Black Spoon, contemporary art, Elliot, Final Destination, flower shop, Geoff, jardin du Luxembourg, Marais, Michael C. McMillen, Montmartre, Open Café, Palais de Tokyo, Port-Royal, rue de Chaillot, street art, Sylvain, The Entropic Taxi, The Eternal Flame, Vineyard
At this point there aren’t too many areas of Paris that I haven’t explored, at least to some extent. I always see more, however, when I revisit even a familiar area. These are some sights that caught my eye over the past few days, as I ranged across the city.
Yesterday I had a look at the contemporary art on display at the enormous and strange Palais de Tokyo. I’ve had interesting experiences there before, and I’m now reaching the conclusion that it can be relied on to surprise, even if it doesn’t always please. The single most remarkable installation — among many — was “The Entropic Taxi, Final Destination” by Michael C. McMillen. In a dim gallery I noticed a strange old door, under a sign reading, “Elsewhere.”
I looked through the dusty window but wasn’t sure one was allowed to actually open the door. Finally I nerved myself to “touch the art” by testing the handle, and went inside. If there’s any chance you’ll be able to see this in person by the first week of September I recommend that you do so. If not, I posted a photo set: Elsewhere.
Even more unusual was a gigantic area called “The Eternal Flame” devoted to participatory artistic creation — the brainstorm of contemporary artist Thomas Hirschhorn. It was divided into rooms and aisles by stacks of discarded tires. Visitors were invited to add their own creations, including styrofoam sculptures and printouts from banks of public computers. There was also a bar and lots of hangout areas, and a corner where someone was reading out loud. And, of course, an eternal flame (two actually), watched over by a team of firefighters. Access is free and the space is open from noon to midnight every day, until it closes on June 23. No one photograph can afford any idea of how peculiar this space is so I made a video of a walk-through: The Eternal Flame.
At the end of the afternoon I headed home to host Sylvain, a friend of Chuck Latovich, for an apéro. He proved to be charming and handsome, and we plan to have dinner with Jaime later in the month. (We enjoyed a chilled bottle of rosé but Sylvain observed that when there are three people one should have two bottles on hand. Noted!)
Today I took a walk in the Port-Royal area from a web site that I have been following on Facebook, ParisInconnu.com (Unknown Paris). Although they got one street name slightly wrong I was impressed with the site’s choice of tiny roads — even a passage that at first seemed barred — to afford an interesting perspective. These photos, however, were both taken in the main square.
This afternoon I caught up again with Elliot Marks, to show him my apartment and to see the studio, a few blocks away, that he makes available from time to time to friends. (He and his partner used to live there but they moved several years ago to a new place.) Another year I might stay there instead of doing a commercial rental, although I would miss the clothes washers I have had in all my rental places here.
After visiting Elliot’s place I had a little beer at the Open Café and was pleasantly surprised when Lisa’s friend Geoff said hello. (He had noticed me from a café across the street.) We had an interesting albeit too-short conversation concerning language competence before he had to head off. After finishing my beer I returned home to satisfy your curiosity, gentle reader.