Sunday, October 23, 2011

My International Week in DC!

So... this is a brief interruption in my Europe travel series... but interestingly enough, still involves Europe! As it turns out, this week has been filled with internationally-themed events starting with the French Expat Meetup on Tuesday:

Then it was on to the Waltz lesson practice for the Eigth Anniversary Gala and Masquerade Ball on Thursday:

The room for the ball is beautiful! (National Museum of Women in the Arts)
Look at all the details in the woodwork! (And the chandeliers were awesome)

Another item of note, is that half of what you see is made of faux-finishes

Dance lesson, after which my feet ended up hurting so much that I could still feel it when I went to the ball on Saturday! (Stone floors with simple loafers on are not a good combination for dance! Thankfully, I wore different shoes for the ball)
And back to France on Friday with a visit to French soil at the Embassy of France to hear a presentation on the financial crisis and investment strategies (Conférence: CRISE FINANCIÈRE: Vos finances au sein de la crise). My friend Ivan from the French meetup was one of the panelists, and it was quite enjoyable! Presentation was entirely in French and was organized by Union des Français de l'Etranger and Chambre de Commerce Franco-Américaine de Washington:

Seated panelists, from left to right:
YANN COATANLEM, CITIGROUP, Directeur, Think Tank Club Praxis
IVAN ZABALOIEFF, MS, Conseiller en Gestion de Patrimoine, AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL INC.

French Embassy consulate where the presentation was held

And Finally, yesterday (Saturday) I had the Eigth Anniversary Gala and Masquerade Ball at the Grand Ballroom of the National Museum of Women in the Arts:

Choreographed dance, it was really beautiful

Live waltz band on the right background of picture... chairs on left background for latin band that played second half of the evening.
Only picture of me from the evening, with new friend Q from the ball! 
The ball was great fun and I met lots of new and interesting people in the process. Also, I braved the dance floor a few times and didn't screw up as badly as I worried I was going to. lol. Now for more lessons and more practice!

I even took some panoramic shots of the event! Remember to use a real computer equipped with silverlight to view these, you'll have to click on them to start the viewing experience:

During the dance

After the dance was over

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Europe 2011: Part 4, Musée du Louvre

Next stop in Paris was visiting the Louvre.... but on the way I needed to take care of some stuff at the Apple Store. Yes, it's true... I can actually locate one anywhere I travel! I think this time I mostly just bought a battery charger. 

Now, I must say using these rechargeables in the the emergency battery charger I got off of Amazon works amazingly. Instead of getting 30% extra charge, I was finding myself reaching 60% or greater. 

Inside the Apple Store
Charging my phone outside of the Apple store

Anyhow, enough about batteries! On to the fun stuff...

They had this really impressive model of what the Louvre looked like during the medieval period 
Foundations for the Medieval Louvre
Notice the scale compared to people... it must have really been huge!

And of course, the Winged Victory of Samothrace

Stairs leading up to Winged Victory... lower level has sculptures, upper paintings

This time I paid special attention to the Regency/Empire paintings and I have a selection of them for you now...

I think this picture is in every book about men's fashion from the regency/empire period!

I love this painting... I may get a print of it for my home!

Again, Coronation of the Empress by Jacques-Louis David. Notice how large it is compared to the people. There is another copy of this painting at Versailles. I think this one here is the original.

This year I'm a huge fan of sheer materials... look at the sleeves!

I believe this is the last painting of the Empress Josephine before she passed away

Look at the exquisite detail of the material!

I'm also really impressed at this neckline's construction... whoever came up with that had to be a genius, because it doesn't look easy for it to work right.

Note the fashion of hand placements... there is a famous painting of Napoleon much like this

Nice regency style with cravat, etc.

I love the sheer again here... the construction of this is dress is so simple and delightfully elegant

This is a great musical portrait

I believe this is the dauphin, King Louis-Phillipe's son.

This man's outfit is intense... the amount of cravat and shirt frills is impressive!

I think this was for Napoleon III, but could be mistaken... what's interesting is that instead of carving the designs, they painted them in apparent 3 dimensions.

The Louvre Pyramid as seen from inside the museum

The usual republican piece... :P

I love this staircase! I will have a better view of it in the next post, which will have panoramic views of the Louvre

They have a little cafe up here... isn't this lovely?

Throne chair... I think for a temple, but I do not exactly remember
I love how they hid the outlets!

The fountains are surrounded by a bench and are a lovely place to sit and have conversations (particularly if you had someone to talk to)

And what it all looks like at night:

 Unfortunately, I didn't have time to go back again and reshoot some things I saw two years ago, but I plan to return in the near future! My next blog post will have panoramic shots of the Louvre that you can navigate on your computer. Stay tuned!