13.6.08

A small alley

In the shadow of the Montparnasse Tower (the day I took the photo, all of Paris was in shadow) there is a small alley which you can find if you walk along Avenue de Maine (at no. 21).

(The 56 floor Montparnasse Tower (Tour de Montparnasse) was built 1969-72; was much criticised and two years later further building of skyscrapers was banned inside the city limits.) The alley, which now goes under the name “Chemin (passage) de Montparnasse” was saved from destruction in the 80’s and reopened in the 90’s. It was originally created in 1901, by using material left over after the 1900 Universal International Exhibition, with cheap studios for artists and artisans. One of the bigger studios was taken over by a Russian female artist, Marie Vasieleff, who, in need of some cash, later opened a canteen. In the years before and during WW I the canteen got very popular among still poor, starving and thirsty artists who spent a lot of time here, also partly working. Despite the war curfew, the place, which was considered as a private club, was open late in the night ... and crowded. Among her (not much) paying guests you could find Chagall, Picasso, Leger, Modigliani (involved again in a famous “dispute” here), Zadkine, Soutine, Matisse...

Between 1938 and 1952, there was a theatre workshop in the alley, directed by J-M Serreau and Roger Blin, who discovered and mounted the first plays by Beckett, Ionesco and Genet. Now you can thus still here find studios, today used by some artists and architects, and there is also what is called the “Musée de Montparnasse”, which is what used to be Marie Vasieleff’s studio / canteen. It’s today used for art exhibitions – and unfortunately completely remade.

You can find some of these pictures on my photo-blog.


Maria, mother of Krystyna, very kindly offered me this reward, "Arte y pico"! Sincere thanks for this honour! I should forward it to some other bloggers. I will think it over seriously before taking action! :-)


In the meantime I wish you a very nice weekend!

34 comments:

Ash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ash said...

Wonderful images. I've always liked seeing old studios!

Congrats on the award, Peter. Well-deserved!!!

Shionge said...

I felt so inspired already Peter :D

SusuPetal said...

Such an inspirational and beautiful valley.
I really could live there, no problem:)

Peter, enjoy your weekend!

hpy said...

Congratulations for the Arte y pico award.
I assisted to the building of the Montparnasse tower in 1969, when I visited Paris for the first time, and lived not far from it for some two months.
The place has considerably changed since that time, when there first was just a giant hole.

Olivier said...

ce passage est superbe, encore un de ces endroits surprenant de Paris, surtout a l'ombre de la tour montparnasse. Et puis le ++++ avec ce p'ti coin, superbe.
Bon Weekend

delphinium sévit said...

p'ti coin, p'ti coin. pffffff, pouet, pouet. Srouch, groumpff. Voici ma contribution du jour. Pas mal non?
Mais quand je vois que tu n'es pas gentil avec la dame hpy sur mon blog, je sens que je deviens très laconique dans mes messages ici, pour te punir. J'ai décidé de ne pas venir te botter les fesses mais la sanction sera encore plus terrible. Tu devras monter la tour Montparnasse en prenant l'escalier de service et tu verras ce que ça fait aux mollets et surtout aux cuisses. Et puis comme tu es à la retraite, tu vas le faire plusieurs fois dans la journée. Y a pas de raison que tu restes là les bras ballants comme ça. NAHHHHHHH!

hpy said...

Oh ouiii, je suis tout à fait d'accord avec Delphe. Il faut que tu te mettes à courir dans les escaliers de la tour Montparnasse. Je m'imagine toi courir devant, et toutes les belles photographes et lectrices de ton blog courant après toi, criant Peter's Paris, Peter's Paris, we want Peter's Paris every day!

Sur ce je l'en vais me renseigner sur la grande manifestation du 16 juin. Pourra-t-on mettre le nez dehors ou pas?

claude said...

Depuis ce matin je suis les commantaire de Delphinium, très en forme today !
Je préfère les petites cours très Montparnassiennes à la grande tour ! Bon We Peter et bises !

lasiate said...

encore une belle ballade Peter. je pense venir à Paris en Juillet. Si tu traines par là, j'aimerais bien te rencontrer! je suis un vilain curieux et j'aimerai voir si l'homme ressemble à ses images.

Cergie said...

Ah, dis donc, t'as même réussi à draguer Lasiate qui souhaite te rencontrer. Le petit dragon voudrait voir la tête du grand viking, ah ! ça m'étonne que tu n'aies plus le temps de blogguer.

Encore un chouette coin coin dégotté par tes soins soins, où tu emmèneras tes visiteuses (-eurs). Du moins tu le leur fais miroiter.
Ouais.
Ben moi, je ferais bien un tour du coté de la rue du Dr Blanche et de la villa la roche, quoique j'aie déjà monté cette rampe en des temps ancien.
Elle n'a pas vieilli et même embelli, comme moi, comme toi.
J'aime bien le vieux-jeune comme j'aime le vieux-vieux.
Je retournerais bien aussi à la villa Savoie.
(Là t'auras plus de mal à y aller, vu que tu n'as pas de voiture.)

Bon week-end, Peter.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I do like these photos. I like the large one at the top best of all.

