My June apartment is in the classy 5ème arrondissement, but on the edge of the less prestigious 13ème. Prestigious or not, the 13ème has an astonishing variety of street art, including more than thirty wall frescoes along Boulevard Vincent Auriol that were just inaugurated a few days ago. Honestly, you’ll get a better look at that last link, but here are a few that I liked during a walk on Saturday evening.
Afro, Afro Libio Basaldella, art, Canal d’Ourcq, Concert for a Fly, contemporary art, David Hockney, Ecoute, Galerie Béatrice Soulié, Galerie Lelong & Co., Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Gérard Cambon, Henry de Miller, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, L'Opéra, L'Opéra Garnier, Marais, Nambia, parc de la Villette, Parc Monceau, Paris, Saint Eustache, street art, Tornabuoni
This statue, in front of Saint-Eustache, survived the five-year redevelopment of Les Halles. Click here for a pic of the work site from 2012 showing the head tenuously protected by barriers.
The gallery show that most strongly impressed me this year was of Afro Libio Basaldella (1912-1976), better known as “Afro,” at the Tornabuoni Art gallery in the Marais. The artist — who I hadn’t heard of — was born in Italy and worked there and in the U.S. One example is below, but if you like it please look at: [“Afro” Photo Set]
Naturally I was interested in owning one of these excellent paintings! The price list was held behind the counter, but a gallerist offered to tell me the price of any specific work I was interested in. This one, for example, was priced at 4,900,000 euros. Negotiable, I’m sure, but still a bit rich for my blood.
These odd sculptures are from the imaginary country of “Nambia,” inspired by a bourde of Donald Trump.
I was quite impressed by Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in the Marais– not the art, which I didn’t find memorable until the top floor — but the gallery itself, which is a large and beautiful space.
I did respect, on the top floor, the reprise of a Palais de Tokyo show by Patrick Neu I had liked in 2015, and enjoyed a quirky little installation, which you’ll have to enlarge to fully appreciate:
A few weeks back I stumbled on the vernissage (opening party) for a David Hockney show at a newly opened branch of Galerie Lelong & Co. Some functionary tried to shoo me away because it hadn’t officially started but the gallery owner waved me in. #seniorprivilege
I’ve many times appreciated the mostly-buried bicycle wheel at the back of this photo as I’ve strolled through the Parc de la Villette but this year is the first time I noticed the rest of the bicycle!
Mot du Jour: bourde. Blunder, boner, mishap.
Andy, art, Ateliers d'Artistes de Belleville, Belleville, Belleville Open Studios, contemporary art, Jean-Christophe Adenis, João Ferreira, Open Studios, Paris, quartier populaire, Sophie Herszkowicz, street art
On Sunday and again on Monday Andy and I spent most of the day wandering around Belleville, visiting art studios and galleries during the four-day Belleville Open Studios, which takes place each year around the end of May. I had enjoyed this event in 2011 and 2015, though I had never engaged with it as deeply as we did this year.
On Sunday after brunch we walked over to Belleville, getting a map at the first studio we noticed (by its balloons), then wending our way up to the Ateliers d’Artistes de Belleville (AAB) gallery at 1, rue Francis Picabia (M° Couronnes). At the main gallery we looked at samples by each artist and circled the studios we wanted to visit. We had to do this to organize our walk since over one hundred locations are listed, several showing work by half a dozen artists! But we also looked in on all the studios along our route, whether circled or not; we realized that we enjoyed the ones we hadn’t circled about as much as the ones we had, but it was still worth using the selected studios to organize our path.
It’s hard to pick favorites among so many interesting artists, but here are a few that one or both of us really liked:
I liked several witty and/or trenchant sculptures by João Ferreira, in a group show in the Crypte de l’Eglise Notre Dame de la Croix, which was also outstanding in 2015.
I really liked the realistic Paris paintings of Jean-Christophe Adenis. So much that I would have purchased his painting from the main gallery for 45 euros if it hadn’t already sold. But when we caught up with him in person he asked 200 euros for other works of the same size. Not unreasonable, but I wasn’t quite prepared to spend that much (even though I did the next day for a cute three-dimensional work from another artist).
Andy and I both liked the studio of Sophie Herszkowicz. I may actually go back and buy one of her smaller paintings.
This video gives you a somewhat better idea of this highly recommended exhibition:
Here’s the link to my full photo set, starting with some vivid Belleville street art we saw along the way, and including additional works by most of the artists mentioned: https://photos.app.goo.gl/qtwx5ec67DYJA1Aw2
We ended up getting to nearly all of the circled galleries before running out of time and energy. The project was a very satisfying way to start Andy’s visit. Not only did we see a lot of fascinating art (diluted but not obscured by the inevitable mediocre stuff), but we explored a lively and non-touristy quartier populaire, got to see the insides of many artist studios and apartments, and met some nice and interesting people. It may in fact be the most-non-touristy beginning to any of my guest visits!
