Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Super Bon Bon

Oh yeah.  And I also saw the Arc de Triomphe today.

Little-known Napoleon quote: "Move aside, and let the man go through."
It's big, it's bad, it's Napoleonic.  Tourists like to take pictures of themselves doing odd things in front of it.   There are alot of things I could tell you about it.  Art historical things, like how Napoleon commissioned it, but then Waterloo happened, and then a whole bunch of political stuff went down, and then sculptors of varying quality put some reliefs on it (Please note.  One relief is clearly superior.  Correct answer is the one you see on the right in the picture above.  It is by François Rude, and it is pretty good.  Should you ever be quizzed on which relief is best, please say that one, because otherwise, I will judge you.)  I could tell you some general things, like about how nice the view is when you come down the Champs Elysées, or how the Tour de France ends here.  I could talk about its historical predecessors (the Romans, of course) or about how, like everything else in Paris, it is way bigger in person than you think it is.  I could tell you some personal things about it, like how I remember seeing it on my first trip to Paris with my college friend Karen or about how Jay and I plotted a run that would take him past the Madeleine, the Opéra, the Vendôme Column, and finally, all Roman-Emperor-style to the Arc de Triomphe before running back home again.

But actually, what I want to talk about is how when you are looking at the Arc de Triomphe, if you turn around, you see this:

Backyard bonbon.
What the hell is this??  Why is there what looks to be a giant sculpture of candy in somebody's backyard???

Further investigation warrants this question:  Why the hell does the Qatar Embassy have a giant sculpture of candy in its backyard?!?!

Should you actually want the answer, go here.  The answer is actually pretty cool.  Should you want to continue living with the mystery, that is fine.  Just be sure that before you get interrogated about the best relief on the Arc de Triomphe, you turn around and check out the bonbon.

p.s. I would like some credit for avoiding another relief pun.  Thanks.

p.p.s.  All credit should be rescinded for my taking both my title and two photo captions from 1996.

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