Monday, May 25, 2009

Back in paris

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I am in New York City for the week and the ease and convenience of things is amazing. Not that I can't get most things most of the time in paris, especially as we have Avenue de Clichy nearby, but the ease of New York is perhaps best summed up in the bodega, also referred to as a korean deli or just deli and I forgot how much I love these places. On just about every block in Manhattan is a bodega, some better than others, but every staple can be found in these magnificent little mom and pop shops. From fresh cut flowers to tampons to laundry soap to ice cream to a variety of canned soups, cereals, sodas, beer, occasionally fresh fruit, muffins, bagels......................its all there and more... Truly a wonderful thing and classic NYC.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pauline Bordeaux

I first encountered Pauline Bordeaux about a year or so ago at the flea markets in Vanves. She was tucked in between two larger vendors and I heard her telling off another vendor about something or another. I have no idea what she was saying but I was struck by this tiny, maybe 4'7", 70 (at least) year old woman in her soon to be familiar fur hat, holding her own against the younger, arrogant men. I went in for a closer inspection and saw that she was selling her own paintings. She turned on the charm as I walked up, becoming experienced saleswomen she clearly was. Using small 4 x 6" pieces of cardboard, she paints small landscapes of countryside scenes, perhaps with a disproportionately sized cow or horse floating in the background, or scenes of children playing on a beach (but wearing the sailor type uniforms and bow ties reminiscent of the early 20th century), or sometimes just close-ups of animals or flowers. The colors are usually muted due to the cardboard support which sucks all the shine, but they are sweet and folky and I was smitten. For 10 Euros I took home the first of my now four Pauline Bordeaux paintings, for after that, any brocante or antiques fair, whether it was 5 degrees or 20 degrees (Celsius), there she was, working away, on her feet for probably 6-9 hours. I couldn't help but build up fantasitc ideas about her: maybe she lived in some grand hotel particulieur in the 8th, maybe she had numerous lovers including de Gaulle, but in reality I imagine she lives a pretty hard life as an artist, considering her dedication to her craft. Recently I worked up the courage to talk with her and at the last brocante around the Parc de Batignolles I had M take some great photos. So keep an eye out for her on your next flea market or antiques fair and spend that extra 10 euros--you never know she could be the next great thing.