Now returned from Paris and looking back over the trip I thought I would write down a few things to help me remember them later. My initial idea for this trip aside from the hope of enjoying some time away with my wife Rosalia, was to see what it would take to work on the road. This meant traveling with only our regular tourist gear then setting up something of a studio, acquiring the supplies needed and then going out and hunting down materials for creating collages. I had some ideas in mind as far as the kind of collages I wanted to make but was open to working on whatever came to me inspired by the materials that I found along the way. I did acquire some interesting antique and vintage materials such as 1960's MATCH magazines, old books, journals and hand written documents but took an interest in advertizing posters found around the city walls and in the Paris Metro.
I also had in mind to use the disorientation and distraction of the trip to break my cigarette smoking habit which proved successful. I had my last cigarette before boarding the plane on the way to Paris and still have not had a puff since. So I am very happy about that. This is not to say that there was not plenty of opportunity to smoke. Paris is full of smoking. Indoor smoking seems to have been banned some years ago like in the USA. This ban has driven the smokers outside so everywhere people were smoking in the streets.
We found it quite tiring to go out for more that a few hours a day seeing the city and its sites. It was very nice therefore to have the activity of producing artworks as a kind of recreation that did not require slogging around the city with weary joints. While happy to have a private apartment at 11 Rue Roger off of Rue Deguerre, it was a 5th floor walk-up with no elevator so we got our stair master workout on a daily basis. I thought I would get used to it but it was a struggle to the end.
When we first arrived we spent quite a bit of time with Matthew Rose as
we oriented ourselves to the city. Matthew help reacquaint me to the
Paris Metro system and he took us around to a few small gatherings. He
has become quite involved in playing guitar and spent most evenings
playing and practicing various songs with several musician friends.
Rosalia and I accompanied with percussion on a couple of occasions.
The general area we stayed in was determined by the intention to be close by to Matthew Rose's studio since the two of us intended to work on a small book project together for our joint venture: The Paris Alphabet Factory publishing company. Rue Deguerre is the spine of the neighborhood and as such is the main commercial street where all of the shops, restaurants, groceries, wine shops, carry outs, fruit, vegetable and meat markets are as well as the ubiquitous brasseries and real estate offices.
The real estate offices show fliers on their windows of available properties for rent or sale. On average, they say that the price of Paris real estate is about 10,000 euros per square meter. Many apartments seem to average 35-45 meters or about 375 - 485 square feet so you are looking at 350,000 - 450,000 euros for a space that, at least in my part of the USA is smaller that a typical two car garage. At this time the dollar is pretty week against the euro so everything seemed quite expensive to me.
Over all the weather was very pleasant. It was often cool but not really cold. Paris seemed a city of high humidity so temperatures usually felt a bit colder that they really were and, being much more humid than in southern Colorado, I felt the moisture in my joints. (to be continued)