PARIS, FRANCE
«Sep. 2016»

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

Taking the hispeed train, the Thalys, to France's capital Paris for a visit of a few days.
The main objective was to visit three photo museums and walk about afterwards, wherever our tired feet would take us. Each day a different photo museum, three full days.
Well, each day disappointment and frustration more like!

Two of the museums I intended to visit, having checked opening times and adresses on their websites, I found closed.. No info of such on the (english) pages of their websites. In a mere 4 days I was also insulted or dismissed by the Parisians (shopkeepers mainly), perhaps because the French only like their own kind and not so keen on tourists.
Added to that frustrations with food & drink (items sold out, or supposed to be available but when ordering... 'sorry just out of that'.

So not a success, but I do have pictures to share and managed to find a few places of (photography) interest. But I won't be going back to Paris any time soon!

 


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This is how I visualized Paris to be.

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Then again..
I don't see my streetphotography as documenting people down and out on their luck, but there were so many people begging I had to include some, I thought. Esspecially seeing mothers with small children was particulalrly distressing.

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Man Ray was a renowned fashion- and portrait photographer.

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Susan Sontag was an American writer, filmmaker, teacher, and political activist.
Her best-known works include 'On Photography' for one.

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Brassaï, pseudonym of Gyula Halász (b.09Sep1899 – d.08Jul1984), was a Hungarian–French photographer,
sculptor, writer, and filmmaker who rose to international fame in France in the 20th century.

More on these persons and my visit to Cimetière du Montparnasse: HERE..


 

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The enire trip to Paris was based on a visit to three photography museums and it was so disappointing to find two of them closed, the first being 'Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson'. I am a fan for his 'decisive moment' in photography.
While I checked the website of the museum (the english page) for the adress and opening times, I had seen nothing
about it being closed around this time. It confirmed to me the French ineffeciency and failure to communicate on
an international level; they are not concerned with visitors from abroad. It made me so angry

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This shop advertised the opening days & times on the door (albeit two different slightly conflicting times) but we
were on its doorstep well within thes times on the right day. But found it closed nevertheless.
I saw the shopkeeper sitting at his desk in the back of the shop but the asshole ignored me. Oh, the French

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Here we have another asswipe! I noticed the books by the four famous photographers in the shopwindow so I
stepped inside into the small shop. The shopkeeper was on the phone facing the door and when I stepped in
he asked me, in a way I had no trouble identifying as being an interruption to his phonecall, 'Que vous
voulez?' upon which, intending to make my interruption as brief as possible, 'Can I look around?'
He replied in a brusque manner 'C'est rien!!!' and dismissed me with a wave of his arm, returning to his phonecall...
I stepped outside and raised my camera to take a photo of this shop upon which the shopkeeper jumped up from his
desk and started ranting, to stop my photography and go away. I was dumbfounded, stepped aside and took this photo.
So if you pass 11, Rue de Campagne Première could you please stick up your middle finger to the shopkeeper, that
hopeless inept fuckwit, of 'La Rose de Java' for me? Much appreciated. What a total arsehole and utter shithead!


 

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Bread is popular with the French. The Boulanger is often a good stop for a quick & affordable lunch.
In a different bakery than this one I was pointing out my choice to the shopkeeper, when someone stepped in
the shop he apparently knew well, and proceeded to start to help him first, totally ignoring my stupefied person..
Is their no end to the rudeness of the French? Or should I limit that to Parisiens..?

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I can so relate to the text on her t-shirt, must have been someone forced to stay and live in Paris..
The light shows green, but I saw red a lot of times here in Paris. I won't go into all of my frustrations suffered
here on this trip, but I am now convinced I cannot stand the French!


 

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Being read to, but distracted by the photographer

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Not too hot to play for these guys. Must have been nearer to 30 C then 25 C !

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The horses enjoy the cooling water but seem to turn their heads from the spray

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Now this was a nice stop! A visit to Shapespeare and Company with a story...
When I shopped for books in Edinburgh a few months ago some titles I could not find. A short story by Ian Rankin not on my shopping list but bought all the same had the main character, an Englishman from Edingburgh, take a job in Paris
with a small bookshop: Shakespeare and Company. Complete with an adress. I did not know the shop actually existed
when I read it and at that same adress, until I read up for this visit to Paris! I just had to visit this English bookshop
at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie! Funny thing was that I managed to buy some of those missing titles here at Shapespeare & Co!


 

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We took the metro to Champs-Élysées - Clemenceau, to start a nice morning walk along the river Seine.

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Dôme des Invalides in the distance. The bridge is named Pont Alexandre III.
For a next visit (if ever!) I must try to visit the Air France museum nearby, could be interesting.

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Place de la Concorde.

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Jardin des Tuileries. I was too early for my visit to photography museum Jeu de Paume, which did not open until
11:00. So we went into the park and sit with a cup of coffee.
You can see the photos of my visit to this fine photography museum (with an excellent bookshop!) on my page HERE.
It was unfortunately the only visit to a photography museum for me, finding the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson and
the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP) both closed. I don't think I will consider a revisit to Paris very soon.

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Enjoying the blistering sun in the Jardin des Tuileries

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All engrossed with their smartphones or tablet. Except one.

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The lonesome cowboy in search for his crowd to play his songs to.


 

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The stare.

