There Goes the Neighborhood

Le Presse

People Who Look at Glass Houses
Shouldn't Throw Stones

by Ric Erickson

Issue 2.21:- Metropole Paris - Monday, 26. May 1997:- I spied a minor note in a newspaper a week ago, about a site in Paris I've been watching off and on. When I saw the note, although I wondered why it was so small and insignificant, I decided a report about the site would be interesting - and as it turned out I had another excuse to go there, so I did.

The place du Marché Saint Honoré is a fair-sized square, in a potentially chic area between Opéra and Vendôme, between the 'new' marché - Paribas the rue Saint Honoré and rue Danielle Casanova, at the end of the interesting rue du Marché Saint Honoré.

There was a really ugly multi-story parking garage there before - after the marché itself lost out - and a famous architect has now filled the space with glass. I was expecting great things from this glass house beyond its effect of disappearing in the reflections of the surrounding buildings.

There is a wide path right through its middle, so you don't even have to walk around it - but there is no new marché in it. I got a phone number and found out it is simply an office building for Paribas, the bank.

Some modern! art! shops are installed in the centre breezeway, but they do not have the look of permanence. There are so many of them everywhere I wonder how they survive. I have never met anybody in my life who has ever bought any modern! art! and I really doubt I ever will.

Despite the lack of action to this new glass building in the centre of this square, it is possible it will become a lively area as one can see some new restaurants have joined old standbys, especially on the east side.

About the west side I am not sure. The parking garage has been moved underground and presumably enlarged; and rue du Marché Saint-Honoré all the traffic has been routed around this western side; In the hour I was looking the thing over, there was a fair amount of cars moving about, and fairly regular small bursts of them coming up the rue du Marché.

The winebar, the Rubis and its neighbor are still there and the other little restaurants are there and the shops, and it is a kind of marché street not meant for a lot of traffic.

I hope Paribas' glass house doesn't wreck the neighborhood. Especially not after failing to improve it much.

Coming Events:

Les Peintures Romantiques du Musée du Petit Palais

Romantic Painters Since I have got myself put on some 'press lists' I have been receiving invitations to show openings; few of which I can attend. The invitations come, usually, without any information about what the show is about.

Since this show takes place at the Ville de Paris' Musée de la Vie Romantique, in the area of town known as the 'New Athens,' I suspect it will feature some sort of 'romantic' paintings. I am not an art historian either, so I will guess that these may be paintings that Oscar Wilde might have praised; paintings that were first shown at the 'salons' of the time.

Musée de la Vie Romantique
16, rue Chaptal, Paris 9. Métro: Blanche, Pigalle or Saint Georges. From Wednesday, 28. May until Sunday, 28. September. Open from 10:00 to 17:40 daily except Mondays. Info Tel.: 01 48 74 95 38.

L'Urbanisme Parisien au Siècle des Lumières

A presentation of the spirit, the seething ideas in the areas as diverse as philosophy, religion, science, the arts, and city planning, as well as the perspectives inherited by the 19th century, is displayed in a hundred documents - books, maps, designs and paintings.

Mairie du 15. Arrondissement - City Hall of the 15th
Salle des Fêtes, 31. Rue Péclet, Paris 15. Métro: Vaugirard. Until Wednesday, 25. June. From 12:00 to 18:00. Info Tel.: 01 43 25 30 30.

Fernand Léger - Exposition Rétrospective

Hommage to the rich and lively personality of an artist, who took part in the major changes of his time; whose bold pictorial vision was of modernity itself - illustrated by 200 works, both paintings and designs.

Centre Georges Pompidou
Plateau Beaubourg, Paris 4. Info Tel.: 01 44 78 12 33. From Thursday, 29. May until Monday, 29. September. Open from noon to 22:00 weekdays, from 10:00 to 22:00 on Saturdays and Sundays. Always closed on Tuesdays.

Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 1.14 - 27. May 1996 featured the columns - Metropole 'Diary' - Welcome to Metropole - Again; and 'Au Bistro' - Tunnels, Mad Cows and More Tunnels. Articles in the issue were: Silver Disc Souvenirs - Dodgy CD-ROMs and Music Top Tens; Paris - Pay per View - For a Family of Four, Bring Money; plus the week's Paris Posters and Ric's Cartoon of the Week.

Last week's 'Metropole One Year Ago' had the wrong issue date. It should have been 20. May, not 30. May. The hypertext link was correct; to the correct issue, with the correct date. -r-

Regards, Ric
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