Thursday, January 12, 2006


New Year's Eve

Patricia gave me the phone number of Mike, another expat, who was having a NYE party. He had too many people, but, as they were mainly women, he let me in - 40 euros and a bottle of champagne. It was rather crowded and somehow I just couldn't get in the mood. The food was good and plentiful, but I just had some lamb. I'd told Kathy about it, and, since she knew him, she managed to get in too and I chatted to her for some of the time. I chatted to Bertrand, who works on satellites, and told him about my talk at Patricia's - despite that, he turned up for it.

I also chatted to Gabrielle Garz, who was wearing a very brightly coloured dress, rather cheering in the Jan. gloom.

She had studied science, but now she is a painter. She showed me some of her abstract paintings, some based on natural forms. I suggested she might do more distinctive work if she used science as the basis for her ideas, especially as she'd studied it. She said that a dealer had said there were a lot of works like hers, and a friend had made a similar suggestion to mine - so she wasn't put out.

Gabrielle's site

S. (my ex) had also made a last minute decision to come to Paris, just over New Year in her case. We met at a favourite place, the garden bar in Studio 28, Rue Tholoze, Monmartre; the cinema where Bunuel and Dali had shown their films in the 1920s and where they'd met the cultural elite of the time, Picasso, etc. The cinema was attacked by a Right wing mob.

We wandered around, S. turning down some restaurants as being too quiet. So we tried Rue des Abbesses and seemd to run out of choices, mostly crowded bars. We ended up at Le Relais Gascon, also very crowded. We narrowly avoided a row about where to sit, then it got even more crowded, people queing inside and out - and all those nice, empty restaurants just up the road.

Earlier in my trip I had done my own tour of Montmartre, checking out a couple of piano bars on Rue Norvins.

Then I walked down to Rue des Martyrs and checked out Caveau des Arts for the first time.

There was no show in the cellar bar, but the bar was full of boho types and a young guy, who looked about 15, who was belting out classic songs in a very professional way.


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