Update: Here’s a photo set that includes more Belleville Art: Art of Belleville, Paris
Mot du jour: quartier populaire. Lisa explained earlier in my stay that this means a neighborhood of down to earth folks, i.e. workers, artists, unemployed people and other not-rich citizens. Like Belleville!
In 2016 Omar introduced me to the street art of Invader, and to the FlashInvaders app that lets you track (and confirm) your finds. Last year I found four of the 138 Space Invaders in Tokyo, and this year I have continued to spot more of the 1,285 in Paris.
Update: While I remain loyal to Invader I have to admit that Mr Djoul’s street art can be rather appealing, and sometimes makes a witty commentary on an adjacent Space Invader. He often uses the alien shown above, frequently puts his squares on the diagonal (unlike Invader), and always signs his work. He’s a copycat, but a classy one.
After I mentioned my Invader hunt to Brian and Sheila they proved to be alert Invader spotters. In their last few days in Paris they send me snaps of half a dozen sitings, most of which I’ve since been able to confirm.
Space Invaders is just a game for me, but Invader has become a serious player in the art world.
Update: Here’s a photo set that includes a few relevant images: Paris Street Art: Invaders, Etc.
The midpoint of my stay is a good time to look at how the trip has been, and what my goals are for my remaining time here.
The dominant theme of the trip has been — and with the arrival of my nephew next weekend will continue to be — family. While this is very different from prior years, I’ve come to realize, as I explored in my previous post, that time with family and friends, while it dilutes my engagement with the place, can itself be every bit as rewarding as being a solitary flâneur.
The difference shouldn’t be overemphasized, since spending time with friends has always been a facet of my petits séjours. For example, I’ve caught up with Bob Seeman, almost every year.
Bob and I have known each other for around twenty years, while I’ve known my cousin Jackie since we were children. That makes a difference, but in both cases we’ve had a chance to become intimate friends over a substantial portion of a lifetime. The main difference is that Jackie and I shared an apartment for ten days (and have gotten together several times since), while I normally just catch up with Bob for a meal. That pattern isn’t fundamentally different from prior years, though, since I’ve always had friends staying with me for around a week. It just happens this year that my housemates will mostly be family.
Food has been an important and satisfactory part of the trip, as always. I’ve posted “food porn” from some of my fancier meals — and there’s more to come from Strasbourg — but I’ve also enjoyed more modest meals, either at home with my cousins in the 15ème, or at familiar local restaurants in the 2ème. The dishes shown below are from places just a few doors down on my street, and there are a dozen comparable options within a couple of blocks.
The closest thing to an art museum I’ve been to in Paris was the astounding au dela de les limites exhibition, but I’ve visited several galleries and appreciated lots of street art. One resolution is to take in even more art in the latter part of my stay.
The gallerist at Galerie Jacques Lévy (very probably the eponymous owner) refused permission for me to post pics, but I invite you to take a look at the works of Olivier Marty currently on view there.
The weather was terrible the day I arrived, then got steadily better over the ten days I spent in the 15ème. About the time I moved to my own place it got wet and cold again and stayed that way for the first week. Last weekend was quite nice in Strasbourg but all afternoon today there have been thunderstorms (with hail!). Update: I enjoyed the dramatic hailstorm from the comfort and safety of my apartment, but I had no idea that elsewhere in the city there was flooding and dense accumulations of hailstones on the streets!
My French is pretty much stalled, but I nevertheless enjoy deciphering cultural references and picking up on jeux de mots.
This poster in the métro is a veritable mine of up-to-the-minute cultural information. I can more or less parse out most of the links, but I’m sure I’m missing many funny references.
I didn’t walk quite as much as usual during the first part of the month, in part because you simply can’t move that fast when you’re traveling with a four-year-old (even when she’s on a scooter). But Zhizhong and I walked all over Strasbourg, so when that’s factored in I’m now right at my usual Paris average of seven miles a day.
Alcohol has always been a substantial part of my Paris stays, but this year my consumption has been a lot less than usual. Jackie, Zhizhong and “Theseus” don’t drink at all, and as a mother of a young child Lisa now drinks even more moderately than before. I’ve usually managed a glass of wine or beer with dinner, and sometimes found an excuse for an extra drink, but have only once or twice exceeded the approved level of two drinks a day (which was occasionally exceeded many times over in prior years). It’s still possible that I may fall under the influence of hard-drinking family or friends, but so far I’ve been surprisingly sober.
