Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week Four – Day 28 - Marché Monge 5th arr

It’s a nice day out, some sun and crisp. Didn’t feel like spending time in the catacombs with other Cite artists so we went to the Sunday Marché Monge (Metro: Place Monge) in the 5th arr. It is on the left bank of the River Seine, is the Quartier Latin, (a district dominated by universities, colleges, and prestigious high schools). It is an easy ride on the Line 7 Metro in front of Cite, and a very nice marché. I like it much better than – Le Marché spécialisé biologique Raspail on Boulevard Raspail – that we went to two Sundays ago.

Week Four – Day 27- Taxi Tram

I had booked the Taxi Tram (6 e each) before we left the states and fortunately got an email reminding me of the monthly tour to explore the art areas outside of Paris. We took the metro to the huge roundabout at Place d’Italie in the heart of the 13th arrondissement to meet the bus. This area is Paris’s largest Chinatown. We drove out on the avenue de Choisy, which turned into avenue d'Ivry. The streets were lined with interesting Asian restaurants and shops. I want to go back there to explore. We were returned to Metro Porte d'Orléans in le 14th arrondissement that is on the edge of the Montparnasse district. On our return we bought wonderful macaroons to take to dinner chez Stephanie & Patrick tonight. I would go back there just to buy the macaroons again.
On the tour we visited the working class area of Vitry-sur-Seine about 11 km south-east of Paris, and went to the Municipal Gallery Jean-Collet, which was showing the work on paper of Pierre Buraglio & Damien Cabanes. Also there was a collective sponsored exhibit upstairs showing interesting sculpture. I found the street art in Vitry-sur-Seine to be very impressive.
Next we went to Juvisy-sur-Orge, a higher end suburban neighborhood, about 30 km south of Paris. We visited l’École et espace d’art contemporain Camille Lambert. The exhibiting artist, Marine Joatton, was there to talk about her work.
After a quick stop at the Cite, we left for Stephanie and Patrick’s house to meet up with Stephanie’s sister Pati, and Stephanie’s friends Richard and Christine for another lovely dinner chez Stef & Patrick. The metro is so crowed on early Saturday night that there is barely room on the trains, our return about 1 AM was much more comfortable.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Week Four – Day 25 - 19th arr

Went to the covered marché in the 19th called Marche Secrétan at 33 Avenue Secrétan. We took Metro line 7 in front of Cite and then changed to line 7 bis. Although my list said it was open all day, it was closed when we arrived.
Understandably, lots of shops close for a 2 hour lunch, so we walked around a bit and discovered the Lac et Parc des Buttes Chaumont, which was built in 1867. It was kind of a weird, and intriguing place. It is the largest, most hilly and least touristy park in Paris. We walked to the top of the hill, which overlooks the north of Paris with the Montmartre hill right in front of you. The park has a 'temple' which is reached via a suspension bridge. The neighborhood is a bit run down and so is the parc, but a nice surprise and views.
Walked back to the marché but there was only one vendor and not very nice produce, so we visited the shops along Avenue Secrétan. Had a stand up coffee in a café (it’s cheaper but I’m usually too tired to stand), visited a Vienna Pastry Shop, a butcher, an Italian deli, a vegetable grocer, and a hardware store where John bought an Italian espresso maker. John loved the one that Robin and Duncan used.

Week Four – Day 24

Opened the paint tubes today! It felt good. Only got a little paint on myself.
Went to a vernissage before dinner at Yvon Lambert at 108, rue Vieille-du Temple in le Marais. It is a good show - called The Unbearable Lightness of Being – representing both the title and the themes represented in Milan Kundea’s book, with a whole list of artists including Bill Viola, and Louise Bourgeois. My only complaint was that the Veuve Clicquot, which was served, tasted like cheap Champagne.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Week Four – Day 23

• Had a visit from Stanley and Karen Lewis this morning. Bill White told them to check out the space since we were here. Stanley was the artist in residence at Hollins University last year.

