Aapo Nikkanen, Aux Trois Petits Cochons, Éva Bergera, Françoise Vanneraud, Hôtel de Ville, Julian Salaud, L'Escargot Montorgueil, Laetitia de Chocqueuse, Lao Chaleune, Larry Tu, Montorgueil, rue Montorgueil, rue Tiquitonne, Salon de Montrouge, weather
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.
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.
When you look through the glowing hole, you see this:
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.
The shoes and socks are art, not something abandoned by now-barefoot visitors.
A globe made of burned-out candles.
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.
Although the food was just good the ambiance, and the other diners, were superb.