A summer in Paris

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I am privileged enough to spend 6 weeks in Paris a year. Not quite a summer, but close. This July, our first visit was to the Old Lady. She looks all right from the front.

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A profile shows the damage. And the work being done. Roof is gone. But most has been saved. And is being consolidated. I doubt whether they will finish in 5 years. French delays are long. 10-15 years?

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Mona Lisa is still smiling, with a béret, a baguette and a glass of wine. Rue de la harpe.

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Porte d’Ivry. Street art by Malakkai. No idea who s/he is. Anybody wants to “Boogle”, let me know.

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“And you think that is funny?”. La Vilette. We went to see the Tutankhamen expo. Somewhat of a disappointment. More in further posts. Fact is we were lucky to go many expos, some better than others.

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Van Gogh’s eyes. Atelier des lumières. A blast. Fab. Out of the world. etc. I’d already seen their Klimt expo last year. (There is a post about it somewhere). They digitalize works of art, Van Gogh in this case, project them, blend them, on the walls, the floor. A unique performance. (More to come)

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“In the past 50 years, I’ve never seen the Saint-Michel metro station NOT in maintenance.” (Patrick Besson). I agree wholeheartedly with Besson. Allow me to go one step further: The Paris metro is a disgrace. Old, dirty, poorly maintained. I wonder what visitors from Singapore think the first time they set foot in a Paris Metro car? “Is this the Paris we dreamed of?”

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The bridge is still there in Monet’s garden at Giverny.

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Travellers 1. Saint-Germain des prés. I don’t normally take people pix. I find it an invasion of privacy. Not easy either to ask for permission, though I do from time to time. Plus, an Iphone is not exactly the ideal focal length for portraits. Regardless, this summer I decided to try an experiment. Iphones are discrete. You can take photos unaware. Most cases. 🙂 Sometimes I got made. Most times not. I will call this series “travellers”.

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Musée Maillol. For some strange reason, I’d never been able to visit. Closed. In maintenance. On strike. Whatever. Yet Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) is one of my favourite artists. Of many. He is most well know for his sculpture, as above. A great selection of his work is exposed in the gardens of the Tuileries. A perfect open air setting. Yet, he also was a great painter and sketcher. (Which comforts me in the idea that it all begins with a sketch.)

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Aristide Maillol, 1890. Mademoiselle Faraill with a hat. The delicacy and modernity of this painting is another facet of Maillol’s talent. Not to mention that if Miss Faraill was 20 in 1890, she would have been born in 1870. Much older than my late grandmother…

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Lynda Carter still graces the walls of le Marais. Rue de Fourcy, if I’m not mistaken. Her and other small portraits have been on the wall for a few years, and still not too damaged. (I have seen a lot of street art overtagging, or plain destruction this year). Vandals roam the streets.

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Travellers 2. Rue de la Convention.

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Travelers 3. Metro Convention. The world of Banksy. Banksy! You must be joking? Did I make it to the expo?

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To be continued…

Stay tuned for Dora Maar, Picasso, Cartier-Bresson, many others and… Paris.

 

 

136 thoughts on “A summer in Paris

  1. Hello Brian. I love how you take pictures everywhere you go. It is like being on a tour with you. I am sorry to hear about the vandalism of art works, that takes the joy of them from everyone. I love the Van Gogh’s eyes as the perspectives changed in different parts of the painting. Hope all is well in your world. Hugs

    • Hi Scottie. Good to be “back”. There is a time for travel and a time to “tell”. I see the world getting worse (cut off the news for 2 months. Happiest decision lately). How’s your health? Improving?

      • Hello Brian. I am doing well. I am lucky, in my country many do not have the money , insurance, or access to doctors, but I have insurance and access to great doctors. So really I can not complain. We are facing a hurricane that sort of snuck up on us, but we are implementing a plan tomorrow based on what new information they have.
        I am glad you are posting your pictures. I will not be able to travel the world but I can through your pictures and descriptions. It is so grand. How have you been? How is your family? I hope you are doing well. Hugs

  2. Thank you for this unique look at my favorite city. I missed Paris this year. For the first time in 16 years, we spent our vacation traveling to new cities abroad. I will therefore live vicariously through your posts!!