I’ve often met guys on “social media” apps during my stays here. Two years ago, the last time I was here, Omar made an outstanding contribution to my visit. This year I’ve only met one guy, who I’ll call Theseus. He’s a 22-year-old student, of Chinese ethnicity, very fit and cute. He’s been my dining companion on several occasions where the blog has mentioned a “we” without a name. He’s forbidden me to post his photo or further information, and this is only one of several mismatches between our values and goals. He’s been an attractive and mostly agreeable companion on several occasions, despite our really irreconcilable differences.
Overall I’ve had a good time this year. Both apartments have been wonderful, despite the minor issues with my current place. The shift from adventure to coziness has continued, but there have been a few peak experiences and many rich and intimate conversations.
June 11, when I leave, will be my earliest departure since the first year, 2010, when I stayed for April and May. So many cool things are scheduled for the remainder of June that I looked into extending my stay another two weeks. Changing my Delta/Air France ticket would be punishingly expensive but abandoning that reservation and coming home on a one-way Norwegian ticket would be reasonable. My current host would let me extend at the discounted monthly rate until June 20, but she has other guests then so I would have to get another place for the last week. Ultimately, however, responsibilities and opportunities back home caused me to stick with the original schedule. Another year, however, I will stay at least until afterla fête de la musiqueon June 21, and perhaps through Paris gay pride, this year on June 30.
Mot du jour: beue. Not in Larousse, but Google shows it as patois picard for boue, i.e. mud.
Bonus Mot du jour: grêle, hail.
Alice de L'Autre Coté du Miroir, art, bar rôti, Bassin de la Villette, Bouillon Chartier, Canal de l'Ourcq, France, Frenchie, Frenchie Restaurant, Kashink, Kristoffer, Le Grand Train, Le Pavillon des Canaux, Le Pavillon des Merveilles, meals, mouarff, neighborhoods, Paris, Rosa Parks fait le mur, rue Ordener, rue Rique, street art, Through the Looking Glass, weather, Yunpeng
In 2014 Kristoffer (Chinese name Yunpeng) and I took a chance on each other. We had been chatting for many months on line but had never met in person. I invited him to visit me in Paris for a long weekend and we had a lovely time. We did the same thing in 2015, and again this year. No longer a gamble now, since we know each other rather well.
Kristoffer grew up in China, but has been working on his Ph.D. in Norway for several years. This year he got a permanent job at Norway’s public health agency, with the Norwegian equivalent of a green card. He has toyed with variants of his western name but has settled on Kristoffer, the Norwegian spelling of Christopher.
He arrived late Thursday evening. We didn’t have a meal since he had eaten at the airport. On Friday, however, we set out to have our first real Parisian adventure.
We started out with lunch at an old favorite of mine, Bouillon Chartier, which we both enjoyed.
We then headed up to La Villette to catch an Imax movie about the South Pacific at the spherical Géode theater at the Cité des science et et de l’industrie.
(In another life I negotiated the contract with Imax on behalf of the Boston Museum of Science for the similar theater there. At that time the spherical theaters, which project an image that extends directly above the audience, were called “Omnimax,” but that term has evidently been retired.)
The movie wasn’t Gone with the Wind but its immersive images were gorgeous, especially the aerial and underwater shots.
After the movie we wandered down along the Canal de l’Ourcq and the Bassin de la Villette, with interruptions to shelter from intermittent rain. The street art along the canal was appealing.
We wanted coffee but passed up several options as not being quite to our taste, until what did we encounter but Le Pavillon des Merveilles (the Pavilion of Marvels)! This charming café — normally known as Le Pavillon des Canaux — had been transformed by the Disney folks into a clever promotion for their new movie, Alice de L’Autre Coté du Miroir (Through the Looking Glass). We had been lucky enough to stumble upon it on its last day.
After enjoying coffee and pastries we headed across town to a place I had read about, Le Grand Train (the Big Train). This was about a mile away, along rue Riquet and rue Ordener. (Not an area I would wander around alone at night, but it seemed normal, albeit populaire, in daylight.) We saw some amazing street art along this route.
Le Grand Train is both a substantial train museum and an agglomeration of a dozen bars and restaurants of many different types in an enormous disused train maintenance facility. It will end forever in October and years of construction will begin on an entirely new neighborhood, including lots of public housing and supporting facilities.
After a couple of beers at Le Grand Train we headed home to take a short nap and get ready for Kristoffer’s birthday dinner, at Frenchie. I had made the reservation — not easy to get! — a month before, on the first day reservations opened for June 17. The meal was delicious, but the light was too dim for good non-flash photos so I have to refer you to my meal last month with Jared W and my meal last year with Matt and Chris.
