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Souvenirs de Paris

(An album of photos from the G-Team’s experience in Paris!)

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photo credit: John McMahon   The Eiffel Tower at Night

Although we are happy to be back at home in NYC, we had a fabulous time on our company work/play trip to Paris for ten days (aug 18-28).  Paris was a bit quieter than normal, with most Parisians being out of town on holiday.

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Photo credit: Stephanie Plichta   Royal Etoile Magda Hotel on 7 Rue Troyon

The G-Team arrived in Paris on a hot, sunny morning (95 degrees F!) to our hotel, Royal Magda Etoile.  Thankfully, it was nice and cool inside!  We will be doing several different faux finishes and artworks for this hotel, co-ordinated with Robyn Karp Interiors.  We are also down the street from the Arc De Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees, an ideal location.

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photo credit: Stef Plichta   Louis Vuitton on the Champs-Elysees

We spent a lot of our time working on the two hotels (Royal Magda and Acacias), and enjoyed the wonderful hospitality from the owner and staff!

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photo credit: Stef Plichta John and Tim hard at work polishing Venetian Plaster

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photo credit: Stef Plichta Guillaume working on a patina, with Maya the bee

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Photo Credit: Stef Plichta Brendan, bringing out the high-shine pearlescent finish

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photo credit: Brendan Murphy Work in Progress in the foyer of Magda

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photo credit: Brendan Murphy Stef making some artwork for Acacias Hotel

Despite having a lot of work to do, we definitely had some fun touring around Paris, too!  Guillaume gave us walking tours around the Marais, Les Halles, the Latin Quarter, and Montmartre after our delicious dinners (lots of bread, fromage, and wine…).

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Photo credit: John McMahon Centre Pompidou in the trendy Les Halles neighborhood

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Photo credit: Brendan Murphy Notre Dame de Paris- a beautiful Gothic Cathedral finished 1345 AD

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photo credit: Brendan Murphy Une Soiree sur la Seine 

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Photo credit: John McMahon View of Sacre-Coeur and Montmarte 

We loved seeing the history around us, and the beauty of this city which has evolved from Medieval Times to become a leading influence of arts, media, literature, philosophy, fashion, and almost every other arena throughout the centuries.  Today, Paris is the second biggest city economy in Europe after London, and one of the most visited places in the world.  We can see why: beauty is everywhere around us, a mélange of grand tradition and youthful exhuberance!

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photo credit: John McMahon Jardin des Tuileries

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photo credit: Stef Plichta  Art Nouveau Metro by Hector Guimard (located by Montmartre)

The G-Team also took a day trip to Château de Versailles, which was the seat of the Absolute Monarchy of France, famous for the Court of Louis XIV (1682) and its extravagant lifestyle.  The contrast between the extreme wealth of the court and the widespread poverty and famine of the peasants (which was made worse by heavy War debts that the State could not effectively fund) helped to catalyse the French Revolution (1789-1799), in which the palace was sacked and looted.  Since then, the Palace has undergone extensive restoration and enjoys its status as a popular tourist attraction.

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photo credit: Brendan Murphy View from Versailles into the gardens

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Photo credit: John McMahon The famous Hall of Mirrors

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photo credits: Stef Plichta Restoring a ceiling mural

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Photo credit: Brendan Murphy Gardens of Versailles 

The Gardens of Versailles were easily our favorite part- they span over 1,967 acres, with labyrinths, a long reflecting pool, classical flower gardens, a mini-farm and house for Marie Antoinette, and hunting grounds.  A great way to spend the day outdoors exploring!

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photo credit: Stef Plichta  A day at Les Puces with Marcia

On a sunny saturday, we all trekked over to Les Puces (the flea markets) to do some bargain hunting and to meet up with our friends Marcia and Mickey, who had flown in from NYC!  We had some great finds after spending six hours looking for some new (old) treasures.

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photo credit: Stef Plichta glam Art-Deco mannequin

photo credit: Stef Plichta Guillaume with his mother, Hélène, and sister, Anne

One of the coolest things we did on this trip was spend time with some of Guillaume’s family!  We visited Anne’s apartment and were treated to a lovely dinner and dessert.  It seems that the creative streak really does run in this family:  Hélène showed us her painting of her hometown, and Anne’s apartment was filled with fun curiosities from her travels and her handmade built-in bookshelf.  Thanks to Anne and Hélène for their wonderful hospitality!

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photo credit: John McMahon Galleries Lafayette

On our last day in Paris, we visited the Galleries Lafayette, a HUGE department store located in the ritzy Place de L’Opera area- floors and floors of beautiful things, and an even more amazing dome at the top!

Another must-see is the Opera Garnier, a beautiful Beaux-arts building that inspired Gaston Leroux’s “Phantom of the Opera” book. It is filled with amazing carvings, paintings, and beautiful motifs- and that famous chandelier.

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photo credit: Stef Plichta  anteroom in the Opera Garnier

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Photo credit: Brendan Murphy  St. Jeanne d’Arc in Notre Dame de Paris

We had a great time, and we hope and pray that we can come back to Paris soon!

p.s.  We will share some before/after photos of our project in a later post.

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