  3. The shadows in Travelers Two are perfection. Thank you for taking me along your Paris streets. An enjoyable visit indeed. And the trip to Monet’s Giverney was the iciing on the cake.

    • A pleasure always Lisa. Let’s have a virtual glass of red wine. 🙂 Now the shadows on Travellers 2? I had to look back. 🙂 You are right. I had noticed the hand, but I tend not see shadows. Unless I make an effort. Will do more. How’s Medellín? You guys still there?

  4. What a treat: a post of yours again! 🤗 Happy to hear about Paris! And yes, you were lucky to visit so many expos. I remember your older post about Klimt and it left an impression on me. I actually just visited something similar in Tallinn but MUCH smaller and less impressive than the one ine Paris, I suspect – I’ll write a post about it at some point. (How’s the Notre Dame’s lead issue, is it all cleaned up from the surrounding areas by now?)

    • Hi Lumi. Good to take you back to Paris. And yes, Van Gogh was almost as good as Klimt. This is a technology that should developed everywhere. No need to go to the Met in NY if you can have the show at home… 🙂
      Now the lead issue… There’s bound to be some contamination. There were 250 tons of lead on the roof if I recall. But it seems to me a typical French issue. Argue argue and argue and don’t act. Move the lead away and do periodic checks on the workers and neighbours.

    • There are times in Paris or in France when I get desperate, the French attitude (not all of them), the slow degradation of the country. But then I think: “Hey, who else can spend 6 weeks here on holiday?” And I smile and move to the next magical spot. Cheers Gigi.

  5. Love your recap of Paris! Also like your documentation if the travellers a lot 😉 people can be so interesting. I feel almost inspired to draw them. looking forward to your next post ☺️

    • Hi Mélanie. Good to “see you”. 🙂 Taking people pictures was a great step for me this summer. Still not entirely comfortable with the process, but some results are good. Feel free to draw any. How are you adjusting back to Iceland? (Careful, Trump might decide to buy Iceland now that the Danes have said no about Greenland) 😉 Tschüss.

  6. So delightful to see a post from you come across my email–and it did not disappoint in its infinite variety. (For some reason, I was particularly drawn to the cat with a banana peel on its head. I might need a vacation.)

  7. Mais c’est vrai : St Michel est tout le temps en travaux ! J’y suis passée en juin dernier et je me suis dit “encore ! “. Bon, on peut râler (puisque râler serait une spécialité française, mais pas que…), mais Paris reste une ville superbe, quand même.

    • Tout le temps. Ils ont mis plus de deux ans à refaire la station Volontaires. Le seul escalier roulant à Convention a été mis en maintenance pour deux mois fin Juillet… Tsss.
      Et oui, Paris reste superbe. Tout va bien chez toi?

    • The main reason I now take so many pictures is to share with you guys. 🙂
      And as I still sort my pix I have found the Shropshire cheese which will figure prominently in one post or the other.
      And yes, they are doing serious work on ND. They’re actually consolidating the mainstays. I believe that’s the English for arc-boutants which are major elements of the structure. I think we were about 5 or 10 minutes close to collapse.

  8. What an epic tour!
    I admire the dignity and self control of the cat. Whoever wanted to make fun of him, failed miserably 🙂
    I like your traveler series. Would love to see more.

  9. Good to see Paris back on your blog, I always find plenty of reasons to plan another visit while reading. Can’t wait to see the Atelier des lumières, loved the photos you shared last time. Notre Dame looks pretty good, all things considered. Hope all well Brian.

    • All well Paul, thank you. Likewise?
      Check the Atelier des lumières’ dates before you set a visit. I liked Klimt-Schiele better, but that’s only because of how their work adapted to the Atelier’s technology. The Van Gogh thing is very good.
      And yes, ND looks all right all things considered. I really think it was a matter of minutes. 🙂
      Cheers.

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