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This woman wants to spoil your trip to Paris

mean old hag

No, not her. Although she is a mean lady. (trust me. I’ll spare you the story, but this woman is full of bile and venom.)


No, not her. She’s just a friendly zombie.


That one on the left. She’ll come up to you and say “Do you speak English?” And then her friend will pick your pocket. But that’s not who I’m talking about.


Yep. There she is. Not the security guard. That creepy woman under the glass. Lisa. Lisa Gherardini (most likely). You know her as Mona. The French call her la Joconde (the jocund one, which is just a lame pun based on her married name Giocondo). If you go to Paris, do yourself a favor and snub this woman. Just skip it. I dare you.

Here. Let me make it easier for you. This is what you’ll see:


Stunning, isn’t it?

Most likely, you will have this view:


You will be stuck behind a 16 year-old man child who bought himself a beret—ya know, to look like genuine Frenchman—which hopefully, upon his return to the US, for his own sake and for the love of taste, he will never wear again.

Or maybe you’ll get this view:


That fleshy blur of a woman in front has a more intriguing smile, if you ask me. Why? I ask you, why do you want to see what is arguable the most disappointing anticlimactic museum experience in the history of the world? To prove you were in Paris? I say, prove it by gaining 10 pounds. Prove it by showing your friends the dog-poop encrusted soles of your shoes. Prove it by wearing scarves and adopting a an attitude of slightly bemused ennui. But don’t let Mona waste your time. Instead, go here:


The Musée de l’Orangerie is a stone’s throw (if you’re really good at throwing stones) away from the Louvre, right in the Jardin des Tuileries down at the end by the Place de la Concorde. It’s open every day except Tuesdays from 9-5:30 (well, until 6, but they won’t let you in after 5:30). And I guarantee you, unlike the Mona Lisa, it will exceed your expectations. Here’s what you will see:


(via Time travel)

orangerie 2

(via New York Times: read the article)

Monet’s gargantuan water lilies span an entire room. It’s even more stunning in person, and you can walk right up close to them and inspect the brush work at your leisure. There are other treasures in the Orangerie as well, but this is the most stunning. And the number of tourists who leave Paris without ever setting foot in Paris is staggering. 10 million a year! Ok. I made that up. I don’t know how many miss it, but if the relative size of the lines is any indication, it’s a lot. Too many.

So, I dare you. If you are lucky enough to go to Paris, skip Mona and visit Monet instead.


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