Welcome Guest | Login or Register

Paris Day 11 – D’Orsay and the Gay Pride Parade

Today we visited the Musee D’Orsay and then attended the Paris Gay Pride Parade. The museum was a bit of a letdown (more details on that in a moment), but the parade was something else. Paris is a very gay city! Lots and lots of pictures to see so let’s get going.

We got a late start in the morning, but I figured with the parade in the early evening, we’d still have plenty of time to visit the Museum. We got there and the line was a mile long. We were discouraged, but figured that waiting in line was our best option as any other museum would likely take just as long to get to.

When we finally got to the ticket counter 45 minutes later, the ticket salesman asked if I wanted the extra fee for the special Manet exhibit. Seeing that we were short on time by now, I declined and got regular tickets instead. This was a mistake. Two of my favorite pieces in the museum (Olympia and Luncheon on the Grass) are Manet pieces and I didn’t realize that they had been moved from their regular locations in the museum to the roped off “special” Manet exhibit.

That frustrated me quite a bit. Furthermore, I discovered upon stepping into the museum proper that photographs of any kind were forbidden. I’ve been here twice before and was able to take as many pictures as I pleased. I can only guess that they’ve recently changed their policy or this rule was put into effect during high tourist season (June/July) because they don’t have enough resources to police everyone otherwise.

To add even more insult to injury, almost half of the museum was closed for renovation. Altogether that meant no Olympia, no Luncheon on the Grass, no Whistler’s Mother, no Degas ballerina sculptures, and no Le Chat Noir, to name a few. Fortunately, I never posted my pictures from the last trip here, so I can at least put them up now.

The clock hanging over the entryway to the museum. The building used to be a train station. The clock hanging over the entryway to the museum. The building used to be a train station. One of my all-time favorites: Olympia by Edouard Manet. One of my all-time favorites: Olympia by Edouard Manet.

A view from the second floor of the museum down onto the main floor. A view from the second floor of the museum down onto the main floor. Whistler's Mother by James Whistler Whistler’s Mother by James Whistler

One of Degas' ballerina sculptures. One of Degas’ ballerina sculptures. Van Gogh's Starry Night Over the Rhone. Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone.

Nature Unveiling Herself to Science by Ernest Barrias Nature Unveiling Herself to Science by Ernest Barrias The Alligator Hunters by Ernest Barrias The Alligator Hunters by Ernest Barrias

Luncheon on the Grass by Edouard Manet Luncheon on the Grass by Edouard Manet

The Musee D’Orsay is a really great art museum. However, it appears that I picked a terrible time to visit. Maybe next time will be better. There was still plenty of great art to see (but not take pictures of) and we made the most of our three hours in the museum. Then it was time to rush back to the apartment and prepare for the main event of the day: the Paris gay pride parade.

Now I’ve never been to a gay pride parade, but I figured Paris would know how to do one up right. Boy howdy, did they ever. My parents have attended before and so we set out several hours beforehand to stake out a good spot at a café along the parade route. We got our beers, settled in, and prepared for what would be a very long parade and HUGE crowd coming out in support of pride.

My girlfriend, Kim was very excited to see the parade so I handed her the camera and sent her out into the throng to capture as many images and videos as she could manage. That left me to sit back and enjoy the parade from a safe distance with nice mug of beer. Take a look at some of the many pictures she and my father took.

Oh no, La La and Po! Not you too! Oh no, La La and Po! Not you too! Cabaret! Cabaret!

This reveler was WAY tall. Quite the costume too. This reveler was WAY tall. Quite the costume too. Anyone can join the parade, but it's best if you have some sort of costume. Anyone can join the parade, but it’s best if you have some sort of costume.

Mariposa! Mariposa! Doesn't this person look like Dame Edna? Doesn’t this person look like Dame Edna?

I swear officer, I've done nothing wrong... I swear officer, I’ve done nothing wrong… Assless chaps alert! Assless chaps alert!

Any costume will do. The wackier, the better. Any costume will do. The wackier, the better. This looks like just the sort of person we would see at our Alive After Five events in Boise. This looks like just the sort of person we would see at our Alive After Five events in Boise.

Borderline creepy on this one... Borderline creepy on this one… ??? ???

Kim taking a break from all her crowd wandering and picture taking in the parade. Kim taking a break from all her crowd wandering and picture taking in the parade. Jeff and I show our pride. The sitting back and drinking beer well away from the parade sort of pride... Jeff and I show our pride. The sitting back and drinking beer well away from the parade sort of pride…

Rah rah rah! Rah rah rah! This one needs to be in a photo caption contest. This one needs to be in a photo caption contest.

Some of the parade participants were more than happy to pose for the camera. Some of the parade participants were more than happy to pose for the camera. I'll have a chocolate milkshake and a soda from the fountain. I’ll have a chocolate milkshake and a soda from the fountain.

Very bizarre.. Very bizarre… Is this a statement for or against gay marriage? Kind of spooky... Is this a statement for or against gay marriage? Kind of spooky…

Arrr! Arrr! This guy's costume had a tail in the back. We're not sure how it was attached... This guy’s costume had a tail in the back. We’re not sure how it was attached…

Another example of a spirited parade goer. Another example of a spirited parade goer. This guy had an ear bud in like security folks wear. Undercover gay pride officer? This guy had an ear bud in like security folks wear. Undercover gay pride officer?

I think these girls were just looking for an excuse to dressy in skimpy outfits... I think these girls were just looking for an excuse to dressy in skimpy outfits… Practice safe sex! Practice safe sex!

The parade truly seemed to go on forever. After a while Kim got tired of the crowds and we resigned from photo and video capture. The parade passed by our spot for at least two hours before we quit and I’m sure it went on for another two after we left. Here’s a video to give you an idea of what the crowd and noise was like.

We wandered away from where the parade was went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant near our apartment. Dinner was good and we were pooped, so we went back to the apartment for some much needed rest. What a day!

One Response to “Paris Day 11 – D’Orsay and the Gay Pride Parade”

  1. on 29 Jun 2011 at 2:59 pm Dad

    It’s “papillon”, Mike, not “mariposa” – wrong language!

Trackback this Post | Feed on comments to this Post

Leave a Reply