mardi, février 21, 2006

A Parisian Gym

OUR GYM (click on pic for better view)

The walls of our gym were raised in the 13th Century, and the interior is largely from the 17th Century. This impresses us mightily. The photos above give a sense of the spectacular appearance such history imparts. You can see the splitting wooden colums I described in the previous entry on the gym.

The vaulted room on the left is the basement area, where the leg and neck machines are found. To the right is the main exercise room, where the weights, weight macines (non-leg and neck), and cardio machines await. Including the group room pictured below, these three areas define the entire workout space in the gym, and exclude only the byzantine locker setup and welcome desk. These photos do a less good job of showing how odd the spaces are, or how cramped everything is (notice the lack of people in the rooms, and the extreme fish-eye lens in use). But the lack of elbow room, and the narrow range of exercise machines available does not kill the joy of having such a pleasant place to go for our workout.

Check out the website (it includes an option for an English translation) for Club Jean de Beauvais.

It is a good blend of necessity and aesthetic treasure. If the place looks too pousty (pousty: adj. : given to airs and/or attitudes of hauteur derived not from traditional power sources per se, but from an excess of hip 2: at once too cool and too conscious of said coolness 3: trafficking in artificial or mannered chic), let it be known that a gym in Paris proper is not an easy thing to find. Ancient book stores? Hell yes. 24 Hour Fitness? Mais non.

This is the group excercise room, where sometimes séances or "meetings" are held for yoga, stretching, or aerobics. Neither of us has taken a class yet. Notice the eight-foot tall windows, which are open. Similar windows are located in the room to the right, hidden behind the charmingly rustic walls, where the three treadmills on offer do their duty. These windows are supposed to be left open, no matter the weather, and little signs taped to them command this; they might not always be WIDE open, but they are always at least ajar and usually more, even when it is snowing outside. I don't mind this in priciple, but it can get a little breezy while dressed for the warm indoor conditions, and running on a stationary treadmill placed right in front of the full winter blast. Yesterday I wanted to run, and feeling the cold wind on me, reached up and swung partially closed one of these panes. I statred my run and one minute later a gym staffeer appeared with a long stick which they used to swing the glass wide open again. I just ran faster.

Treadmills are called le tapis over here, which I think is the word for rug.


At lundi, février 27, 2006, Blogger SkinFlynt said...

Got the link Marty. A very cool place. A gym as old as this country. It might have been used for sharpening guillotines at some time in the past. They probably teach Savate in the open room. Guys in leotards kicking each other in the head. Sounds like you two are having a great time. Keep sending out cool stuff giving me that old Europe vicarious connection .


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