Previous trip journal entries from Guillaume's apartment:
REPORT FROM PARIS #1:
I love visiting other countries... everything's
so WACKY! Right now I am typing this on a European style
computer keyboard - ouch!
I am at Guillaume's apartment - right off Avenue Bosquet and literally across from Champs de Mars - wow! Today after I traveled through six zillion countries and zany German airports where the workers ride bicycles through the hallways amongst the public - I finally found his place after what I will call a Parisian subway "challenge".
Guillaume`s street is beautiful.
I had not seen the newly designed Charles de Gaulle airport and I was very impressed - until you get to where the renovations end.
Guillaume will not shut up about Jacques Chirac and how I should have been here two weeks ago for the protests against Le Pen - which were literally outside his window for a week and a half, and which he participated in.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) I go over to the gallery in the morning and work out some details and the lecture (tentative at this point) with Vincent and then Guillaume will come with me to the opening at 6:30pm (yay!). I'm really excited.
I looked at the overpass where Princess Diana was killed - the walls of the underpass and bridge are covered in graffiti messages in dedication to her.
We walked all over Paris today and it was fun but I have been here many times and am very excited to get out into the country.
Guillaume and I have made plans to rent a Smart car (this hilarious mini mini mini car that seats two only and has been very popular in France for years but was news to me because I couldn't stop laughing when I saw it) and drive to Normandy and anywhere else fate takes us.
Everyone in Paris dresses really cool. I'm going to buy some new running shoes while I'm here.
The men here are all very sexy.
Even construction areas here are beautiful and colorful.
I almost ate a plate of raw salmon today.
REPORT FROM PARIS #2:
Real life is setting in. Paris real life that is. Guillaume and I are such a married couple now. He is cooking pattes oau pesto et saint nectaire frommage et vin rouge while behind me in the alley an accordion plays and cats run around. Its such a cliché its scary. It's pretty romantic.
I have had red wine every day I have been here. We have been everywhere today. Including Marie Antoinnette's last beauty salon.
There is a real language barrier between Guillame et moi that is funny sometimes. I asked him to take me to the place where Marie Antoinnette got her "head cut off" - we walked all over Paris to get there (which was great as the sun was setting) and when we finally got there he was like "Here we are! This is place where she had her 'hairs cut' in prison before they took her off to the other side of the city and had her decapitated!" Turns out we had walked past the French Revolution bloodbath area about an hour earlier without notice. "Head", "hair", same-sounding thing... big difference.
There is another funny language complication story involving "hostage" and "off-stage".
Now we just had an argument about onions and shallots.
Ce la vie!
A very cool and funny Parisian viewer of my site, Joel, took Guillaume and I out to dinner after the opening last night AND gave us a bottle of Champagne AND a book on Normandy - thanks Joel!!! - ze French are so friendly et sweet! Everyone has been so cool here.
It was disorienting to hear people "compliment" and "rave" about my photos when they didn't speak English hardly at all. I was like "Merci! Merci! ...I think?"
Of course I speak NO French (two semesters in high school thank you) so I can't really talk (literally).
The exhibition opening was brilliant. I have some great stories and even greater photos of the opening itself. Including one photo of a child with crutches walking in front of me as the Director of Culture was welcoming me to Romainville. Guillaume and I were Patsy and Edina all night. Sometimes i can be a real fag. Guillaume even tried to light one of my photos on fire! That was not a typo.
I love the way everyone dresses here. Every age, every color... all amazing. There is a certain thing about the French where they have this innate sense of what looks good - in their dress and in their surroundings - architecture, product design, hair, paper cups, garbage cans... Everywhere I go is brilliant by a design sense. It's so odd. It's brilliant actually. They have a love of bright colors against a plain surface that works it's way into everything. It's a breathtaking city!!!
There is anti-Le Pen graffiti everywhere...
Tropicana makes blood orange juice here... I have had some funny experiences in Parisian grocery stores.
All the vacuum cleaners in Paris are amazing looking. There's that design thing again.
We have been hanging out a lot with Guillaume's French friends... it's nice to see how the real people live here. One of his friends has an AMAZING apartment.
I'm constantly exhausted while here.
The fat people here are skinny.
The food here is amazing.
Festivale de Cannes started tonight and the city is in full celebrity wowie zowie. The festival this year is dedicated to Jacques Tati... imagine that! Did you know Guillaume is separated by 2 degrees of separation from "Cathy"?
I am going back to Romainville tomorrow to talk to some web design people about my website and how I made it "Prenez beoucoup de photos de vomit!" and also take photos of the city of Romainville - which the gallery is buying two of from every artist in the show to give to the city as postcards(!)
Did you know Romainville used to be communist and is part of the old French "red belt"?
The TV ads and billboards in Paris are one degree away from XXX porn. Like for paper towels and stuff.
