Sunday, April 25, 2010

day 4 in paris: less sunny but more artistical

april 25th 2010

Well to start an artistic day, as the day was a bit colder, your favorite reporter decided to put on some socks,
just like in The Lover, but in a less sexual way.


Check how the skirt color matches the floor's "


Then fearless and ready for the daily expedition, your favorite reporter left home and adventured herself into her dangerous street, rue Vaneau :


A street with many dilapidated and shanty houses :




Like in rue de Varennes opposite the prime minister and how can they not take care of all these ruins, we'd like to know.









Then to restore herself, and shake off that shanty depression, your reporter reported to her Pain Quotidien for a late lunch of tea and pastry.
There she tested the surroundings, crowded with young families and hip unmarried crowd. The French love to celebrate " le Brunch." They say, " C'est cool." which doesn't really need any translation. So the scene looks like this :



Then she checked how her shoes and socks looked at Le Pain, and it looked like this :


So, very good. It matched.

Then she walked outside two blocks to go to Dina Vierny, the Musee Maillol, which usually has really good shows and this time it was VANITES :


The exhibition was about the sense of death, so lots of skulls through artistic ages. Frankly it was not sad at all, but a little of a let down. There was a beautiful Jim Dine [ wish I could have made a photo of it ] a good Basquiat, and a wonderful smaller oil painting by Gerhard Richter. But the rest was pretty boring. In the more far out years there was a Caravaggio which nearly looked like a fake. So the frog just left.

Thank God there were many lovely things to watch for in the rue de Grenelle : a wonderful balcony with wisteria :


And an adorable window in a baby store :


then a little further, rue St Simon, there was my brother's friend who lives there and is NOT EVEN a painter:


and of course the quaint hotel St Simon across where he lives. Like he deserves a good view.


and another little baby store
[ 7th arrondissement people are very fertile ]


Then our courageous little reporter walked all the way rue de Grenelle, to les Invalides to arrive at the quaint little public garden
[ parisian little public gardens are called " Square " although they are never square ]
and so this is Le Square d'Ajaccio, no doubt named as a tribute to l'Empereur [ french people say "l'Empereur", and it always means Napoleon, as it is the only one they've got ] who was born in Ajaccio.

So here is the Square, and here, readers, you are due to show a half minute of respect as, this is the little garden where the frog's dad used to run, play and pee behind trees.

hawthorn in bloom:

and then you can't bring a dog in even on a leash " meme tenus en laisse "

and the meadow " La pelouse" is resting " au repos " which means you can't walk on it, or sit on it.

which is why rude french people are pick-nicking there.

among the hawthorn

and here is the bench where my dad's nanny would watch him, when she was not listening to the mailman:



And if she were not watching him, he could run and pee behind that majestic awesome plane tree :

So after that, seeing the plane tree was none too bad for it, I went down to the Seine and the Pont Alexandre III

and I realized that on sundays, they close the banks to the car traffic, and it is only pedestrians, roller skaters and bikers traffic


So a bit disgusted by such a green measure, I decided to go the Museum of Modern Art see the Jan Dibbets' show.
And there I was alone so, in a very sneaky way, I photographed the only onlooker with me, a long older lady who looked very
intelligent, just like myself.

and then, I went downstairs to see in the permanent collection, my own favorite of favs, Le Nu a la Baignoire [ The nude in the tub ] of my god, Bonnard...
I decided to take a pic too, but that is SO completely forbidden, I mean uber all verboten,
so I sneakily got out my i phone, and gosh did it make a resounding sound when I clicked the pic. But there was only one guard there, and he was in his twenties, and he was texting his lady friend. So he like heard nothing at all. [ I was hiding behind a column ] Well the result is pitiful, but at least you will see through the angle and misty sweat of my hand, this miracle of the Nu a la Baignoire :

The thing is, it was too soon in my parisian stay to get arrested. I still had a lot to do. So I went to the Grand Palais to see the Turner exhibition, but what was I thinking, it was sunday afternoon and the line showed that all Paris had decided to see the Turner that very afternoon with me.
So it was fine, I decided to go next door, to the other entrance to see another show : " la Voie du Tao " "The Way of the Tao " and since my sister had been a good little disciple of the Tao, I thought for sure, from whichever planet she was now, she would come down and have a stroll with her little sister.
I got a ticket and in fact the nice gentleman at the counter offered me to take a dual ticket for the Turner show, and enroll in a day, and I was enrolled for wednesday noon, and I couldn't be late he said, in a very paternal way, which I thought pretty grand.

It was pretty awesome, and I checked the catalogue when I exited, but it looked like a comic book :

It was then that I decided to check if there were any more shows around :
and outside there was the huge banner for Turner, but I shrugged my french shoulders since I would see it on Wednesday, and I crossed the street, and there at the Petit Palais, there was the Yves St Laurent show that I so wanted to see, but ... they just closed the doors, those rude french, in front of me, so I decided I would come see it on Wednesday, right before the Turners, so I would not be late just as the gentleman had said.


Then, a bit sad that I couldn't get into a show, I walked down the Champs Elysees to la Concorde, and there across the beautiful plazza, I saw my savior !! Le Musee du Jeu de Paume !!! They had a show going on !!!
They wouldn't reject me like an old sock with my horrible hunger for art !!
So i walked in, and there, they welcomed me with open arms, into three women's shows, all photography, and film and installation, it was pretty grand. Loved Lisette Model.


Then I went to have a cup of tea at LaDuree.
While waiting for a table, it was past 5 pm, so pretty popular, I checked the effect of my shoe and sock with their floor and it was matching again:

You have to be chic at LaDuree or they throw you out.

and I oredered a religieuse a la rose, or " a rose nun " which is a puff pastry filled with rapsberries, fresh cream and scented with rose leaves.


Frankly, the Lapsang Souchong was awesome, but the religieuse was a bit on the sweet side. To be fair, it reeked of roses
and the first mouthful was pretty astonishing. It's just that I don't really like pastries except the apricot crumble at Le Pain. And only the one made in the US, because for some weird reason, the one made in Paris tastes like uncooked chalk.

So after the Lapsang, I crossed the Tuileries garden to get back on the left bank. The sun was low, it was pretty adorable.

There was one of those standard french couple who were so in love they didn't laugh at my socks

and then there was the air of late april...



And then there was this grey haired couple on the Pont de Solferino. And that made me think that yesterday, it was 30 years we were married and we were not even together. But as we said on the phone, better be in love and laughing together and be apart on that day, than being together and slicing all our throats.

and then I was on the left bank and walked up rue de Bellechasse, and there number 30 was the house where Daudet lived and his widow welcomed Proust in her salon:


And I got home thinking about all the art shows that I had missed, and how hard it is to have to report on all this.

from the little city on the Seine, with love,
your frog

1 comment:

Katie D said...

I'm so glad to see that you can really slum it with the best of us!