Monday, June 30, 2008

Paris 2008 - 26 Juin

Jeudi - I had tentatively planned to take us to a couple of museums today, but Robb wanted to take his jacket back to Armand Thierry to see what he could do about getting it fixed. We are beginning to realize that the clothes Armand Thierry sells are not exactly the best. This is not the first time we've bought something there and had a problem with whatever we bought. I'm convinced to not shop there again, Robb is taking a bit longer to see the light. I will admit that he had no trouble getting them to fix the broken zipper on his jacket. The sales clerk was almost cheerful. But the point is we shouldn't have had to waste time (and métro tickets) going back to get it repaired.

It is the time of the summer soldes (sales). In France, the stores can only have sales twice a year as regulated by the state. They can have "going out of business" sales, and frequently use that excuse to have an unregulated sale from time to time. No one seems to get too upset when they don't "go out of business". We did check out a few places, but saw nothing we couldn't live without.

After, Armand Thierry, we were waiting for the 67 bus that would take us across the Seine to rue de Rivoli, when we decided to go over to O'Jules for lunch. I had my usual mixte baguette (it's about the only time I get to enjoy a baguette), and as usual, I couldn't eat all of it, so I wrapped it in a napkin and placed it in my bag to bring home for tomorrow.

We walked back over to the bus stop and got the 67. It was an interesting ride and we got to see a section of the city we wouldn't ordinarily see. We got off at the rue Vielle de Temple stop, which was several blocks from the street for which I was looking, rue de Pavée, but it took us past several stores I had seen many times on previous bus trips that I was glad to have the opportunity to check out.

We eventually walked up rue de Pavée to 11, rue de Payenne and the Centre Culturel Suedois (Swedish Cultural Center) where the current exhibition was paintings by Hilma af Klint. When we entered the courtyard, I wasn't sure we were in the right place because there were a lot of people sitting at tables drinking wine, tea and coffee. But it was the right place and we found the entrance to the museum and the exhibition, which was free. Ms. Klint was definitely ahead of her time.

We left there, walking back to rue des Francs Bourgeois We walked down to the corner of rue des Archives where we stopped at a bistrot (3eme Chinon) for a beer and a bit of rest. Just down the street was this interesting building.

Then it was off again to rue Rambuteau and the Centre Georges Pompidou. The Pompidou is as interesting outside as in. In front of the musée is a large square where lots of people gather to just sit around watching and listening to the buskers (street performers) and there are usually many of them performing all kinds of things from mime to playing a digeridoo.

Upon entering the musée, we were uncertain what we wanted to do, but decided to get a ticket to check out all the exhibitions, of which there were several. We started with the permanent collection which was, pardon my French, shit. I mean really people, how much talent does it take to stand on a ladder and pour a couple cups of paint on a canvas? Or to nail a few boards to a piece of plywood? There was one large painting(?) of about eight feet square, that was nothing but black paint on canvas. If these things are art, then I'm the world's greatest artist and you should all be paying homage (and money) to me. While we were walking through, Robb heard a group of German tourists complaining that this stuff was garbage.

Luckily, there was another exhibit to which we went. It was titled Traces du Sacré, and contained the work of many real artists including the just-visited Hilma af Klint. There were many, many pieces on display. So many, that I couldn't do the whole exhibit. We made our way back to the main entrance area where I found a bench and sat for quite awhile.

We left the Pompidou, walking up the square to a souvenir shop where Robb finally found the T-shirt for which he had been looking since we arrived in Paris. He had seen a lot with the inscription "I (heart) Paris" but he wanted one with Je (heart) Paris. And he got it at a good price. We walked back over rue Rambuteau, passing this cute fella, to the 29 bus stop. We waited quite a while but it finally arrived and took us across town to the Bastille, where we got the 69 bus home.

Plus à venir, mes amis.


Sarah said...

It sounds to me, Bob, as if you only saw the lower floor of the standing collection at the Pompidou Centre. That is the really modern bit, which is, like you say, pretty rubbish. But the upper floor, which covers the earlier part of the twentieth century, is well worth seeing. Bear it in mind for one of the free museum days.

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