Saturday, May 31, 2008


May 30, 2008
The rue des Trois Fréres, literally right around the corner from me is a thuroway packed with bars and small eateries. Temptation Lane.
I had passed by the restaurant  L’Annex  many times on my Nina- night-walks and suddenly clicked on what a great painting it would be. It use to be a true Mom and Pop Southwestern eating haven and we all mourned when the darling couple with their fine food and charming regional accent retired.  When it reopened, I imagined a very attractive empty restaurant.
I was all wrong. The food is absolutely delicious, fresh, and original. No one feels rushed and the atmosphere is tranquille. It is often fully reserved, but, Vincent,  who I’ve known for a dozen years is never snobby about turning customers away.
I suggested that I make a painting of the store front.  He thought it was a good idea and visited my studio  the next day with his partner Nicholas. We agreed on a deal with rights to reproduce it. As for the details of color, Nicolas said he would leave it up to me. He is the chef so understands art. 
The charm of the restaurant is the open front window and a sort of living room lighting. I knew that I could only do it at night. Paris sky in May is still good late on, but the
sidewalk is narrow and there are hundreds of passer-byes.
I set my easel up between two parked cars – a bit on to the street. A police car was the first to pass.
“Bon soir Monsieur”
“Bon soir Madame”
So, no problem.
Vincent came out to greet me.“Are you going to take a photo?”
“Noooooooooooooo” I have a false sense of perspective. All my paintings look like I’m on the second story.  It would ruin my  style.
The restaurant at my back is often empty. Tonight was an exception. There was a group of thirty or so Americans with a French tour guide and an accordionist to boot. Most of the accordionists in Montmartre don’t even know the song. He had a great baritone voice and the group applauded politely. I thought they were quite civilized for a tour group. Two of the ladies that had stepped out for a smoke took interest in my painting, palette, and procedure. Then I heard one of them comment, “Too bad she can’t throw in a Starbucks.”
I turned and glared.
Exceptionally, no one inquired how to get to La Moulin Rouge, but, two couples asked me to recommend a good place to eat. I did.
Oh, and one asked me what I was painting. I told him,”The Eiffel Tower.”
It ended there.

1 comment:

  1. Je confirme : L'ANNEXE est un restaurant très agréable,
    à un prix raisonnable, et les gens y sont charmants.
    A ma prochaine visite, je demanderai à voir le tableau de Mary !



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