A late arrival in Paris. Then a taxi driver trying to take me the least direct route to the hotel – I had to challenge him twice about his choice of route, and still ended up with a longer, more expensive ride than I should. Finally my room wasn’t ready so I showered in the pool change room, put my bags into storage and headed off.
Not the most promising start for a day in Paris perhaps, but this city is my “home away from home” and never fails to charm me. And, besides, I had a meeting with some Parisian urban sketchers to look forward to (thanks again Liz Steel for the intro).
But before that I had a rendezvous with an old friend, or at least a building that I love. Le Carreau du Temple is a wonderful iron and glass building dating back to the mid 1800s. It is just a few blocks from where we lived in Paris and was still operating as a run-down clothing market when we first moved there. But it has just emerged from a complete renovation and repurposing as a multifunction public space. So when I learned it was hosting a contemporary drawing exhibition I couldn’t resist.
I was too tired to really absorb all the drawing – so many galleries showing so many styles – but there were some magnificent pieces of drawing (and some I cared less for). But here are a couple of views of the renovated building.
And then, even better, off to meet the Paris Urban Sketchers. A second drawing exhibition, this time do classical “masters” was being held in the Palais Brongniart (former stock exchange). It has been the Paris Drawing Week (la semaine du dessin) hence the exhibitions. So a group of sketchers decided to meet at a cafe beside the exhibition building and sketch IT and/or the environs.
As it happened we never quite left the cafe. We chatted, drew what was in view, including each other, and enjoyed the afternoon. It was a perfect unwind and introduction to a new time zone for me. And great to meet such talented and interesting people.
Here is my drawing of “not the Palais Brongniart” (it was behind me from where I sat – although the statue is just behind the building in question). :-)
(Confession: I mis-spelt the name of the cafe, it is Le préaumur).