Visual Diary: Brassai Exhibition, Éclair de Genie, and Fleux

I started my Monday off right with a trip into Paris. Being low on money, I needed an activity that required little to no spending, and the free Brassai photography exhibition, Pour L’Amour de Paris, was what I decided on. I was under the impression that I was being clever by coming on a Monday, that perhaps the line would be shorter, but I was sorely mistaken. I waited in the cold wind for about an hour and a half. -___- If I had a snack, more comfortable shoes, warmer clothes, and a friend to keep me company, it wouldn’t have been half bad, but by the time 45 minutes had passed, I was pretty irritable.

Was the show worth the wait? Yes and no. In my situation, no. However, bring necessary entertainment and supplies, and you’ll be golden. Come well before closing time so you’re not kicked out of the line… I witnessed the last 20 people in line getting turned away by a tough looking security guard as I was leaving :(

The show itself was interesting, Brassai had taken some of the most iconic images of Belle Epoque Paris, and there was quite a funny little film of zoo animals being projected in the back. There were many pictures of the streets at night, as well as people and performers in their habitat. It’s always interesting to try and imagine the narrative and relationships that are being played out in a still photograph. My favourite image, the one I bought a postcard of, wasn’t the famous Montmartre stairway, but a super dark picture of a black cat. All you can see are the decorative floor tiles, illuminated by some dim light source,and the eerily glowing eyes, floating in a black, empty space.

The sun had begun to set by the time I started walking back to the train station. I admired the golden light on the buildings and stopped to listen to the bells of Notre Dame ringing 6 o’clock.

The following day, my friend Ellen and I had boba tea on our minds, but what we ended up doing is another story. We did eventually find the boba place, tucked away into a tiny, hidden corner near Centre Pompidou, but before that, we discovered Éclair de Génie. Rumoured to be some of the best éclairs in Paris, and at 5-7 euros apiece, we decided to split a Rouge Baiser; a raspberry-chocolate flavoured baton of richness that looked like a work of glass art. The red colour was so vibrant, it was actually a bit startling at first glance.

We weren’t sure where this boba tea place was, so we wandered around the area for a while, never a bad thing in Paris, until we came across a wonderland of novelty items, fancy iPhone cases, art books, and gorgeous Scandinavian design objects and furniture. The heavenly place was called Fleux, kinda like Flux, but with a French pronunciation.

The store was spread among 3 or 4 buildings, and just browsing though it all was like roaming through a super fun museum, a museum in which you can touch things, speak at a normal level, and if you have money enough, buy things. Most of it was waaaaaay out of my price range, but simply experiencing the visual feast was reward enough.

I want that bookshelf. Can I have that bookshelf? please? One day, when I’m filthy rich, I’ll have it. :p

Places Mentioned:
Brassai, Pour L’Amour de Paris at l’Hotel de Ville
Fleux – 39 & 52 rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie75004 PARIS
Bubbolitas – 17 Rue Quincampoix, 75004

I'm a Californian in my mid-twenties who studied Art History and lived in France for 3 years. I blog honestly about my travels, share my thoughts on life, and get poetic about art and photography. I also sell prints of my photographs on Etsy.

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