It may be art, but... where's the door.

Little apartment near the City Hall, Paris, getting cool.

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The best way to be constantly surprised in life is simply to not know anything. This is certainly my approach. A few days ago after walking randomly for ages I was surprised to stumble across a massive building type structure of colourful water pipes, girders and glass. I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was a bit over the top; you can tell the architect was pretty excited.

Today, after more rambling, I was surprised to stumble upon it again, and to discover it’s the Pompidou Centre National Museum of Modern Art. Ah, I see...
I decided to forgive it and go in. The door I was heading for was an exit, so I started to make a clockwise circuit of the...whatever it is. I could certainly see people inside, but could only find more doors marked exit.
Finally, an entrance. It said, “Public Library” (except with a French accent).
Could this be some kind of post-modern deconstructionist building oeuvre where all you can find is exits (very deep), then the entrance, if you do find it (even deeper) is has a completely unrelated name...

I kept searching just in case and discovered a HUGE clearly marked and queued-up-for entrance right beside where I’d begun my circuit.

Tomorrow I’ll actually visit the artworks...tonight I’ll leaf through the Centre Pompidou catalogue I bought at the bookshop. From a packing point of view, that combined with the one I bought at the Musée d’Orsay will still be marginally lighter than the French/English Dictionary I’m finally tossing because the front pages are falling out. At this point my French conversation, while not too bad, doesn’t cover anything beginning with “a”.


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I made the long walk home, circuitously, tailing a young chic couple and then a leather-jacketed guy just to see where they went. They kept getting on public transport. Drats. But it was a great way to explore new areas, even if I didn’t see much because I was concentrating on not losing my people. Incidentally, if you try to exit that big shop behind the City Hall and the automatic doors don’t open no matter how much you step back and forth and wave at them, it’s because they have handles. Quaint.

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Walking around the corner from my apartment this evening to pick up a baguette and chocolate croissant, I was surprised again. The Pompidou Centre is two blocks away.