• At our 2nd visit to the Covered Marche St Quentin, we bought some boudin blanc, which is a culinary specialty of Belgium. It is a white sausage looking item made with chopped white meat (poultry, pork, veal), egg, bread and seasoned milk. Yum and no preservatives.

• Walked the outdoor sculpture park on the banks of the Seine in the 5th arrondissement. Musée de la Sculpture en Pleine Air, 8 quai Saint Bernard, Square Tino Rossi, 75005 Paris. On the way stopped into Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation, across from Notre-Dame. It was moving and beautifully done, as all of the many memorials for holocaust victims that we have seen in our short visit in Paris.

• Visited a Wine Shop in Ile de la Cite, Nicolas, which opened in 1822.

• There are boats on the river now, the water level was too high before today.

Week Four – Day 22- Geneve

6:30 AM Robin took us to bus near her house to get to Train Gare for the train home to Paris. As we approached our building John and I both commented that Paris felt like home. Dropped off bags, went to G20 for food, did laundry, took nap, and I am still tired from the weekend. John wants to go to Pau, in southwest France for a few days to see if we like it there. Not sure that I would want to live outside of Paris.The photo is our building - we are in the middle, third floor from the top! See our laundry in the window!

Week Three – Day 21 - Geneve

Ate, drank, drank, ate. Dropped Steve off at Train Gare. Went to lunch at Bruce and Mariangela’s lovely house in a village north of Geneve near Lake Léman. (daughter Alex, dog Chopin). Lunch was artichoke risotto, salad, antipasti, and desert pastry. We drank lots of impressive wines from Bruce’s cellar, including two kinds of grappa.

Week Three – Day 20-Geneve

Ate, drank, drank,ate. Walked old part of Geneve, stopped at café, looked in windows of art galleries, saw life size chessboard. Went to dinner up the Jura Mountains at a Refuge where we ate salad and cheese fondue. Oh yes it was cold in Geneve.

Week Three – Day 19 - Geneve

Got up at 6 AM to catch the 8 AM TGV train to Geneve. Arrived in Geneve at 11:30 and took bus into town to visit Musee of Art Contemporaine which was showing their older permanent collection of conceptual art.

Ate and drank for an hour while hanging around Train Gare waiting for Steve’s arrival. Caught the bus to Robin’s work and toured the Lobby Art at UNAIDS. Went to Robin and Duncan’s lovely house in a village in France, about a half hour from downtown Geneve. Ate, drank, drank, ate. Dinner was Duncan’s special spaghetti sauce, lots of good wine from Duncan’s cellar and cheese, which we all contributed. Snuck off to bed while the others played pool.

Week Three – Day 18 - Le Marais & David Hockney

Visited several galleries in le Marais including Galleries Thaddeus Ropac who was showing Tom Sachs and Erwin Wurm.

Visited la Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent at 5, Avenue Marceau, 16ème - showing David Hockney’s cell phone and I pad art.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Week Three – Day 17- Cite des Arts & La Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain

So perhaps at this point, you are wondering what I am doing in terms of the art residency, and what it means to be here at La Cite as an artist. There is no requirement to teach or to have a show so what you do is up to you. Being a creative person, I like to make stuff, so the opportunity here is to not only have the opportunity to expand my mind but also to have enough space to work on projects. The down side for a painter, such as myself, is that I am not a neat painter. I don’t throw paint around but inevitably paint ends up on the floor and walls. It is a bit intimidating here in that I must be neat. So the projects that I have been working on so far are computer based, and paper collage. Interestingly, the term collage derives from the French word "coller" meaning to glue or paste. The other thing is that I like to work large and the panels I brought to paint on, and the portfolios to draw on are small for me. At least in the computer I can work large, 24 x 30 inches, and the piece on the wall is about 3 x 5 feet. Using glue on the wall piece is a good way to work into painting because I have glue running onto the floor and wall. I found some paper in the closet to use as a floor cloth but if I were to do this again I would pack a plastic tarp.
I think that this experience is about being stimulated to work, in perhaps different ways than before. To work in my room, with only the view out the window, would not adequately stimulate me. That being said I do love the view of the Seine out of my window, and am inspired by it. I like having to speak French because it makes my mind work in a different way than when I speak English. I like meeting new people, especially other artists. Being in a large, cultural city has opportunities to offer which I would say you would be crazy not to explore. I love the video library at the Beaubourg. This Blog, for me, is a new experience, and one where I feel a bit naked by posting my diary on line. My goal is to have one transformative experience each day. It may not be achieved in terms of the quality of the experience but I will have a unique experience each day.
The opportunity here is to create something new, to explore, to work on a different scale, to expand existing limitations, and perhaps to achieve simplicity of expression through an economy of means.
Today we visited La Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain. The exhibition is Moebius–Transe-Forme, which is devoted to the art of Jean Giraud, a legendary French author and illustrator of comic books. The 3-D film, Metamoebius, which was co written by Giraud, is the most beautiful animation that I have ever seen. I also loved the documentary about Giraud, which definitely moves beyond the traditional documentary interview, and enters the realm of transformation, revealing in an innovative manner the psyche of this artist.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Week Three – Day 16 - Musee Rodin

