Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Paris's Place de
Trocadéro has always been worth a visit. It's got a jaw-dropping view of
the Eiffel Tower just across the Seine from the vast Jardins du Trocadéro
esplanade, and the posh Carette tea room, with silver service and gorgeously
prissy raspberry tarts. (I make a mean scrambled egg at home and yet I have
traveled miles for their shockingly expensive-yet-totally-worth-it breakfast.
The eggs with the mushroom mix-in… those little mouillettes, puff pastry
spiked with cheese that lay atop the creamy yellow pile… I could go on. )
I've spent hilarious afternoons geeking out with the stepkids at the Musée
National de la Marine in the Palais de Chaillot complex, trembling before
elaborately carved 18th century hulls and soaking up details about cod fishing
through the ages. And now to further fuel our nerdy passions, there comes,
impressively, the Musée de l'Homme, which reopened two weeks ago after six
years of major renovations. With a science and anthropology focus, the star
attraction is the 27,000 square foot Galerie de l'Homme. Tracing the path
of human evolution, it spans over two floors and includes a wacky-brilliant
array of bones, historic phrenological, and anatomical busts and dummies.
While the massive 1878 glass ceiling by master designer Jean-Antoine-Gabriel
Davioud (who also created Paris's signature swirly public benches,
lampposts, and signposts) has been completely restored and classified a
historic monument, elsewhere in the building light wells have been installed
to distribute as much of the good natural stuff as possible. There are also
halls and halls filled with prehistoric and tribal objects, and a balcony
dedicated to displaying the latest research in human sciences, with free
guided visits by the experts and doctoral candidates who use the 20 percent of
the total museum space that's dedicated to teaching and studying.
Alexandra Marshall is a contributing editor and the Paris correspondent at
Travel + Leisure. Food, design, architecture and fashion are her specialties,
which means, living in Paris, that she is very busy. Follow her on Twitter
and on Instagram. After a six-year renovation, the Musée de
l'Homme has just reopened in the historic Palais de Chaillot across from the
Eiffel Tower. Read on for more about the new-and-improved anthropological
museum.

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