind in our reportage, a matter that grates on my compulsive-obsessive sensibilities.There have been so many “special” (at least for us) days on this trip, from Venice to Paris, that we haven’t yet recorded on the NYSD. So when we’re back in New York next week, we intend to give you the full rundown daily (along with the regular Diary and Party Pictures) with so many of JH’s great pictures. A bientot ....

Comments? Contact DPC here.