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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Dempsey is a Golden Retriever puppy who is in training to become a Helping Paws service dog for an individual with a physical disability. He lives with his parents Doreen and Paul, and Bailey the cat. None has ever trained a puppy before. These are their adventures. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author. The contents of this blog have not been reviewed or approved by Helping Paws, Inc.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Visiting the TGB

The TGV -- Train à Grande Vitesse -- is a well-known French icon, but being native Parisians now, Doreen and I wanted to see some lesser known icons. So today we went to see the TGB.

The TGB, or Très Grande Bibliothèque, is the nickname Parisians have given to the Bibliothèque National François Mitterand. It seems that every prime minister of France has an expensive public works project named after him, and I guess François Mitterand chose to have a big library.

According to the Lonely Planet guide, the TGB cost over a billion dollars to build, and consumes 10% of the entire French cultural budget. The library has special exhibitions, but for some reason, they were all closed today, even though the library was open. (Perhaps someday we will master calling ahead to verify opening times.)

We can attest that the TGB is indeed très grande, though strangely empty. The library has four towers that are supposed to look like open books, surrounding a submerged courtyard with trees. Next door is a huge movie theater with 12 screens. We weren't very impressed with the architecture.

Inside, there are lots of warnings to remain "Silent," and there are metal detectors and guards with walk-talkies. I always feel like I'm about to get in trouble at a library, but I really felt like I was about to get in trouble here. I furtively snapped a picture of the only reading room that had a line, and then we rushed out.