31 May 2012

Marc Quinn at the Oceanographic Museum - Planet

Last year the Oceanographic Museum mounted an exhibition by Damien Hirst.  This year it features another British artist, Marc Quinn.

This monumental baby called Planet (painted bronze and steel) waits for you outside the museum.

The exhibition is called 'The Litteral Zone.'

Jerry Brotton wrote 'The litteral zone, where sea meets the shore, where life on earth begins and ends, it is the location of origins, where chaos solidifes into form, where travel starts and concludes, a point of departure and a place of arrival, it is a space of fusion and of separation, where we try - and often fail - to distinguish nature from culture. And as a direct consequence, this is a space where creativity is at its most extreme and profound.'

Here's a timelapse video showing the installation of this 6 tonnes baby:

30 May 2012

Stars 'N' Bars - Kate

Our last day (for the moment) at the newly renovated Stars 'N' Bars and another photo of Kate.  I much prefer unposed photos and this is exactly that. Kate was chatting to customers and doing what she does so beautifully - making everyone feel totally at home.

Love the new Stars 'N' Bars ...

29 May 2012

Stars 'N' Bars - the Celebrity Walk of Fame

We're back at Stars 'N' Bars today and walking up the stairs to the Star Deck.  Looking at the photographs on the wall it would seem that anyone who is anyone has been to Stars 'N' Bars - Whitney Houston, Muhammed Ali, all the racing drivers (of course) but sports stars in most disciplines and so many stars of music and film and much more too.

It's all great fun looking at the photos ...

28 May 2012

Monaco Grand Prix - the Twizy

This tiny Renault electric car, the Twizy, can be seen on the Monaco roads - somewhat smaller than the Formula One cars we saw yesterday ... but with one thing in common, they each accommodate only one person.  Renault's answer to the Smart, I suppose.  

Congratulations to Mark Webber - 2nd Monaco win! 

27 May 2012

Monaco Grand Prix - Vroom vroom ...

It's race day in Monaco which is abuzz with excitement - who will win? 

This photo was taken at the Historic Grand Prix a couple of weeks ago but it seemed suitable for today even if it is a much older version of today's cars - and a little smaller!

Have a great day everyone and enjoy the race.

Vroom vroom ...

26 May 2012

Monaco Grand Prix - Take the Train

If live or are staying outside Monaco, the easiest way to get to the Monaco Grand Prix is by train.  Forget driving - you'll never find anywhere to park.

Once off the train, all you have to do is check your Stand ticket, look at the sign and follow the relevant arrow.

Qualifying today ...

25 May 2012

Monaco Grand Prix - the Stands

If you are a Formula One fan you can't but be excited as you enter the stands - massive steel structures that, from this viewpoint, mask the harbour.  The stand in the smaller photo faces the pit lane (its back to the sea) and the third photo gives you an idea of the security involved - this is the base of the long stand that faces the harbour, just before the swimming pool.

24 May 2012

Stars 'N' Bars - Mika Hakkinen's McLaren Mercedes

With the Monaco Grand Prix on this weekend, let's get in a racing frame of mind with Mika Hakkinen's West McLaren Mercedes MP4-15 2000 car which is fixed to a wall in Stars 'N' Bars. I didn't have a wide-angle lens with me, hence you see only the middle of the car!

There's no better place in Monaco to get in the mood for motorsport than Stars 'N' Bars - so many of the drivers go there.

23 May 2012

Stars 'N' Bars - the Kart on the Ceiling

Stars 'N' Bars is famous as a sports bar and restaurant - you'll see Mika Hakkinen's West McClaren Mercedes MP4-15 from 2000 on a wall and here - on the ceiling, no less -  is a kart.  You'll see, if you can read upsidedown, the names of Roberto Toninello and Jules Bianchi.

22 May 2012

Stars 'N' Bars - the Entrance

As you enter Stars 'N' Bars you'll see this counter  on the right.  One of the friendly staff will find you a table or you can have a drink at the bar. You can also buy souvenirs here.  

More tomorrow ...

21 May 2012

Stars 'N' Bars - Follow the Arrows ...

