...Continued from page 1

Then it was, raining, as I skipped over to, head down, to the Pompidou to see the 'Los Angeles' exhibition that had its opening night free drinks binge last night. I was on this case in January when Gary De la Rosa was here, and Tomoko sent me an email today saying he's back, and the plan is to meet tonight in the Pompidou, and here I am, damp but on time.

photo, los angeles expo entry, pompidou A legal photo of the expo, without detail.

The Pompidou is a big thing. I don't know where I am supposed to meet Tomoko and Gary with his free tickets, so I buy a ticket at full price because I forgot to bring the welfare card I don't have, and there's no discount for beauty or age. Going in I get all three ticket–takers to electro–flash the ticket, but it blows no gaskets.

Then I take the escalator to the 6th floor. It is actually about a dozen escalators and it takes about two days but there's a fine view of a soaking Paris, gray and fleeting golden with rain, Tour Eiffel on the horizon, take a photo, buy a postcard. There are other sights and it's worth the admission price.

I find the LA expo at the end of a long corridor, and then Tomoko finds me, and asks, "Where's Gary?" She beat me to it. She also got in for free because she brought her welfare card. We flash our tickets at the flasheuse and trawl the exhibition.

This goes along fine until I decide to ask if I can take some photos to go along with this piece. There are royalties concerned, the museum might want to collect something, the artists certainly, and most important, never on the 'Net, the short answer is non. As the conversation moves into its 2nd hour and displaces from inside to the entry, Tomoko comes past, saying she's going to park someplace.

In the entry I take the only legal photo. Then Gary arrives, with one of my club members who is not Tomoko. Gary says he arrived from Los Angeles Tuesday night, with a pass to the drinks uproar, but they wouldn't let him in because it was past his bedtime. He put up a fuss, for a hour – honest – he told me! – then he was overcome with jetlag.

I start the expo again. Gary has to read all the little tickets on everything so I quickly get ahead of him. The expo is called 'Los Angeles 1955–1985, Etc Etc.' I begin to realize it is really different. LA is something smelly. There's this thing of Ketchup bottles, blood, black gunk. I think maybe it's ripe.

photo, rain, paris, view from pompidou Night in the rain, with the usual twinkles.

Another sign says, "NAHSBOF" which is a new word for 'sneeze' in German. There are fine photos, like the one for the poster all over Paris, shot by Dennis Hopper in 1961. Further on, after much other odd stuff, another message says, "A hell if there ever was one," attributed to Alexis Smith in 1982.

My day, rain and all, is made by the fine piece that is a chicken in a small but elaborate coffin, titled 'Blink's Coffin.' Nearby there's a map showing the location of Blink's coffin in the LA cemetery. For fans of French the translation is not a big hurdle, with La version originale de Blinky le poulet sympa, 1978.

This reminds me that it is news time, which means I'm hungry. Outside it has become night, wet, slick, glistening, and the yellow lights are lit and glittering in the puddles. I skip Les Halles and catch the Métro at Châtelet's Opportune hole, the underground looking grimly like St. Pauli on a wet day in Hamburg.

This LA show – is worth a visit, if you like strange stuff that smells, and it continues until 17. July, which is a Monday I bet. Open from 11:00 to 21:00 daily except Tuesdays, and on Thursdays late until 23:00. At the Centre Georges Pompidou, Place Georges Pompidou, Paris 4. Métro: Rambuteau. InfoTel.: 01 44 78 12 33.

Goodblognight from Paris
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