Wild Weeds in Paris

The city of Paris often has interesting ideas of new expositions” to offer free to the public on the place in front of the Hôtel de Ville (4th arrdt). This time it is a temporary weed garden, or as they call it un jardin éphémère des herbes folles (crazy grass!)…

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Gala Concert & Cocktail : Giveaway!

Image credit : Sinfonietta

Image credit : Sinfonietta

Sinfonietta Paris is a new Chamber Music orchestra and the brainchild endeavor of Michael Boone, former head of the music department at the University of Colorado. I met Michael at the Kooka Boora café at the same time I met Very-Intersting-and-talented-dude (which you’ll read about in my next  post!). Just another proof that Paris still attracts artists and amazing people with talent!

An artist and “activist” of sorts who wants to make sure classical music creation is something that is perpetuated more by young musicians and music professionals; he has created Sinfonietta. “Composed of nine to seventeen young professional artists who have trained at many of the world’s finest conservatories and festivals, Sinfonietta Paris is a vibrant new chamber orchestra based in Paris, France, dedicated expressly to musicians and soloists at the beginning of brilliant performing careers.” You can support them with donations here. Continue reading

A Parisian Portrait : Alain, the bouquinist

P1190210I was secretly thrilled with myself for having resolved to lug my camera around with me all day, the day I met Alain. I was wandering along the Seine, happily snapping shots of everything that pleased me, not a care in the world could bother me that day. I had free time, I live in Paris, and Spring was peeking its head around the corner. Trees started sprouting vibrant green tufts of leaves and plush pale flower buds. The rain came and went as I happily popped my red umbrella out only to tuck back in my bag a few minutes later. The sky was a manic mess of gray clouds and blue patches. It was wonderful. I felt similar to myself a decade ago when I had a student’s luxurious schedule and could wander from café to book shop on a whim.

I was wandering past the famous bouquinist boxes along the river when I spied him, this wrinkled and weathered little Frenchman, pulling books out of the path of another impending rain shower. He did so methodically, without rush, handling each of the volumes with a delicate gesture that attested to his love for books, words and literature. A little rain did not scare him. I wondered how many years of stress and worry taught him how to react with such serenity. Or maybe he was born with serenity. I am sure in his style of life, stress is not a helpful factor. Continue reading

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity

Frank Cierpial
Post by Frank Cierpial

Paris has always been a city loved by artists. How can it not be? Paris is beautiful twenty four hours a day in every light. In Paris, art is everywhere. From every building to every café crème, beauty is a big part of life in Paris. New York is the opposite. In New York, art is basically confined to Art Galleries in Chelsea and museums. Please do not miss-understand, New York has its own art and beauty, but it is not as visible and tangible as the art in Paris.

metmuseum.org

On my second day of spring break, I was brought to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. My friend Jaclyn and I walked through the hallways filled to the brim with European, Roman, and Greek art and felt the soft cultural touch of the old world. Then we got to the special exhibit. The exhibit that this article is centered around, the exhibit that was comparable to me getting on a plane, putting my tray in a an upright position, leaning back, and taking off back to the place that showed me the beauty of art for the first time 5 years ago. I saw Paris for the first time through a very unique lens. I saw Paris through the lens of someone who didn’t know what to expect. I was 17, and I acted like Keanu Reeves in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, needless to say art was not in my repertoire. But, before I go into the exhibit and what I saw, I would like to give some background on Impressionism and what impressionism is.
In its time, Impressionism was a very controversial subject. Some writers thought it was incomplete and did not understand its sketch-like and creative appearance. But, other writers saw it as a depiction of modern life. That is exactly what Claude Monet and his contemporaries were trying to accomplish. Impressionism is considered to be a new way of looking at life, to quote my friend Jaclyn “not exactly what is there, but the way the artist sees it”. Impressionism is a long and complicated subject that I can write you pages and pages on. But, I’ll save that for my book. Right now, I’ll just cut to the chase about what I saw. Continue reading

Vintage Car Ralley

If you have been following my blog for a decent amount of time, you then know that my favorite car is the 2CV! And there is a car service company in Paris that has pulled on my cute-little-car-lover’s heart strings : 4 roues sous 1 parapluie. I even used them for my wedding!

Well they sent me a press release for their second edition of this ralley : Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (the most beautiful villages of France) which takes from Paris to Cannes just in time for the famous film festival, I just had to share it with all of you. Can you imagine arriving in that kind of spectacular style?!? A line of darling and colorful 2CV?!? I wish so much I could do this but alas, I cannot take a week off work in May. But I hope some of you, my readers and fans will take advantage of the event, or plan your trip to France around it next year! This has got to be one of the most delightfully French and charming ideas I have ever heard of doing in France. I would give anything…. (almost)….

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Paris Baroque – Ouverture Magnifique

Photo : Prête-Moi Paris

I wrote about it in October, and now it is here : The newest music festival on scene in Paris just opened last night (November 23, 2012) with a beautiful and spectacular concert in the Saint Sulpice church. The Simphonie du Marais directed by Hugo Reyne, played a program of “Sacred Music from Richelieu to Louis XIV” that included Lully, Michel-Richard Delalande, Guillaume Bouzignac and Marc-Antoine Charpentier. They opened with Cantate Domino of Bouzignac, a joyous but saddened song of triumph written about the siege at La Rochelle in 1628. The concert flowed through the pieces by Bouzignac on to a Te Deum by Charpentier. An intermission was granted and then we were rewarded with the Jubilate Deo ombis terra by Lully (1660). The concert climaxed at the end on the Te Deum of Delalande and we were even granted an encore piece!

J’en ai parlé en octobre, et voilà que c’est arrivé : Le tout dernier festival de musique à arriver à Paris s’est ouvert hier soir (Le 23 novemebre 2012) avec un concert spectaculaire dans l’église Saint Sulpice. La Simphonie du Marais sous la direction de Hugo Reyne, a joué un programme des “Musiques Sacrées de Richelieu à Louis XIV” qui incluait Lully, Michel-Richard Delalande, Guillaume Bouzignac et Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Le concert s’est ouvert avec la Cantate Domino de Bouzignac, une chanson à la fois joyeuse et triste écrite sur  le triomphe du siège de La Rochelle en 1628. Le concert se poursuivait sur les motets de Bouzignac et vers le Te Deum de Charpentier. Après l’entracte on a pu se délecter sur le Motet pour la Paix de Lully (1660). Le pic du concert est arrivé à la fin avec le Te Deum de Delalande et nous avons même eu le plaisir d’un bis! Continue reading