A morning walk, Paris

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Meditation. Les Halles, Paris, 2018.

After a few weeks in Paris, I came back home Froggier than ever. It is so easy to slip – back – into another life after only a few days. Be French again: what is the best Boulangerie in a 500 yard radius? (There are ten). Buy your Navigo Pass from day one. And walk, and walk and walk. Here is a first selection for my dear E-Friends. I hope you had a lovely summer. (Ain’t over yet)

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Pont-Neuf. The New bridge, built under Henri IV in 1607. By a quirk of history, (redundancy: History is a Quirk by definition), the Pont-Neuf is now the oldest bridge in Paris.

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My Lord Tiger, Rue du retrait in the 20th arrondissement. What was called Ménilmontant, one of the many hearts of Paris. I’d gone to see a Willy Ronis expo and by pure chance turned left instead of right and stumbled upon this artful street. A good example of how local politics can favour Beauty in an urban environment.

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Heat was mostly unbearable, even for an Africa-born Frog. 36C is 97F to the non-metric folks. Paris tend to be hot in the summer, but generally after 3-5 days, a thunderstorm and heavy rain clears the air. In six weeks, it rained only twice. Or thrice? 🙂 Well, unbearable… Just walk in the shadows.

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A mid-summer night’s dream…

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Art Déco door. 15th arrondissement. I noticed a lot of Art Déco buildings on this trip. More to come. I always find fascinating how the architectural style gradually changes into another. Gradually or with ruptures. I particularly like Art déco’s wrought iron work.

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Putin’s new Orthodox church in Paris.

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Louvre-Rivoli Metro station. One of my favourite stations in Paris. It was designed late 60’s, I’ve always seen it this way since 1970 and my student days in the Latin Quarter. Underwent major restoration and was reopened last year I believe.

Socrates. Born in 470 BC in Athens. 2500 years ago. He and many Greeks vouched for three concepts: Le Beau, le Vrai, le Bien. Beauty and Truth which combined would eventually lead to Good. Truth and Good are under heavy attack lately. Is Beauty the only road left? What say you?

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“I‘ve got the world on a string”. (Frankie Sinatra)

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The defender of Time, a clock by Jacques Monestier. 1979. Quartier de l’horloge, les Halles. The defender of Time is broken and under maintenance. That explains many things.

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Champs-Elysées, 1925. A calendar on the wall of Suzanne Valadon, workshop in Montmartre. Valadon was one of the rare female painters of the early 20th century. I was fortunate to visit her house at the Montmartre museum. More to come. Pay attention in the calendar to the (very few) cars, the clothes, the little girl. Must’ve been five in 1925? Do the math.

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The lady with the coat. Ernesto García Cabral, Mexico, 1927. Allow me to hop across the pond for a minute. Cabral (1890-1968), nicknamed “el chango”, the monkey, was a Mexican artist and illustrator born in 1890. He went to Paris in the early 20th century and came back after WWI. He paints a worldwide revolution: how women liberated themselves of cumbersome clothes and adopted an entirely attitude to life. I will come back to illustrate what I mean.

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Palais de Tokyo, Paris. 1937. Sculpture by Léon Drivier (1878-1951). Imagine what this artist saw in his lifetime.

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The Palais de Tokyo is a museum of modern art. To be quite honest, I saw much better art in the streets outside. So I could not resist shooting those young women “selfying” in front of a modern art display. (Artist name better kept confidential) Do compare the women’s clothes with the 1925 calendar above. Does freedom of mind come along with freedom of clothing?

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Dive into my eyes. Les Halles, 2018. To be continued…

Voilà. Thanks for hopping along on this first Paris Journey. Have a lovely week, all of of you, wherever you are.

 

 

 

 

 

79 thoughts on “A morning walk, Paris

  1. Pingback: A morning walk, Paris – Timeless Wisdoms

  2. Lovely post as always Brian, thank you for the tour. Its Bern too long since I saw Paris, the contemporary changes are discouraging but to be expected yes. Have a wonderful journey and a beautiful day. ♥️

    • Thank you Janet. I did not realize that when I saw the plaque with the name. I’d actually seen that clock many, many years, but not recently. It is a bit out of the way. And the line came naturally when I put the photo in the post. 🙂
      (Still have your text in line. Will get to it eventually)
      I hope you’re having a nice summer.
      Hasta luego Juanita.

