Goodbye, Paris

My last day was busy, revisiting favourite places and getting lost and finding new things, as usual.

St Chapelle was unscheduled, but was lovely to revisit.

The Pompidou Centre has changed, but was great. In 1981 I photographed the buildings opposite because they reminded me of a print I had at home. The roofs are still interesting, such as the double former windows on a high grey roof, and the nets slung between dormers in the foreground.

I approached Ile St Louis from the Rive Droit, and discovered Les Plages which I had heard about. The riverside has been set up like a beach resort for the summer. Children are playing football inside that structure.

Ile St Louis has charming streets and shops and cafes, such as this tea shop where I had apricot juice and homemade orange cake.

This archway holds three floors above it.

There was a mechanic’s garage in Art Deco style, but full of modern cars. I saw a garage earlier which was just for repairing motorcycles. There are a lot of motorcycles about and I like to look for the ones with two wheels at the front.

St Louis Church is on Ile St Louis, as you might expect. It has a grand array of organ pipes and a modern statue of Pope John Paul in the Chapel of Compassion – but just a photo of Mother Teresa.

Then more shops, such as one with popular French characters:

The dog reminds me of Pommes Frites, the police bloodhound in Michael Bond’s Monsieur Pamplemousse series.

I walked across the bridge to the garden behind Notre Dame where there was a statue of the same pope as before, but also these gentlemen, one recumbent in the vege patch. I’m tempted to say, “recumbent in the cucumbers”.

And here’s the building itself:

Then it was a last look at the p├ętanque players in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

And a last meal at Bistro des Campagnes – with a glass of Muscadet.

Au Revoir, Paris!

Fittingly, predictive text wanted me to say, “Au Renoir”!

Art at the Pompidou Centre

As the Pompidou didn’t open until 11am I had time to revisit St Chapelle on the way. Astonishing stained glass and detailed craftsmanship impressed as before.

There is a carving of a woman with distaff and spindle in almost the same pose as the woman spinning in the tapestry in the Cluny.

The Pompidou has extensive art collections. Here are some which caught my eye.

A Matisse.

A woman in a Swanndri!

A Picasso sculpture: Young Girl on a Swing. I liked the weighting of this, particularly the clumpy feet.

This is called “Table” but there is more to it than furniture.

This is 3D: a deconstructed piano.

The exhibitions are organised by time periods. You drift from room to room with glimpses into other spaces or to courtyards with sculptures and water and over the rooftops of Paris.

The contemporary art was extensive and challenging. I was pleased I hung in for the top gallery of furniture, art and objects from art nouveau to about the 60s.

This was made for a house in 1911.

A blue car with a crank handle, and leather straps securing the bonnet.

Book covers – Art Deco, perhaps.

A wooden carving, distinctly phallic, and very French in the eccentric, cartoon-like figures and expressions.

Furniture with a view.

And posters.

I walked 17kms today and I imagine much of that was inside this massive complex.

It doesn’t have the colourful exterior with colour-coded pipes that I remember when I visited in 1981. It’s been toned down. Not in content and scope, however.