Not sure where to go?  Follow the arrows. 

20 May 2012

Stars 'N' Bars - Kate!

Everyone knows Stars 'N' Bars, the sports bar and restaurant on the port of Monaco.  It's been going since 1993 when Kate and Didier renovated an old abandoned warehouse and started serving great burgers, great music and all in a fabulous buzzy atmosphere. 

It's been closed for three months for refurbishment and is now open - and I can tell you, it's fabulous!

And if you know Stars 'N' Bars, you'll know the delightful Kate posing for us outside the new entrance.

This is a hangout of the rich and famous in Monaco and particularly the sports stars.  Let's spend a few days exploring the inside --- a Grand Prix car on a wall, walls of photographs, great bar, stunning views over the Grand Prix paddock and harbour.

Come back tomorrow ... 

19 May 2012

Monaco Yacht Club - Dining with Friends ...

Last night I was invited to a birthday celebration at the Yacht Club of Monaco.  Happy Birthday, Casper! Very good it was too - superb food and wines - which is why this post is late!

This is my darling friend, Donald, who lives in Beaulieu-Sur-Mer chatting to Marianne who is 90.  A beautiful Danish woman - oh, to have her bone structure and energy ...

18 May 2012

The Historic Grand Prix - The Decorated Gordini

This decorated car is a Gordini T11/15 built in 1947.  Seems a sacrilege to me that a beautiful old racing car should be painted like this but perhaps other people don't agree.  It certainly stopped me in my tracks!

(Thanks so much to Jean-Michel who informed me the art is by Patrick Moya, a well-known local artist.)

17 May 2012

The Historic Grand Prix - Make Do and Mend ...

A finger of grease, duct tape and pink kitchen roll all seem essential in the world of Classic Cars.

16 May 2012

The Historic Grand Prix - the Allards and the 1957 Ferrari Spider that sold for $6.5 million

Today we see the three Allards entered for the Serie C race.  The red one is a J2X built in 1952, entered from America.  The one in the smaller photo is a J2, (1950) from the UK and the last one is a J2X (1952) from Italy.

Note, (in the photo below) how close the cars are to the yachts at Port Hercule. 

And in the last photo (courtesy RM Auctions) is a 1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spider which sold at the Classic Car auction last Saturday at the Grimaldi forum for 4.5 million euros. It's one of only two built by Ferrari. The estimate was 1.5 million euros but with two determined bidders it went up and up and up ...  Total receipts at this auction were 33 million euros.  Recession?  What recession?

1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spider (photo courtesy RM Auctions)

15 May 2012

The Historic Grand Prix - the Old Lady Bugatti - 1925

This is the oldest car at the Historic Grand Prix.  She's a Bugatti 39 built in 1925.  I wonder why she has her entry number painted on rather than using the round sticker you see on the car alongside. Perhaps it's because her number plate is painted on too?

The neighbouring car, by the way - painted dark blue - is a Bugatti 37A built in 1926.

14 May 2012

The Historic Grand Prix - Denny Hulme's McLaren

Not difficult to guess what this little boy wants to be when he grows up.

He's sitting in Denny Hulme's McLaren M14A from 1970.

13 May 2012

The Historic Grand Prix - the Shiny Red Maseratis

Two sublime Maseratis and look at the shine.  And imagine fixing the bonnet with a beautiful old leather belt.

The model in the first photo is a Maserati 4 CL from 1939.  The car in the last photo is a Maserati 6CM/4CM from 1936.

Today is race day in Monte Carlo - the 8th Historique Grand Prix. There will be 226 classic cars competing in various classes, with entries from 20 different countries including 87 Brits and 31 Americans.  And the weather, after a misty start, looks good.  Vroom, vroom, vroom ...

12 May 2012

The Historic Grand Prix - Jacky Icks' Brabham - and a reminder on the steering wheel

Don't you love this reminder ...

This is Jacky Ickx Brabham BT26 which won the German Grand Prix in 1969 - but it looks like it has a long way to go before racing tomorrow. I'm sure though it made it. These photos were taken on Thursday - the day the officials check out all the cars to make sure they follow whatever the requirements are in their particular class.

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