Popping up in Pigalle in 30 degrees can pull you up short and as you make your way down the Rue de la Rochefoucauld on the shady side, you begin to regret ever having heard of Capstan Full Strength, Gold Flake, Senior Service or Players Navy Cut. No cabaret sleaze down here, this is serious money street, glimpse a liquid Porsche in a palmed courtyard, breeze the classiest saxophone shop, 'The Sax Machine', you ever saw. Pigalle has slipped quickly away but we are only three minutes from the Noctambules where a decade ago I abandoned Pierre Carre and slipped swiftly into the night to avoid a surefire fracas.
My destination is on the left, half way down Rochefoucaud, it's the Musee Gustave Moreau
There have been concerns voiced about my growing interest in things religious, is it healthy, is he cramming for his finals, has he ordered a cope, well, no doubt it will all come out in the wash, or a splash in the font. My interest in Symbolist art is not great, I am not greatly enamoured with the painting of Moreau, I become mired in technique. The drawing, however, is wonderful, drawers and cabinets stuffed with the best things. Also, if you are into Salome then this place is an absolute must, she dances on all the walls. So what takes me to the Musee, well I am afraid it may appear a little superficial, me superficial, heaven forfend. I go because it is such a brilliant museum, Moreau designed it himself. It was his family home, maison- atelier, it drips with ambience, sublime late 19th century architecture and atmosphere. The first floor recreates some of Moreau's living rooms, study, boudoir, sitting room ,bedroom, you just want to move in, the second and third floors, the principal galleries and studios have wonderful light and are really atmospheric and you move between floors on the most stunning circular staircase you could imagine, got to admire the style, get classically bourgeois for an hour or two.
The weekend had at it's heart the most undeniably enjoyable bourgeois activity, the granddaughters annual ballet spectacle, brilliant, this event fortuitiously coincides with the vide grenier in the Rue Marie et Louise, food at the Bistro Des Oies, unbeatable.
AGED AND AWKWARD