Porte Dorée, near Vincennes. This building was built in the thirties to house the Ministry of colonies. In short, to administer the Empire. After Independence, in the sixties, it was converted into the “Musée des arts africains et océaniens”, the Museum of African and Pacific arts. A fabulous museum and one of my favourite destinations in Paris.
Pont Alexandre III. The most beautiful bridge in Paris. Hence the world? 😉
Back to Porte Dorée. Alas, the museum was sacked to fill the new Museum of Premier arts at Quai Branly, with a pitiful inside display by Jean Nouvel. The building Porte dorée, retains its amazing façade, depicting many regions of the globe. Its current usage is such a hoax I will not even comment. But I will be back with more photos of the building in a later post. The above depicts a Vietnamese woman, collecting latex from a Hevea or rubber tree, planted in the thirties in Indochina. The two diagonal incisions collect the latex sap of the tree, later turned into rubber.
Lichtenstein at Beaubourg a few years back.
Pont Alexandre III, again.
“Walter Benjamin, 1892-1940, German philosopher and writer, translator of Proust and Baudelaire, lived in this building from 1938 to 1940.” Near the little house I rent in Paris. Walter Benjamin, Jewish, fled Nazi Germany for France in the thirties. He was an old friend of Hannah Arendt. Who later met him in Paris. As France was attacked, and surrendered, many German jews fled south. Hannah Arendt managed to flee to the US. Benjamin crossed the Pyrénées to Spain in 1940. He committed suicide the night he arrived in Spain, the night he had reached freedom.
Vélib, the Parisian free bicycle service. Though the mayor of Paris has repeatedly claimed Vélib to be funded by advertising, a recent report states that the cost for the city (and tax-payers) was 16 million Euros in 2013 alone. Approximately 17.8 million dollars. With close to 19,600 bikes, that puts the programme a t 900 bucks a year per “free” bike… I kinda wonder if if that money could not be better employed for the homeless…
Place du Châtelet. The Egyptian influence of Napoleon’s Egypt expedition.
“Commander Louis Hélie, fallen for France…” on August 1944, during the battle for the Liberation of Paris. There are many – moving – plaques such as these in Paris, particularly near La Concorde, where one of the fiercest battles took place. Some plaques are of young men barely 20. Moving? Yes. Moving.
In my brother’s lair. He is a brocanteur, an “antiquarian” of sorts. From the bottom up, a US WWII helmet. Free French Forces were equipped with them. A French Navy Béret. Might be my brother’s actually, he served for 3 years in the French Navy. (No, not in WWII!) 🙂 and the last béret says “Dragueurs… (de mines)”. Those are the ships specializing in identifying and destroying floating mines.
“Free your salvage nature” (Valley of the monkeys) I confess to love some of the ads in the Paris Metro.
After this Parisian “pot-pourri”, the Captain – back from the 1962 San Francisco Time Trap – wishes you a free and wild week. 🙂