Cleaned the room. Tried to get clean sheets but the bureaucracy was against us. We will have to wait until next Tuesday between 9:30 and 11:30 and go to the 1st floor of this building. They change the location each week.

Anyway went to Musee Rodin in the rain. It is confusing when you exit the metro to know which direction you are facing so after walking in a large circle we finally headed the correct direction. I was hungry, cold and wet, so we stopped at a Brasserie for lunch. I had a Lyonnaise dish which was hareng (herring) with potatoes. It was very good.

Fortunately we were able to get into the Musee by showing our museum passes even thought it was not on the list. While it was nice to see the Musee and the Henry Moore exhibit, it was not worth the 10e each to get into the Musee, the Musee building, which is the Hotel de Biron from the 18th century, was interesting to see. Rodin used the Hôtel Biron as his workshop from 1908, and subsequently donated his entire collection of sculptures to the French State on the condition that they turn the building into a museum dedicated to his works. It desperately needs renovation but it is self funded so it will probably not happen any time soon.

Doing laundry again. Later we meet Steve Morello at the D’Orsay to go to his friends’ house for dinner.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week Three – Day 15 - Beaubourg

Last night after dinner we explored the area around the Cite, including the parking lot and the neighboring Municipal Court building plaza. We tried to go up on the fifth floor to see the spectacular views but the terrace doors were locked. Window-shopping at night is the best. You are prevented from entering the shops! What makes Paris so unique and amazing is the number of specialty shops. In the radius around our building, on the small streets, there were at least 6 shops that sold various levels of papers, pencils, and portfolios, all looked expensive and some where of such a luxurious level that I would almost be wary of entering the shop. At first I thought that what makes Paris so different from Manhattan in New York or San Francisco is the density, but after running the numbers, NYC is still way denser even after comparing Île-de-France (the Paris metropolitan area) with NYC.

Went back to the Centre Pompidou to view some videos. Saw an interview with Jean Tinguely, who is best known for his sculptural machines or kinetic art, in the Dada tradition; known officially as metamechanics. Tinguely and Niki de St. Phalle created the sculpture garden at the Beaubourg in 1983, and we are lucky enough to have a signed print by them of the garden.

Tinguely made me think of San Francisco machine artist Kal Spelletich, who is Artistic Director of SEEMEN, and who has made dozens of elegant, menacing, and incredible robots which are fire-breathing works of post-industrial folk art.

I also watched a video about Orlan. I had seen her photographs on the weekend at the La Maison Europeenne de La Photographie ville de Paris but didn’t really know of her. She is a French performance artist who has used surgery as an artistic medium. The video of her surgery was a bit hard to watch. Her idea is to not have cosmetic surgery in the sense of beautification but rather to just change her appearance.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Week Two – Day 14 - Marche des Puces de St Ouen

Today at John’s request we went to Les Puces, (the Flea Market), as le marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen - Porte de Clignancourt is called. This marché was not very much of interest for us, mainly clothes and home furnishings. If you were furnishing a house it might be of interest.

