Acting local

For today’s project I vowed to pursue neither fashion nor food.  Today would be about…architecture!  And to explore another as yet visited arrondissement, and to get a little exercise…in other words, killing three birds with one (blog post) stone.I have been seeing the following poster in the Metro and from what I could gather it was an exhibition about the interiors of some of Paris’ grander private residences, or “hotel particuliers”.

I had never been to this particular museum, Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, located in the 15th at the Place du Trocadero.  I also had no idea what the Trocadero was all about, other than it’s yet another famous attraction, and it’s directly opposite the Eiffel Tower.  And it was exactly 3.7 kilometers (about two and a quarter miles) from Chez Rolla, thus satisfying the last of the pre-requisites for today’s adventure.

As often happens in Paris, getting there is half the fun, and there are many little adventures to encounter as you make your way.  My first such encounter was the discovery of a common scam running rampant along the quais of the Seine, of which I almost fell prey to a few days ago.  I was walking along Quai d’Orsay when this woman stopped, picked up something on the ground (or appeared to) and asked me if I had lost a ring.  I replied no, or at least tried to, and she insisted that I take it.  It looked like a cool gold ring, and so I did, which I immediately regretted.  As I walked away she came after me insisting I give her money, 10 euros to be exact, and since I already felt bad about taking a lost ring (now I know how Frodo felt), I gave it back and scurried away as quickly as I could.  Cut to a few days later, at nearly the same point on Quai d’Orsay, but on the other side of the street, when I saw a very familiar looking lady try to make eye contact and extend her hand toward me with something in it.  That better not be another ring.  Then about ten minutes later I saw a guy make the same move – the pause, the forced eye contact, the hand extension – but this time I saw it, the goddamn ring!  It IS a scam!   I wonder how many suckers have acquired “lost property” this way in the form of a fake gold ring?  If there was more than one grifter working the same stretch of Seine, I would say quite a lot!  My suggestion to the grifters, time to up the merchandise.  A simple gold ring ain’t gonna cut it anymore.

The other unforeseen bi-product of today’s cultural pursuit was stumbling upon this rather large photo exhibition called Photoquai, a photography biennale featuring large scale prints from all over the world.  There were literally hundreds of photos displayed on kiosks repreanrinf each photographer’s distinct point of view and purpose.  The following photo was from India, and was part of a larger series called “Photo Fiction” that told the story of an honorable prostitute and the gangsters who frequent her establishment.  It was like a Bollywood film minus the song and dance numbers!

Just a few steps more, across the river, up the steps of the Trocadero and I arrived at my final destination at the Cité de l’Architecture, only to be met with this sign:

Rough translation: CLOSED!  For a special event!  For which there was no reference of on their website!  Cue sadtrombone.com!  Well, it wasn’t completely futile, as I had this sight before me:

I think the Eiffel Tower was trying to tell me something…that is a thought balloon, isn’t it?  Like, go back to your own hood Rolla, there’s so much you’ve yet to explore.  And so I did, back to my favorite little brasserie with the groovy sign…

And their delicious roast chicken…

And to the market street of Rue de Buci, and the beautiful crustaceans, bivalves and mollusks of l’Atlas…I’ll be back for you soon my little friends!

(On a side note, do you think this is what Champ Kind had in mind when he offered to “take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out to a nice seafood dinner and never call her again”?)

And to this hidden circle, just a stones throw down rue Jacob…thank you Cococozy for sharing your discover…it was among the first places I sought out after I settled!

And of course, to the above posted dahlias, also acquired on the Rue de Buci, and now happily home at Chez Rolla!

Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, 1 Place du Trocadero, Metro: Trocadero

Photoquai, on Quai Branly, until December 4, 2011

Le Pre Aux Clercs, 30 Rue Bonaparte, Metro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés

L’Atlas (shellfish), 11 Rue de Buci, Metro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Rue de Furstenberg is between Rue Jacob and Rue de l’Abbaye, just due west if Rue de Seine

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