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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.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Sunday strolls

On Sunday morning, we started off with breakfast at the Hotel Delambre and then headed off to the flea market at Clignacourt. Steve and Judy looked at paintings, Doreen looked at furniture, and I looked at old postcards. I think it's interesting to see how things looked back in the day, and to see how postcards have evolved -- "disaster" postcards of stuff like dead bodies near a train wreck, for example, used to be quite popular. Wish I could read French better, so I could see what people wrote. Wish you were here?

After the flea market, we headed to the Eiffel Tower. Then we walked along the Champs du Mars. Then we walked to the Ecole Militaire. Then to Invalides. Then to the Rodin Museum. (As Doreen can testify, my "strolls" can feel like long forced marches.)

The Rodin Museum was great. It's in a big old house designed by Jean Aubert, the same architect who designed the stables at Chantilly. In 1820, the house was acquired by the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who turned it into a girl's school. Doreen and I think it sounds more like a military school: all the fancy paintings, mirrors, and furnishings were removed, and there was no hot water or heating. By the time the city took it over in 1905, it was like a slum house, with broken windows and weeds in the garden. This is when artists moved in to set up studios: Rilke, Cocteau, Matisse, and of course, Auguste Rodin. Rodin loved the old house, and after he died, donating all his works to the State, the house became the Rodin Museum. Even today, the house is in the process of restoration. For one thing, there's no air conditioning. Since there was free admission, the museum was packed, and it was uncomfortably hot inside. We spent most of the time in the lovely gardens.

It was interesting to see so many Rodins in one place. You could see how his style evolved from idealized classicism to abstraction and how his later works would influence folks like Brancusi. (Still need to see the Brancusi workshop near the Pompidou Center.)

We headed toward the Luxembourg Garden in search of gelato. At that point, our feet refused to go any further and we spotted a brasserie. We decided to stop and ended our perfect weekend as we began: seated outside in the beautiful weather, with great friends and a cool drink, watching the world go by. Life does not get much better.