Tea with Quasi

August 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

A Glimpse of notre dame in the Late Afternoon by Matisse

Notre Dame is an absolutely breathtaking Cathedral. I also really loved Sacre Coeur (the ushers there really ushed people, or hushed them whereas in N.D. it was difficult due to the traffic flow of folks).

The business librarian, Lisa Shen, came to visit me while I was in Paris and we attended Sunday Mass at Notre Dame. We didn’t understand a lick of liturgical French (it was a Gregorian service to those of you curious), but it was quite lovely. She was disappointed there wasn’t much kneeling going on, but I was grateful–the floors are stone and cold. The hymns and singing was absolutely gorgeous. The stained windows were beautiful. Whether you’re religious or not, you can’t help but be awe-inspired with the complex beauty of the cathedral and its art.

I didn’t get to go up the Cathedral to meet Quasimodo, but that was because the line was just too dang long and I’ve a really short line of patience. However, Lisa and I did go down into the crypts, which wasn’t what I was expecting: it had Roman ruins and a history of the area upon which Notre Dame was built. I was expecting tombstones and vaults. But it was still very interesting.

Small amusing tidbit: So, at some point during Lisa’s visit with me, we got turned around in an evening meander and needed to find Notre Dame to reorient ourselves. Intrepid wandered she is, Lisa went into a French bistro and attempted to ask our way back to Notre Dame. Now, for those uninitiated with French, Notre Dame is NOT pronounced like the Indiana university, Noter Dame. But, this is how she was saying it. The woman at the bar was quite confused. I intervened and said Notre Dame. To which she smiled and looked at Lisa and said, with a smile, “Your French accent is perfect.” It was quite funny. And for the next day or two I was teasing Lisa and trying to get her to say Notre Dame instead of Noter Dame. (If she stumbles across this post, she may be rolling her eyes that I’m still amused by it.)

So, in honour of Notre Dame, however you may pronounce it,  and the time spent there, here is a list of recommended reading.

Notre-Dame de Paris

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Gargoyle Book

The biography of a cathedral; the living story of man’s most beautiful creation, with glimpses, through the centuries, of the pageant that led to Notre Dame

Both images are from the Art Database, CAMIO.


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