We got to the 6ème arrondissement – Le Marché spécialisé biologique Raspail on Boulevard Raspail entre les rues du Cherche-Midi et de Rennes just outside the Métro: Rennes as it was closing à 15h. I was able to buy enough for two days as there are no marches of note on Monday but it was not fun because it was hurried. It was the first really beautiful day and warm so I was tired of spending so much time in the dark halls of the metro but the bus system is much harder to figure out and not as extensive.

After lunch we walked to village St Paul, which was way too crowded with Sunday shoppers. We walked past the apartment where Josh and Ray will stay and it is a great location between the Quai and Rue de Rivoli. The St Paul metro, which is our other metro, is the best line. Good connections and it is one of the driverless trains so it goes faster!

Now we are looking for real estate in France on the internet, as I prepare dinner with the fresh peas, mushrooms, onions and parsley I bought today.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Week Two – Day 13 - Le Marais/La Bastille/Paris Rive Gauche

Often it is cheaper to drink wine or beer than coffee in Paris. I try to limit my purchases of G20 wine to under 6e or $8. Often when out in museum café or near touristic spot a coffee crème will cost 4,50 about $6 and it is usually not very good.. A caffee crème should cost no more than 3e about $4. In cheap restaurants a caraf of wine (a litre about a bottle) will probably cost about 10e or $14. Happy hour is always a good choice for half price beer. Oh and you can drink the tap water at home and it is good!
Today we went to the La Maison Europeenne de La Photographie ville de Paris. It is just around the corner from us and I have been meaning to go but when I received a message from the Meetup group Paris If You Please,, about a trip there for next Friday, I decided that it was time to go visit. It was worth the visit. The show was a selection of their cutting edge permanent collection.
In a bit we will go to a vernissage in the Bastille, pick up our train tickets for Geneve at Gare de Lyon, then head fro Mirella Rosner’s show.

Arnaud Prinstet whose show we went to see at Dororthys gallery struck me as kind of a jerk. I also did not think that his artwork was of any value. It was very difficult to converse with him and he wasn’t very friendly. His is the Meetup Paris-meetings-in-Artist-Studio. Dororthy is an American from the North East USA who has had this gallery in the Bastille for 4 years. I liked the gallery because there were several rooms including an outside space. I had a little r n r with her dog Kennedy. I was missing my dogs and he hadn’t received his normal walks because of the opening.
Mirella Rosner, on the other hand, is such a lovely person and I admire her art. We met several friends of hers at her show at the theatre and had a lovely conversation with them. The theatre area in the 13th arr was largely housing projects with North African inhabitants. The theatre was only two blocks from the Metro so we did not see a lot of the area. It was definitely not a tourist location.
Upon returning home we are eating dinner in true French style at 9:30 PM.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Week Two – Day 12 - Bastille

Today we visited the 12ème arrondissement, specifically Le Viaduc des Arts, and the Marche d’Aligre.
The City of Paris, initiated in 1983 and inaugurated in 1993, this ambitious project of maintaining the old SNCF Viaduc vaults (7 hectares between Bastille and Reuilly) and creating a promenade on top.
After walking the shops on street level and the promenade on top we went to the Marché d’Aligre (Rue d’Aligre, Mardi au dimanche, 7h à 14h), and the Marché couvert Beauvau, (Place d’Aligre). We got there at the end of the Marche but were able to buy enough for dinner. We also visited a health food store in the area, and bought some sardines from a poissonnier.
Was going to go to Mirella Rosner’s show tonight at Théâtre du Lierre
22, rue du Chevaleret 75013 but it’s raining and I’m tired. We can go tomorrow night. I want to cook a curry dinner with the vegetables I bought today.I'll post my photos later tonight.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week Two - Day 11 - Beaubourg

Went back to the Beaubourg today, no hassle to get in. After touring the permanent collection I went to the multimedia library to watch videos on artists. I will go back to do more of this. Took the bus home. The bus is more difficult than the metro but allows more view of Paris. On the way home found a Fromagier near by on Rue de Rivoli - much better cheese than at G20. We have observed that the homeless here are drinking champagne on the streets. There is a night time encampment in front of Cite and some benches we see from our room where they hang out. I think that I would rather be homeless in Paris than Roanoke.

