Saturday, September 30, 2006
The area around Metro St. Paul is having a lot of work being done. New pedestrian walkway, we think. The #69 bus has been rerouted, to our benefit actually since there's a temporary stop across street from us. The businesses all have to put up with it as well as the people in the neighborhood. Temporary ramps into stores and cafes appear and get changed around. Barricades get positioned, then repositioned. There's someone stationed to help pedestrians across the rue de Fourcy. Each day, we don't know what we'll find when we walk over to the Metro or Franprix. "My" dentist is right down the street from these views.
The new exhibition opened at the Palais de Tokyo so we took the metro there. We first had lunch in their very cool cafe, Tokyo Eats. Really good food. They also have a little self-serve cafeteria on the lower level, looking out onto the terrace. The show had some very new works in it and was based around two concepts. One was something about billions of years of creation and not closing one's self off to new art, and the other on randomness....I think. In any case, a few things stood out for us. One was called moving circle in the handout. I looked for it, couldn't find it, then on the wall saw what looked like a pencil drawing of a circle. About 8" or 10" in diameter. Moving circle. Hmmm. We weren't supposed to touch the art work - ne touchez pas - but I touched the wall below the circle and slowly moved my fingers up. I got a real shock when my fingers crossed the "pencil line" and I felt extremely fast movement under my finger tips. I pulled back so fast that Chuck thought I'd gotten an electric shock. It was a shock of the unexpected. Chuck looked at the circle on his camera & we could see it moving on the screen. Wow! Another thing we liked was a white room with a number of floor fans placed in the center facing out blowing a large circle of cassette tape...holding it up in the air, moving it around. It looked like a line drawing in motion. Chuck stepped into the circle, while I popped into a corner to stay out of the way of the tape. It was really good. There were a couple other pieces that we liked and a whole bunch we didn't, but we were really glad we saw the show. Chuck took some pictures of the relief on the front of the building facing the river. Lots of graffiti, though, too bad. And a bunch of boys skateboarding on the steps. We walked a bit, saw the memorial to Princess Diana by the Place de l'Alma, then took the metro back to the Cite.
There's an exhibit at L'Hotel de Ville of art work by people who work for the department of welfare. We went to see it. How nice for the city employees to be able to show their creative side to everyone. There was also a display of flower arrangements in tents outside. Those were really intereseting. Chuck took photos of a couple of them.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Thursday was our last day with Dennis and Nesbit. We decided to meet at Opera Bastille and walk the Promenade Plantee, maybe going further than we did the previous time. It was a beautiful day for the walk. We chatted, walked, looked, smelled flowers, chatted more. Many of the buildings were interesting to look at but two in particular were very exciting. A building housing a police station had these enormous sculptural figures. Michaelangelo's slave, Nesbit said. Wow! The other one was this very contemporary building bisected by the promenade. We stopped where there was a park, took more photos, then descended to Avenue Dausmenil to return by street level, looking into all of the workshops. There was a shop that repaired and restored old linens, one that restored old frames, another for glass making, another for silk flower making (since 1859) one that did something with musical instruments, one with beautiful porcelaine. We could see the people doing their work. What a great place to take a walk.
There are public toilettes in Paris. They used to cost a franc, when there were francs. Now they are gratuit, free. This particular one kept opening and closing, so we thought we'd stand guard while it was being used by one of us. Then it shut and didn't open. So one of us, who will remain nameless, got to use it. We were laughing very hard and some sales men from the clothing store were watching us curiously. After the door opened again, I decided a picture was in order to remember how funny this was.
I'd forgotten all about my fake tooth, until it fell out. Luckily, I didn't bite down on it. When I looked at it I was a bit puzzled, and here's where the forgetting part came in, "what is this? Oh my, a fake tooth." I got queasy right away, then called Ruth to find out if they knew of an English speaking dentist. I shoved the tooth back in my mouth and off we went to the event we'd gotten tickets for. The tooth clicked into place so I was less queasy. The next morning, I mentioned this problem to Catherine at the reception desk and she told me they used Dr. Bonnard right by St. Paul. We walked over there & I made my appointment for the next day. I didn't even know if this Dentist spoke English. Chuck came with me the next day, he liked the waiting room because it had good magazines, and the bookcase had art books in it, and the ceiling was painted like a pale sky with birds in it. The Dentist was young and spoke to me in French, Uh oh! But when I said in English that I didn't understand fully what he was telling me, he switched to English. Whew! So he got the tooth cemented back in, BUT there is a bigger problem, which will have to be dealt with when we return. I only hope nothing gets worse until then. Meanwhile, he prescribed a mouth wash. It's colored reddish, and I read the ingredients and only recognized one - the colorant: cochineal. Oh NO! I learned about that in the Victoria Finlay book, Color, a natural history of the Palette. It's blood from a beetle. Ugh!
