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It has to be acknowledged that the weather this May has been pretty dismal, apart from a few gorgeous days in the middle of the month. The last few days have been rainy and at times downright cold. Nevertheless, cloudy weather can be good for certain types of photography, and here are a few examples.

A famous restaurant in my old neighborhood, rue Montorgueil. The snail is too bright in sunlight, but perfect in the rain.

A famous restaurant in my old neighborhood, rue Montorgueil. The snail is too bright in sunlight, but perfect in the rain.

I'm not a huge fan of actually eating escargots, but the sign is fabulous.

I’m not a huge fan of eating escargots, but the sign is fabulous.

Hôtel de Ville from Île de la Cité.

Hôtel de Ville from Île de la Cité.

An old locksmith's shop, now part of an art gallery.

An old locksmith’s shop, now part of an art gallery.

A big part of getting great travel photos is just being in the right place at the right time.

A big part of getting great travel photos is just being in the right place at the right time.

Late Tuesday morning I went over to Olympiades to argue with Avis about the little dent they are charging me $450 for. To my annoyance, they were closed from noon to 2 pm for their lunch hour, and their other lunch hour. I was right outside Lisa’s door, but we had been together all weekend and she had invited me to lunch on Sunday so I thought a bit of space was in order. I checked TripAdvisor and found a highly-rated Thai restaurant nearby, Lao Chaleune. The map in the TripAdvisor app shows it about a quarter mile down the road from its actual address, but I eventually figured that out and got there. It was full, but a guy was about to leave, and when he did the waitress showed me to my table. As I was about to sit down, however, a French couple came in and the owner tried to seat them instead! I stood my ground, and in the end had a very nice, and authentic meal. Although they initially gave me the wrong check (that part wasn’t personal since they made an error at the adjacent table as well) they gave me a very friendly farewell. By that time Avis was open and I made my case to the clerk from whom I had rented the car. She promised to look into it tomorrow. I’m not too optimistic but I did my best.

For the rainy afternoon I took the rather long métro ride to Montrouge, a suburban city on the south edge of Paris. For 59 years they have held a show for emerging artists called the Salon de Montrouge. It had been off my radar screen since the only access had been by bus, but last year métro line 4 was extended to the Salon’s doorstep. I was really impressed by the exhibition, and here are a few of my favorite pieces.

The first four photos are of two pieces by Julian Salaud, the first a centaur with tree-branch horns and the second a sort of teepee with a peephole. Both are covered with animal skins and American Indian beads. Don’t ask me what it all means, but I found these pieces weird and wonderful.

By Julian Salaud at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

By Julian Salaud at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

By Julian Salaud at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

By Julian Salaud at the Salon de Montrouge 2014, with the city hall in the background.

Nuit Étoilée by Julian Salaud at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

Nuit Étoilée by Julian Salaud at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

When you look through the glowing hole, you see this:

Nuit Étoilée (detail) by Julian Salaud at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

Nuit Étoilée (detail) by Julian Salaud at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

This painting is also weird. The French text is rude and threatening, but I was taken by the concept of a mountain eating garden gnomes.

La montaigne qui mange des nains (the mountain that eats gnomes) by Éva Bergera at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

La montaigne qui mange des nains (the mountain that eats gnomes) by Éva Bergera at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

The shoes and socks are art, not something abandoned by now-barefoot visitors.

Various pieces by Aapo Nikkanen at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

Various pieces by Aapo Nikkanen at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

A globe made of burned-out candles.

 Histoire Géographique by Laetitia de Chocqueuse (!?) at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

Histoire Géographique by Laetitia de Chocqueuse (!?) at the Salon de Montrouge 2014.

Last but not least, I took a video clip of a piece that benefits from a moving perspective: Living on the Border by Françoise Vanneraud.  It represents a group of aspiring immigrants to Canada who have been denied entry — temporarily or permanently — by reason of health issues.

Tuesday evening I had dinner with my old friend Larry Tu, who has an apartment in Paris but is here for only a few days this year. We went to the new location of Aux Trois Petits Cochons (The Three Little Pigs) in Montmartre. It had been quite popular when it was on rue Tiquetonne in my old neighborhood, and was a sentimental favorite of mine since a meal there with David Devine that was my first introduction to the quarter. The new place was completely empty at 8 pm when we arrived, and I was initially concerned that it was failing in the new location. But it filled up as we ate, and we had a nice meal.

Larry Tu and Bob Mack at Aux Trois Petits Cochons, now in Montmartre.

Larry Tu and Bob Mack at Aux Trois Petits Cochons, now in Montmartre.

Although the food was just good the ambiance, and the other diners, were superb.

Aux Trois Petits Cochons (of the Three Little Pigs), in its new location near métro Abbesses in Montmartre.

Aux Trois Petits Cochons (of the Three Little Pigs), in its new location near métro Abbesses in Montmartre.