Summer in the City: Montpellier, Languedoc, Provence

Last night we went to see George Romero’s Diary of the Dead (in English) at the Diagonal. I had to close my eyes several times – not because it was scary, but because it was shot with a handheld camera. It was a highly entertaining, socially heavy-handed zombie flick that delivered.

While we were waiting for the salle to open – there were 12 of us milling around, waiting to sit in air conditioning for a while – Cal perused the racks of publicity materials and brought over to me quite a gem: For the first time in Europe, Weegee‘s photographs are being exhibited – for free! – at Le Pavillon Populaire on the esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle.

It starts today and goes through September, so anyone who is going to be here – STACY, I’m looking at you! – should definitely head over to see the New York photographer’s work.

Cal’s parents are in town for a few days next week, so we’ll start off the summer right with some touristy things. They’ve rented a barge and have been drifting down the Canal du Midi, gliding through the various locks and will arrive here on Monday afternoon.

We’ve compiled a “to-do” list for them, which includes:

  • The Camargues National Park, to see the white horses (and pink flamingoes!) of the Camargues. It’s haunting and rugged and utterly beautiful. And, there’s a vineyard in the middle of it!
  • Aigues Mortes. A walled town on the Mediterranean, it’s a great place to stroll around and have a lunch outside in one of its many squares.
  • Arles. I didn’t love Arles, because I’d already been to about 778 other towns that look just like it down here; but, it certainly does put van Gogh’s work into perspective.
  • Avignon. We have to be careful that the fete isn’t still on, as a million drunk Frenchmen really isn’t fun for the whole family.
  • Lavender. Fields of it. This is the one thing I have always wanted to see in France, so I’m excited to grab my camera and head out to see these famous crops.
  • Beaches. We’ll probably take them to Carnon or Palavas-les-Flots – family places with enough moules-frites on hand to sink a ship. We’ll avoid Cap D’Agde, which is so incredibly nudist, people wear their birthday suits to go to the bank!

That should be a busy couple of days. I also would like to see the water-jousting competitions in nearby Sète.

And lastly, I think I am ready for a bullfight, a popular event down here in the South (and so close to Spain). The closest I have come to it was when we took Sheila’s kids ice skating this winter in the arena outside town. If anything, I’d like to at least be in a town that is hosting one – probably Nimes, I’d think.

Wherever you live, make sure to get out and about this summer. Too many people wake up one day and it’s September, and they kick themselves for not having enjoyed the season.


3 thoughts on “Summer in the City: Montpellier, Languedoc, Provence

  1. Sorry, but Berlin’s had a couple of Weegee showings since I’ve been here, not all free, but there’s a gallery which represents his estate on Auguststr. and another which has huge holdings of his work for resale a block away.

    That said, between that and the Courbet, MTP does seem to have some good art up this summer. Too bad the Biennial of Chinese Art a few years ago fizzled out; that had some of the best stuff I’ve seen in ages.

  2. I thought it seemed strange, but that’s what the flyer says. Perhaps it is only these 281 photos, from the Auer collection? Dunno.

  3. I wrote a comment to you and it disappeared before I sent it, so I don’t know where it went (maybe it’s an ethernet thing).

    I thought you were in Montpelliere, Vermont, so, ok, I’m new here, I’ll try to get with the porogram.

    You mentioned the famous Weegee guy, well, not quite at that level, but I am producing an art show next Wednesday for local artists, called “The Independent Spirit.,” it’ll run for a month.

    My favorite local artist is Ruth Brander, 95 years old, wears a dark wig that’s too big, and kind of off to one side, which gives her a decidedly distinctive look.

    She just started a five year fund to give a $200 award every year to a young person who helps a senior citizen in some way.

    I hope, if I reach 95, I have the optimism to start a five year fund.

    Speaking of art, check out Jim’s art work on line, if you haven’t already. He’s good! (Do you call him “Uncle Jim”?).

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