It's the second sunny morning in a row and although I don't expect it to last, it feels really good. The forecast this week is up and down, with a storm expected on Wednesday, but the following week looks good, and summer may be a-comin' in, lhud sing goddamn. (Although for Pound it was winter. One of those lines of poetry that, once learned in school, sticks in the memory no matter what else goes. Forgive me, the sun is making me giddy.)
We've ramped up our activities a bit, having had dinner with several different friends and lunches with others. Our first dinner out was at Les Enfants Rouges, a new restaurant in the Marais, a choice made by B. who lives near there. What she didn't know was that the chef is an old acquaintance of ours whom we met when he worked behind the counter at Avant Comptoir, our St-Germain hangout. He was quickly promoted by Yves Camdebourde to cook at the Relais de Comptoir and six months ago opened his own restaurant with his wife running the front of the (very small) house. They've received good reviews and even a mention in the NY Times. Dinner was excellent and it was good to see him.
Lunch yesterday on the terrasse of Mini Palais before the Monumenta exhibition was super. It's a gorgeous space in the corner of the Grand Palais. Huge columns supporting the roof many feet overhead make you feel as if you're lounging in a painting by one of those 19th century English painters who reproduced their own version of antiquity, someone like Alma-Tadema. Except for the foie gras. Mmmm.
Monumenta itself was boring. The overwhelming feeling we all had was that the money must have dried up and what was produced were maquettes for what the original idea had been. There was little attempt to really use the enormous volumes of the Grand Palais, which is the point of this annual exhibition. B. told me that last year Monumenta was cancelled on budgetary grounds. Maybe this year's version should have been as well.
Since today is Saturday and sunny, we're heading off to the flea market at Clignancourt, one of the wonders of the shopping world. Not a flea market as we understand it, it's a huge collection of antique and bric-a-brac shops under the same few roofs, some extraordinarily expensive, some reasonable and a few, very few, real bargains. As someone who shrieks with joy when I pass an antique shop on a country road, it's heaven for me.
We've actually bought some things in the past, when the dollar was significantly stronger than it is now, but looking is fun nonetheless. Any real shopping is best done on the other end of town at the Porte de Vanves flea market where goods are laid out on tables and blankets along the sidewalk and bargains can be found at the end of the day when vendors would rather not repack their goods.
Photos are at www.instagram.com/shellioreck