We came upon the Palais Royal from a different direction and could see through entry ways that the Burens were still in place. They're a bit weather worn, the black stripes being more gray than black, but people are still sitting on them, children are still jumping from them or posing on them. The shiny ball sculptures are still reflective and the trees as geometric as ever.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
There were squares of plastic "grass" for sale in the sous-sol of BHV. Nesbit held one for me to photograph because I liked them a lot. I'm thinking, hmmm, what can I do with this. Later in the day, we passed by our boulangerie and there in the window, for displaying some tea cups, was the "grass." Then I saw it in a jewelry display case, with jewelry on it. I think I have to bring one home with me.
We'd passed this poster in a window around the corner many times, and decided to check out the website. There were some really fun videos on it so we reserved tickets for the show. We know the little street where the theatre is located and got there early to pay for the seats. We stood in line & when the door opened we went into a teeny theatre, right behind the teeny ticket box (the size of a standing person) and sat on teeny benches (like church kneelers) to look at a teeny stage. People crowded in & finally they came on stage. They did their act mainly seated on TALL stools. They played the accordians, sang, told their "story", pantomimed, made funny faces. They were so cute and funny. And it really must have been hilarious 'cause people in the audience laughed a lot. I caught a few words here and there, Chuck with his limited French vocab, caught little, but we enjoyed it and were glad we went. All we know from the little writ-up on a piece of paper outside the theatre is something about waiting for true love to appear and what happens in the meantime, or something like that. ha ha ha ha ha
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Here are a couple pictures of a few of the bazillion handles in the Handle Department upstairs at BHV. We love the bathroom area, too. We saw a shower "stall" that we all want in our homes. The sinks are pretty wonderful and so many different kinds that we don't get to see often. Okay, so I go a little crazy at BHV. Our friend Riva calls it Mim's store.
Dennis and Nesbit are visiting so we decided that a trip to BHV was in order. We started in the sous-sol at the cafe to energize up with some coffee & quiche. The we walked the place. I took only a few pictures, though I was tempted to take one at every counter. I've already mentioned this, but I'll say it again...the place have EVERYTHING in the way of hardware.
I have to remember to look up at the sky once in awhile. Don't worry, I make sure I'm standing still while looking up. I'm trying to remember, when I'm walking...I'm walking...not getting distracted (though so much to be distracted by) so I don't step in a pothole or trip over a paving stone.
I am so delighted when I see my name in print! I forgot about the Mim stores. I'd first seen them in Nice several years ago and took a photo of the window then. The guard didn't like us taking pictures, but I said "C'est moi!. Ma prenom est Mim!" He looked at me kind of puzzled then said "D'accord Mim!" Did he beieve me? Who knows. We also spotted the Mimsys sign up in the 3rd arrondisement. I used to have labels that said Mimsy's Whimsy's when I did some crafts for sale a long time ago. It was fun to see that version of me, too.
We were coming out of MUJI, the Japanese store where everything is plain, and good design, when I saw this guy with Harley Davidson written on his jacket. "Oh" sez I, "un 'arley!" "Oui" sez he and gestures towards his bike. I ask to take a picture hoping to get him and the bike, but he moves out of the way so I can get just the bike but my camera catches the space where he was and so I ended up with a picture of part of him and part of the bike. I was too flustered to ask to take another one. Well, if there's one 'arley there has to be more.
Monday, September 25, 2006
I'd been visiting Anne et Valentin on-line in the states ever since Alyssa turned me on to them. I just had to visit them, and once there, I had to try on lots of frames. And then I had to get a pair. See me in my new specs with my nose in a book. Check out www.anneetvalentin.com.
Sunday we toured gardens as part of the Fetes des Jardins. Keith and Ruth met us and off we went with a group of people and a guide, who was very knowledgeable. Keith had to do recaps for Chuck and I. We went to the Carnavalet Museum first, it's the one with the history of the city of Paris. One of it's courtyard gardens was a repro of a medieval garden. Some gardens were Baroque, some more natural, some were little squares. In one square, a little boy was riding his bike and was disturbed by "toutes les gens" in his way. He was so cute & very vocal about our presence.