If you have been reading my blog for some time, you know how I enjoy "a hunt" and definitely love "a story." Before my recent trip to Paris, blog friend Louis la Vache (San Francisco Bay Daily Photo) asked if I could get a photo of Le Moulin de la Vierge on rue Vercingétorix (14ième arr.)
I coaxed Peter (Peter's Paris) to make the trip with me, and we were delighted with the pain from the wood-fired oven, the tile walls, the murals of women holding armfuls of wheat, the mural on the ceiling, the etched glass doors...
This is the story behind this charming boulangerie as told by Louis:
The boulangerie is operated by Basil Kamir, a former music promoter turned boulanger. He inadvertently became one of the leaders of the renaissance of artisan baking in Paris specifically and France in general.
Kamir was using the then-closed boulangerie as his office when an "urban renewal" project in the neighborhood deemed that the building would be destroyed. Basil loved the building with its marble counter, copper fixtures, and fine details. He couldn't allow the building to be destroyed.
Because of his work in the music business, he knew the Minister of Culture. A call was placed to the Minister, Basil pleading for intervention to save the boulangerie building. Calls were made, arms were twisted.
The Minister of Culture phoned Basil and said (in effect), "I've got good news and bad news. The good news is the building will be saved. The bad news is that it must be used again as a boulangerie."
Basil protested, "I don't know how to bake!"
To which the Minister replied, "Well, you had better learn!"
And he did. And in doing so, became a leader in the rediscovery of artisan baking, away from pain industriel, and also became one of the leaders in introducing biologique (organic) flours into baking.
But it didn't happen without some delicious Gallic drama.
A wrecking crew complete with a crane fitted with a wrecking ball showed up in front of the boulangerie. Somehow, the word didn't filter down through the bureaucracy that the building was not to be destroyed.
Basil practically came to blows with the crew. He went back into the boulangerie, and came out with a shotgun. The crew wouldn't back down, and neither would Basil. After some time of this impasse, Basil, took his shotgun and went to the basement, crawled into the wood-fired oven (at this point still long unused) with his shotgun and told the wrecking crew they would have to take him out!
Panicked calls were made and finally the wrecking crew got the Official Bureaucratic Word not to destroy the building. (You can get additional detail from Louis' post here - Merci beaucoup, Louis)
This little carrousel is new to Parc de Monceau since my visit last April. It is called Carrousel Jules Verne and looks like a slice of the 19th century with its submarine, camel, and camion de pompiers. The setting in this park is perfect, enjoyed by children in neighborhood and by this wandering photographer.
You know that I love to find carrousels and what a treat to see this one where there had been none. Please note that the rotation is counterclockwise.
While on my way to another destination, I found this church which was built between 1899 and 1901 for the working neighborhood all in steel and iron. It is interesting that this church was constructed in the same period as La Tour Eiffel and perhaps by some of the same laborers.
The art nouveau design of the organ is nestled in the midst of the iron and steel, providing a soft touch to this interesting church.
My dear young friend Isabelle from Bordeaux introduced me to the delicious cèpes seen above in Marché Maubert. She took me to a delightful restaurant serving authentic Savoyard fondue with a generous mix of cèpes. November is mushroom season as you can see from the selection above. In addition to the cèpes and girolle, there were coulmelles, trompettes, and pied mouton.
I learn much with every trip and will share the restaurant with you on another post.
This ancient church built in the 12th Century boasts a romanesque tower and other treasures within. Parts of the church remain from the 6th century beginnings. It is undergoing a much-needed restoration to bring it back to its former glory.
Did you know that the heart of Descartes is interred here?
The rest of him is at the Pantheon.
The fantastic acoustics enhance performances of Gregorian chants,
and the medieval surroundings make a haunting backdrop.
On the last day of Photoquai 2011, an open-air exhibit along the Seine at Quai Branly, the dreary day was brightened by the nearly 400 photo images by 46 photographers from around the world. I met Vreni (Verenas Paris Blog and Vienna Daily Photo) and we enjoyed the afternoon strolling through this free exhibit.
The above by Sergei Loier, a 30-something Russian, was my favorite. As I remember, his models are all children from an orphanage, and by the time he concluded his photo project, all had been adopted.
What a treat to see this eclectic photo exhibit... on the very last day!
Photoquai 2011 musée du quai Branly 37, quai Branly 75007 Paris
For years I have wanted to see this amazing tribute to Rudolph Nureyev, a fringed kilim rug meticulously crafted in bronze and glass mosaics by Ezio Frigerio. The loose drapes of rug over the "traveling trunk" is a bright gem in the Russian Orthodox Cemetery, an homage to Nureyev's Bashkir heritage.
His funeral, the civil ceremony, was at Opéra Garnier in the rococo foyer after an elegant procession up the grand staircase. The devotees of Nureyev payed their respects as an orchestra played Tchaikovsky and Bach. The splendor of Garnier was left behind and he was buried in the Russian cemetery at Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois.
One week ago, Peter (Peter's Paris) and I made the journey by train, by bus, and on foot to the remote town. As a town it is oblivious to the cemetery and does not encourage the tourists with signs of direction. For two hours we saw only the custodians of the cemetery as we walked among the graves, a quiet time in this spectacular resting place of the great dancer and choreographer.
To read more about Rudolph Nureyev, the biography Nureyev, the Life (2007) by Julie Kavanagh is spellbinding.
Today, I am presenting a portrait of Malcolm Miller, who is likely the foremost authority on Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres. He has been giving lecture tours of this world famous cathedral for over 50 years and says that he continues to learn new details.
If you have an opportunity to see Chartres Cathedral, be sure to search out Mr. Miller for better understanding of the details, stories and mysteries of the cathedral. He will demand your attention much like a professor of his students and delight you with his humor and intimate knowledge.
Walking with Peter and Marie down Rue Tholozé in April, I captured this shot through the open door of an atelier." What I did not know from this unasuming scene is that Orla Kiely is an award-winning fashion designer.
I discover much as a detail-oriented photographer.
These caryatids* are high above the street level on Rue de Provence and support the balcony of the deuxième étage. Although this building does not have the architect's name and date of construction like my previous post, one might guess that this building was designed late 19th or early 20th century. Well, after looking at many of these caryatids and two architecture books, one can see that this Greek influence has been felt for centuries. The earliest known examples are seen in the treasuries of Delphi (6th century BC) and the Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens.
The caryatids are by Édouard Lormier (1847-1919) who made his debut at the Salon in 1886. He specialized in evocative works of the Art Deco era and is best known for his figures of beautiful women in flowing drapes. (Thank you detective Malyss)
*caryatid -A sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar
73, rue de Provence (at Rue Chassée d'antin) 75009 Paris