  3. Lovely to hear your summer update, Brian! Great pics but of course: it’s Paris after all! I’d expect nothing less. The perfect place for a photo walk.
    Thoughts:
    1.Finnish summer is over, I’m sad to report!
    2.Wow it’s still so hot in Paris!
    3.Beauty seems to be thriving on Instagram and the likes. (Pun intended!)
    4.Love love love that Defender of Time clock! Never noticed it before though Les Halles was a frequent stop for me in one of my previous lives
    5.Yes, freedom does come with less clothing! In so many ways! Practicality: simplerand quicker. Philosophically: women are not objects no matter what they wear so no need to cover up!
    😊

    • I joke you not. Rue de la Convention between Rue de Vaugirard and Rue de Vouillé. 15th arrondissement. Maybe not 10, but at least 6 or 7. 🙂
      (And thank you for your comment. Eclectic is what I seek) 😉

  4. Love love love it! I have been anxiously awaiting Paris through your eyes. I love the Monestier clock. I love the women’s clothing. I love the tiger. Imagine if the ladies in 1925 Paris in their finery saw that tiger painted on the wall? Someone would have been shot! The snowflake is also apropos because of the heat and your nickname!

  5. Beauty and Truth which combined would eventually lead to Good. Truth and Good are under heavy attack lately. Is Beauty the only road left? … something to really think about.

    • Yes. Do. And tell me what conclusions you come to. I came up with this particular thought one day in Paris, a few weeks ago. Not very rejoicing but at least it leaves us with beauty to cling to. 🙂
      Kwaheri sassa.
      PS. “the only road left” for the time being. Maybe if we nurture Beauty long enough, the other two will emerge? 😉

      • I agree. My thought is, if we use the Beauty of Art, Nature and Ourselves to speak and reveal the Truth…all Truths.

        As for Good…it is overall, if we stand for Truth then we are in some ways being Good.

      • True. 😉
        That is why I love the Greeks. Their approach to Life has changed everything. And this particular Beauty/Truth/Good is also interesting because it is a triad. Most things are dual: B&W, good/bad, Yin/yang, etc. Here one can look at anything from three different angles. 🙂

      • 3 has always been a favourite number. It signifies balance for me…so yes Beauty/Truth/Good are a fascinating way to look at life in general.

  6. Lovely walk, Brian. A glimpse of Paris, exquisite past and charming present. But please, please tell me you were joking about the Putin’s church… It cannot be true, can it? It is just an old Parisian Orthodox church, and that man has nothing to do with it, right?

  7. Wonderful blog, Brian! I love that tiger and I quite agree on that modern art. Sorry to say, it looks like some small kid made a mess on the wall…nothing artistic about it.Can’t wait for your next blog.

  8. Ah, Paris. Not been there in centuries, but glimpses of it always give one’s heart a tug. Not sure I could’ve coped with that amount of heat though, but a wonderful Parisian gallery here, Brian.

    • Thank you Tish. Even my Mzungu training, and walking in the shadows, there were moments, around 3-4PM, when I just “packed” and went home for a few hours. 🙂
      You should try Paris again. September-October. Cooler and the tourists are gone. 😉

      • Oh yes. A walk in the Tuileries would be quite appropriate. I remember on this trip (as in all) the pleasure to watch “European” trees and leaes. Chestnut, platanes, birch, Hazelnut… Those one takes for granted over there but have such a distinctive grace and movement from the trees here. 🙂
        Look at your trees in your next walk in the forest of Sherwood. 😉

  9. You are wetting my appetite for a return trip to this grand city. Love all your pics. Discovered the little Montmartre Museum on my last trip and found it utterly charming.

    • Thank you. You are a “Connaisseur”. 😉 That little museum was a discovery too and charming indeed. We had a house in Normandy that looked very similar. Probably built around the same time I guess. 🙂

  10. Pingback: A morning walk, Paris — Equinoxio – SEO

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