Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paris! Or, well, Palaiseau for now...

If you took the city of Rome and gave it the weather of Portland, you would have Paris. I like both, so I'm pretty happy with that. I haven't taken any pictures of Paris yet as I spent most of my time thus far in museums due to hard rain, and I think people who take pictures of paintings in museums are ridiculous. What, are they going to print them out and hang them on their wall? I spent most of my time at the Orsay Museum, which has a very large collection of Impressionism works. I like Impressionism and think that a good Monet or Sisley landscape is pretty, but after 15 galleries of the stuff it really tends to run together. That said, "The Origin of the World" by Courbet is a pretty striking painting (NSFW! Even if it is art! Don't say I didn't warn you! And it's Realism, not Impressionism!).

As I have no pictures I will leave Paris to another post. Of what I do have pictures, however, is Palaiseau, the suburb of Paris that contains Ecole Polytechnique, where I work. My commute is ridiculous, not because of the Paris train system (which is ridiculous, mind you; I have to make a transfer to go four stops on the same line!). It is ridiculous because of the walk from the train station to the school. Here is a sequence of photos of that walk, with each subsequent photo taken from the position at the top of the previous:

The most difficult part is the bottom, which is a 20-25% grade but without stairs. When it rains it's extremely slippery, especially going down it at the end of the day. It's hard to motivate myself to run when I do this every day, but I still need to keep my cardio system up there. Have to keep up with Jeannie and Jason in the high mountains! I live right next to a nice hilly forest park with a lot of nice trails for running and I'm starting to work that into the routine.

Finally, I must post one last image from my life in France, because I find this kind of thing absolutely hilarious:

That's right, EXTRA bon! None of this normal bon crap!

I'll post some pictures from Paris after I take them over the next couple weeks. Carie comes to visit on November 6th! I can't wait!

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