Saturday, January 14, 2006

Paris - last night

Monday 9th Jan

The talk on photography at Patricia's soiree inspired me to take even more photos than usual on Monday, helped by the very good weather. But I tried to take more of the kind of thing she omits, modern French life, adopting a more documentary approach.

I felt I was getting into a routine (warned about in my talk at Patricia's the week before) by returning to the usual places for my last night on Monday. But I had been exploring the Left Bank for about five hours in the afternoon, so went back to my favourites in the evening and had a really good time again.

Henrietta, the very accomplished Dutch pianist, was playing again and waved when I came in (the "Cheers" effect). Later, as she left, she asked me how my talk had gone at Patricia's (too long and complicated - old habits die hard). There was a new, older guy singing opera - just for the love of it.

I was a bit annoyed at two young guys who came in rather noisily. I thought they were Italians, but they turned out to be Brazilians and the noisiest quietened down and listened appreciatively to the older guy and applauded loudly - and later he sang too, with a lot of Brazilian-style body movement and gestures.

Then a young blond (a Russian, I think) came in with her child in a buggy ! - and seemed to have had a bit too much to drink already. She really got into the music and was amused when I took pics of her and the child, which was just learning to walk and tottered/crawled around the bar. The two young guys played with the child then moved to her table. She then made my night by inviting me to join them and seemed quite put out when I declined - there wasn't really enough room - and she said to the two guys: "Le monsieur est si elegant." ! They didn't seem to agree :-)

The cast of characters in that bar ! - an old lady with one eye, wearing a fur coat and with a cigarette holder; a guy with beard, trilby hat and scarf looking like an opera singer; the tall doorman; the pretty young blonde barmaid; the petite, dark waitresses; another old, tall, ex pro-opera singer (I think) - a baritone, elegantly dressed - Toulouse Lautrec would love it ! I imagine it gets a lot of tourists later in the year, but for now it was mostly locals and regulars.

Then I went on to the Caveau de la Huchette - again - and apologized to Ignacio, the barman, for not bringing any women this time. Then an attractive blonde woman came and ordered a drink next to me and stayed there, so I felt it my duty to talk to her. It turned out that she was one of the singers - a trio of women in bright berets and silver ties. She comes from Amsterdam but has lived in Paris for 20 years and said she didn't know if she was Dutch or French and liked my suggestion that she was a citizen of the world. Unfortunately my ego was deflated as one of her friends introduced her to a young guy and she moved away.

Back downstairs a couple gave a fantastic display of dancing - just beautiful to watch - like top athletes or tennis players, the guy very inventive and graceful and the girl matching his moves wonderfully.

Then the three women did their second set, very good - and a big jazz band - all this for a mere 10 euros - and drinks at reasonable prices - I love the place.

The rest of the photos:
Trois Mailletz


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