What’s your idea of a perfect day ?
It’s a question that comes up in a lot of cheesy contexts, like celebrity interviews or dating website questionnaires (not that I know anything about that!) Often, it’s obvious people’s answers are constructed to create a certain image (dear movie star, we know your perfect day doesn’t involve wheat grass shots, meditation and hot yoga, stop making us feel bad).
Le musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris
It seems like such a casual question, yet people set so much stock in someone’s description of their perfect day. We seem to see it less as an opportunity to daydream and more of a chance to prove something about ourselves; to show how cultured/motivated/admirable/unique/selfless/just generally ”together” we are. In the Age of Instagram, we care more and more about what our interests say about us.
In actual fact, I don’t think I could decide on a single idea of the “perfect” day. I love the chill of winter, but I also crave sunshine (just not sweltering heat). I feel rejuvenated if I eat well, but I’d be lying if I said my favourite food wasn’t fries. I love to be busy, to be challenged, to pursue ideas, but sometimes I like to wake up just to eat pancakes then go straight back to bed. I love sharing a bottle of wine (or two) with a friend into the wee hours, and I love falling asleep at 9.30pm watching Game of Thrones on my laptop in bed. I adore living in Paris, but I also cherish waking up to the kookaburras in Australia. And let’s be honest: on one day my ‘perfect’ date might be a fancy dinner and a French film, while on another I’d much rather order takeaway and watch Parks and Recreation in my pajamas on the couch with l’Américain.
Andre Lhote, La Partie de Plaisir, 1910.
But if I absolutely had to pick a perfect day, or at least a perfect afternoon, I’d have to go with a visit to the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris. It would start off all impressive and movie star-interview-worthy. I emerge from the Alma-Marceau metro into the crisp winter air. I cast my gaze around at the glittering terraces and Haussmannien architecture, the rustling plane trees and the iconic Eiffel Tower, across the river. I pull up the collar of my trench coat against the breeze and stride along the Avenue de New York. I step into the elegant surrounds of the museum and revel in the wild, vibrant, astounding art of the twentieth century. I soak up the Matisses, the Picassos, the Kleins, the Rothkos and reflect on the intriguing beauty of modern art. Etc.
Yves Klein, Portrait relief de Martial Raysse, 1965
Then I meet up with my best friend to drink a 3-euro bottle of wine, eat fried potatoes and watch silly YouTube videos in our 10m2 apartments. We eat too much cheese and Nutella and when I go home I play Dots on my phone until I fall asleep.
Culture is open to one and all, and you can follow up your visit to a glorious modern art museum like the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris with champagne or Fanta, opera or video games. It doesn’t matter.
Let’s let whims be whims and daydreams be daydreams. Let’s own our guilty pleasures, our junk food cravings and our cultural nerdiness alike. Let’s explore when we feel like exploring, create when we feel like creating, and nap when we feel like napping.
This is la muséophile, signing off on this post about a fancy art museum from the comfort of her own bed.
Xx la muséophile
Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris
11 avenue du Président Wilson, 75016 (métro Alma-Marceau)
Free entry to permanent collection
Temporary exhibitions: 5-11 euros
Tuesday to Sunday: 10am to 6pm
Open until 10pm on Thursday