After working yesterday morning i hopped on the Metro and headed up to the Marché aux Puces St-Ouen. After walking for what seemed like miles through a warren of t-shirt and running shoe stalls you come to the antique section of the market, or one of them anyway. I was there for a couple of hours and only made it through the one section. The dealers don't like people to take pictures but i snuck a few anyway. There were lots of curious things to see and the vendors don't mind chatting if you seem interested. One lady gave me a short course on the history of mannequins, which use to be made of wax.
While i was browsing around there was an announcement over a public address system every once in awhile that i didn't pay any attention to. I thought it must be for lost children or cars with their headlights on or something. Then all of a sudden a woman about ten feet from me was screaming and yelling and there was money all over the pavement. A woman had tried to steal her purse. There was a general commotion and lots of exasperated french chatter and patting of the woman's shoulder after she had collected her things off the ground. When the announcement next came on i listened to it an realized it was a description of a pickpocket who was working the market. Crime in the big city.
Crucifixes seem to be a dime a dozen. Well maybe not quite that cheap, but certainly plentiful.
And here's a little souvenir i picked up. I even haggled for it. Holy spirit of the pickpockets.
So yesterday i went to the Musee Bourdelle. Bourdelle was a sculptor, an assistant to Rodin, and one of Giacometti and Matisse's teachers. The museum incorporates parts of Bourdelle's house and studio in the Montparnasse area. The studio and small garden (which adjoined Eugene Carriere's) were especially interesting.
And here's part of the modern addition to the museum, so you can see the scale he worked at....
When i had finished looking around i went back to take a selfie in the studio to remind me of its atmosphere.
Since it's Saturday, that most retail of days, here's some more window licking for your viewing pleasure.
Even the animals here have the latest scarf.
here is a little movie of the afternoon light on my studio wall. Paris, it is called the city of light after all isn't it?
and here's a piece by Hans-Peter Feldmann i saw the other night at the Pompidou Center. its called Shadow Play (Paris)
Lumiere. that's all.
Last night i went to a concert at St Louis en l'Ile to hear the Luce del Canto choir. It was pretty amazing, mostly because they were performing some Guillame de Machaut, who is one of my favorite early music composers. Here's how the venue looked.....
Here's some you tube ness of Luce del Canto to give you some idea
And here's my favorite Guillaume de Machaut toe tapper. It's quite long but have a taste. it gets pretty wild towards the end.
So today i went shopping. I'm not by nature a shopper but once in awhile a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. But you're probably not interested in that, so here's some pictures from my trip to the Musee du Moyen Age (the Cluny) from a couple of days ago, for your cultural edification. and a selfie from th
oh and here's what i bought at Uni Qlo...
After my brief detour into porno Paris i headed off to Pere Lachaise cemetery to take some pictures for one of the photo projects i'm working on. Since i'm currently listening to A la Recherche du Temps Perdu on my ipod, i thought i would make a little stop and see the grave of Marcel Proust.
I stopped near the entrance and checked the helpful map for the grave location and then wandered in. There were tourists around, but as it was monday not too many and it was a beautiful sunny, warm day and i wasn't in a big hurry or anything. I found the site quite easily and there was a man already standing there, just quietly looking at the stone.
The stone is quite simple, just a black slab with Proust's name and his brother on the side, but it was covered with metro tickets and chestnuts. There were also quite a few little handwritten notes that people had left, thanking Proust for his work and describing how it had impacted their life.
I spent some time reading some of the notes and a couple other people came by and quietly took photos and paid their respects. Then i thought i should get to work. As i walked away from Proust's grave, all of a sudden i started to cry. Manly, silent tears of course, but they took me by surprise. It wasn't sadness so much as awe at what this writer had accomplished and that people were still so moved by his words. Then i got back to work.
Today i went for a walk near Pigalle, past the Moulin Rouge and along the Blvd de Clichy. It was a bright sunny morning and i thought i'd do some looking around before heading over to Pere Lachaise to take photographs. Here's my Moulin Rouge selfie.....
Blvd de Clichy past Pigalle is a strip of strip joints, porno houses and leather and sex toy shops. Not too seedy but not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Paris....probably better at night when it's all lit up with neon.
Gives 'I LOVE PARIS' a whole new meaning. I hope this is a condom dispenser and not a 'condom collector'. And then amid the sex shops and porno theaters there it was....the grail of tourist nic-naks, better than a t-shirt,or a beret or a scarf or an Eiffel Tower key chain....
The Eiffel tower Dildo in three patriotic colours. Order yours today!
Here's a little slide show of Nuit Blanche, aka night of a thousand video projections. Alot of it was quite dark so alot of my pictures didn't come out but here's a few that did. The crowds were large, the queues sometimes long, the art was hit and miss.
So yesterday was the monthly mass at Notre Dame where they venerate the relic of the crown of thorns, so i thought i would go and have a look. It was part mass, part tourist spectacle, part blowout photo derby. In other words, it was strange. There was the majesty of the building and its atmosphere, the piety of the truly devout who where there to venerate this object of Jesus' crucifixion, and then there were the camera happy hoards, just wanting to see something spooky they could snap on their iphones. I'm not a believer but i do believe in manners and this was abit of a free for all. Taking a tip from my guidebook, i tried to be 'adventurous but discrete'. One of the interesting things i like about Paris is the sense that there's this other world, the world of the church or of high fashion, or even just wealth operating just out of your normal range of vision, but then sometimes for a moment, there it is right in front of you.