Still missing G and M. But looking forward to fancy NYE times + P in the southa France.
Mini (and working) elevators at the Galerie Perrotin, where we saw the Duchamp/Beuys/Murakami exhibit. Also, B's new ndc shoes are swell, no? If you don't know ndc, please check it. The quality and workmanship is just exquisite. Their goods are worth every penny, er, centime spent.
But about the exhibit, we came to see the Murakami works, really, and this being my first Murakami exhibit, I was surprised at how much I didn't like it. I thought: his stuff is cute, I love cute, I'll love it! But I found his work flat and dull and, well, I simply thought it wasn't cute enough to make me want to squeal or squeeze it or snuggle it like I feel when I see something that is truly cute. His character designs weren't interesting enough to me, and the fact that the art was all prints left me even colder. At least I learned something about myself that day, and it's that I do not like the art of Takashi Murakami. OK, I might dig his sculpture, but the prints, not so much.
Speaking of sculpture, the art part of the day was saved for me when we headed to the Miro as Sculptor exhibit at the Musee Maillol. Check the link and some examples will flash before your eyes. It's cool stuff in a primative but... hmmm... lighthearted way.
These taste like Thanksgiving.
Lobster sandwich indoor "picnic" at Spring. (We did the tasting menu there a few weeks back and it was magnificent. But really, if you wanna taste, call now for a reservation.) You can read more about the (American) chef of Spring and other peeps dishing out the good stuff in Paris these days in this article.
B and I couldn't help comparing the Spring sammy to our beloved roll from the Philly Oyster House. After tossing the merits of each back and forth, we called it a tie. Oh, and we had some goose-fat fries (with fresh orange zest--these are grown-up fries, people!) to go with our rolls. Miiiiaaaaam.
After filling our bellies with lobdah, we ran into this guy--one of the largest specimens I'd ever seen. Look! His pincer is the size of B's hand! Oh, meaty deliciousness!
Incredible vintage buttons (each different) on a French vintage hunting vest. This museum-worthy piece is now hanging in our apartment.
More evidence that my neighborhood is the best: the roads move to accommodate pleasure craft. Cool.
We finally made it to Deyrolle last weekend. It is as enchanting a place as I've ever been. You've probably heard of it, or at least about the terrible fire that nearly ended it all. Or maybe you've seen the large-scale book of images of the charred aftermath.
Anyway, the shop is good as new... er, old. It's like a natural history museum where you can actually buy the baby elephant standing in the corner.
Forgive the poor photo quality, this was before I upgraded to my fancy new iPhone. (Love you, fancy new iPhone.)
I really wanted to bring a foxy home, but the thought of Cochino loving (or hating...) on it was quite a dissuasion.
Had my appointment at the OFII (office of immigration and integration) earlier this week. I was a little nervous because if your French isn't good enough, they can make you go to classes. (duh-duh-duhn!) But I did alright and didn't even have to show them the attestation my employer had prepared to say I go to French class every week (though I have skipped my fair share recently...), they just put on the certificate that my French was adequate. Which I'll give 'em, it is adequate. Is it good? No.
When I showed up, there was a line around the block of mostly African immigrants and a Hungarian-Sri Lankan (to my best guessing) couple in front of me, who proceeded to get into a mostly one-sided fight, with him attacking her about her forgetting to buy the stamp she needed for her papers. This continued all the way inside the building and up the stairs and in the line to watch the welcome video. I wanted to tap him on the shoulder and tell him to shut the eff up, but thankfully I lost them after the video so I didn't have to.
I thought I was gonna be there all afternoon, based off of the number of other people, but I lucked out. I think being an American with gainful employment had something to do with it, because I careered through the place. This one woman kept coming to get me to speed me through the process. It was quite a pleasant experience.
And I got my carte de sejour on the spot. Fancy times.
One of the best things about living in Paris is being a tourist here, yet being able to sleep in my own bed every night.
I had been wanting to go to Bercy for a while. It is billed as being a village within Paris and has a rich history of wine warehouses dating back to the 15th century. Also, there is a big stadium there. But the idea of a village with a rich history was what got me.
It got me alright.
We got there and it was crap. Utter crap!
Yes, the old stone wine houses were well-preserved, but now they house chain stores and gross restaurants with nouns like "Frog" in their names. The whole thing was bunk. I felt misled! I am all about reuse, but this just felt so new and lacking of character. I didn't even take any pictures in protest. Hurumph!
The saving grace of Bercy (for me) was its brilliant park.
There were ducks (and even some turtles) galore, and interesting paths to wander and places to sit and sculpture that was well-integrated. It was such a charmer! We spent a good hour just sitting around there.
After the bust of Bercy, we went to the Chateau de Vincennes, another piece of ancient history within the city of Paris.
The original settlement was built here in the 13th century, as it was Louis XII's favorite hunting lodge. From there, Charles V expanded the settlement and it was fortified and walled and moated and became the royal residence for some time.
See, it's still got that "walled city" feel.
This shows part of where the Sun King left his mark, building separate king's and queen's residences that are bigger than most city halls.
Here is the Sainte Chapelle, which is inside the walls. It had an installation of hundreds of painted ducks, which gave it a whole different feeling. It was virtually empty when we were there, so we sorta had the run of the joint. It's pretty cool to be relatively alone in a church where French kings worshipped for hundreds of years. Oh, and the stained glass windows depict the apocalypse, so that was trippy. Did you know they will give out white robes? I didn't either, but it was on the window. At least we'll go out in style!
These guys overtook the joint.
The ducks made it right up on the altar.
Where the moat used to be around the donjon. I guess years and years of being a moat makes for some green grass.
Fer arrow shootin'!
But really my favorite thing about the donjon, and all of the Chateau de Vincennes, in fact, was the graffiti.
OK, this is pretty fancy for "graffiti", but these paintings were done by prisoners hundreds of years ago. Famous prisoners included the writer/philosopher Denis Diderot, the finance minister/master embezzler Nicolas Fouquet (see also Vaux-le-Vicomte, his dirty-money hizz-ouse), and the gentleman/utterly conventional Marquis de Sade. (I'm not linking for him; you know what he was up to!)
Those paintings are incredible, but my favorites throughout were the name etchings. Here are some shots of my new obsession.
Hey, you with the Sharpie, these guys from a hundred years ago+ are making you look like a lazy bum!
Afterward, we had a glass and ran into this guy.
Is there anything as blissful as a big dog sleeping? <3