dimanche 15 mars 2015

Hanging with the Phantom at the Paris Opera

When I last left y'all, I was STILL thirsty. I hopped on the Metro to make it to Palais Garnier in time for my rendezvous with the Phantom. I got there a little early, as always, so I went looking for some water. At this point, I would have paid 10€ for a bottle. It was that serious. 

I walked past Galeries Lafayette and noticed that they were closed. I kept walking and came across the Lindt store. That too, was closed. WTF? That's when I realized it was Sunday. NOTHING IS OPEN!!! Fuck. If you are wondering why I didn't just stop by a mom and pop or a random dude on the street to get my water, it's because I only had big bills and there was NO WAY they would break it for me. Getting change is like pulling teeth here, but what can you do? I feel like I haven't posted a picture of some chocolate in a while, so check these out. It was like a mirage.

That's when I got the Phantom's text. He was ready to see me. Man, I am totally kidding. I sound like a psycho. The truth is, I had a guided tour of the Opera that was meeting at 1:30 (13:30). I had never been to the Opera so I decided to check it out. I would highly recommend it! It is such a beautiful place. Don't believe me?


If you are wondering if Napoleon 3 had a hand in this beige ass building, the answer is yes. In this last photo, the name 'Charles Garnier' refers to the architect of this magnificent jewel. This is why it is called Palais Garnier ("Garnier's Palace"). I don't know if he is also responsible for that shampoo that smells disgusting, but feel free to look that up yourselves. Construction took 14 years, but you can't rush perfection. The Phantom allegedly lives in a secret lair by a lake at the bottom of the Opera house. The legend came to be via a little book by Gaston Leroux. You may have heard of it? It's The Phantom of the Opera, in which a phantom drops chandeliers on people's heads and kidnaps opera singers. Be nice, Lon Chaney.

The story is super popular and you have seen it referenced at some point or another. Obviously, my favorite reference is on The Simpsons, in the episode where Martin lives under the school. Not quite perished, my lady love! While no one really knows where the truth ends and the legend begins, the Phantom story is actually kinda true. A counterweight of the chandelier did fall on someone's head once. There isn't a lake at the bottom, but there is a big tank full of water due to boring reasons during the construction that I forgot (cue Phantom theme-- don't act like you don't know it). The tank is currently used by the Paris Fire Department to practice swimming. Jealous? If you think the outside is pretty, the inside is out of this world. It is so opulent and over the top! This is coming from the person who has a chandelier in their own bedroom. When I tell you this place is balleriffic, I really mean it. Starting at the grand escalier and ending at the grand foyer, this is a quick tour through this Neo-Baroque/Beaux-Arts masterpiece. 

Without further ado... pictures!

When we came in, they were doing sound and lighting checks for that evening's performance of the Hansel & Gretel ballet. The man on the piano played bits of Saint-Saënz, Tchaikovsky, and Chopin. The lights were off and it was so eerily awesome. Sometimes I really can't believe my luck. Like, here I was in this legendary building, listening to this man play my jams in the dark. Our guide was lamenting that we weren't able to see the chandelier--- when suddenly the lights came on! Everyone grabbed their cameras and tried to take pictures, but the lights were off just as fast as they came on. 

Lucky for y'all, I have cat-like reflexes. I literally said "HOLY SHIT!" when I saw it. Not only is this thing fucking gorgeous, it is ENORMOUS. It is breathtaking. It also weighs 7 tons, so I was trying to scope out where I'd take cover if it decided to fall. Picture below is for


Then, we left and continued the tour. There is a library here, too. Paris has it all. How is this even fair?

As you continue, you will find inevitably yourself in the Sun and Moon salons. This was when I practically needed to be brought back to life. I was so done. The Sun room had a faint golden tint throughout, but you can't really see it in the picture cause my phone is trash. On the ceiling was a giant sunburst with two dragons in the medallion. There was so much gold leaf, too. I had never seen anything so spectacular. This thing had infinity mirrors!

Oh, but there was more. The Moon room, not to be outdone, had tons of platinum leaf. Obviously contrasting the Sun room, it had a silver tint. Let's cut to the chase-- this thing had bats on the medallion. BATS!!! I am such a Paris Goth.

Just as soon as I came back to life, I died again. Like, my soul completely left my body. Mesdames et Messieurs: the Grand Foyer.

How does this even exist?! I need answers. I still haven't recovered. I have never seen anything so excessive and wonderful in my life. The detail is insane, for real. I don't know where your low budget ghost haunts, but he needs to step his game up. I wanted to haunt this place myself! I will make probably make an "In Photos" post to show y'all more. It is incredible. 

To make a long story short, I finally ended up at a BAR to get water. It was past 7:00 (19:00) when I got there, so I had my breakfast, lunch and dinner there as well. Can you believe it? A bar of all places! Until next time...

 Au revoir!

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