Sun God and Firebird

We’re going to file this post under the “Chance” category of this blog’s title.

On Saturday, I went to the Centre Pompidou, which was a lot more enjoyable than I thought, so I’ll post about that soon. The surrounding area is very lively, full of street performers and vendors, and crowds of people just enjoying the scene. I was going to go straight into the museum, but the surrounding atmosphere just caught my interest.

And hey, UCSD friends — guess who?

Don’t know how to silhouette a pic for dramatic effect.

It’s the Firebird!

Some modern art in a fountain representing Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

But he looks awfully familiar…

Because he’s the brother of UCSD’s Sun God. Both by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle.

Seeing the Firebird from afar, presiding over Stravinsky Fountain, was one of the most shocking feelings I’ve had in Paris. It looks the same as the Sun God statue I passed by at least weekly for 3 years at UCSD. Furthermore, the Sun God Festival lineup had been released that week, an event I’m regrettably going to have to miss, so it was on my mind. The Sun God and Firebird look very similar from the back, so when I saw those bright paneled colors and that distinctive golden crown, it was like one of those bizarre dreams where something shows up that really shouldn’t be there, but you see it with your own eyes. Like something from Inception, which has important scenes in Paris. Felt like someone was messing with my head, would have thought someone who’s been to UCSD and Paris might have mentioned this.

Anyways. Here’s Firebird and Friends

They’re all supposed to things from the Rite of Spring, but I mostly just like the elephant.

Because of the Sun God/Firebird/de Saint Phalle connection, I was using UCSD as a frame of reference in thinking about these statues, noting that there’s a mermaid, while our school mascot is a mermaid, and a snake, while there’s a winding snake-shaped path to the Geisel Library at school. Your mind will make any connections it can if its prompted to do so.

It was interesting enough for me to ask a stranger to take a picture for me.
People have been saying I’ve lost weight.

And here’s a (bad) picture of the Stravinsky Fountain next to Centre Pompidou

Lively area. Michael Jackson impersonators, magic shows, children running around. I bet they have their own Firebird Festival.

And then there’s this Joan Miro painting is from inside the Centre Pompidou…

Look at that guy on the bottom right. This guy’s everywhere. Or maybe I’m seeing things.

So really, the Sun God/Firebird thing, French statues, one given to the United States is like a trend. We have Sun God on the Muir Lawn at UCSD with his brother the Firebird next to Centre Pompidou. At Ellis Island, New York there’s the Statue of Liberty, a French gift and I always pass one of the French statues of liberty when it’s sunny enough to walk home from school.

Then we have this tall pretty thing in Paris.

From atop which intellectual American liberals tell us what to eat and which light bulbs to use. Kidding (a little…).

Au revoir

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