dran, Attention de ne pas tomber, 2014.

I didn’t want this Paris trip to be an endless bunfight in art galleries. I love the art and the amazing spaces in Paris, but fighting with a thousand other tourists to get a two second look at a panting is just not my scene. So on this trip I limited myself to just one gallery, one gallery out of all the magic that Paris had to offer. Of course I had to choose my favourite modern art gallery; Palais de Tokyo. Before I even looked at what was on I knew it was the type of gallery to have the most insane and cool of the modern art on offer, exactly what I wanted.

The nice thing about the Palais de Tokyo is that you follow a set path through the building. So many galleries are a set of rooms for you to choose to go into or not, which means you can avoid the art that you don’t want to see, but also means you miss giving art a second chance or experiencing something new. At the Palais de Tokyo you have to see everything on offer, much like an arty Ikea there is only one path through the madness, so you just have to gird your loins and enter the lions den.

 

The exhibition that was on offer could not have been more perfect if I had tried. It was ‘Inside’ which some artists took to mean the distinction between two spaces (inside v outside) and others used as a chance to study the ‘inside’ of humanity, and one guy lived in a bear for a while. You know, it wouldn’t be modern art if someone didn’t think it was a good idea to live inside a bear.

Since whenever I talk about my favourite pieces of art I get trolled by Art Majors who want to prove how much they know, I will preface this by saying I like these because they are awesome and stuff…not because they are buried in a thesis somewhere. First is this super cool effect by artist Marcius Galan, it was a white room that looked like it was cut off by an angled piece of glass, but actually it was just a paint effect (the photo really doesn’t do the mind trick justice).

Vue d'exposition, Inside, Palais de Tokyo (2014), Marcius Galan

I also loved this marble sculpture that looked like a sheet fort build by a four year old, and a four year old with no spacial reasoning skills at that. The fabric on classical sculptures is always fascinating to me, how artists get that sort of soft look from stone is beyond my comprehension. But cool nonetheless.

Marble blanket fort Palais de Tokyo Paris

Oh and that bear I mentioned? Yes artist Abraham Poincheval lived inside a bear sculpture for 13 days. It had everything he needed even a small kettle, so he could live completely cut off from the world…in a bear. Thank god there are artists out there to do thing sort of thing so we don’t have to.

And the last one I am going to mention, the pièce de résistance the tunnel made of scotch tape. No photos were allowed from inside (yes you could crawl around inside the thing) but here is one from underneath. It looked like some sort of extra from Dr Who, that stretched all the way across the entry hall, above the heads of people buying tickets.  It was made out of scotch tape and I feel that some sort of extreme office makeover could be called for, after all I think every day is a good day if you are working in a Scotch tape web.

Tape Paris, Numen For Use. Exposition INSIDE, Palais de Tokyo 2014

Oh and before I forget, the corridors of the Palais de Tokyo are just as exciting as the art (or it could be art, I can never really tell). All the white walls over three levels had been tagged with crude but clever black images. They used anything that was already there as inspiration like the florescent lights as the centre of an eye or a lamppost (like the one at the top). I would also suggest this for an office makeover, except I think I already know what the response would be if I walked up to my boss with a can or two of black spray paint.

If you are in Paris and want to see some cool insane stuff then head over to Palais de Tokyo. The added bonus is that it is within walking distance to both the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe so you can get your tourist fix and your nutter fix in one.

Looking over a fountain in Paris

I originally visited Paris for the romance. The idea of the magical city of lights. The place which sparked with potential. The city where I could pretend to know about art. But the more I visit the more it becomes a bolthole, a place to get away and think/relax/rejuvenate. I think Paris might just be the biggest perk of living in London. I can hear you crying ‘just move to Paris then’, but I don’t want to live there. I want to visit and dive feet first into the culture, the treats and the ‘differentness’ of Paris.

Pink bunny on the Paris Metro

I know I am lucky to have been enough times for Paris to feel comfortable, to know the Metro as well as I know the Underground (although it is beyond me why they have a picture of a pink rabbit). But is it mostly because I have sacrificed traveling to more exotic or far flung destinations in exchange for living in a lovely flat in Zone 1. I would much rather give up that trip to Croatia, Iceland or Jordan if it means walking through my front door each day and smiling because I am so grateful to live in my flat. But this means that when I need a trip (as a kiwi it happens, wanderlust boils in our veins) it has to be close and it has to be affordable…hello Paris.