Week Two - Day 10 - Belleville

So last night we went out to dinner with madman Steve Morello to his favorite Brasserie in St Germain. We all got steak frites cooked saignant (bloody). The meat was delicious, as was the table mustard. The fries were ok and I didn’t eat the salad. I had a Sancerre table wine that was really good, I wasn’t impressed with Steve’s Rhone, and the apple tart tartain was ok, and I wasn’t impressed with the escargot (the snails were ok but way too much butter for me). It still cost us 53 e or $70 even with splitting the bill in half with Steve. Got home around midnight.
Got up via alarm clock at 7 AM to be on time for a 9:30 AM rendez vous with Yves Traynard with Paris Greeter Parisian for a day is a volunteer association in Paris. Its members help French and foreign tourists discover Paris by taking a walk with them in the districts of Paris they know and love.

We met Yves in Belleville outside the Jourdain metro station, next to the church (St-Jean-Baptiste de Belleville). At First I found the lingering Christmas decorations to be up too long, but I have come to love them and will miss them when they are taken down.

Yves took us on an exceptional walk in the rain around Belleville and we walked through the Parc and the community gardens and the vineyards maintained by the City of Paris.

Yves arranged for us to meet with Josiane Chabel artist and member of the board of directors of the association Ateliers d'Artistes de Belleville. We also went to the home studio of Mirella Rosner:
Both artists were very welcoming and we learned a lot about the art scene in Belleville.

We finished up about 1:45 PM hungry and exhausted. Had lunch in the brasserie we visited last Saturday. After that stopped in a spice boutique (l’epicerie) that I had noticed on our walk. Bought Belgian chocolate with Tonka beans that have a very unusual hypnotic fragrance and sweet, heavy aroma, and a bag of biologique (organic) risotto.

Unfortunately, we missed the afternoon reception with Andre Larquie, the president, and Jean-Yves Langlais, the director general, of the Cite. Hopefully there will be another reception, as I could not reschedule the tour of Belleville with Yves.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Week Two - Day 9 - Musee D’Orsay

The pavement is wet – the usual light rain – not bad at all. Today’s lesson is that you cannot plug a 300 watt hair flat iron into a 60 watt adaptor. Smoke happens! I guess I will have to live with frizzy hair.

So today we to the Musee D’Orsay, which opened in 1986, and is installed in La Gare d’Orsay railway station and hotel, which was built for the World Fair in 1900. While it displays collections of art from the period 1848 to 1914, which does not really interest me, it is an absolutely gorgeous building. The original Sale des Fetes from the hotel is breathtaking. Half of the museum was closed and they gave us a hard time about getting in for free.

One of my goals here is to visit every outdoor or covered food market. So far we have been to:

Marché couvert des Enfants rouges in the 3ème arrondissement

Le plus vieux Marché couvert de Paris, et l’un des plus anciens de France. 39 rue de Bretagne. Métro: Temple ou Filles du Calvaire
Du mardi au Samedi de 8h30 à 13h et de 16 à 19h30 (jusqu’à 20h vendredi et Samedi) dimanche de 8h30 à 14h Note: This is within walking distance of the Cite, and there is a good poissonnier nearby.

Marché couvert St-Quentin in the 10ème arrondissement

Le plus grand Marché couvert de Paris. 85 bis, blvd Magenta.
Métro: Gare de L’est Mardi au vendredi de 9h à 13h et de 16h à 19h30 Samedi de 9h à 13h et de 15h30 à 19h30 et dimanche de 8h30 à 13h30 Note: I liked this Marche because it is off the tourist path. There is a very good charcuterie, fromagerie, as well as fresh pasta. Loved the St- Felicien a la Lyonnaise.

