Category Archives: paris

Squabbling over kippers

Finally, a story that combines great literature, down-and-dirty sex with minors, gratuitous violence and, er, cultural heritage issues. The house in London in which Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud loved, wrote and fought over smoked fish has been saved from … Continue reading

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This is not a time for dreaming…

…is the name of a video we saw this summer at the Beaubourg. It’s on the lower of the two floors, halfway down on the left and was made by Pierre Huyghe, an artist I’ve never come across before. I … Continue reading

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A rose is a rose

Giuseppe made friends with an Italo-French florist fifty yards down the road from the flat we were in, in Boulevard Saint Germain, and managed to scrounge three separate bunches of roses during our two-week stay. They were just the way … Continue reading

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Hausmann rules, but not always

One of the joys of Paris – of central Paris, at least – is the endless variation on the theme of Hausmann; street after street, quartier after quartier, of houses that follow the same essential rules of architecture, yet each … Continue reading

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Writing as madness

This summer, I saw a painting I’d never seen before, in the Centre Pompidou. Entitled Peinture (Ecriture rose) and covering a fair-sized chunk of wall (maybe three metres by four), it’s the work of Simon Hantai and was done in … Continue reading

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Penis, Paris

The image is rather ghostly, but you should be able to make out the form of a rather substantial male member on this toilet-paper roll. It’s isn’t remarkable in itself. The penis, after all, is to graffiti in public toilets … Continue reading

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This bar is just over the road from La Maffiosa, on the corner of rue des Dames and rue Nollet, where we stayed last year. Its slightly down-at-heel exterior makes it look as though it’s been like this for years, … Continue reading

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La Maffiosa (sic)

Back to Paris, where we saw this sign outside a pizzeria in rue des Dames. It’s extraordinary the extent to which criminality can acquire a veneer of folksy charm. Who knows how long it will be before we see a … Continue reading

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Les writers de Paris

Not really the work of writers at all (and maybe the term isn’t intended to cover this type of urban artist), but of illustrators, and looking as though they were all produced, in any case, by a single person (presumably … Continue reading

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Commerce is the opium of the people


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