Sunday, November 06, 2005

Just Returned from Paris 11/06/05


Just back from a research trip to Paris. Here's some quick highlights.
Caught the Willy Ronis photography exhbition at Hotel de Ville, fantastic.
Photography Willy Ronis à Paris
Salon d'accueil, Hôtel de Ville, 29 rue de Rivoli, 75001 ( Métro Hôtel de Ville. 10am-7pm Mon-Sat. Free. Until Feb 18.
In his series of photographs devoted to Belleville and Ménilmontant taken in the 1940s and 1950s, Willy Ronis captured some eternally
enduring - and endearing - images of old Paris and a now lost way of life. But this show in honour of the photographer's 95th birthday
contains more than misty-eyed nostalgia. See his documentation of the political movements of the 1930s, unpublished photos of rue de la
Huchette, fashion shots and an elderly Ronis making a parachute jump.

Theatre wise after macaroons and hot chocolate so thick the spoon stood up by itself at Ladurée we saw Love Letters, at Theatre
Madelaine, the play with Phillipe Noiret, a national treasure and my favorite actor and Anouk Aimee - no relation to Aimée but maybe you
remember her from the film A Man and A Woman.

Trip highlights: talking with Jean-Noel, a retired undercover flic formerly with the Brigade des Stupifiants et Banditisme, kind of like the
DEA, and his tales of capturing Mesrine, France’s most wanted, in the 90’s. Did you know the French police have no right to search or
interview suspects between 9 pm and 6 am? Seems suspects know this too and arrive home at 9:30 and leave at 5 am.

Paris fashion trend pointed out by friend Pierre Olivier as we sat near the Palais Royal on a warm, sunny Sunday knee high boots, tucked
in jeans, mettalic handbags and short corduroy jackets. His father contributes to
a site with memories of Resistants and Survivor from WWII.

On November 1, called Toussaint, everyone visits the cemetary to bring flowers and clean up family graves. Yellow and white
chrysanthemums are the symbolic flowers and you never give chrysanthemums otherwise, I discovered. I visited Chopin’s grave, bedecked
with multi-colored arrangements and many of the Polish community who gathered there and place candles. Oscar Wilde’s grave is
plastered with lipstick kisses but I avoided Jim Morrison.

Foodwise - discovered Les Lucioles corner of rue Cendriers and Boulevard Menilmontant in the 20th arrondissement by the Belleville
market - fantastic filling salads - 8 Euros - old bistro feeling where locals mix with the trendies. On 63 rue Jean Pierre Timbaud in the 11th
Mémère au Piano, homestyle French with a light touch, and near Chatelet, La Robe et Le Palais 12 rue des Lavandières Ste Opportune
with great Corsican wine. Try the Renucci from Calvi area!

Shopping: If you need to find shoe polish, a stud for your leather belt or buy leather hides wholesale ( one never knows!) go to Sarl
Gérard Diffusion 31 rue Yves Toudic near Place de Republique
Rue Meslay behind Place de Republique in the third arrondissment has tons of shoe stores and good quality ie Charles Jourdan boots cheaper than anywhere else.

Aimée’s sixth investigation - can't believe it myself - Murder in Montmartre comes out in March 2006 Hint: there's Corsicans involved,
René goes undercover and it wouldn't be Montmartre without those wonderful steep staircases ...All the best, à la prochain - until next time,


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