Day 2 and 3 in Lyon. On the way back to the Carlton Hotel after our dinner at La Tassée – The Husband was knocked out by his rognons – we were hanging out by the fountains in the Place de la Republique when our attention was arrested by a dozen or so young couples jitterbugging to Rosetta Hawks’s 1937 recording of “If You’re a Viper.” I was surprised at first, but then it struck me that it’s no weirder for the French to love American jazz than it is for Americans to love French cuisine.
The next morning we got up early and went to the Musee de Beaux Arts. We were on a mission to check out their collection of Impressionist paintings, but ended up enchanted by a couple of other pieces. The first was an astonishing painting by Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret entitled “Une noce chez le photographe.” Dated 1879, it’s as much about the antic crowd gathered to watch a photo being made of a newly married couple as it is about the couple themselves. In the adjoining gallery there was a wooden sculpture of an owl by the one and only Picasso (pronounced “Pee cah so” in these parts) from 1953. I’d love to see it on our kitchen table, but I must admit it’s a little bit out of our range.