Living in an apartment in Paris, even for a few days, affords opportunities that one would probably miss on a tightly packed vacation schedule. It was our chat with our agent Franz that clued us in to the new museum in the Bois du Boulogne, and a chance encounter with a fellow American that gave us a whole list of new places to see in the city.
We reserved tickets online for the Fondation Louis Vuitton. We took the 92 bus to the Place de l’Étoile, and then walked around the Arc de Triomph to the nearby Ave Friedland. Presenting our vouchers to the driver of a navette, we were taken to this new museum, designed by the American Frank Gehry.
The temporary exhibition featured works by African artists, many working outside their native land. Often the works of painting, sculpture, or photography combined traditional motifs with modern materials to support narratives around the theme of liberation, still a touchy subject in Africa.
I liked this one by the late Bodys Isek Kingelez, He made many model cities of this kind, using found materials that normally a Westerner would throw away.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton is a work of art in itself. I took this video while standing next to a waterfall under the building.
We made a new acquaintance later, while at the bistro La Terrasse, Place de l’École militare. One of us commented on the pleasure of watching the people go by the Metro stop on the other side of the window, when a man sitting at the adjacent table spoke up in agreement. His name is Jerry Marterer, an American living part of the year in the neighborhood. He has written a book, Paris201, about great places in the city that are less well known than the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, for example the Musée Jaquemart- André! He gave us some tips on grocery stores and restaurants nearby, such as l’ Auberge Bressane, 16 Avenue de la Motte-Piquet. We tried this place a few days later. It was excellent, good value, and not overrun with tourists despite its great location near the well-known Rue Cler.
So, our relatively free-form stay in Paris led to some tips from people that turned into interesting experiences for us.