It’s late so this is just a place-holder post to let you know what I’ve been up to.
I began my Friday at the Hôtel de Ville to see a historical exhibit about the Paris Commune (1871) that closed on Sunday. It was well presented and very moving. This was one of my favorite among many dramatic depictions:
Friday afternoon I visited some of the open studios in the Belleville quartier. This was one of my favorite artists, AnSorel:
As well as being nice souvenirs of Paris they can be quite witty. I didn’t buy one but I may before I leave.
The minor triumph was getting Vélib‘ to work! The system was modified recently to make it possible for tourists without puce cards to rent bicycles. The process for a one-day or seven-day pass may be different, but here is the process for a one-year pass: You go on line and pay with your credit card — 29 euros. The site emails you a bunch of numbers: numéro d’abonné, code secret and code d’association. Now you need some sort of chip-containing card to use with the Vélib‘ stations. I used my Pass Navigo Découverte Mensuel (monthly Métro pass) but if you don’t have one you can pick up a Vélib‘ Express card (free) at the Hôtel de Ville (rue de Rivoli entrance, which may be shared with an exposition). Take your card and all those numbers to any Vélib‘ station. After you touch your card to the target the station will ask for the numbers, after which your card will be activated. Then you just touch your card to the stanchion to which a bike is attached and when the light turns green slide it out and ride away. The first half hour is free with your membership, the second half-hour is 1 euro, and the rate climbs steeply if you keep a bike out longer — it’s intended for short trips.