Tonight Guillaume and I are going to go out and pick up some guy and have a menage a trios... at least that's the plan. The men here are very very very sexy.
If I have to eat any more bread I'm going to explode.
I fell asleep by myself yesterday in the grass in the park by the Eiffel tower in the sun - long before the opening - jet lag - when I woke up there was a photo of my feet taken with my camera. Someone else or did I "sleep" photograph?
When I came back to Guillaume's apartment - I heard him having sex with someone through the door, right before I opened it - so I left and came back later. It was funny. When i came back he was all "What you mean?" I keep teasing him about it.
There is a really cool theater right next to the Pompidou Center playing Pedro Almodovar's new film "Parle Avec Elle" which I am going to see in Spanish with french subtitles - I actually love doing that and try to do it often when in foreign cities. It's hilarious!
Sunday it's off to Normandy in our Smart car. We are going to re-enact Godard's "Weekend" frame by frame.
Gotta go... pasta's ready!!!
ps: Guillaume says: je suis en train de
faire la cuisine pour Mark!!!! c'est bien la première fois que je
fais la cuisine poru quelqu'un!!!!
REPORT FROM PARIS #3:
Yesterday Vincente took me to several Paris galleries to introduce me and show them my work. One of the gallery owners was this old guy who had a huge collection of Molinier (ancient transsexual dada photographer) photographs and artifacts - brilliant!!!
Vincent introduced me to the director of the Agnes B gallery in Paris and he was very cool and seemed to like my photography a lot, and was pretty interested in working with me on some level/maybe/possibly/sort-of/probably. You know how these things go. He gave me some contacts in NYC too. I have to make a CD ROM of my photography and music and stuff for Vincente and the Agnes B guy when I get back to the states. It was very encouraging.
In the sub basement of Agnes B gallery, it is semi-connected to the Paris catacombs and has curved stone ceilings with racks of framed photographs by people like Harmony Korine and Ryan McGinley and the walls are marked all over from graffiti artist O'Clock. It was pretty wild.
I spent an entire afternoon in Romainville ( the French pronunciation of this is 'rhah-mein-ah-vee-la') taking photographs of anything and everything. I got yelled at a lot by Romainville residents for photographing the warped reflections of old buildings in car windshields. They thought I was photographing the insides of the cars. All I was understanding of what they were saying "Ya xeedd ne dssfy PHOTO jeje huyt fu fu ta!!" and I would just put my camera away and walk away. It was funny. Vincente liked this when I told him. It's for the postcard thing on some level/maybe/possibly/sort-of/probably.
Tomorrow Guillaume and I set out for Etretat beach and that big castle on the other beach in Normandy. We are bringing the champagne that Joel gave us and are either going to drink it WHILE driving the smart car (nude) or drink it on Etretat beach at night (nude). It turns out we are not going to be able to get the Smart car (boo hoo) but are borrowing a car from a friend of Guillaume's. I can't wait to get out of Paris... it will be nice.
I have been spending a lot of time in cafes with Guillaume's French friends... it's been really nice. People spend lots of time in cafes here. The conversations always break out into violent-ish conversations about politics. Since i don't speak French I sit there smoking (I have been doing that a lot since I've been here) and drinking red wine and soaking everything I don't understand up like a sponge. Guillaume's friends have been really cool about speaking to me in English here - or at least making a kind effort too. Late tonight we are going to a jazz club to see a friend of Guillaumes' boyfriend (boyfriend of the friend) who is a sax player.
Right now some (very cute) French guys are playing basketball in the alley behind me outside the window. It's funny to hear them speak French basketball slang.
Oh by the way, regarding all the weird emails we got, that comment in my last report about Guillaume and I going out to meet someone for a "menage a trios": I(we) was(were) just kidding... or was(were) I(we)?
Last night we went to a Paris gay bar. It was what you'd expect I guess. They played my friend Nashom's song "Flawless". Our taxi driver on the way home was bee-you-tee-full.
There is a theater here having a tribute to Iannis Xenakis (r.i.p.) - I wish I was here for it.
I woke up this morning at the crack of 10AM all hung over from wine and French cigarettes and snuck out and left Guillaume alone and crawled around the Louvre like a slug because I haven't been in there since 1989 and felt like I had to go for some reason. When my head started to split I forgot that reason and left. It was what you'd expect.
Tonight Guillaume is going to see some play about be-headed French revolutionary Danton and I am going to see something at the movies alone. Maybe the new Almodovar film "Parle Avec Elle" (in Spanish with french subtitles) or maybe "Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones" (in English with French subtitles).
I can't wait to drink champagne nude on the beach.
(LAST) REPORT FROM PARIS #4:
I'm headed back to NYC this morning. We ended up not being able to go into the country or Normandy at all... car trouble... timing trouble... weather trouble... being distracted by romance... however these last two days have been c'est magnifique... I have lots of pictures to share when I return. Paris has been great.
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