...Continued from page 1

"....coming here today," I said. By now it had occurred to me that this was an unusual situation and only speed-talking was going to make coming all this way with the heavy sack full of booklets, brochures, flyers, notebooks, cameras and exposed-but-undeveloped films, worthwhile. "I am the Internet reporter for Paris and I have been plugging this museum because of the Russians at the Musée de Montparnasse nonstop for weeks in my Internet magazine for readers worldwide and the purpose of my visit today is merely to say 'hello.'"

She looked at me, she looked at the card, which was laying on the counter like a diseased bit of idle trash, and a fellow who was there looked at the card too, and she said, "Well, in that case..."

After a few more minutes of de-stress chit-chat, the quiz began. Visiting card not press card, mere 'hello' or not; the fellow there asked, "Who is the best painter?"

"Cézanne," was my answer because thought I remembered hearing on the morning radio news that a painting of his had just gone for gazillions more than any other in New York. "Impressionists," I added, "Are very popular with my readers. So is Montparnasse."

"Give the names of paintings by Van Gogh, Sisley and Toulouse-Lautrec done in Montparnasse," was the next question.

Actually there were more names in the question, but the basic correct answer was, is 'none,' which I said.

His face lit up and he brought out a small notebook with a list of names and dates written on the inside back page. The lady told him to put it away, while I wondered, 'what next?'

With glee in an eye and the notebook in front of his nose, he asked, "Who is your favorite Montparnasse painter?"

Modigliani, we agreed was super, although only half Montparnassian. Utrillo, not at all, and not super either. I won a point by being able to drag Soutine's name out of memory.

The big argument started when I put up Jules Pascin as the 'best' Montparnassian. "Not for painting," I said, "But for being a Dômist, a Montparnasssian. He was a painter manqué."

The lady tried to get in a word, "Don't try to argue with him," she said to me, and, "Put the book away," she said to him. Meanwhile she'd called the press service and a young guy had come downstairs from someplace and we arranged for future press releases to be sent.

At one point I was sent on a tour of the museum while the man with the notebook phoned to get a vital fact from somebody, and when I got back, the discussion about Jules Pascin continued. About whether he was 'mangué' or only thought he was.

By this time I was drawing a cartoon of Madame and since it was a cartoon I had to put in her potato-nose, butphoto: garden zadkine museum I put in her glasses hanging by a neck-cord too and this interesting detail over her large chest distracted from the nose; and all this while museum visitors were coming in and buying tickets, and then she started packing everything up.

Many of Zadkine's larger pieces are in the enclosed garden - for which there is no entry charge.

The next visitors to arrive had 'closing time in twenty minutes' barked at them. While the man was looking in his notebook to try and figure out what new puzzler to launch, she told me his two sisters each had art galleries nearby, as if this gave him an unfair advantage.

Somehow, we got on to the Prado in Madrid, where I have been a couple of times and she 20. Then it was closing time, closing for the long weekend - and closing for the museum - until the 'Demeurs' show begins on Friday, 18. June.

This will feature a bunch of well-known names, gathered around Dubuffet, Etienne-Martin, Giacometti and Zadkine. I will have to get back for this, mainly to comment about the museum itself, which is a hidden jewel in Montparnasse.

The poste guy on his yellow motor-bike brings me half the items for the 'Scene' column, and I find the other half, one way or another, sometimes in Montparnasse.

Musée Zadkine, 100 bis. Rue d'Assas, Paris 6. Métro: Vavin or RER Port Royal. Closed until Thursday, 17. June. Info. Tel.: 01 43 26 91 90.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

count down Eiffel TowerIssue 3.20 - 18. May 1998 - This issue featured - Café Metropole - 'No Cause For Alarm - Yet' and the 'Au Bistro' column had 'All Sorts of News For Visitors.' This issue had three features: 'Who's Afraid of the RER?' by Linda Thalman, 'Public Transport Tariff Maze Explained' and 'Life On the Road in France' by M-R Erickson. There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'Clochards Get Ready To Greet You,' which was not a cause for alarm.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 229 more quite cool and breezily blue, slightly freezing Ile-de-France spring days to go until summer happens before it's over.

Regards, Ric
Go to page : 1 - 2
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini