Viollet-le-Duc renovated the crumbling walls and put his imprint on about one hundred French monuments, including Vézelay, Pierrefonds, Notre-Dame de Paris, Carcassonne, Saint-Sernin. At la Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine until March 9, 2015, all of the signage and labels are in French and English. An opportunity for the public to see for the first time a considerable quantity of newly acquired graphic drawings and writing and relate to the public the various facets of this temperamental artist. This retrospective exhibit celebrates the two hundredth anniversary of his birth.
Street names in Paris are one way to discover the history of France. With over 5,000 streets, avenues, boulevards, cul-de-sacs and dead ends the name of the street often has a simply-phrased history beneath the name. An example is rue Nicolas Appert in the eleventh arrondissement. Nicolas Appert, a French confectioner who made pastries and candies, invented the method for conserving food in a tin can and lived between 1749 and 1841. Direct Matin is one of the free metro newspapers in France. They have a section called “Pourquoi…” … about Nicolas Appert’s invention.
“Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) is the slogan used immediately after assassinations at a satirical newspaper in Paris. The slogan is in memory of the cartoonists and others assassinated in Paris on Wednesday morning, January 7, 2015 near the Bastille and metro Richard Lenoir. For anyone who writes and has an opinion and likes to express the opinion, we are all Charlie. The name Charlie represents the satirical newspaper, “CharlieHebdo”. For Americans “MAD” magazine comes to my mind for outrageous satire. You either read it or you don’t. ….
The Paris Mayor’s Office brought in the new year with a spectacular display of “video-morphing” on the Arc-de-Triomphe. The spectacle lasted 20 minutes and ended with fireworks from the top. Wherever you were on December 31 (I was almost a month in northwest and central India), you can relive a slice of the moment virtually on their Daily Motion (French YouTube) channel.
The Jeu de Paume is host to the first retrospective in twenty-five years of the American photographer, Garry Winogrand (1928-1984). Winogrand is considered in the same league as the American photographers: Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Lee Friedlander. Winogrand captured a moment in life similar to French photographers, Robert Doisneau, Marc Riboud and Willy Ronis. From the exhibit, I gathered that he admired most the works of Eugène Atget, Brassaï, Walker Evans and Diane Arbus.
You want to travel from Point A to B on the Paris metro. It is frustrating to get on the metro and find out work is going in the direction you want to go. Take a look at the RATP interactive map before you go. Look for any orange cones. The pop-up window gives the dates of work and more details (in French).