~somewhere there’s heaven~

April 24th, 2007


I believe sleeping twelve hours and getting up at two constitutes vacance.
Ali woke to an omelet and a salad of strawberries, orange, and mint (pilfered from last nights Vietnamese). I love any excuse to snarf the butter here, which is unfathomably delish and nothing like home.

We hightailed it to the south east edge of town, to the Musée Fragonard at Ecole Vétérinaire d’Alfort. This musee is open exactly six hours (!) each week, and two attempts in the past have failed. Not this time.

Twenty-one stops on the eight line takes you back in time to the French Revolution and the obsession of Honoré Fragonard, cousin to the famous painter of the same name.


Honore was a major proponent of the old-school technique of making anatomic models from actual bodies rather than wax, preserved via alcohol or by desiccation. He spent his life preparing specimens–many of which have been lost–but the remaining collection is housed in a gorgeous building on a tranquil ancient campus that smells of stone and old books.



Though they were used for education, many were created simply as art, such as the insane skinned bodies of a man on a horse, “Horseman of the Apocalypse.”


Those models can be seen here.
I must be getting soft in my old, uh, prime age, but I rather preferred the displays with swirly hand-lettered cards, hand-blown glass specimen jars, and beautifully posed skeletons.
Here are a few more…Dig the horse teeth! (The sound of the horses on campus outside come through the windows. There is also, we noticed, an Institut Technique du Porc…)




Afterward we walked the city for hours again. Ali says we are Parisian night-prowlers. Each arrondissement is quite different and I am seeing parts of Paris I never knew existed. We paused in the Marais, at Chez Omar for some couscous.

I bought a lovely deep green and goldish scarf that the street vendor said looked perfect with my eyes, quite some line, no?

Much later at the top of our butte (hill) in Monmartre, we have champagne at a cafe on the cobble-stone street and someone plays How High the Moon on piano.

One Response to “~somewhere there’s heaven~”

  1. drew says:

    one set of horse teeth…. that’s all i ask…. just one…

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