Sunday, June 29, 2014

Encore plus out-takes de Paris

So we have crossed the river quite a few times this past week and, as ever, I
have been attentive to the traffic, practicing my ship-spotting skills; mostly it's
tour boats like this

Occasionally, interestingly, a container ship now and then

And now and then a boat with two loads of fill-dirt (ballast?) and a car and two

And, tied-up, the Jean Bart; named after either the privateer or the great
battleship sunk by planes from the USS Ranger during the allied landings in
(French colonial) North Africa, November, 1942;  among the allies, there
was hope the French would welcome the landings; but soldiers are soldiers
and sailors are sailors, welcome was not in their orders, and it was not to be;
the Jean Bart's one operational turret opened fire and nearly hit the flagship
of the US invasion force, but then the Navy flyers finished her off, sending
her to the bottom of the  harbor at Casablanca; she was raised in the 1950s
and was briefly in commission...sic transit, Gloria

Jean Bart, from US Navy reconnaissance, 1942

Hopefully it was not the food; did you know that Voltaire,
the champion of free speech, religious freedom, separation
of church and state, used some 178 different pseudonyms
in his many, many writings? The monarchs and other elites,
including the Church, did not want to hear this stuff, and
he was exiled and imprisoned many times...

Innards of a sanitaire; I do have pix of the innards of the Vespacienne, in case
anyone is interested

Beautiful stairs, until the (French) tour bus arrived

Delivering a new fridge to the 5th floor

In the church of St. Etienne du Mont, in the hall outside the
chapter house, there are featured several of the strangest
stained glass windows we have seen's Jesus,
apparently being bled...

Here's the Ark, with a unicorn aboard; wait a second, where's the two-by-two

And here's Jesus, being crucified, but the cross is in a pot of
boiling oil (water?)

In a bay of the galleries at St. Severin's, disused chairs from  the nave; does the 
prévôt des incendies know about this?

Finally, somewhere between the Boulevard St. Germain and
the Bon Marche, Cesar's Centaure, 1985; the centaur's
équipement was impressive

Le marché aux puces de Vanves

While Rachel continued her shopping expeditions Friday, Vicki and I did a rest/administrative day. We spent much of Saturday at the Vanves flea market, by far the best we have seen here...interesting stuff, affordable. It is said that the merchants of the Clignancourt market shop at Vanves first.
Pretty much all the stalls are pros, but there is much interesting stuff, most of it
on the scale you could take back home, and it is less pricey/touristy than

Street scene

Ditto; it goes on for blocks and blocks

Serious honky-tonk music by the cafe

Lamp of interest

Airy, light-weight coffee table; not of interest

Interesting take on the Farnese Bull

First experiments with being shot out of a cannon? Or possibly a martyrdom in
Constantinople c. 1453? The cannonization of St. Sistine? Anyhow, it was a
pretty neat market; Rachel bought a few nice things (not pictured because they
might become presents), and so did we

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Plus de la rive gauche, à Bon Marche

Our long Thursday walk continued...
The house, now museum, of Eugene Delacroix, administered by the Louvre

The Jim Thompson store in Paris--really Thai'd things together for me--Vicki
and Rachel were unimpressed

Wagner lived in Paris a couple times, neither very happily, here working on The Flying 
Dutchman and over-seeing production of Rienzi (as I recall)

Probably on one of the upper floors

All over Paris now this is the one sign you see in the store windows...the July
SALE is on!

Among Rachel's goals for the day was a visit to the City
crowded she elected to return the next morning

A Rolls pulls into the Bon Marche lot...

The Rive Gauche Bon Marche

Interesting sculpture in the store; here, entering the book department

We made for the Food Hall, skipping the, um, interesting D-Day beer, but
collecting a variety of cheese, creams, foie gras, and other goodies

On the way home, a remnant of one of the earlier Guimard Metro stations

Une très longue promenade sur la rive gauche impliquant deux églises et beaucoup d'autres choses

Thursday it was a very long walk, mostly on the left bank, involving two churches and many other things, mostly along or near Boulevard St. Germain, and then over to the Bon Marche.
In our neighborhood, between Charonne and Rue de Faubourg
St. Antoine, this beautiful old Art Nouveau factory (?),
apparently making exotic wood things; apparently now disused

In the Bastille market, creme fraiche by the scoop

Looking downstream from the Pont du Sully

Knave view of the 15th century late Gothic St. Severin; unusually wide, with a
nave and four aisles, though not otherwise terribly large nor high

The twisted column

Vaulting in the chancel

St. Severin

Among the other sights

Now in the nave of St. Germain en Pres, one of Paris' oldest
churches, Romanesque, and still sporting its Medieval paint job


And thus

View astern from the choir

Musée de l'Armée

We breezed through the Museum of the Army in a couple hours, concentrating on the more recent stuff. Knowing a bit of military history--well, knowing your own country's version or versions--always makes for interesting experiences. I have been looking at war museums here and there for many years, but I think it has been since 1979 that I was at the Musee de l'Armee here in Paris. I was pleased with the coverage, extensiveness, fairness, and willingness to address some of the difficult parts of the story. Here are a few of the scores of pix I took.
They lost the Franco-Prussian War largely because they were still wearing silly hats

1890s nationalistic board game 

One of the Paris taxis commandeered for the Battle of the Marne; their
importance in the battle has been exaggerated,the display said

Rifles developed for trench warfare; "over the top" meant something very
different then

The account of American involvement in WWI was generous,
I thought

War posters were everywhere and good; propaganda is always
a big part of the story for me


Then came another war

And another hero emerged

After France's surrender, the French fleet withdrew to neutral or African ports;
Churchill  feared it would eventually fall into German hands, and, after due
warning, ordered it sunk

Axis depiction of Churchill after the above; thousands of
French were killed and the wounds between allies took some
time to heal

There is ample attention to the American war effort, in the Pacific as well as
in Europe; here, a great model of the old carrier Enterprise, c. 1944 (Grumman
Avenger torpedo bombers and Curtis-Wright Helldiver bombers ready for
take-off), somewhere in the central Pacific

Rome, not Tipperary

One of those episodes you hear rather less about sometimes: in 1942, 6,000
Canadian troops were sent to land and attack the fortified Normandy port of
Dieppe; the point and purpose of all this is rather shrouded in military and
political history and intrigue; half the Canadians were killed or captured, the
other half barely got back to Britain; more unhappiness among the allies;
Churchill was in Moscow trying desperately to keep Russia in the war

Two years later, over Normandy

Liberation of Paris