, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My perspective always shifts towards the end of a long stay: My social schedule fills up with farewells and my interest in meeting anyone new drops towards zero; a few exhibitions not yet seen become urgent; my thoughts begin to drift towards home. I still have another week, but the shift is underway.

Jared kept me moving this past week! We walked 10 miles a day, which has — at least for the moment — pulled my June average up to 7 miles. On Saturday he went for a long bike ride with Zoltán (to the lovely Parc de Sceaux, which I had enjoyed in 2012. I stayed home to catch up on my blog, but I still logged 6 miles with them after they got back from their bike trip. We started the evening with dinner at a charming local place, Au Bon Coin. We each had an appetizer and main, I had a glass of rosé, all for 33 euros each, which wouldn’t cover a single main course (with tax and tip) at a comparable restaurant in Boston. There was even an amuse bouche!

Jared, Bob and Zoltán at Au Bon Coin
My main course at Au Bon Coin.
Our amuse bouche at Au Bon Coin was a smooth scrambled egg topped with caviar, served in an eggshell.

After dinner we decided to stroll down to the Seine. The banks were crowded with happy young people, and some older as well.

It was a lovely evening — capping one of the best weeks of weather in all my years in Paris!

On Sunday we headed south towards Place d’Italie to forage for lunch. Jared liked the look of a place he noticed down a side street so we tried it out. It was perfectly correct and fair value.

My lunch at Virgule.

Only as we stepped back onto the street did I realize that this was the same place, Virgule, that Lisa and Zhizhong and I had stumbled into last year on May Day. Although I haven’t yet gone there on purpose maybe I will next time!

After lunch we jumped onto the air-conditioned métro line 6 to go to a museum I have never visited in all my years in Paris, la Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine (the City of Architecture and Heritage) at Trocadero. Jared had seen a listing for an exhibition of the work of three French architects, and thought that this would particularly appeal to Zoltán. I was really impressed by the first of the three architects, Frédéric Borel, from the perspective of his sculptural forms.

15 rue des Pavillions, Paris 20, by Frédéric Borel

I’m not sure whether I would be so enthusiastic if I actually lived in one of these buildings, or if I were responsible for the construction budget! I had photographed another of his projects in 2011, Logement rue Pelleport, Paris 20, by Frédéric Borel, 1993.

None of us much liked the other two architectural teams, although I found one display technique striking, albeit dysfunctional. The images were displayed on the floor (with power lines running up to the ceiling) and you had to walk up and down the aisles to look at them.

In true flâneur fashion it turned out that what we liked best of all was an exhibition of furniture made by architects that we hadn’t even planned to see.

Compressed wood chair, Eric Carlson / Carbondale, 2007
Little Beaver, Frank Gehry, 1987
New Chair, George Nakashima, 1981. (Amusingly misdescribed as being derived from American Quakers, when in fact it’s based on designs of American Shakers.)
Org Table, Fabio Novembre, 2001.
Roots Coffee Table, Jader Almeida, 2013.
Vermelha Chair, Fernando and Humberto Campana, 1993.

We didn’t have time for the permanant collection but I intend to spend more time there another year.

After Zoltán caught the train back to Delft Jared and I put together dinner at home from a few things we had on hand. Although I normally don’t bother meeting new people this late in a stay I made an exception for a young man who proposed to meet for a drink. « Alan » is smart, nice and attractive, and appreciates ahem maturity, so it was worthwhile, even though we won’t be able to meet up again this year.