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The Los Angeles Magazine Whisky Festival offers both aficionados and novices tastes of at least 30 (I didn’t count and I could not find a list of participants online, so I am guessing) spirits ranging from single malt scotch to blends, bourbons, ryes, and some specialty ones made from rice! Tickets were $95 and included 3 hours of tasting (using a Waterford glass we could take home).

I am fairly well versed in French wines, and although I do have a smattering of whisky knowledge, I have neither the tolerance nor purse to imbibe several fine spirits on a regular basis. I was invited as part of a friends’ birthday who not only knew many of the participants, but shares my palate preferences, so his girlfriend and I just said, “You tell us what we should try!”

Our first taste was an 18 year old single malt scotch by Duncan Taylor which turned out to be my favorite 🙂 As noted by Compass Whisky (not a participant), the age noted on bottles refers only to the youngest component, so keep that in mind when making buying decisions of blends!

 There were many award winners

and specialty distillers.

I thought I didn’t like Bourbon until I tasted Angel’s Envy, poured by the blender herself of a special blend only available at the Intercontinental Hotel in Los Angeles; it’s the highest award winner for a delicious reason! Macallen was on hand with a double cask that I enjoyed very much.

The guys at Duncan Taylor wore kilts!

This was my first time inside the La Brea Tar Pits Museum, and it was mind boggling!

 

This is a sloth!

Fun interactive display with handles that required two hands to slightly budge one lever!

The space was incredibly educational and entertaining for an event venue, this was one long wall,

 and the workspace was on display as well as the finished assembled pieces.

The lines for food were longer than the lines for scotch, but the passed bites were more interesting than the mashed potato bar and the usual charcuterie, cheese, and crudite buffets. Since this was a spirited event, the emphasis was on the drinks not the food, but the bites were varied and well presented. Some bites not shown were mini crabcakes, stuffed mushrooms, and fried macaroni bits; on the sweet side at least three kinds of mini cupcakes floated through the rooms as well. The space was so large that a DJ, a jazz combo with singer, and a vinyl playing stereo all filled various sections with music without overlap.

 There were also some fun booths like a photo stand, shoe shine,

 and cigar rolling by El Canito Cigars.

 I got a Robusto to go 🙂

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The Musée Rodin reopened this year with over 7 acres of gardens and sculptures. You can easily spend a day here wandering around contemplating the meaning of life 🙂

The temporary exhibit usually has a very short line, but the permanent exhibit line stretched down to the edge of the sculpture garden. Entry fees range from about 3-11 Euros ($4-13 USD), with the first Sunday of every month free, but be prepared for lines on sunny days. These days there are security checks for all museums, so leave your backpacks at home.

There are sculptures along the side of the garden which are protected from the elements due to their fragile nature.

The sturdier sculptures are scattered throughout the garden.

 

This gives you an idea of the scale of the garden area; this view is looking back at the building with the permanent exhibitions,

and this is one of the pathways from the permanent exhibition to the rotunda,

with a pond surrounded by sculptures.

One of the nice things about having sculptures outdoors is that you can literally touch them.

The Eiffel Tower is hidden by the fog, just behind the “Thinking Man”, as obscure as his thoughts…

The Museum of Architecture has so many models of old and new that I couldn’t fit all the photos I took in one post, so here is part 2; this is the other half of the ground floor of the old as well as the upper floor of the modern. Enjoy!

A close up.

The other half of the ground floor (the photos in yesterday’s post) can be seen and entered through several openings.

This archway

had incredible details underneath, like this in the center,

and this on the sides underneath the arch.

The intricate work standing from a few feet away,

is even more amazing up close.

There is an elevator or stairs to the upper level of modern architecture.

The Radio France Building and

the Citroen Building, both exist in present day Paris.

Resorts built into the natural landscape, skyscrapers, and temporary structures built for exhibition from all over the world, fill the upper level. There are also many video presentations about how certain structures were designed and built; I saw many students with notebooks, taking notes.

The upper floor also has a smaller exhibition of frescoes and wall paintings.

The most impressive sight was seeing three of Paris’ great buildings through the windows of the Museum of Architecture. If the weather is nice, there is a ground floor cafe with a terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower where you can enjoy a bite or a drink outside; a priceless way to spend some time in Paris 🙂

Fondation Louis Vuitton is the newest contemporary art space in Paris. It’s privately funded and is a spectacular building that makes me imagine a sailboat in space. It’s best to buy your tickets online here; the price includes admission to the adjacent park and you get to avoid the wait of over an hour on week-ends if you pre-order. There’s a reduced rate of 9 Euros until December 17 as they install all the exhibits.

There are signs everywhere leading you to the Fondation, but if you are not sure just follow the crowds from metro Sablons, Bus 244, or take the 1 Euro shuttle from Place Charles de Gaulle at Avenue Friedland near the metro exit.

Just watching the water was soothing 🙂

Today is Pablo Picasso’s birthday and Paris celebrated by reopening the Picasso Museum after 5 years of renovations. Located in the Hôtel Salé, a historical former residence, the museum displays 5,000 pieces of his work (the biggest collection in the world) as well as 150 pieces of other artists such as Cézanne, Matisse, and Gauguin.

I only saw the news that the opening day was today with the regular hours of 9:30am-6:00pm, not knowing that because it was the grand opening the doors actually opened at noon. I got there at 11:15am and there was already a huge line, so I waited, knowing it would only be a much longer wait if I came back later.

The crowd control was very well organized; I heard the Museum director say she was very pleased that over 4000 people were already queued up for over five blocks at opening time. Those at the end of the line were in for at least a three hour wait to get to the entrance!

The restoration of the building was spectacular.

Three floors of various periods and mediums gave fans plenty to peruse.

This was my favorite Picasso,

but this was my favorite piece, a Gauguin 🙂

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