Thursday, September 13, 2018

September 13, 2018 (Paris)


September 13, 2018 (Paris)

Today in Paris, it's raining.  Which puts me in the mood of "Tosh: 5 to 7."  That, and waiting for news back home in Los Angeles about a project that I'm working on.  In other words, it's very Michel Legrand type of day.  Yesterday, Lun*na went to the Louvre to see some Dutch paintings, and we walked from where we are now to the museum.  That was a mistake. On the map, I thought it would be a simple walk, but it was a long stroll in the harsh sunlight of Paris.    We arrived on Rue Saint-Antoine, where Lun*na and I came upon music and DVD shop called O'CD (12 Rue Saint-Antonine, 75004 Paris).  There were new and used vinyl here, but most of the merchandise is CDs as well as DVDs.   I immediately went to their soundtrack section, and found a copy of François de Roubaix's score for Jean-Pierre Melville's "Le Samourai."   I heard that they released this music on vinyl early this year, but had trouble finding it back in Los Angeles.  Happiness came upon me just as hard as the sun hitting my face.  

We finally reached the Louvre Museum, which is located on Rue de Rivoli 75058 Paris.  Lun*na and I agreed that I would not enter the museum.  It's a well-known fact about me that I fear museum spaces with great intensity.   It has to do with the size of the building, how the floor patterns are either marble or concrete, as well as the size of the artwork on the walls.  If the ceiling is tall, it's impossible for me to enter such a room.  The other thing that bothers me about museums is that they are very much a maze-like floorplan.  Once you enter, it's impossible to find an exit.  Lun*na wanted to avoid the Mona Lisa and instead wanted to focus on Dutch paintings from the 17th-century.  Off she went, and I went to have wine and pizza at a nearby cafe called Chez Alexandre (16 rue du Louvre).  I started to feel bad because I made Lun*na walk at least two miles to get there, and now she's stuck in the Louvre and probably can't sit down anywhere.   My only appreciation of this fact is to drink more wine.  I ordered a small pizza, which was simple - cheese and tomato sauce.  The core food of this cafe is Greek food, but their pizza was delicious and with glasses of white wine, enjoyable experience, beyond my guilt feelings regarding Lun*na at the Louvre.  



In the area, not far off to walk, is a record vinyl store  'Monster Mélodies (9 rue des Déchargeurs).  I approached the store with great expectations.  I wasn't disappointed.  This is the first record store where it is so crammed full of vinyl that one can't remove the record from the shelf.   My first impression is that they specialized in European prog artists, with a side interest in Punk, rock n' roll, and a jazz section.  For one, it's impossible to be there when another customer is looking around as well.  The size is not the issue, but how the merchandise is displayed in the store.  For one, there are at least a zillion (I count that high) albums in the store.  There are also boxes of 45 rpm singles, but they are scattered around the floor, and quite dangerous to pick up because there is a good chance that the cardboard boxes will break.  When I was in the store, there were two other customers, plus the owner.  To pass the other customer, it took great skill in the ability to stretch my body at a certain angle.  If I was on the floor looking at the singles, it is logical that I should craw between the customer's legs to get on the other side. 

The inventory seems terrific, but I can't be sure, due that the records are jammed together, and one needs a tremendous tool to pull the releases out of the tight space.  For instance, I can see on the wall shelf that they have various recordings by Jacno, but with all my might and finger skills, I couldn't get ahold of any of the recordings.  I asked the owner if he could help me.  He just shrugged his shoulders and told me to try to hold on to one of the records.  By my fingertips, I held the album, but couldn't pull it loose.  He then grabbed my waist, and he pulled me as I tried to pull the record out.  This too was unsuccessful.  So we both gave up the idea of me obtaining an album by Jacno. 

I left 'Monster Mélodies' feeling a tad down, but still, very impressed with the nature of this store.   Vinyl records are an obsession, and that's the proper medium for one's passion for an object.  Those who laugh or don't understand such an interest in life, shouldn't bother or take space in my world.  I picked Lun*na up at the museum entrance, and she told me that the Dutch Painting section was closed today - only today!  We went to a local cafe to get some beer at a cafe called Les Fontaines (196 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris).  Lun*na gave me a blow-by-blow of her visit to the museum, and I thank god I wasn't with her.  She had trouble finding things in the Louvre due to its size, and the mix-up of how one counts each floor.  In France, there is the main entrance floor, and then if you go upstairs, that becomes the first floor, and so forth.  Totally confusing to a Japanese and American citizen!



We met Frank and Vanessa at the Clown Bar (114 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris).  It is right around where we are staying in Paris, and this bar is a Clown hang-out because there is a circus building next door.  It is not unusual to see clowns here late at night having a drink after their performance next door.   Lun*na and I had Monk Fish, which was delicious.    We discussed art business and the difference between Los Angeles and Paris.  When I'm outside of my city of birth (Los Angeles), I realized how unique my town is. It's hard to describe the city's characteristics to an outsider because it doesn't make logical sense whatsoever.  Then I realize that I'm an outsider.  Therefore it makes perfect sense that I live in Los Angeles. 

- Tosh Berman



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