Yesterday, I went out with my husband in the evening to the Champs Elysées. He is a fan of the American artist Edward Hopper, and he did not want to miss out on his exhibition, on the Grand Palais. The Grand Palais is a beautiful, grand looking building on the Champs Elysées. What put us off though, was the long serpentine queue for the tickets. Moreover, the queue was in the open, shelterless! People were willing to stand for hours waiting for their tickets happily allowing the snow and rain to fall all around their heads and shoulders. I didn’t get it, I’m not sure if I’ve seen people allowing themselves to freeze to go see any exhibition until now! (by the way, we faced the same situation when there was a skating rink built in the Grand Palais. We had once attempted to get tickets for it, but we saw the queue outside, and it was as long as the queue outside of Louis Vuitton when there’s a sale. It was so long so long so loonngg….!!! Lots of people and their kids hardening themselves against the weather, controlling their urges to pee in such icy winds). But I was also impressed. People can take such pains to enlighten themselves on matters of high art and culture. I liked that attitude.
We waited for about an hour and half. I was well protected with my thick overcoat, with triple sweaters inside and sufficient head protection, thick boots and gloves. Unfortunately many of the folks around us seemed unprepared for the cold and by the time my husband and I entered inside the exhibition center, I saw people around me with hair glistening with melted snow and thoroughly wet. I felt bad especially for the scores of elderly citizen who had braved to come watch the exhibit. It’s surprising that shelters had not been constructed for the queues!
After the exhibit, hubby and I had to walk all along Champs Elysées to get to where our car was parked. The ground was slippery and poor him fell quite a few times, and one time he landed badly on his back. The normally speeding cars on the CE were driving slow and with caution, which was good to see for a change.