Marché Couvert Treilhard in the 8ème arrondissement
1 rue Corvetto. Métro: Villiers
Lundi au Samedi de 8h30 à 20h30 Note: This is the smallest Marche in Paris and located within a G20 food store, so far this is the only one I would not return to visit. Its only real benefit is that it is open on Monday and every thing else is closed.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week Two - Day 8 - Marché Couvert Treilhard

I am still so excited to be here. I am so happy, I just cannot stop smiling! Today being Monday most things were closed. The only Marche that was open was Marché Couvert Treilhard, 1 rue Corvetto, 75008 Paris. Took line 7 and change at Opera to line 3. Although this was billed as the smallest Marche in Paris I was not prepared for it to be part of a G20 Food Store. Never the less I bought fava beans (truly one of my favorite foods), apples, mandarin oranges (because we had them at Stephanie’s and they were delicious), very small onions and finger potatoes. 14,50 e.
After dropping the Marche food off chez nous, we went out again to look for pate. Walked for a while. Monday universally is a day when shops are closed. Passed an olive oil shop and were seduced to enter. Tasted two oils and bought a liter of Virge Extra Huile Olive de Nyons, plus a bag of Herb de Provence. 28e. Asked the shop owner if there was a charcuterie near by and she said that near Metro St Paul but it was Monday and they might be closed. Walked past the Metro and saw a shop that looked interesting. The shop was a producer of foie gras. After a tournee of the fois gras by the shop owner, I purchased the smallest piece of unpasturised, peppered (poivre) duck (versus goose) fois gras. And I could not resist a package of Jambon de Bayonne, which the proprietaire said was very expensive, so I won’t be surprised to only find three pieces in the package. Not the best store to be in when you are hungry! John says that to buy the fois gras in a restaurant would be over a 100e. I agree, which is why we buy our food and eat chez nous. On the way back stopped at G20 to buy wine, salad, and smoked salmon that John gave me a hard time over buying. Final stop at a boulangeries for a baguette and homeward bound.
Returned at 4PM to have lunch chez nous. Of course we finished off the smoked salmon (John had his share also), with the little onions, wonderful tomatoes and cornichons, plus the Macon – Villages Chardonnay wine.
I paid our rent this morning. 505 e, which is about a 12% increase over last year. Still the cheapest rent in Paris.
Tonight we go to an artist presentation at Cite. Chaon-Wen Ting from Taiwan will present Judit Villiger from Switzerland, who is a painter, sculpture and installation artist.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Week One - Day 7 - Philippe Auguste Wall

 Blue skies but I am moving slowly. Didn’t get home till 1:30 AM this morning and fortunately got a ride home from Stephanie and Patrick’s from their friend Dennis.

Left the atelier at 5 PM to go to a vernissage at Galerie Daniel Templon – 30 Rue Beauxbourg. Artist Jonathan Meese, born 1970 in Tokyo, is a German painter, sculptor, performance artist and installation artist based in Berlin and Hamburg. Meese is very famous but his work wasn’t very impressive.  We saw his paintings, which appeared to be influenced by Basquait but missed his installation of sculptures that was across the street at Impass Beaubourg. I think that the guy in this photo is Jonathan Meese not an installation.

We also stopped into Galerie Samantha Sellem to view a show by Jean Rustin, a French figurative painter born in 1928.His paintings of sexually graphic images of old people (acrylic on canvas), were well done if not a bit disturbing due to their grotesque element.

It was lightly raining and the streets were very crowded as it was Saturday night. Of course we forgot to bring our new umbrellas.
Next we headed to Metro Parmentier to start a walking tour of Belleville (20th Arrondissement) and visit some more galleries. Began on rue Oberkampf, which feels trendy, and several boulangeries had, lines out the door onto the street. Walked up rue St Maur and continued on rue Jean Pierre Timbaud, and then onto Blvd de Belleville. Stopped at La Cantine at 108 Blvd Belleville for happy hour and got a beer for me and a coffee for john 5.5 e.  Sat outside in a covered area. Clientele was young and hip (if you consider having a Mohawk hair cut hip). Our destination was Marcelle Alix at 4 rue Jouye Pouve. Finally we found it but were not really impressed by the artwork. We had originally planned to visit Suzanne Tarasieve at Loft 19 but it was going to be difficult to find a the hour was getting close to when we should get the Metro to chez Stephanie.

