Cycling in the Bois de Boulogne Laurie Fox Pessemier Acrylic/wood 7 x 13" 18 x 33 cm
Under the Big Tree Blair Pessemier Acrylic/panel 13 x 18" 33 x 46cm
Pedaling to work in Paris Acrylic/linen 9.5 x 14" 24 x 35 cm
A Passing Breeze
One afternoon last week, Harika and I hobbled along the hot burning pavement to sit in the Market Area on Boulevard Raspail. We go around the block, rue d’Assas, a little stretch of Cherche-Midi (Harika runs), then find our bench beneath the trees at the Raspail market (in business Tuesday, Friday and Sunday mornings). It was 90+degrees at 4 in the afternoon.
The armatures and awnings for the market stands are shared between the markets at Raspail and Edgar Quinet, near Montparnasse. A flat bed truck, commandeered by four very large black Africans and a Arab driver, ferry the equipment the eight blocks between the two (they have other gigs, as well). They set the uprights, add the connector bars and finally put the awnings, rolled up, into place. They must be very strong men, because all the bars are made of steel, and very heavy.
This day, they discovered the large upright water spigot for the market: one man fashioned a tool, and the next thing you knew water burst forth from the aperture where there is usually a faucet. Wildness ensued: these men, wearing surprisingly heavy jackets (maybe to protect themselves from the hot metal), stuck their heads into the stream, creating a spreading effect of the water. They scrubbed their heads, washed out their mouths; some took off their jackets and doused their shirts. It was pandemonium and pure joy, culminating in each filling his cap with water, clapping it onto his head, and sadly, shutting off the tap. Harika and I both went and stood, bare footed, in the remaining water.
Yes, it’s been city hot here. We rented a car and drove out to the country one day, to work on a “bid” for twenty workshop painters at Giverny next October. We stopped along the way, looking for place to launch Monet’s painting boat (that’s heating up, too). Harika and I dunked into the Seine at Vernon (she up to her chest, me just to my knees – I worry about getting that water inside of me). It is hard to find “natural” swimming around Paris – there are umpteen pools, but who wants to swim in water fish can’t live in?
On Friday, we spent the afternoon beneath our favorite tree in the bois de Boulogne, counting the insects and the breezes that passed.