Postcards from Paris: {patinage sur glace dans un grand palais}


If they can’t make snow throughout the city at least they can make ice to skate across.
 I’ve been tempted each year to go ice skating outside of the Hotel de Ville, but nothing has tempted me enough to actually go. There is also an ice skating rink on one of the levels of the Eiffel Tower, and I’ve been told by a reliable source that this particular rink is scented with a classic French perfume. Both have their appeals, but this year one temptation got me. The Grand Palais with its glorious arched glass ceiling has opened its doors to ice skaters throughout Paris to glide under the palace ceilings listening to Bjork, Air, Portished, covers done by Nouvelle Vague, and other smooth-tuned songs. We imagined it was the same soundtrack Karl Lagerfeld used for one of the Chanel runway shows, which also occur in the Grand Palais each season. So it was something pretty spectacular for two American girls, who fancy both Chanel and Bjork.

Known as a monument dedicated by the Republic to the glory of French art, the Grand Palais was originally designed to be a grand exhibition hall to host the great artistic events of the city of Paris. Built in the style of Beaux-Arts architecture, as taught by the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris the building reflects such characteristics in the elaborate decoration through its stone facades, as well as the innovative glass vault stretching up to the sky and offering wonderful light to pour in. It’s an appropriate setting. I came across this description of figure skating, “it requires the elegance of a royal court and the grace of a ballerina” and though those were lacking as I grabbed on tightly to my friend’s hand and never let go, it was easier to imagine I had both qualities while skating under a glass-ceiling palace.


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