Sunday, 6 December 2009

Chance meetings, happy accidents and pleasant surprises

James B. Franklin - A Night's Reprieve II, 2009

One thing I wasn't sure about when we started renting the apartment was the meeting and greeting. After having worked in a (285-room) hotel years and years ago, it wasn't something I was particularly looking forward to.

But sometimes life surprises you. The people who have stayed with us have almost all been super super nice, and I've really taken a liking to welcoming them to our place, and our city. Meeting and greeting has become part of the fun of running an apartment, and although the same questions inevitable come back each time (where have you come in from? have you been to Paris before? etc.) it's genuinely great to get people settled in and ready to discover this wonderful city.

Sometimes you even meet people who seem really cool and on your wavelength. For instance,  a recent guest to our other apartment had an interesting name, James B. Franklin, that I Googled. Turns out that he was in Paris for the first time ever to attend the opening of a show that his paintings were being shown in. I looked at his site, really liked his work and got invited to the opening. It was in a gallery that I didn't know about, just one road down from the Great Apartment: the Zürcher Gallery on rue Chapon (here). It's the perfect example of the hidden Paris that's such fun to discover. From the street you can't even see that the gallery exists (apart from a small sign). You have to enter the courtyard to reach it...

The show we saw is a group effort called Wild Feature 2 (I've written an article about it on the Paris Newsblog here) featuring young artists from Brooklyn, and runs until 30th December 2009. Many of the artists have never been shown in France before.

I was especially pleased to discover a new venue that I didn't know about and wouldn't otherwise have found...

I was also particularly chuffed (as ridiculous as that might sound) that James sold one of his paintings at the opening!

Perhaps this is a space that you could check out when staying with us? Check the Zürcher Gallery site if you want to see what's currently on there. It's literally 30 seconds from the apartment. And if you want to see more of James B. Franklin's work, go to his site here.

With a bit of luck, James will be doing a special piece for the barmy, wrecked wall at the Canal Apartment that's a sort of vaguely blue-themed work-in-progress. Should be good! The chance meeting with him turned out to be a very pleasant surprise, leading to the discovery of a new place that was right under our noses (!), and hopefully there will be many more happy accidents like that to come.

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