It Was 85% of the Chair That I’ve Always Wanted.

Patricia, Jeanie, Kirra, Deb, and Magan all voted Yes to that chair last week. So I went back to take another look at it, but (as oft happens in the Home Goods World) it was gone. I am really not too upset about missing the chance to enthrone myself on a chaise a la Montgolfiere because if you look closely, the hot air balloon depicted in the splat was a tiny bit deflated compared to the original at the Musee Carnavalet:



But Home Goods never disappoints. I came home with this:

86 rue de Rennes

Wine bottle for scale.

It’s  “Wall Art”, a taxonomy that in itself I found thought provoking. When did we start modifying the word “art” with the surface from which it is to be regarded?

I jest. For Home Goods shoppers, “Wall Art” makes a ton of sense. This bit of Wall Art was captioned 86 rue de Rennes.

I was captivated by this hi-res reproduction of a photographed gussied up to look like a painting because I know the Rue de Rennes in Paris:


The Rue de Rennes is in the heart of the Latin Quarter’s 6th arrondissement.

I had to know: Is there such a place as 86 rue de Rennes???? A quick check of Google Earth confirmed it:



THAT’S THE DOOR!! I don’t know how “they” (whoever produced this piece of Wall Art, who I cannot locate on the inter webs with the info that I got from the Home Goods packaging), as I was saying I don’t know how “they” got away with plastering this image of a private home on a commercial product to be sold in the U.S., if not the world. The French are highly , not to say neurotically touchy about their privacy and I bet there are laws against this (which makes owning it seem even more exciting). I will have to ask my French friends about this.

In my house there is not a wall that is currently available to host this view of 86 rue de Rennes, so its fate it as yet TBA.

And speaking of finding a familiar face in the strangest of places. . .

. . . there I was, last week, sitting at my computer, watching Super Mensch, The Legend of Shep Gordon  on Netflix (because I recently heard him interviewed on NPR):


Shep Gordon is a music industry legend, beginning when he rocked up to a Los Angeles motel in 1965 and got punched in the eye by Janis Joplin. Jimi Hendrix told Shep that since he’s Jewish, he should be a manager — a suggestion that put Gordon on his fabulously successful career path. As a manager his clients have included Alice Cooper, Blondie, Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross, Ann Murray, and Emeril Bagasse to name a few. Along the way, Gordon became friends with just about every celebrity you can name. Mike Myers was so bowled over by this man’s life and stories that he put this project together to make his directorial debut.  Supermensch, a love letter of a documentary, that proves Myers’ opinion that Shep Gordon  “is one of the most loved, if not the most loved person in show business I’ve ever met”.

So I’m watching this documentary, wondering how one person could have so many lucky breaks in life and be lucky enough to make utmost use of those lucky breaks (in my experience, luck is nothing unless it’s matched with gumption and a willingness to forgo the self-sabotage), when a black and white photograph flashes on the screen:


Shep Gordon is the guy in the terrible jacket, on the set of an Alice Cooper music video in New York City in 1974.

And, standing next to him in the glasses wearing a the Keystone Cops uniform and fake mustache, that’s me:


Boy, was I surprised. I did not know that there was photographic evidence, no matter how fuzzy-focused, of one of the worst hair cuts I’ve ever had. It was supposed to be a very cool, with-it,  rock and roll shag. . .

Susan Saint James, ca.1971. (Photo by Universal Television/Tribune/Getty Images)

Susan Saint James, ca.1971. (Photo by Universal Television/Tribune/Getty Images)

. . . but what I got was a bowl-cut country and western “do”:


And the short bangs killed me. Good lord, I hated that hair cut. And now, just because I was in an Alice Cooper music video because my aunt was married to the directo, the whole world gets to see my terrible ’70s face for all of the 1 seconds that the image flickers onto the eyeballs of a totally indifferent viewing audience.

I know that we all have our own reasons to be glad our 20s are over. You now know mine.

Have a great and lucky weekend, Wonder Ones.


8 Comments, RSS

  1. Ah mis-spent mis-haircutted youth!
    You look splendid – how silly we did look
    but what fun we had….
    and how we should abscond just about now TO PARIS FRANCE
    or Amsterdam
    or ANYWHERE!
    and have you researched a dog?
    you need one

  2. I love your hair if it was just meant to be..
    But I think I would have cried if the chair was gone:(
    The print is great too..especially since you have you are very observant to have found YOU:)

  3. Kim

    Hold On. YOU WERE IN AN ALICE COOPER VIDEO?!?! Author, artist, traveler, jewelry expert, cat wrangler, French speaker, Alice Cooper co-star, is there nothing you have not tried once?

  4. Patricia

    The moustache makes the look. I once dressed as Tom Selleck in the Magnum P. I. years ago for Halloween. And my moustache was nowhere near as cool. I think mine was drawn on with eyebrow pencil.

  5. I love the wall art — what a good find. Probably photographable (is that a word?) because it’s on a public street. Inside might be another matter altogether. Alice Cooper and all that? Wow — well, bad shag or not, I just think you were lucky to have hair options. I had precious few and envied the shags, good, bad or indifferent. Your current hair seems rather perfect to me!

  6. Megan

    Well what can I say, it was meant to be. I infuriate my partner by finding something I like and then going home to think about it… for ages. Sometimes I don’t go back and sometimes it is gone. He is of the ilk, buy it now, get a couple they might not have them again, maybe different colours too. Opposites attract I guess. Had to laugh at the wall art, the French are a bit peculiar, here in Aus there is no presumption of privacy on a street but the French as you point out have a presumption or right to privacy even in a public place. Quirky to say the least. The hair cut looks fine I had a shocker at 20 I trusted the hairdresser and my trust was misplaces, it took ages to grow out. Argh.

  7. You are right – the HG chair isn’t quite the all-that of the original, and glad you aren’t sad that you missed getting it. I LOVE the picture of the Paris door – the pop of color, the scrollwork, the house number – the whole dang thing. I think that at least 2/3 of the pictures I took in Paris are of doors, door knobs, door knockers, and house numbers.

    The old picture of you is a hoot – haven’t we all had a weird ‘do that looked nothing like the photo we showed the stylist. Fortunately that fantastic mustache was the focal point !!

  8. Rupak

    I have been desperately looking for this 86 Rue de Rennes wall art, but can’t seem to find it in any neighborhood Home Goods stores. My house number is 86 and the door paint is the exact same as the one in the “painting”. It’s like it is meant for my house… Will keep looking… 🙁

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