Thursday, April 8, 2010

Small pleasures

Tonight over dinner we were talking about what to recommend to friends honeymooning in Amsterdam and Paris and we came up with the usual places to visit and things to do but we also remembered small pleasures that are easy to walk by if one is not told of them. Here are two, one in Amsterdam and the other, perhaps more well-known than I think, in Paris.

The first, a magical thing, the kind that makes you laugh with wonderment and pleasure - a tiny statue of a man sawing into the tree limb. How easy to walk underneath the tree and not even see it!

The second, in Paris, is an articulated device, clock in part, that hangs in an alley behind the Centre Georges Pompidou. On the hour, Le Défenseur du Temps, a gilded, armored warrior defends the passage of time against a dragon, crab and cockerel, each representing the elements of earth, air and water.

Small pleasures, all the more delightful for being somewhat tucked away.


  1. Charming choices! So whimsical. Although, I have a question about that cool clock: why is man defending time? Earth, water, etc. will survive his ravages much better than we will!

  2. How observant of you to spy these little gems...if I am fortunate to be in Amsterdam or Paris, I will remember this charming post. Thank you!

  3. The man sawing off the branch. Nobody knows the name of the artists (although that is hard to believe). There are more anonymous sculptures in Amsterdam: