Wednesday, September 17, 2008

La - new - Coupole


I'm just back from a mythical place in Paris: La Coupole. Located at Boulevard du Montparnasse, this brasserie was created in 1927 and remained one of the hottest places to be seen at until the 60's. People like Josephine Baker, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre and a large number of other artists and celebrities of the time used to go there for a drink and a good dance in the basement dance hall. I went there for the inauguration of the brand new Coupole (dome) that 4 artists just decorated.

43 comments:

  1. Very interesting color "pop"! I like the artwork on the pillars too. And the deco light fixture. And the guy in the light colored suit peering over at you. He looks like Jonas Salk.

    I wonder if someone else has commented in all this time I'm taking...

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  2. Funny, the picnic pictures made you look so tall.....

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  3. I don't know what to say. In looking at the "brand new Coupole" up close, all I can say is artists have very vivid imaginations. But I do like the colors they used.

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  4. I think Eric pretended to tie his shoe and snapped a quick photograph. Sneaky! It turned out very well. But that guy over on the left is onto you.

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  5. One of my favorite brasseries, a place my husband and I go to every trip to Paris!

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  6. Thanks Ann. 8^) I'm giving the crown a coat of hot pink paint....

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  7. Classy joint Eric! I can see why artists were attracted to it. La Coupole is captivating too. Love the dance hall...tango anyone? :-) Definitely a place I'd love to stop in for drink, eats, and a schmooze with friends.

    Petrea...too funny!

    US Elaine...it's been a while since you sported the crown. Congrats! ;-)

    Hi Gramma! ;-)

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  8. Well, La Couple est belle, upstairs and downstairs. My problem is that I walk around Paris so much all day that I'm too tired to hit the late night party spots. I did experience the Sunset jazz club, Caveaux des Oubliettes, and...Club de Huchette? But no classy brasseries for partying. I need a date next time...

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  9. Very pretty, and an interesting mix with the deco light fixtures.

    Eric, you do lead quite a party life!

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  10. There's that famous Tenin angle again!
    Eric -- It was still very much a place to be seen when I was there in the late sixties, and even a poor young person comme moi could afford to eat there—but I made friends with one of the waiters, who used to bring me (gratis!) 'un sandwich de confiture et beurre de cacahouete'. I loved that guy! Now I don't go anymore, since it seems like a place strictly for the tourists (I'm not really that big a snob, but it's just not the same, you know).
    It's certainly interesting to see what these artists have done. Maybe I will have to check it out next time I'm there, even if I can't get a free PB&J there anymore!

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  11. Forgot to say congrats, uselaine! Hot pink, crown, eh? Might have to try for that.

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  12. It was such a good idea to gather different artists to renew the Coupole! I like the result (see link), but actually didn't know the old one, so...I can't compare! The purple is amazing.

    I know Fouad Bellamine works. He had some troubles with one of his painting last year (inspired by the "Origin of the world" of Gustave Courbet)...

    Eric, once again you were a VIP invited I guess (contrary to the Pope visit!).

    Uselaine, GF of the day!

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  13. Eric, thanks for the virtual visit to la Coupole and its new dome. It looks like a wonderful place for a meal. The four works are a odd mix of styles but seem to fit well in the dome.

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  14. What a great opportunity to be there and capture this event Eric. I had believed that the dome was originally painted by other well-known artists before as well. I'll try and check.

    I used to go to La Coupole a lot when I worked for a former company and we had corporate event dinners here. But now I notice if you want to get the true flavour of the place and you go on your own, you definitely have to take Jeff's advice and tell them not to stick you in the back with the other English speakers.

    I still love the history of the place, but it has become a bit touristy in my opinion. It's also now part of a famous French restaurant chain The Flo Group (their website is down).

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  15. I guess I was confusing the columns with the pillars (where's an architect when I need them to explain?). I did find a few quotes that might be interesting:

    "For years, la Coupole has boasted the most famous lamb curry in Paris, simmered to perfection under the direction of chef Paul Delbard in the ultra modern kitchens that were revamped when it was acquired by Jean-Paul Bucher in 1988. The 32 painted pillars that mark out the immense dining room are still faithful to their post, and for the vast celebration organised for its 70th anniversary, la Coupole paid tribute to the artists of these pillars, students of Matisse and Fernand Léger."


    "Before being a restaurant, the Coupole was a place where people bought wood and coal."


    "(1988)Mr. Bucher (Flo Groupe) is spending $10 million to acquire La Coupole and plans a $3 million renovation. Nevertheless, he vows not to tinker with the restaurant's decor, least of all its 32 famous pillars, which many struggling artists painted when they did not have enough money to pay their bills."

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  16. Oooh Josephine Baker! This picture makes me want to do her banana dance!

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  17. This strikes me as a great photo for a "Day in the Life of Paris" kind of book. Hey, you could put together a whole book like that, Eric. Great angle to capture the crowd as well as the new artwork!

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  18. Oh and P.S. -- Congrats GF uselaine. Will you sport the newly-painted crown in a new profile pic?

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  19. Jean-Paul Sartre....how divine that you were in the same place....sigh...

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  20. Lynn, nice new picture. Internet is back?!

    Michael
    A column is an isolated and round pillar. ;)
    You want more? If a pilar has a human shape, it's a caryatid (female shape) or an atlas/atlantis (male shape).
    It makes me review my lessons before going back to school ;)

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  21. The picture looks so nice.. And it is obvious that the people is waiting for something important...

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  22. Interesting that they would put art in the Coupole that doesn't seem to "match" the rest of the decor. It seems a very deco space and the art seems more modern in feel. I wonder how they chose the artists...

    I have to say it is not to my tastes, but I'm sure that there are those who will enjoy it. Hope you had a great time, Eric!

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  23. Obviously one of the artists who decorated the dome is a member of The Church of the Flyig Spaghetti Monster. I love it!

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  24. Flying, even. Spaghetti Monsters don't flyig...duh me!

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  25. Awesome colors, everything works well together!

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  26. I used to have a few drinks everynow and then at La Coupole, when I was a student (early 80's...). Good memories....
    But never danced there...

    Guille, thanks for the architecture lesson ;-) Your Caryatid and Atlas remind me my ancient greek lessons...

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  27. Michael, Just coming back to earth -- I was celebrating my birthday. I'm calling Eric's "Vide Grenier" photo "kitchen art" since the photo is of items found in the kitchen. I don't put paintings in the kitchen because of grease, etc. Ya know how it forms on the walls if you use your kitchen a lot. I put photos up. Those can be put behind glass and that is easy to keep clean.

    Michael, You were wondering what I would say about the painting(s) in the dome. Viewing it as a whole and one painting, I like it when looking at it from far away. I love the hot pink and blue combination. It looks heavenly. However, I don't think it is anything special when viewing it up close and personal.

    That's my critique and I'm sticking to it -- If you don't like it, I have others."
    inspired by Groucho MarxI

    I think Eric's "La - new - Coupole" photo enhances the painting(s). Perfect angle. I wouldn't want to get any closer ;-)

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  28. Lois, I agree with your critique. The colors go "bang", but the indvidual elements are interesting only the first time. The two less abstract parts remind me of Zap Comics. (Which could be an interesting discussion some day.)

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  29. Lois Simon...I agree with your critique, I just didn't know how to express it in my own words.

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  30. Jeff, Soooooooooo many artists have been inspired by comics. When I was about 6, I started drawing Disney cartoons. I would see a character that I liked, and would draw it my way, and make it my own. I would not work for Disney though. My brother had a bad run in with that company. They refused to give him back his artwork for the Hobbit. They claimed they lost it. Man, did he get mad! Wow! Once I met the sole heiress to Marvel Comics. Funny, I don't remember her saying that she liked to draw. That was in 1971 in NYC. I was introduced to her by another artist.

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  31. Guille, thanks! No i'm still using my son's pc, but hoping to get my laptop fixed soon - has been away fro repair three times now! Your photo is great too. We do like to change don't we? Tis only Eric who does not.... :)

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  32. Lynnie
    Your new picture is gorgeous!!!

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  33. Ahhh...I've heard about this street marketing operation but too late, so thank you for the picture :)

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  34. How did you manage to "slither" across the floor for this shot, without the onlookers staring you down? A great shot, Eric. Love you, love your photos. And that is one awesome light fixture!

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  35. he he thanks, Rose, blush...Lynnie x

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  36. That ceiling thingy reminds me of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Is that a common thing in Europe?

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