On Sunday evening we took the short (one stop) ride down the block to visit one of the most interesting fountains in Paris, the Carpeaux Fountain. As I mentioned, we really, really like the area where we’re staying, and while we’ve ridden the buses all over the city, we’ve also spent a fair amount of time exploring the area within a few blocks of our hotel.
I was surprised at the lack of information I found online regarding the Fontaine de Carpeaux; there was so little info that I linked to the creator’s biography page in lieu of a specific article on the fountain. I did find this bit of info on a page that is otherwise devoted to postcards:
The four maidens, created by sculptor Jean Baptiste Carpeaux, represent the “four parts of the world”: an African; an American Indian; an Asian; and a Caucasian. They are posed as if they are turning the celestial sphere, complete with the signs of the zodiac, around the Earth. Interestingly, the sphere was not created by Carpeaux, but by another sculptor, Pierre Legrain. The fountain’s pool, not pictured [on the postcard], contains sculptures of horses emerging from the water, which were created by yet another sculptor, Emmanuel Frémiet. But it is only Carpeaux’s name on the fountain.
And if we needed further proof that this is a small world, of the synchronicity that we talked about back when the Dead were playing, check this out.
We talked for at least 1/2 hour about leaving so we could photograph the fountains before we finally took off. We spent a certain amount of time at the fountain, not too short, and not too long. We rode the 38 back up the street when finished, bypassing the stop for our hotel so we could explore our dining options at the next stop.
We had not gotten 10 feet down the street after exiting the bus when a booming voice rang out: “Hey! Mike Rodriquez!” It only took a few seconds to recognize a friend we hadn’t seen in over 15 years, Steve Jeck. Turns out he was staying in the same neighborhood and he and his wife had just finished dinner when we ran into them. We had a great chat as we caught up on the highlights of the past 15 years before it was time to move on. What a long strange trip it is!
And it got better after that. When we had finished eating and requested the check the owner of the place teased me regarding the payment. Now, without generalizing too much, I have noticed that on 3 or 4 occasions a French shop keeper has teased me during our transaction. The first time, I was surprised, but quickly recovered, and said something back in kind, and a good time was had by all.
Back to last night. He asked me if I wanted the check tonight, implying maybe I would have to wait for it. I said no problem, perhaps I could pay the bill tomorrow. Well, he seemed to like that so much that he comped us a dessert; he did that by telling his friend, “you’ll buy their dessert, right?” Oh, and it turned out to be tiramisu; Sheryl’s favorite.
Now’s as good a time as any to mention this. We’ve heard questions and comments about the difficulty of visiting France, where there are language barriers, and potentially, cultural differences. Our experiences have been very positive, with folks going out of their way to be helpful and answer questions. Anyway, moving right along …
Here are my favorites of the Carpeaux Fountain shots, with more on Flickr: