Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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A Los Angeles Childhood – Jour 8 – Musee Carnavalet – Quelle Surprise!
Sunday, 19 June 2011 09:54

For two years now my friend Jade has been nagging, not exactly nagging but more like encouraging me to visit Musee Carnavalet, which I must now admit, was delightful for two reasons. First, I found one of my favorite left-bank women painters there and, second, The Sign Gallery, which, as they say is, “a unique collection of signs spanning the period from the 16th to the 20th century. This is definitely worth a Google, at the least.  And as they tell you, signs are wonders because even illiterate people knew what was what with signs.

I found three women painters represented in the link gallery between the two buildings, paintings by Louise Abbema, 1887-1927, L’elegant Place de La Concorde 1884 and one other. And of course, le piece de la resistance pour moi: Romaine Brooks, Elizabeth de Graumont, Duchesse de Clernant Tonnerre, 1924, donated by the artist in 1966, four years before she died at the age of 96. The second, a painting of Natalie Clifford Barney, Quelle Amazone, the woman and I believe, her lover, who held salons at 20 rue Jacob at the turn of the century, where literature’s first celebres debuted their work. She is also definitely worth a Google if you are interested in that period of the women of the left bank. There is also a wonderful resource book of the same name, which talks about these women and that period in great detail. Natalie Barney died two years after Brooks at the age of 96. 

Well, yet another interesting window showed Marcel Proust’s room, taken from furniture of three apartments he lived in after his parents died. It was said that he wrote in the evenings reclining. This is something to consider and try.

Since I was in the Marais, the old Jewish sector, I walked over to Place des Vosges, pronounced Voge. The Place Royale, the oldest square in Paris, was the area which was settled and this beautiful square, a very sweet park, with several fountains, a king on a horse, (I forgot to jot down the name of the king or the horse), wonderful cone shaped bushes perfectly manicured, and after strolling around the park, I visited several galleries which surround the square housed inside what once must have been dwellings, some with gates that opened up into courtyards now controlled by security pads in which one enters two numbers followed by a letter and two more numbers.

A woman in one of the galleries wanted to know what I was doing in Paris on my visit. I told her about presenting my memoir and gave her a postcard. I also gave one to a young woman working at Carnavalet, who seemed very interested in my book, as she wanted to improve her reading of English. I told her it was from my viewpoint as a young child and that it should not be tres difficile for her.

Then back on the bus to the Pompidou to check on the mural. Almost done. Gelato, Amorino, this time strawberry and lemon, sweet and delicious, the good life in Paris!

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