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After our half-marathon Monday (which, by the way, included the equivalent of 53 flights of stairs, per my fitbit) both Brian and I were ready for a quieter Tuesday. He went off to the modern art museum of the city of Paris, then wandered over to the nearby Tour Eiffel. I slept in, blogged, and was still here when he got back! We had dinner at L’Absinthe Café, a neighborhood restaurant in the nearby Arts et Metiers quarter that Elliot Marks had recommended years ago. I was mildly horrified when the waiter gave us English menus, but at the end of the day it lived up to my claim that it primarily catered to nearby French residents.

Dinner at L'Absinthe Café with Brian

Dinner with Brian at L’Absinthe Café

We rested after dinner, then walked a few doors down rue Saint-Sauveur to see whether we could get into the Experimental Cocktail Club, which I had enjoyed several times over the last two years. I had been concerned about Brian’s jeans, but that proved not to be a concern. The issue was whether we were cool enough! The doorman was affable but insistent on my answers to a series of questions (en français, bien sûr). First off, he needed to know whether I have been there before, which of course I had, on several occasions. I also claimed to know one of the owners (though not by name). Then it was important for him to know whether I was “leading” (amener) young Brian. I wasn’t exactly sure what this meant but I claimed that I was. For whatever reason, we made the cut and were invited to enter. There were two dj’s spinning mellow music, and excellent experimental cocktails, in a cosy little room.

Brian with an experimental cocktail.

Brian with an experimental cocktail.

Brian’s petit séjours in Paris made a nice bookends to his Grand Tour. He got away early Wednesday morning to catch his flight home. But not until he made the baguette run — the first time one of my house guests has been so thoughtful. He also offered me his spare U.K. adapter; at first I declined but then I realized that I was really going to need one during my short trip to London later in the month, so I gratefully accepted.

The day was cloudy, with predicted showers, so I booked the Dynamo show at the Grand Palais, which surveys the last hundred years of art involving light and/or movement. I tend to like those types of art — which can mimic the pleasures of an amusement park or fun house. But I was blown away by the size and quality of this show. The exhibition must be at least ten times as large as the entire Boston Institute of Contemporary Art. At several points I thought to myself that the show had been cool, and well worth the price of admission; but then it went on and on!  Light and movement calls for video, so I’ve posted a few clips on YouTube, as well as a still photo set.

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One of dozens of rooms at Dynamo, at the Grand Palais in Paris, June, 2013.

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Anish Kapoor’s Islamic Mirror, 2008.

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There were several variations on the theme of a hall of mirrors in the show, but I had never before seen a vertical hall of mirrors.

Here’s my full photo set:  2013 Dynamo Exhibition, and here are the video clips:

Meanwhile I’ve also done several loads of laundry, etc. Fortunately, I love playing house. Jared arrives on Monday morning so I have a few days left to my own devices, apart from several evening plans.

Mot du jour: « cheese cake ». Playing the language game with our waiter at L’Absinthe Café I ordered « un gâteau de fromage » to share even though he had given us English menus. He explained that the French term for “cheese cake” is « cheese cake ».  Addendum: A Canadian friend subsequently explained that in Quebec it’s illegal to use English terms like “cheese cake” on menus, so there they in fact do call it « gâteau de fromage » !