Having the Eurostar just makes everything ok. I have travelled longer to get to brunch then I have to get to Paris (sadly not kidding on this one). And come to that, I have packed more luggage for brunch than I have for a weekend in Paris. But the almost painless journey through the Chunnel takes you from central London to central Paris in enough time to write a tear stained blog post (more on this tomorrow).

Paris on a grey day

Arriving in Paris I can now ignore the tourist traps. I no longer have the urgent feeling that unless I see the Louvre something tragic might befall it, if I miss the Eiffel Tower a freak lightening storm might bend it beyond recognition. So I can enjoy Paris as the whim takes me. If I want to walk for an hour just to find the perfect place to eat eclairs I can. If I want to rest, go to bed at 4:30pm and watch Star Trek I can. And beyond anything if I just want to sit and watch the world, then Paris is the dream.

There are just a few Paris blog posts to come, not the normal wave of French to take over the blog. But that is because this trip was about all the things that are not blog worthy, the naps, the visits to the supermarche, and the chocolate butt plug exhibition. Actually, I might write about that last one (why do I always end up in these situations???).

A quick train journey and I am in a different world. I am going from the stressed up to the eyeballs London life all about work and fitness, to rediscovering the real me in my favourite magic city. I can’t wait.

Sweet treats in Paris

xx

Casa San Pablo

Hello again, another month another Travel Linkup with Emma and Kelly. I have thought long and hard about this post (actually I just had a GnT and thought, what the hell), but I think it is finally time to tell you what actually happened in Casa San Pablo. I posted last year about this amazing tapas joint I found on my Paris trip (read the post here), well amazing food wasn’t exactly the whole story…I may have skipped the part where I accidentally proposed to the french waiter. Yep.

My first night in Paris happened to coincide with the last night in Paris of some family friends from NZ. Things started well with a few drinks at the Last Bar Before the End of the World before a short walk to Casa San Pablo. I should declare now that I am a serious light weight when it comes to drinking – normally two glasses of wine and I am out for the count, so cocktails followed by sangria and margaritas was both a fun and lethal combination.

At the point where our (cute) waiter bought out the third round of tapas (the food was really fantastic), I decided that he was my future husband. Thinking that he only spoke french (you can see where this is going), I very loudly in English declared my love for him and went on to discuss where we would get married, how many children we would have, what holidays we would take and how we would compromise and live in Paris for spring and London for summer. He spoke English. Balls.

Well, maybe not. Mr French Waiter may have got the very subtle hints I was dropping and in broken english he asked me back for lunch and more sangria the next day. Still vastly entertained by the situation and seriously under the influence I said yes.

So the next day I went back for more tapas, after all regardless of what my future husband turned out like, I knew the food was damn fine. The food was even better the second time around and Mr French Waiter was a real gentleman up until he asked me back to his place to show me his “ultimate fighting skills” (no, not kidding). I declined the offer and went on my merry way thinking that was that. 

Until of course the next day when I remembered that he had taught me a couple of french words…le blog & le facebook. That Facebook post I had written when drunk that went something along the lines of “OMG I JUST FOUND MY FUTURE HUSBAND AND HE IS FRENCH AND OUR BABIES WILL BE BEAUTIFUL AND IM GOING TO HAVE SANGRIA WITH HIM TOMORROW”? Mr French had found it …

AND LIKED IT!!!!!!!

Facing a real and social media hangover I quickly deleted everything possible and went to hide in an art gallery.

Who could have guessed that SciFi, Paris and tapas could be such a terrible terrible combination.

 


Baitogogo by Henrique Oliveira

I know it’s only the start of October but I am calling it, I had found my favourite piece of art for 2013. As I rounded a corner in the Palais de Tokyo I came across Baitogogo by Henrique Oliveira. The way he had fitted this explosion of nature into the industrial setting was clever and gave meaning to the term installation.

Love!!!

IMG_2191

IMG_2206