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Posts from the ‘Paris’ Category

on eating lunch with anaïs nin and henry miller near rue daguerre

I had lunch with Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller at Brasserie Le Feyer, a restaurant in the 14th arrondissement. The restaurant is maybe a five to ten minute walk from my apartment on rue Daguerre. They sat in the corner to my left, and occasionally he would lean in and chuckle. She was reading something to him, from a manuscript, I presume, maybe some erotica from Little Birds or Delta of Venus.

There are several problems with that last paragraph, of course. For one, Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller died in 1977 and 1980 respectively.

But I did eat lunch with them and at Le Zeyer.

Recently, I finished watching—binge watching, actually—the French series L’Art du crime, or in English, obviously, The Art of Crime. One of the main sleuths is not a policewoman, but instead she works for the Louvre as an art historian. She is paired with a lead detective who knows nothing about art, and together they solve murders that have a famous painter as a central motif. For example, one episode involved Courbet.

Florence Chassagne, the art historian, speaks to the painters, long since dead, who appear to her, often when she is examining their art. It is a quirky twist to the stories, but effective because we learn information about them and their art.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Florence knows they are not real. She has had these visions and conversations since she was a child. She has told others about them, including her psychiatrist, and her detective partner.

So, the other day, when the morning was wet, and I did not know where to go or what to do for lunch, I remembered that once upon a time Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller had lived close by and had frequently eaten meals at Le Zeyer. I decided to join them.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

But wait, there’s more!

on walking in the rain in the jardin des tuileries after a visit to the louvre

On the day I went to the Louvre Museum it rained. I had not planned it that way, that is, first checking the weather forecasts.

Generally, I think museums should be visited during inclement weather, especially in Paris. I can afford to reserve those rainy days for the museums, because I am in Paris for longer periods than the typical visitor.

However, and I am contradicting myself, I do not stay in a museum for much longer than two hours, maybe three. So, I am eventually outside in the rain, sleet, snow anyway that day.

Because I am in Paris for longer periods than is typical, I can afford to visit the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay or other popular museums for two to three hours; I can always return another day.

But, saying all that, I would still visit those museums for two to three hours anyway, even if I had only a few days in Paris. They are exhausting, and after a period of time, let’s say two to three hours, what I see later, if I stay longer, becomes a blur and the people begin to push more and the rooms begin to look more like mazes than exhibits.

As I mentioned, I went to the Louvre the other day and it rained. Before going to the Louvre or any other large museum, such as the Musée d’Orsay, I plan the visit. I look at the weather conditions, and hope for the worst. (Well, not really.)  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

For example, my favorite rooms lately at the Louvre, the red rooms, are those that exhibit the large, very large paintings of Géricault, Delacroix, and David. Think big with Le Radeau de la Méduse or La Liberté guidant le peuple or Sacre de l’empereur Napoléon 1 et couronnement de l’impératrice Joséphine dans la cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, le 2 décembre 1804.

But wait, there’s more!

on seeing the newly covered arc de triomphe & eating at a fave franchise

The Arc de Triomphe in Paris has been wrapped temporally with cloth. It is an art project first dreamed up in 1961 by Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

The Arc de Triomphe sits at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle which is at the western most reach of  l’avenue des Champs-Élysées.

On the day I went (Saturday), the Champs-Élysées was closed to traffic, foot traffic was allowed as well as bicycles, and all the artery avenues and streets that lead into the Place Charles de Gaulle were blocked to prevent traffic onto the Place.

When I say that the Place Charles de Gaulle was blocked, I mean the entire Place was cordoned off, even for pedestrians who may have wanted get closer to the Arc de Triomphe and look at the installation more closely.

In order to get past the security and move onto the Place Charles de Gaulle, one needs a passe sanitaire, which states you have been vaccinated for Covid with two doses, or a Covid test within the previous 72 hours. Several testing tents were set up around the Place to aid those who are not vaccinated.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

The French government is serious with its efforts to fight the virus. No one can eat in a restaurant in France without the passe sanitaire or without a recent Covid test. Despite the open space on the Place Charles de Gaulle and the moderately crowded area near the Arc de Triomphe, the government was taking no chances and, at the same time, telling its citizens that they have an obligation to help protect others if they intend to congregate.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)  But wait, there’s more!

on some favorite images taken while walking the streets of paris

Walking the streets of Paris, wandering as a flâneur, is a favorite pastime. I carry a camera every day. I might take a bus one day to a far away section of Paris, but once I begin walking again I explore and I look for some interesting images to capture.

I have walked many—most—streets. Once I bought a large map, the size you might tack to a wall. I decided to pencil in the streets I walked that day. It was like writing in a diary. I found the map the few years later. It was criss-crossed with lines.

Somewhere in my archive of photographs I have pictures taken of those walks.

I decided to look at some of the photographs I have taken recently in the streets of Paris and think more about why I like them.

This image was taken in the Marais district in Paris. I had just eaten lunch at Les Philosophes, a favorite bistrot in that part of Paris. I was walking along Vieille du Temple when I saw the woman step out of the shop and stand in the doorway. She looked like she might be from a year other than 2021, her hair, the style of her dress and blouse, and then the black and white settings in the camera further suggests a sense of timelessness. I like that the light has formed a V-shape that helps frame her. Her light blouse against the darkness in the shop focuses the attention on her.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)  But wait, there’s more!