Peter said...

ash:
Thanks, your compliments are always welcome!

shionge:
Already!

susupetal:
So would I! We would be neighbours!

Peter said...

hpy:
Are you (also) that old? :-))

olivier:
Le p'ti coin étéit fermé à clefs!

delphinium:
Une belle contribution, en effet!

Pour hpy, je n'étais pas méchant, j'ai juste dit la vérité! Je ne mérite pas une telle punition !

Peter said...

hpy:
Pourquoi veux-tu que je m’enfui avec toutes ces dames derrière moi ? Je m’arrêterai tout de suite ! Ou, alors qu’elles me précèdent dans l’escalier !

claude:
Delphinium est TOUJOURS en forme - dans ces commentaires!

lasiate:
Ca serait avec grand plaisir! email: peter.olson@hotmail.fr ou peter.h.olson@gmail.com.

Peter said...

cergie:
Tu aimerais bien aussi rencontrer Lasiate! ... et tu pourrais m'amener à Poissy? Bon week-end à toi aussi!

Peter said...

abraham:
Then my choice for the top picture was right!

hpy said...

SI vous courez tous, c'est pour arriver au septième ciel, non étage.

delirium de la motte said...

on court tous voir lasiate? :-))))

GMG said...

Hi Peter!
Lets start with «La Mouffe». I remember the last time I went up to the top of the Pantheon, to come downhill and have lunch on one of the restaurants around the corner; it's a nice place and your pictures show it quite well! The only Fachetti I remembered was a footballer from Inter Milan during the catenaccio era; now there is another one with talent enough to have his house amazingly decorated...
Amazing is also the Saint-Médard; it sounds a bit weird in Portuguese...
Only you would remember to get to the Roman Arena (actually, it's not that easy to find the way in...). But the pictures are nice and it seems much more crowded than the last time I was there...
Your «reportages» of the Saint-Denis Basilica and the Serres d'Auteil are unmatchable!
I personaly like the Mallet-Stevens building as well as the Le Corbusier style, so I enjoyed your post very much. Thanks!
Finally, your discovery of the «Chemin de Montparnasse» and all that came with it was a wonderful surprise! Good reason, among many others, for the much deserved award!
Enjoy a great weekend!

yoko said...

Your discovery in Paris is phenomenon.
The contrast between Chemin de Montparnasse and Montparnasse Tower is very effective.
I like the fact that Paris banned hi-rise buildings in the city limits.

I'm expecting what comes next.
Congratulation on your award.
Have a great weekend, Peter

alice said...

Je ne sais pas s'il reste quelques artistes mais quelqu'un qui a la main verte, ça ne fait aucun doûte! La prochaine fois que je traîne dans le coin en attendant mon train, j'irai jeter un coup d'oeil à ce délicieux passage...

ALAIN said...

Il n'y a que toi pour dégotter des coins pareils. Au fait, je te croyais en vacances de blog ?

Peter said...

hpy:
7e ciel! Tu me fais rêver!

delirium:
Calme!!! :-)

gmg:
Thanks for this extensive visit ... and nice wekkend!

Peter said...

yoko:
Thanks for your regular visits and kind comments! You have no blog?

alice:
21, avenue de Maine! ... ou tu m'attends!

alain:
Non, je continue ... j'essaye seulement de ralenteir un peu!

Marie-Noyale said...

Alice a raison, pour attendre nos trains ce sera un joli passage a visiter..plutot que la salle des pas perdus....
J'aime beaucoup tous ces petits coins de verdure Parisiens que tu nous fait connaitre...
Bon WE.

Ming the Merciless said...

I absolutely love the ivy covered buildings and the green colored doors. It makes me want to be in Paris right now.

I wish I could spend a couple of months living (not just visiting as a tourist) in Paris.

Neva said...

I did notice that there aren't alot of high rises in Paris...now I know why! You sure get around to take some awesome photos....I posted a picture of us (the 2 bloggers who live fairly close to each other)today.

Per Stromsjo said...

I like shadows, particularly after a major heat wave.

Bettina said...

Once again you have found a lovely "secret" place where I just have to go next time I'm in Paris. Which is in July and again in September.I don't think I'll have enough time to manage to see all the lovely places you've mentioned on your blog, but I'll definitely try to.

Chanin said...

Hey, Pete, It's been a while since my last visit, haha, good to see you are back as well.. I love the thick green in the second photo, really nice.

Nice weekend^^

April said...

Astonishing and almost unbelievable to find such quiet rural corners in Paris. The alley looks like the street in a little village. - Have a nice weekend, too, Peter.

Kate said...

Greetings Peter! I'm still not blogging (actually, been having some medical issues recently) and I haven't been viewing yours and other blogs either, but I'm happy to see this post with a wonderful series of photos. So much greenery--a visual feast for the eyes! Have a good week-end! Kate

lyliane said...

Ah! je préfère des petits jardins comme ceux là qui me font penser à la chanson de Dutronc "c'était un petit jardin"...
je pense que tu as passé une bonne fête des pères, tes enfants savent te gâter, tu le mérites bien.