The other day, a friend and I decided to go over to the 13ème arrondissement to check out a special art exhibit: a multi-storey building overlooking the Seine, slated for demolition next month, where authorities decided to invite graffiti artists to come in and decorate every part of the building and make it a public event -- before they knock the entire thing down. The exhibit has been open for a few days and it is hugely popular, with long lines which in part are created by the fact that, by law, they are only allowed to have 50 people IN the building at any one time... so the line moves slowly.
So Linda planned to arrive well in advance of the noon opening time on Tuesday, but when she got there, there had to be 500 people already in line and the doors hadn't even opened yet! She waited for me to show up, and then we stood in line for a while as the queue inched forward. Even when the doors actually opened, the line barely moved. Finally, Linda checked into it and found out that there was at least a 3-hour additional wait -- and probably much longer!
Suffice to say, we snapped a few exteriors of the building, and decided to pack it in and go for lunch. As interesting as the exhibit looked in the news article, it wasn't worth it to wait for that long to get inside. C'était dommage, non?
So, we found a restaurant on the other side of the Gare d'Austerlitz, had some lunch, and then walked through the Jardin des Plantes. Almost the moment we entered the park, I could literally smell the greenery -- the air felt so much fresher and cleaner there, even with the river so near!
At this time of year I wasn't expecting to see a lot of flowers, and there were some gardeners cleaning out a few of the planting beds, but there were still quite a lot of flowers on display.
Along a fence, there was a photography exhibition of some kind, and when we got up close we realized it was all about frogs, taken in or under water. And that most of the photos were of frogs... uh... humping. This might seem odd until you realize that the Jardin des Plantes is also home to the city's natural history museum and a very nice zoo with a reptile house.
I didn't take any photos of the oversexed amphibians. But I did see this very interesting statue.
In this part of the world, there aren't many trees that have the sort of lovely red and bright orange fall foliage that I'm used to, growing up in New Jersey with all the maple trees. But sometimes you can see climbing vines on stone walls in Paris, and the vines changes to lovely reddish hues.
Occasionally, you'll even find a lion peeking at you from behind the leaves.