Friday, July 30, 2010

Les Machines, part 2

In addition to the gigantic elephant, there are other machines that may be enlarged to that scale in the future, but at the moment exist on a human scale with considerable Mélièsesque charm. Who knew you could do so much with fans, smoke machines and cutout waves.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Les Machines, part 1

The city of Nantes has turned over a section of the town (an island) that used to be dedicated to ship building, to a bunch of artists and craftsmen who work on the grand scale. They operate under the name "Les Machines de L'Ile" and their first creation is a three-story-tall mechanical elephant that walks around the premises giving rides to enthralled tourists.

Given the litigious nature of the USA, I don't think this could happen here.

It's exciting to be near a huge, moving work of art.

The elephant moves its legs in a totally convincing way but is actually propelled by wheels that one tends to ignore.

A benign juggernaut.

You can admire the elephant while having coffee and pain au chocolat.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Imaginary Animals

This is simply wrong.

Madame Le Chef took this photo at a flea market in Montreuil-Bellay. Somehow it's the most lifelike iron deer ever.

Pet or food? It's all good.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Palate Cleanser

Today we left the lovely Loire Valley town of Montsoreau and drove to the big city of Nantes where we checked into a hotel with internet. Here's a picture of where we stayed in Montsoreau.

For those faithful readers who found the picture of the andouillette disturbing, I hope this plate of seared maigret du canard with pesto (not basil) and fried gnocchi, from the restaurant “Urbane” in the 10th Arrondissement of Paris, wipes out that memory.

And here is a bowl of zucchini soup with basil mousse from the restaurant “Café Panique” also in the 10th.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Passy Cemetery

One of the many hats that the Bureau Chief wears is Inspector of Cemeteries. In this capacity I have visited four Paris cemeteries since 2004 and have now added a fifth, Passy. It's a small cemetery in a good part of town right next to the Trocadero complex.

Although the Eiffel Tower is across the river it seems next to the cemetery from certain angles.

Habitation for the living really is right next to that for the dead.

As Madame Le Chef will testify, when the temperature reaches a certain point, the Bureau Chief is afflicted with a type of heat madness that takes the form of impatience. I neglected to get the cemetery pamphlet and so missed the graves of various notables (including Manet) but did manage to stumble on Octave Mirbeau.

Various photographers have taken this wonderful juxtaposition. This is my version.

I won't mention The Hulk. Wait, I just did.