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Hands to the head.


 

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A chance to explore the covered walkways. First 'Passage Choiseul'.

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Unfortunately it was being renovated. But one continues into other covered walkways.
Each passage is about 140 metres (460 ft) long and 4 metres (13 ft) wide.

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The Passage Jouffroy was built in 1845 along the line of the Passage des Panoramas in order to capitalize on the popularity of the latter. A private company was formed to manage it, headed by Count Felix de Jouffroy-Gonsans (1791-1863), who gave his name to the passage, and M. Verdeau, who gave his name to the passage that was built as a further extension, the passage Verdeau. The passage was built by architects François Destailleur and Romain de Bourges.
The passage is covered by a canopy of metal and glass. An ornate clock stucco overlooks the alley.[2] The floor is paved with a geometric pattern composed of white, gray and black squares. The exit from the musée Grévin (a wax museum) is located inside the Passage Jouffroy.
en.wikipedia.org:_Passage_Jouffroy

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The Passage des Panoramas opens as a continuation of the passage Jouffroy on the other side of the Boulevard Montmartre. The Passage Verdeau does the same on the other side, after crossing the street from the Grange Batelière.


Passage Verdeau has several bookshops. In one of them, not this one, I bought a photobook I am very pleased with.
Maybe it was in Passage Jouffroy, e.g. 'Librairie du Passage', because it was a cornerstore inside the passage.


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Nearby Harry's New York Bar is a well-known bar in Paris, France.
We did not go in, as we did had lunch with drinks only minutes ago. Retracing our steps later did not come to pass.

Located at 5, Rue Daunou, between the Avenue de l'Opéra and the Rue de la Paix in Paris, France, the bar was acquired by former American star jockey Tod Sloan in 1911, who converted it from a bistro and renamed it the "New York Bar."
Sloan had gone partners with a New Yorker named Clancy (no one seems to know his first name) who owned a bar in Manhattan. That bar was dismantled and shipped to Paris. Sloan then hired Harry MacElhone, a barman from Dundee, Scotland, to run the place.

At the time, American tourists and members of the artistic and literary communities were beginning to show up in Paris in ever-increasing numbers and Sloan hoped to capitalize on his fame and make the place a spot where expatriates would feel at home. His bar did become a popular spot for members of the American Field Service Ambulance Corps during World War I. However, financial problems from Sloan's overspending on a lavish personal lifestyle forced him to sell the bar.

In 1923, MacElhone, its former barman, bought the bar and added his name to it. He would be responsible for making it into a legendary Parisian landmark. When Harry died, in 1958, his son Andrew took over the bar and ran it until 1989.
His son, Duncan, took over the bar and ran it unto his death in 1998, whereupon his widow, Isabelle MacElhone, took it over.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry's_New_York_Bar

 


 

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Security is everywhere, here we see bags being checked upon entering Galeries Lafayette.

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Sumptuous and lavishly decorated, for those '..with an expensive and exclusive taste'. I.o.w. not me!
The Galeries Lafayette is an upmarket French department store chain. Its flagship store here is on Boulevard
Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but it now operates in a number of other locations
in France and other countries.

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We soon find ourselves outside again, being laughed at by these 'gargoyles'. Galeries Lafayette was not for us!


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Académie Musicale du 11° Voltaire

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Plenty of impressive buildings, with statues and fine decorations. But not quite my thing on this trip.

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Place de la Bastille


 

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The next step after the Segway, I suppose. Nice to see people go at it with such grace and ease.

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Exploring Rue Mouffetard, a cobblestone market street.

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"Where did you say this mountain I should climb is..?"

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Shopping chic

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For our safety

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Police and military patrol the streets and waterways, making their presence noted.


 

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Making our way to the Jardin des Plantes we passed this market, maybe on the Square Robert Montagne.


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Jardin des Plantes. We satisfied ourselves with a stroll through the grounds.

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Along the Quai Saint-Bernard there is a nice park along the river Seine to walk through, between
Pont d'Austerlitz and Pont de Sully.

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Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

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The French version of 'sitting on a dock of a bay'


 

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Street art and graphitti near the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP), which I found closed..! Aaarggh!!

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A few more random images, wandering around in Paris

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Playing football in front of the Église Saint-Sulpice


The spectators. Or not.

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Paroisse Saint-Sulpice


JARDIN DU LUXEMBOURG

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Nobody seemed to care about the abandoned rucksack, what with all the security and police..? French inconsistencies, I suppose

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'Statue Of Liberty' in Jardin du Luxembourg

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The Jardin du Luxembourg is allegedly the most popular park in Paris. The park, situated near the Latin Quarter, offers
a lot of variety and attracts all kinds of people, from students and parents with children to tourists.

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Pétanque in the park

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A strange sort of meeting

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People going through the park, mixing with people in protectve clothing: another French inconsistency?

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Romance in Paris, of course!


 

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Checking the roster or names or whatever for a new schoolyear, I suppose.


 

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Three days in Paris, days of much frustration by French attitudes, so full of themselves. I have
been abused and ignored, plus finding two of the three intended museum closed made this trip hardly worthwile.
So I repeat this image on this page, so relating to 'I Hate Everyone' shirt, but rather limiting it to the French..

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Yes, I rather would like to be or go to London. Paris I am done with.