Tuesday, 27 September 2016

the national gallery of art

r e o p e n i n g   o f   t h e   e a s t   b u i l d i n g

Can you still call your blog unpretentious when you talk about Picasso, Modigliani, Rothko & O'Keeffe? Calder's constellations, Matisse's paintings & Giacometti's sculptures?

Maybe I won't talk so much this time but just leave you with a few pictures from yesterday morning's sneak peek at the National Gallery of Art. Their East Building is reopening this coming Friday after 3 years of renovation and construction. It's an impressive collection of modern art showing more than 500 works from some of the world's most eminent artists. It's also stunning architecture throughout the galleries, open spaces and all the way up to the rooftop terrace via that staircase I'm sure will become Instagram famous in no time.

A whole room dedicated to Amedeo Modigliani whose paintings enthrall me every time:

The space in itself is a work of art:

Loved listening to this group of kids and the questions they were asked were actually art questions I could answer myself such as what colour is this?

Don't go on an empty stomach:

And so much more. I only took pictures of a small part of the collection.

And of course that giant, blue rooster on the new rooftop terrace, hard to miss:

Free entrance, open every day starting September 30th, ready, set, go.

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Thursday, 15 September 2016

hello annapolis

f a c a d e s  &  c r a b s   -   &  h i s t o r y   -   b u t  m o s t l y  f a c a d e s  &  c r a b s 

Again, not a word about those part 2, 3 & 4 of my Parisian favourites I promised a while ago or maybe just a little explanation (excuse). The time will come - probably sooner than later - when nostalgia hits me full force and makes me long for Paris, hopefully not too much, and that's when the timing will be right. For now I'm all excited about discovering a whole new country, the place that will be my home for the next coming years, so first things first.

I'm sorry that this post appears in the travel section, still working on the technical issues. Okay, maybe I haven't started yet... Blogging is a lot about finding good (or not so good) excuses for only doing what you want to do.

We went to Annapolis last Sunday because everybody told us how cute and quaint it was (quaint is my new favourite word). My husband and kids agreed to let me loose in the streets so I could take a few hundred pictures of all the cute facades. We also went because we wanted to taste the crabs we'd heard about too and how they are served with large wooden hammers and you try not to get harmed in the process and once we were there we discovered, hey Annapolis is the capital of Maryland... That's how new all of this is to us. We know nothing and have everything to learn. We also clearly prioritize by what is cute (me) and edible (my husband) and luckily we stumble upon history and culture eating/photographing our way through America. Well so far this was less than an hour away from home but I have great plans for us.

a lot of shutter love in Annapolis

I would like to say we're working on it and are trying to fill the void. We've got a large map of the US from National Geographic up on one of our kitchen walls and have started memorizing all of the capitals. We're still on the west coast though (and may I just say how much easier it would be if the capitals were cities you'd actually heard about like Portland, Oregon - sorry Salem).

facade colour game strong too

And my new obsession, look at all these front porches!

We didn't only look at houses. Annapolis is a waterfront city and we went for a walk along the bay and the many boats, passed by the United States Naval Academy (which would explain why we saw so many men and women in uniforms), found a garage sale where we bought some old records (The Doors double album for 10 $, a bargain!) and we also visited the Maryland State House. The blog post title did mention a little bit about history, remember?

the seafront

near the naval academy (and in the left window you can see a pokemon go hunter I might know...)

The beautiful Maryland State House is the oldest capitol still in continuous legislative use (thank you msa.maryland.gov). It actually used to serve as the whole nation's capital. That's right, Annapolis was once the capital of the United States if only for a very brief period of time, but an important one. We visited the room where George Washington resigned in front of the Congress as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army after the Treaty of Paris was signed, meaning that right after leading America to independence from Great Britain, he just went buh-bye you all. Apparently it was a very emotional moment for him and his hands were shaking so bad he had to hold his speech with both hands. 

We all know that buh-bye from public life didn't last very long as he was elected president a few years later. There's a statue of him at the Maryland State House where he supposedly stood while giving his speech. You can also visit the senate and house of delegates chambers (free entrance). 

That's a lot of history on an empty stomach right? That's why our next move was those crabs we'd heard so much about; the famous blue crabs of Maryland (they're not blue at all so not quite sure why that's their name). We found a place that seemed perfect for it even though my first reaction was, hey why are we eating on a parking lot when the sea is right nearby? Then I remembered that my blog is called unpretentious and that we were going for the "old crab shack"-vibe. Served with wooden hammers. Practice makes perfect or at least less messy next time we go, hopefully.

True, you should have seen all of our shirts when we left...

We'll be back in Annapolis for another stroll, at least so we can try that soup that sounds so good (local specialty?..) and also get an ice cream from the Annapolis Ice Cream Company.

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Saturday, 10 September 2016

bye bye paris - hello dc

Having a blog called TheUnpretentiousGuideToParis when you don’t live in Paris anymore doesn’t really make sense so I’ve decided to rename it to.... drum rolls... tada and all that... TheUnpretentiousGuide. As you can guess it took a lot of hours and brainstorming to come up with that. No but really, I liked the name before, I still like it and I want to keep it as much the same as possible.

I will still blog about Paris (remember those personal favourites of mine where I still have to write the last three parts...) but not only! There will be a larger traveling section because there’s so much I want to share with you from our recent road trip in Portugal and other places we went this summer and in the future all of the cities and national parks in America I dream about going to. There will be food too, more about Washington DC and probably a bla bla section or misc. because sometimes it’s just nice to ramble and not worry about under which category it falls.

I’ll make a few changes to the blog over the coming days and weeks, mostly regarding the categories. It might take a while as I’m a little bit challenged when it comes to anything technical, definitely a subject I won’t blog or guide about.

Thank you for following along!

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