Took the Metro Line 13 to Stop Garibaldi that is the closest stop for Stephanie and Patrick who live in Porte de Saint-Ouen. Stephanie is part owner of a Graphic Design company and Patrick is an artist for the Champagne house Pommery. Their 8-year-old son Mathayus performed a rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” for us.

Side note: I am breakfasting on the delicious Lyonnaise cheese Saint-Felicien that we bought yesterday at Marche Saint-Quentin.

Anyway needless to say we drank a lot of excellent champagne accompanied by fois gras before a wonderful curry dinner prepared by Patrick who I found out was born in Madagascar. I’m not big on Madagascar history but it was a French colony and Patrick’s family left as the result of rebellion against the colonial rule of France by nationalists on the island of Madagascar in 1947 and 1948. This rebellion led to the creation of the Republic of Madagascar.

Patrick’s friend Dennis knows the new director of the Cite Intenationale des Arts as he worked with him at the some company.

Their modern condo is very nice and comfortable, not like the difficult, 5 story walk up, beautiful old building in the 18th  where they rented on our last visit. We spoke by Phone to Bruce, Stephanie’s brother. We know this family from our Peace Corps days in Togo, West Africa. Stephanie is the youngest child, the middle child Bruce (who is a consultant and lives in Geneva) and the eldest Pati (who works for Green Peace and lives in Amsterdam) of Gene and Anne Lerner, both now deceased. Gene worked for USAID and was our defacto supervisor when we worked for the Caisse d’Eparner de Togo on an USAID funded infrastructure project. Anne was a lovely French woman who encouraged me to run dances in Togo. Which I did for several years and raised funds to create a Peace Corps lending library. We were sent home with a bottle of Pommery and a book on the art exhibitions that Pommery puts on in the caves.

I recovered from last night just in time to go on a three hour Tour organized by “Paris if you Please” a Meet Up group.  We walked the remnants of the Philippe Auguste Wall, which is one of the most significant and still-in-evidence medieval reminders of Paris’ growing pains. We followed its semi-circular route around the right bank, from the Louvre to the Marais, looking for hidden remnants, including a visit to the intriguing and Tour Jean sans Peur. Penny, an artist at Cite from Australia, who we met the other day, joined us for the tour.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Week One - Day 6 - Marché Saint –Quentin

Blue skies for the first time, and I woke at a decent hour (8 am) to stretch a bit before getting ready for the day. I realized that I could tell the time relatively accurately by the sound of the traffic. It saves looking at the clock! I think that it has taken so long to adjust because of all the housekeeping issues to attend to that are not present when one is a tourist.

This morning we go to the covered Marche Saint-Quentin on boulevard Magenta in the 10th. We will take the metro to Gare L’est. Marche Saint –Quentin was built in 1866 and replaced an even older Marche that was demolished when the Blvd. Strasbourg was built. I was just thinking about how we do things on a much more intimate scale here. We shop for food each day and take out the trash each day. Also no TV, which I love. Tonight we go to two gallery openings in Belleville, and then to our friend Stephanie’s house that is just north of Paris in Porte St. Ouen. Last night I worked on a photographic composition.

 We just returned from Marche Saint-Quentin. The metro took 15 minutes, which was a bit of a round about route, but we did not have to change trains. Very easy the Pont Marie Metro outside our building and the Gare L’est Metro a half block from the Marche. I was able to buy fresh pasta, pate and cornichons, vegetables, and more cheese. John keeps saying that we have enough cheese but I would rather buy it from a Fromagier, and it won’t last long enough to go bad! The Marche vendors are great. I have a bit of trouble with the small change, stuff under a euro, and they are very helpful and honest.
An accordion player serenaded us on the train but we were the next stop so not enough time to photograph him or give a donation. After lunch we will head out to Belleville in the 20th Arrondissement.