Paris – 2nd arrondissement

On Sunday in Paris (and in most of Europe) the shops are closed and the day of rest is still closely observed, but that doesn't mean people are staying in. You might take a walk through the 2nd arrondissement and find yourself smack in the middle of an impromptu motorcycle parade. Why not? Have a few glasses of wine with brunch and then hop on your hog.

An endless snake of two-wheelers is somewhat tolerable, but when you combine that threat to moving traffic with a Je Suis Charlie support march on the neighboring street, only one block south from the mile-long motorcade, you're asking for trouble. I thought our cab driver was going to explode. "Traffic should be less on Sunday, not more," he said with a sneer.

We eventually made it through the melee and over to the Centre Pompidou for a look at the Jeff Koons exhibit, before heading back across the river to the rive gauche and the lovely Musée d'Orsay. If you think museums are just about the appreciation of art, then you're thinking too much with your intellectually-oriented brain. You need to think with your stomach every now and again, as well. Museums are quickly becoming some of the coolest and most stylish places to drink and eat around the world. Before closing for a lengthy remodel, the MOMA in San Francisco was a monthly destination for my wife and I; a spot to enjoy Mondrian cake and sip artsy cocktails. The restaurant in the Orsay is also incredible. A vintage French ballroom from the year 1900 juxtaposed with colorful and modern furniture, and a pretty killer wine list on top of that. We had truffle risotto with celery and a bottle of Alsatian pinot noir. Then it was back to check out the rest of the Monet landscapes. 

Drinking while checking out masterpieces of les paysagistes? That's how I like to appreciate art.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll