On Monday night I ate at the stylish little Thai restaurant on my ground floor, Tamarind. It was very nice, although a bit on the pricey side. After dinner I strolled down to the Seine, and was struck by the loveliness of the recently-renovated Hôtel de Sens, catching the last rays of the setting sun in its ancient windows.
I had some work to do on Tuesday morning, setting up a Facebook event, planning future dinners, helping people with tech questions, etc. The afternoon threatened rain, so I looked into museum options. My first attempt was the Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration, which I have thought about seeing for years but never quite got to. It was formerly the Musée national des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, a predecessor of the Musée du Quai Branly, which I also plan to visit this year. Half the fun was the façade, which tells a heartwarming story of happy native people gathering in the riches of France’s far-flung colonies for the benefit of their benevolent masters. Is it just me or does the façade depict quite a lot of muscular shirtless natives?
Unfortunately, the permanent collection had closed for the remainder of my stay just two days before. A single gallery could be seen by paying the full admission price, which as a good Yankee I declined to do. The library was open without charge so I looked around there, and eventually spoke with one of the staff. She took pity on me and took me up to the open gallery for free, as her “American uncle.” The stories of the many diverse waves of immigration were interesting, though of course the Algerian influx dwarfs all of the others.
I headed over then to La Gaîté Lyrique, which had an exhibit of short stop-motion films, along with behind the scenes explanations and materials. It was fun watching the films as well as seeing how they were made. I had a beer in its historic salon before continuing on my way. On my way back I took a snapshot of the Jules-Verne-themed platform on line 11 at the Arts et Métiers métro station.
My evening entertainment was a French Canadian film, Tom à la ferme. It was a dark psychological thriller with a gay theme. About half of the French Canadian dialogue was subtitled because the accent was too thick for Parisians (such as Antoine). With this help I was able to follow most of the plot, although I also missed a fair number of nuances, some of which caused a ripple of laughter in the theater. Nevertheless, I found it engaging and well-made.
Mot du jour: câlins. Cuddles.