The long road home

Sorry for the lag since my last posting. We went to a lovely restaurant for a meal that ran very late. The next day we moved from our somewhat grungy Marais apartment to a much neater but minuscule room in a business hotel by the Eiffel Tower, much closer to the OECD workshop that was the real reason for the trip in the first place. I found it much less conducive to sitting quietly and jotting notes, even if I hadn’t been engaged for a couple of days in the intricacy of Internet governance.

Moving day allowed enough time to go through the Musée du Quai Branley, specializing in anthropological collections. The feature exhibits were from the Sepik River valley in Papua New Guinea and the North-eastern part of Siberia. Both were filled with amazing material. I was particularly struck by the similarities between the faces in the photos of Siberian aboriginal people (related to the Ainu of northern Japan) and some of the early photos of BC first nations. I will add some photos later when I am better set up.

Thursday after the workshop brought reasonably good weather, which we spent humouring my desire to wander aimlessly through the left bank, ostensibly in search of the Clairefontaine notebooks I like.

And Friday we got to the new Frank Gehry-designed Institute Louis Vuitton just opened in the Bois du Boulogne. What an amazing building it is. Again, photos to follow. They are currently showing the third tranche of their opening exhibits, centred around Pop and Music. I admit that sounded pretty unappealing, but it turned out to have its high points. Best were a walk through the museum assembled by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller (now based in Grindrod, BC, in the Northern Okanagan!), and a video and sound piece showing a rather creative approach to imploding a defunct high rise in a Paris suburb.

This was a great trip, and I’d say 9 or 10 days is about right for a visit to Paris in November. Lots of good restaurants, much walking, great museum, some time with friends, and a little work tossed in as a reality check, at least for one of us. I expect to get around to posting names and addresses that might be useful for others heading that way before too much more time passes.

Speaking of reality checks, 24 hours travel door-to-door on the return, including the 6 hour layover in Toronto, certainly takes some of the glow off. Sigh.

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