Friday, June 19, 2009

Centre Pompidou

Ok, one more quick but important tidbit about Paris. Because I think this one is key for anyone planning a trip.

Our very last stop in Paris was to the Centre Pompidou. It is an art space that houses galleries, performance space, and lots of other modern activities - movie theatre, children's learning playspace, a library, etc. The building is really retro with the pipes and a grand red escalator on the outside and the gigantic ducts in the courtyard. I remember learning about the colorful Pompidou Center in high school French class. It is a space that really doesn't make sense until you see it in person. But I digress...So everyone who comes to Paris wants to see a high up view of this magnificent city, right? And everyone thinks the place to get this view is atop the Eiffel Tower. Well I have news. The line for the Eiffel Tower elevator is the pits. It takes forever, is claustraphobic, and expensive. Even if you splurge to go to the very top (you pay by how high up you go) the crowds and pushing give you a headache before you even get there. the Pompidou Center for only 3 euros you can ride the chic tube escalators at your own pace and with your own space. As you climb up, up, up the view is better and better. PLUS, this view includes the Eiffel Tower (something you miss when you are standing in it). I was speechless.
The top windows were open and looking down I could see the performers and artists making their mark on the expansive courtyard below. There were actors putting on an impromptu play and teens painting a whirlie black design.We topped off the morning and our fun at the Centre Pompidou with ham and cheese crepes from a street vendor and gobbling them down at the neighboring sculpture fountain. I have 3 all time memories of my trips to Paris in my lifetime:

1) the Fat Tire Night Bike Tour Kirk and I took together 6 years ago (it is phenomenal!)

2) Taking a romantic night stroll with Kirk along the Seine with all the bridges and city lights in the dead of winter while Cara and Poppa Ed kept Connor

3) And now the newest one to my top 3. Eating the oozing crepes with Connor and Kirk with the fountain at the Centre Pompidou after the thrilling views. The sun was warm and bright and life was good.

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