Sunday, September 28


Having lunch in front of Eiffel, we watch (OK, I snoop) on a group of privileged teenagers who take their school break (I surmise) and smoke cigarettes and flirt. There is a strange dynamic between the two girls who are relaxed and mature and the guys, who seem uncomfortable and vie for their affections while expressing their own machismo/ belonging by flirting with each other. Despite their yuf there is something a bit threatening - the group in their own private Idaho and somehow explosive or at least charged (or maybe I have Larry Clark's '95 "Kids" on my mind - that movie about wealthy sexually predatory and violent teenagers in Manhattan). Sonnet begs me not to take pictures so obviously but I cannot resist.

Before the tower, we visit Paris's newest museum: Musée du Quai Branly which features indigenous art, cultures and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. The doors opened in June 2006 and the last go of that blow-hard Jacques Chirac, whose affection for African and Asian art and resolve to make a political gesture to the third world ensured the museums completion on time and on his presidency. This at least honorable. It is a wonderful, strange place designed by architect Jean Nouvel at a cost of $265 million, which seems kinda low-ball by today's standards. Inside are masks, spears, artifacts, jewelery, skins, statues and &c. which are displayed by geographic area. It is interest to observe how different peoples living in similar proximity express themselves so differently. This applies over time as well, and the museum offers a sense of humanity in flux. It ain't Babaar, that is for sure and for-tune-atelee.

"The history of the world is not just the history of the Mediterranean and Europe. Our ultimate aim is to give non-Western art its place."
Stéphane Martin, the director general of the Musée du Quai Branly, June 23, 2006