After dinner we were ready for bed. It had been a very full day!
Mot du Jour: « mouarff », “ha-ha”.
More wet and cold days! Great for indoor stuff, but so nasty that one is discouraged from going out at all. The only silver lining is that I have a lot of reading to do for my book clubs and this is perfect weather to curl up with a book.
After Jared R left on Monday morning I decided to finally go see the Paris Sewer Museum. It’s always been on my list but had never quite gotten there, in part because of a vague distaste for the idea of the odor (which in fact was moderate). This year, however, I saw a photo of the enormous spheres that are used to clean out a connector tunnel under the Seine so was finally motivated to go.
The tour is worth doing if you don’t have anything better to do but I think it was rightly not at the top of my list. The museum offers tons of information about the engineering and history of the sewers, some of it interesting, all presented with storm sewage surging beneath your feet. Until 1974 the sewer tour was conducted on boats. If only I had taken the tour on one of my first trips to Paris I could have floated through the sewers instead of just walking above them!
On Monday evening I had a coffee date with a guy in a neighboring building who had seen me through a window, then contacted me on Grindr. He is from North Africa so I can’t post his photo, but it was interesting learning about his life.
On Tuesday I went back to the Conservatory of Music to see two Masters performances in saxophone. I had assumed they would be jazz, but they turned out to be classical and contemporary pieces, some rearranged to substitute saxophone for another instrument. Like last week the students were excellent, but this week there was also for several pieces a small orchestra as well as the graduating student. For people with time off during the day these free performances are a terrific option.
People sometimes ask why I don’t buy an apartment in Paris instead of renting each year. Indeed, for only about fifteen times what I pay each year I could own this charming little place!
It has about 45 square feet you can stand up in (one tenth of my current rental), but twice that including floor space under the eaves. There’s a shower in the apartment, and an elevator to the floor below. Oh, did I mention that the shared bathroom is out in the hallway?
Returning year after year lets me appreciate how Paris changes as well as where it is in a particular year. The most dramatic example is L’Oasis d’Aboukir, the vegetal wall a few blocks from this year’s apartment, that I’ve photographed every year. But I’ve noticed subtler changes as well.
Mot du jour: « dinde », “turkey”. Very different words with similarly twisted etymologies:
- The French word « dinde » comes from « poulet d’Inde », “chicken of India”. That term was initially used for the « pintade », “guinea fowl”, which came from Ethiopia, which at that time was referred to as « Moyen Inde », “Middle India.” When the American turkey was introduced in the 16th century it was also called « dinde », perhaps because it was considered a type of guinea fowl or perhaps because it was thought of as coming from the West Indies. Wiktionnaire link
- The English word “turkey” was also first used for the guinea fowl. The American bird was given the same name in the 16th century, either because of its resemblance to the guinea fowl or because it reached England from Spain via North Africa (then part of the Ottoman Turkish empire). Etymology link
art, Belleville, Belleville Open Studios, Belleville Portes Ouvertes, Bob Seeman, Catherine Arnaud, Chris, drag queens, Elliot, Garden of the Hôtel de Ville, Hôtel de Ville, Jardin du Hôtel de Ville, La Criée, Le Colimaçon, Marais, Matt, Matt and Chris, meals, Montorgueil, Paris, Robert Seeman, rue des Jeûneurs, Sculpture, street art, Tintilou
Friday lunch was with my Harvard friend Elliot Marks, at a wonderful little restaurant in his quartier, Tintilou. The meal was delicious and the service and ambiance were delightful. A new favorite!
After lunch I strolled over to take in some of the 100+ artist studios that were open during the annual Belleville Portes Ouvertes. I started at the headquarters (GALERIE DES AAB, 1 rue Picabia, 75020 Paris. M° Couronnes), which lets you peruse samples for each artist so you can decide which studios to visit. One of the samples pleased me so much that I bought it on the spot (as a gift for my Boston friend Bruce). I then set off. As usual most of the art left me unmoved, but also as usual I came across one artist I really loved:
I also saw part of a very strange art show. The artist dripped and mixed water and ink on a glass plate, which projected on a big screen. It was unusual, but I had to stifle the question, is it art?
For dinner I caught up with another Harvard friend, Bob Seeman. The plan was initially for a tête-à-tête but he called earlier in the day to ask whether several of his visiting friends could join us. Of course I said it was fine, and we had a very pleasant meal. It was my first time at Le Colimaçon, though I had tried unsuccessfully to get a table there with Brian and Sheila the previous week. We all enjoyed our meals and the service, by several petite young women, was sympa. It’s a small space, with an impressive spiral staircase up to the étage (which Bob explained is called a colimaçon). Overall I consider it quite a reasonable option, although not a must.
