Time for the Paris report – as usual!

Posted on May 18th, 2009 @ 23:59 in Travel

For those not interested in the minutiae: it was a nice trip as always, tho the weather was often shit/rainy (but also two nice mornings for cycling). Sunday morning when my mum was gonna cycle with me, it rained. :-( And one hour before I was due to leave on Sunday it suddenly got really nice and sunny. Made it so much harder to leave, but it meant I got another nice hour of cycling done. :-)

And now the travelog before I’ve completely forgotten what we did…

Friday

  • Arriving around 10.30, I dropped off my luggage at the hotel (Hotel Bourg Tibourg in the Marais, never been before) and jumped on a bike. Went cycling around the 12th arr’t again and found some cute little areas I didn’t know yet. Back via cute market near Bastille.
  • Once my mum had arrived we had lunch and then did lots of galeries and passages in the 2nd arr’t (you know, covered passages, example). We also went to see the Controverses exhib (photos that sparked scandals or trials) which I missed in March cuz of too many people queuing. This was pretty interesting.
  • After that it was already time for dinner and we went to the cute little Corean restaurant on Place du Marché Ste Catherine. It was yum as always. We went for a bit of an amble after that, but were quite tired.

 
Saturday

  • Morning was shopping time. Well, my mum went to some exhib as well (Valadon-Utrillo @ Pinacothèque). I wanted better shoes than the ones I’d brought, and I also wanted Nike rainbow shoes. So first I went (cycled, of course) to the Champs Elysées, for the Paris Nike Store. However they did not have. So I went to Virgin and bought cool pens and a cute iPhone sock instead. And men’s underwear at Monoprix that came with a cute mini optical mouse. :D
    I then cycled back to the Halles to look for “normal” shoes. I ended up buying hiking shoes rather than running shoes, since I do little running these days. :P They’ll also be useful in Norway. :] They gave me blisters, but I’m sure I’ll get used to them.
  • Then met mum, had lunch, and went into a free exhib of the pics that won the 2009 Press Photo Awards (some of which I’d seen before in some online gallery). And then it was time for the “main” reason we’d gone to Paris, which was the Kandinsky exhib at the Centre Pompidou. So we went there, but there was a massive queue! (we had reserved tickets, but you have to have your bag checked to get in, so we’d have to queue anyway). We hate queuing.
  • So we decided to come back later, and in the meantime we’d go see the Philip Geluck sale exhib in a little gallery in the rue de Seine. (in case anyone reads this: Geluck does “le Chat” (the cat), a cartoon strip type thing, which is this big cat who makes sarcastic or nihilistic remarks with a deadpan face about just about anything. It’s really hard to describe and I can’t find a translated strip online, and am too lazy to translate one myself, esp. as no one’s actually reading this. *lol* Oh ok, here’s an example.) Right. The exhib was mainly large scale paintings, of the Chat making some oblique reference to actual famous paintings. Eg the Chat as Mona Lisa, saying sth like “it would be more interesting if she said something.” (is this one of those “you had to be there” things? Most of them were pretty funny & clever).
  • Then we just walked around some more around the 6th (it rained btw), and eventually went back to Kandinsky. (no queues!) This was amazing as always, I love love love Kandinsky!!!! Esp. the early-ish stuff. May I present my two favourites: Moscow (which I remember I also loved when I saw him at Tate Modern), and… argh, can’t fucking find it online, anyway it’s his Study for Composition VII, version 2. Here’s the actual Composition VII, which is also nice, but the study is better. Yeah. Kandinsky is amazing.
  • After that it was very late and time for dinner. Very uncharacteristically we went straight to dinner (usually hotel first to “freshen up”), at our usual little Italian in the passage des Hirondelles (and again I can’t remember what it’s called!). The guy knows us by now :D (even tho we go twice a year at most) and as always it was delicious.
  • Oh yeah and then we went for another glass of wine, and sat outside this bistro on Ile St Louis, and (we hadn’t noticed this at first) there was this absolutely shitfaced guy lying on his back on the sidewalk semi-conscious, with his friends hovering around him semi-concerned, semi-amused, semi-annoyed. We stayed there quite a while and watched the whole saga. He was quite out of it and refused to get up or be moved (they tried to move him onto his side so he wouldn’t choke on his puke). He was still vocal enough tho to regularly clamour for attention “Thomas! Bring me water! … Jérôme! Don’t go!” After a while the police arrived (not sure who called them, possibly one of the bistros who wanted to get rid of the nuisance), and he went batshit, he didn’t wanna be bothered, they should just leave him alone, he was fine… he actually started crying. :)) They just left again after a while. *lol*
    However after another while, a fireman van arrived (well, it was pompiers, but more like “first aid” people really). They just ignored his pleas to be left alone, and manoeuvered him onto their stretcher and into their van. They stayed in there for ages (of course now we couldn’t see much anymore, just thru the tiny van windows) and at some point one of the guys came out with one of those kidney-shaped dishes (presumably full of puke) and just chucked it in the Seine! =)) Eventually they drove off though. And so we left too. :P

 
Sunday

  • Yeah so Sunday was when we were both gonna go cycling but then the weather was shit, so we went… walking? Oooh no I remember now, we’d seen the previous night that there was a Fête du Pain (“bread festival”) in front of Notre Dame, so we went there. :D This was cuuuute, there were all these bakers baking stuff in this big tent for everyone to see, and explaining things and stuff. So we watched them make pains au chocolat and baguettes and stuff, and tasted stuff and bought stuff. And then it was time to walk to “our appointment” with the Andy Warhol exhib at the Grand Palais. So we walked. For a good half hour.
  • The exhib itself was… yeah. I have a weird “relationship” with Andy Warhol (and also pop art in general). I love Pop Art as a concept, but there are few actual artists I really like (my only great love is Claes Oldenburg). So with Andy Warhol – I love how he did things and lived his life, I dig what he’s saying, but I guess the way he said it just doesn’t really speak to me. So the exhib was kinda… uninspiring. But I’m glad I went. It’s one of those must sees.
  • After that we went to a “double images” exhib also at the Grand Palais, about, um, paintings with hidden stuff / two ways to view things. Like this rabbit-duck thing, except more subtle of course. Lots of Dalí, Arcimboldo, and also Dürer, surprisingly. Too many people, and my mum and I suck at finding hidden things. So this was also moderately entertaining.
  • Yeah, after that it was kinda “um what to do next?” since there wasn’t that much time left and my feet were killing me, so we caught the Metro back to the Marais and just…. walked and sat and walked and sat. We found the cute Jardin Franc-Bourgeois/Rosiers and observed a stupid toddler there for a while.
  • Then my mum had to leave. I accompanied her to the station, then spent my last hour cycling again – weather was amazing all of a sudden! Seriously, from grey/rainy to completely blue sky and a (perceived) 5 degrees extra in half an hour. Went to check on a cute flea market at Passage Panorama we’d read about, and to buy a David LaChapelle special edition mag I’d seen that morning.
    And then I too had to leave and thus it was over.

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