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ReportsThursday, 24 May 2001
Paris (F) day 2 About meeting the Austrian guy Walter Oberschlick and his remarkable friends to remember and visiting the grand opening of an contemporary art galery...
Again I got asleep pretty late, also because of the noises outside, but when I woke up I saw Jeanne standing at the door to the livingroom I was sleeping in. It was like her eyes woke me up, very strange.
It was 10.30am and Jeanne had to leave to a meeting to her friends at 11 so I broke my personal record in showering, packing everything and having breakfast in 30 minutes!
Outside our roads split up and I thanked Jeanne for inviting me over and I got into the subway metro to Les Halles, a very crowded area in Paris. I walked along the Centre de Pompidou (the National museum of Modern Art), and made some phonecalls to contact my hosts for the following days.
I had a very easy day and sauntered through all kinds of streets of Paris, enjoying every detail. Okay, I realize I am in Paris and I am inhaling every view of it!
For tonight I stay at the house of Walter Oberschlick, an Austrian guy who lives in Paris for almost five years now, together with his partner Jurgen (I meeting to many Jurgens on my journey, he’s already the 3rd !).
His house is located on the west of the Eiffeltower and to spare my shoes (good excuse) I took another metro. Yesterday I bought a bunch of metro tickets of some French Francs the Australian Erin gave to me, so I didn’t had to walk through the whole city.
And the metro is also fun here. Every station has this sort of a maze to get to the right platform and with only one ticket of almost 1 US$ I could get to anywhere in Paris without coming into the beams of the sun.
On my way to Walters’ place some a young Dutch couple where staring at my jacket and talked to each other. I heard the guy explain to his girlfriend about this internetproject where there is this person travelling around the world on invitation of people on the internet. I started a conversation with them and a few seconds later they found out I was the guy and the guy insisted that his girlfriend had to be on a photograph with me. Now pretend a full metro with this girl hanging around my neck and a guy making pictures of me!
You are right, the Dutch are a little bit crazy!
When I found the apartment complex where Walter lives, I had to open a porch to get in at the gate, enter a code to get into the building and took a really old and very fun elevator to the second floor.
Walter was already standing at the door and when I was welcomed by him and when I got inside and my eyes fell wide open! This place was big!
As we sat on the sofa I met Jurgen, Walters’ friend, and talked about my project for a little while. Walter is head of the French’ department of the magazine Streetfashion, which is available in almost every European country.
Streetfashion Magazine is published 6 times a year and is a thick softcover book with pictures sent in by freelance photographers of, exactly, ordinary streetfashion. The street-photography can take place anywhere and everybody who models on these photographs get their personal streetfashion-emailaccount where interested model-agencies can write to if they are interested. Lots of the sent in images make it onto the magazine or loaded onto the website. All the published images will even be shown at Streetfashion Exhibitions all over Europe! And the fun part is: models are brought together with model agencies and may find their way in other magazines! I find it a very unique project and I had never heard about it before. Maybe I can send in my pictures taken of people on the streets in cities all over the world...
One hour later I met a friend of Walter, miss Waldi, also Austrian. She happens to work at the French marketing department of the aircompany Austrian Airlines! So of course I had to have a good conversation with her. I think we’ll sure have some more contact in the near future, cause when she heard about me needing to go to the US for this TV-show she got very interested in all the sponsorpossibillities by the big alliance that stands above a lot of European airlines.
Waldy had got four invitations for the opening of a Contemporary Art Exhibition ART2000 at the Espace Auteuil in Paris and we definitely had to go there. It was very fun to walk around in this big (hot) tent where a lot of so-called outsider art is exposed by the artists theirselves. A lot of really really really rich people come here every year to select new art they want to have on the wall of their house or as a presents to friends. And the fun thing was that if you looked long enough at a some artists’ works, he offers you something to drink and sometimes a little snack at this stand and then he starts to talk about the prices. Very funny to see this happen, I enjoyed the free drinks though!
Walter and Jurgen were not interested in buying things, but asked for a few prices just to know how the current market is. They are more saving for buying an original painting by Salvador Dalí.
From the exhibition back to their castle I got a quick tour in this quarter of Paris, which was quit impressive.
Around 9.30pm we had dinner. Since Jurgen celebrated his birthday a few days ago, he still had a lot of leftovers from the buffet he made for that day. So we ate fresh salad, with potatoes, pork and chicken. Delicious!
During dinner another friend of Walter joined us on the table. It took me a while to find out more about him, but after 15 minutes I realized by all the stories that this guy, Christophe Combarieu, is one of the most well-known tv-hosts of France! Because when he started about still having to make this 4-page story of an interview he had with John Malcovich, I got so interested in this person, that I fired my questions as a green overactive young journalist.
Combarieu is a journalist for the weekly French magazine Paris Match and also writes for the weekly magazine Gala.
Next to this he is the host/presenter of the daily tv-program I Télévision (about movies and television and celebrities), the weekly shows Musique Classique and Canalweb and the monthly Forum Planéte.
During our dinner he talked about the preparations he’s organising for this big show in Paris in September, when the Italian Luciano Pavarotti will celebrate his 40th year in the music scene with a concert, together with some world-famous artists (I know their names but I am not allowed to publish them here already, hehe).
Of course this project of mine came into the spotslight again during this conversation and there will be a big chance (since this night) that there will be another big media-snowball-effect start off in Paris to the rest of France. How crazy to see a network grow, while just talking and drinking red wine!
The plans for tonight were to go out somewhere, but according to Walter nothing really interesting would happen in Paris tonight, except from a soul and funk party which would closes at 2am. And it was already midnight when we left the dinnertable and said goodbye to Mr. Combarieu. Another person I’ll stay in contact with!
So the night eventually ended with me writing this report is this gigantic house, while Walter has some classical music playing from a CD in the livingroom. Life is very relaxed here!
When I’ll have this report published and the photos added, we’ll drink some more alcohol and get to bed afterwards.
Goodnight dear Paris. May I have one more day with you? I think I am falling in love with you...
Have you seen the tracking map on Ludo's website yet? It's in Dutch, but you'll see a lot!