I spent most of the weekend bumming around downtown Aix, looking at the architecture, drinking beer, and going to museums. That is, in between finishing up Jill's ad. I'm proud of my work, so here's a picture of it.
Fortunately the museum also had some wonderful neoclassical work that I found immensely interesting. I admired landscapes in the style of realism, and some of the portraiture was phenomenal. Most of the work came from the collection of Granet himself, and included a lot of Ingres and Constantin, plus Granet's own work. There was also a Renoir exhibition, but unfortunately the museum closed just as I found it. I'll have to go back again soon to see what I missed on the first round. I did get to see their sculpture exhibition, which was stunning, although I hadn't heard of any of the sculptors prior to seeing their work.
There are many different street performers in downtown Aix: the usual guy who makes spray-paintings, a man selling African wood sculptures, a guy who paints your first name using animals and plants, and musicians. As I walked down the Rue Mirabeau, I heard Beatles music. As I continued walking, I saw two Irish-looking guys playing guitars--a two-piece Beatles cover band. They were actually quite good, and I stayed awhile to listen and take pictures. Here are some shots I got of them.
I continued down the street to head to a restaurant that I've been digging. It's called Les Deux Garçons, and Jill told me that Hemingway used to hang out and write there. She says that she doesn't like going there because the French mafia runs the place. They also run all of the nightclubs in Aix, and later Pascal informed me that they run pretty much most of the big bars and restaurants as well. I was unfazed by these alleged criminal ties, so I sat down with my book of Hemingway short stories, ordered a beer in French, and felt really, really cool. I free wrote for a little while in my journal, and pretended that I was a great writer, taking in the atmosphere of Aix and composing some great piece of literature. Well I don't like what I finished with at all, but hell, I just have to keep repeating my new mantra: you have to try.