One night my feet will murder me in my sleep.
Up and out early again. This time I have a detailed walking tour arranged in maps. First stop le Monument aux morts de la Grande Guerre then into the grounds of la Cimetière du Père Lachaise. For Americans this cemetery is most famous for Jim Morrison but there are a lot of important folks here. But even without all the famous folks this place is pretty amazing all on its own.
I wandered for all of half an hour when my camera card was full. Damn. Back to chez Fred to unload the card. So there vanishes an hour.
Back at the cemetery, wandering again, I meet a couple of ladies who appear to be holding a map of said cemetery. Turns out these charming Germans are merely holding a map of France. We talk for a bit and they tell me which direction for the revolutionaries and for Jim Morrison. They return to Frankfurt tomorrow. We part. I head off ostensibly toward the revolutionaries.
Before long a gentleman asks me for help. He is looking for Morrison. He’s from Toulouse. There’s an application called CityMapper which knows where certain tombs are located. I install the application and he and I go off in search of JM’s tomb. The application gets a bit of taking used to but once managed works like a charm. We find Morrison, then we locate (in no particular order) Chopin, Proust, Gramme (guy invented the dynamo, c’mon), Piaf, maybe some others. On the way Patrick points out other important French historical figures.
Finally we part. He’s going back to Toulouse tomorrow. At this rate Paris will be empty by Tuesday. We exchange contact information for when I return to Toulouse (it can happen).
Then I head back to chez Fred. Mostly to use the toilet since it’s on my way. Then I trek toward Le Centre Pompidou. There is a really long line to buy tickets so I buy one on-line and zoom past all that. The gallery arrangement is not very clear. With admission you get up to floor four. On the first floor (above the ground floor) there is a small temporary exhibit (actually two next to each other). Then you go back down to the ground floor to ascend to the first floor on the other side so you can get stopped at the entrance to go back to the ground floor to check your pack at the opposite wall of the entrance to the building. Then you can go back up to floor one on that other side and then take the outdoor escalator you entered beneath to go all the way to six. But that’s a mistake because that’s a special exhibit and you don’t really want to go see that anyway. What you want is on four. Didn’t I already mention that? Pay attention.
On hour you get to see many different modernists. This is right where I want to be. Lots of good stuff on this floor. This is where most of my time was spent.
From there staying inside the museum you can descend to three. This is the contemporary art. Most of this is not very compelling. Even the interesting installations are just making statements and have failed to deliver a narrative or an emotional impact. In time some of this will rise past the critics (probably stuff that has struggled to get museum time if history guesses correctly) and make an impact, but very little of what I’ve witnessed of this new lot seems particularly worthy. Don’t make statements; make art. The statements will make themselves.
Back out into the cool fresh night air with my pack once again in tow.
I get over to 59 Rivoli but they are just closing. Damned card.
One last sight to see. I make my way to the narrowest street in Paris: Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche. It’s located adjacent to a group of streets with a boatload of restaurants. I check the G and don’t like the nearby choices and instead select a pizza place some distance off, Pee and Bee, and head there.
Glass of Montepulciano to start. Then a ham and mushroom pizza. They are having trouble with the outdoor heaters so after the pizza I go inside and crash on this broad couch. I have today’s special dessert, which is some sort of honey cake with a poached pear and a glass of too-sweet limoncello. Kinda wanna just curl up on this couch for a nap.
Anyway, I do leave and head back to see old Fred one last night. And that’s me here writing.