Matt had received an ominous call from American Airlines saying that their flight had been overbooked and asking whether they would they agree to be bumped to a different flight. It turned out, however, to be Christmas in May! The flight they had booked required a connection, and got them in very late on Saturday night, but the new flight was direct and got them here at a reasonable hour in the morning. Moreover they were offered a king’s ransom in cash to make the change! It was very much win-win (except for American) so they made the change and arrived early. I took them on a walk through my neighborhood and over to the Marais, then via Notre Dame to the Latin Quarter. It was their first time in Paris so everything was a thrill, and as usual it was my pleasure to see the city anew through their eyes.
We strolled around my neighborhood, then over to the 10e. The first restaurant we went into looked ok from the outside but was completely dead inside, and after we were seated we saw that the menus were tattered. We debated how to handle this and finally we just walked out and I explained to the proprietor that we wanted a more animated place. After a bit more persistence we ended up at a zippy and tasty fish restaurant, La Criée.
Chris doesn’t like fish, so we confirmed before going in that they had a couple of beef dishes on the menu. Unfortunately, after Matt and I had exulted over the delightful seafood choices, and ordered, the waiter told us that there was no beef. (He wasn’t even apologetic; he said with a shrug (in French), “This is a seafood restaurant!”) Chris graciously ordered a cheese salad instead of a real main dish. It was a fine meal — for me and Matt — in a busy and bright space.
The first two days of summer have been gorgeous!
On Sunday, after blogging, I headed over to my old favorite, the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. I got a picnic lunch at the boulangerie on the corner. Naturally I ordered in French but I was bemused to see that the sign describing their sandwiches was in English. I asked the clerk about it and she said that they get a lot of tourists. At one of least-central parks in Paris? Hélas!
I got a little sun myself but I’m afraid that I mostly soaked up ambiance.
When I was sated with the field I had a drink at Rosa Bonheur,. It was a lively scene, as usual, but I didn’t know anyone, and unfortunately I left before Sylvain arrived. Sunday evening I took a walk down to the Seine and came across a mellow trio on the Pont Saint-Louis, which was just what the doctor ordered.
This morning I set off once again for Senlis, and once again was discouraged at the railroad station by the continued disruption of schedules due to various transport strikes. I finally decided to instead do the next walk from ParisInconnu.com. This started at Batignolles, where I had left off the last walk, so I took the métro to Brochante. This gave me another opportunity to explore that neighborhood. While I still think it will get a big boost from better métro service I also noticed a lot of run-down real estate, and run-down folks. So I’m not in a particular hurry to live there after all.
Today’s walk followed the northern arc of the Petite Ceinture (little belt), a circular railway line around central Paris that was built in 1852 but was abandoned in 1932. Two sections of it have been turned into linear parks, but most of it is just an abandoned strip of extremely valuable land.
It will be very interesting to see what Paris decides to do with the Petite Ceinture in the next few decades. I predict that much of it will be developed but that the neighborhoods will have a significant influence on what happens to their segment of the old line.
In the meantime, the Petite Ceinture is a wonderful place for street art. Here’s a photo of one abandoned station, and I’ve posted a video clip of the same spot.
Another abandoned station also appealed to me. It would make someone a great pied-à-terre, though it’s something of a fixer-upper.
The walk also took me along rue Ordener, where I had been for dinner with Darko last year. In daylight I got a better appreciation of the marvelous street art on the wall alongside the adjacent railroad yard.
I made a video clip of rue Ordener street art by walking along the wall, although I should caution you that it’s still pretty busy even after YouTube did its best to stabilize it. Both videos are HD so make sure to select that option.
I’ve been pretty happy overall with the ParisInconnu.com walks, but this particular one (Parcours 9 – Evangile) became very inaccurate towards the end. Obviously the person who wrote it up made sketchy notes, then didn’t cross-check with an accurate map before publishing it. I’ve been messaging them on Facebook with my corrections but I haven’t yet gotten a reply. I do wonder, however, whether nobody else has tried to follow the walks, or whether others have encountered the same issues but not reported them, or whether others have reported the same issues and the organizers are incompetent. All options are a bit sad in one way or another.
Less than a week to go in my petit séjour. It’s normal, towards the end of a long trip, that one’s thoughts begin to bend towards home. But there’s also always sadness in the endings of good things.
Mot du jour: Vous parlez très bien le français. A comforting thing one says to a foreigner who is struggling to find the right word or phrase; the equivalent of saying “there there” to a crying baby.
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.