Tag Archives: Paris

If you loved The Artist…

1 Mar

Over here in Paris, everyone is still reeling from the amazing victory the movie, The Artist, had over this season’s award ceremony. The little black and white silent film that could garnered itself a grand bouquet of Oscars, Cesars, SAG and Golden Globes, and French bred actor du jour, Jean Dujardin (literally translated to mean John from the Garden, hence my very appropriate bouquet metaphor:),  blossomed into a international sensation practically overnight. Mind you, he was and is already a sensation here in France. (I’ve known of him since I first met Pierre, when during a conversation he mentioned that many people confuse him for the actor all the time. Score!)

The film’s beautiful imagery, fantastic production design, and universal story appealed to the hearts of all the talkie lovers out there,  even those of the most skeptic of filmmakers, like Harvey Weinstein. But what I imagine was the real driving force behind the success of that film was the inspiration from which it was birthed.  France. Conceptualized in France, made my French filmmakers, a with a predominantly French cast, this film was infused with the muse of creativity that permeates every bâtiment, rue and coin in this delicacy of a country. And nothing speaks more of this artistic inspiration than Paris.  So, when the muse comes a calling, you’ve got no other choice than to create greatness.

In honor of all things Paris inspired, black and white, and oh-so-romantic… I’ve shared with you another “artist.” I had the wonderful pleasure of hosting a new friend in town last week (she’s a friend of a mutual friend…and now I’m happy to call her my friend too.) She is an extremely talented photographer who, like most, fell madly in love with Paris and its musings. Upon responding to the call of Inspiration, she created this beautiful video below. Black and white. Silent. French.

(Merci, Erica Urech Petta, for sharing this with us!)

SCENE unheard.

http://sceneunheard.tumblr.com/post/18496321660/video-of-paris-trip

*be sure to click on the link to see the video

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Life 2.0

7 Nov

Salut all!

I can’t believe almost 3 months have passed since I’ve last reported on my life’s adventures! What kind of blog chick am to just abandon you all like that? (Please send my apologies to your therapists.)  These last few months have been chock full o’ adventure, so much so that I should have called in Steven Spielberg to direct it all. But now, I’ve re-settled back into the comforts of my life in Paris, and I am ready to take it all in.

But before I get to that, let me fill you in on what kind of mayhem I’ve been up to since August. Here’s the laundry list for you.

I have:

* pitched my tv series to some very interested folks (fingers crossed, please!)

* celebrated the 1-year anniversary of my show (www.burlesquemoulin.com…shameless personal plug)

* packed up and moved out of my apartment in California

Goodbye, Golden State 😦

* road tripped across the country with u-haul, husband, and cat in tow (more on that to come)

* moved my selected life goodies 3,000 miles and 30,000 leagues over the sea

* de-bedbugged my apartment in Paris (A seriously major infestation that took 1 month to deal with from which I am still recovering    today. The bedtime saying ” Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite” has taken on a whole new meaning. I now find it very cruel.)

* started new career endeavors in my new hometown (Hopefully, the euros will be abounding soon. Hang in there, Eurozone.)

* begun my French immigration and integration process (countless hours of training on the history of France and its million republics.  I can now name all the presidents of the 5th Republic…just can’t spell them yet.)

* and lastly, I started development on the French tour of my show.

…Oh…did I mention I had bedbugs??

Bedbugs!!

(See what I mean. I think I have bedbug PTSD!)

Even just writing the list is exhausting, let alone doing it all. This is definitely enough to drive someone to drink.  And trust me, I’ve downed my fair share of Bordeaux (and Côtes du Rhône, Bourgogne, Sancerre…you know what they say, when in France.)

But it’s done… I can now breathe. Ahh…(insert sun salutation here.)

Transitions are never easy, and often take time and a lot of commotion, but when it’s over, they say the new you is born. Any longer on this one though, and I would have penned myself in for a scheduled C-section.

As for the next phase of my life, my permanent address now reads < Paris, France >. The official Parisian portion of my life now begins. The Beta test period over. We’ve officially launched.

It’s Life 2.0.  (Windows 8 doesn’t stand a chance against me.)

Life 2.0 … Game On!

Coming soon…more ramblings and ruminations on the next set of adventures life has in store for me.  This round, though, will be served with a side of cheese and wine…and maybe a drippy French romantic comedy to get us all in the mood.  (Speaking of, just watched Midnight in Paris. Another Woody Allen success!)

Did I mention I was going to start a detox soon? Too much cheese and wine;)

A très bientôt mes cheries!

(By the way, Mr. Spielberg, thanks for Tintin, but now I’m putting in my order for a Goonies 2. I need me some more Chunk and Sloth.)

Sloth loves Chunk...and his Baby Ruth!

Gone Fishin’…

14 Aug

Gone fishin’…well movin’ actually…

I’ve taken a proverbial fishing trip from my online duties this month… and have officially turned into Chicken with Her Head Cut Off…as I find myself back home in California preparing my things for THE BIG MOVE. (I’m heading east ya’ll…really east…like Paris, France east.) I’m up to my headless torso in boxes, bags, and thirteen years of life everywhere. How does one tiny person accumulate so much stuff?? (In my own defense, I am a Cancer. Comes with the territory.) Needless to say, this leaves me little time to write anything. And even if I wanted to write something, most of the time I can’t even find my computer a midst the carnage of the grand battle between me and my stuff. Fyi…I’m losing. Stuff – 1. Headless Chicken – 0.

As a quick behind the scenes as of how I got to this point…Pierre and I decided to call Paris home for a little  while, and with this comes lots of joy (I mean, come one, I’ll be living in Paris! Need I say more?!) and sadness (I’ll be moving away from one of my most favorite states in the country and from some of the most amazing friends and sister a lady could have). Actually, I like to think of  this whole move as my stuff is relocating to a cheaper home (aka Mom’s basement) while my spirit still resides here. This helps with the coming to terms of it all. Fortunately, I’m so insanely busy between packing, selling, and warring that I can’t think about it all. I’m sure once this is all over, it’ll all sink in. Til then…has anyone found my head??

Here’s a little video that accurately portrays just how I feel. Torn between here and there…

http://vimeo.com/25451551

And to throw in some lagniappe … my good friends in Puerto Rico just finished their new documentary on skateboarding on the island are looking to share it with the world. Five years of blood, sweat and tears went into it and now their hoping to get The Holy Grail of the film world…distribution. Their project is on Kickstarter. Check them out and if you feel so inspired, help support their endeavor and make their dream come true.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1672395135/ejkei-a-documentary-about-skateboarding-in-puerto?ref=live

See you in Paris!

Ode to David Bowie and Lionel Richie

22 Jun

I normally don’t write about particular cultural events that I partake in, as I leave those kinds of postings to all the travel blog writers in the world…and trust me, there are many.  But I figured this particular event merited a little bit of mention.

Yesterday, I had the wonderful pleasure of experiencing what is now my most favorite “holiday” ever. That is, yesterday I got to enjoy my first Fête de la Musique (translation: one hell of an awesome street music festival.) It is an annual event that happens all throughout France (and a handful of other countries) on the 21st of June where hundreds of musicians gather in the streets, bars, and cafes, giving free performances of everything from jazz and rock to hip-hop and orchestral music.

Paris was ALIVE and KICKING! It was a full blown party in the streets where on any and every street corner, park  or cafe you would adventure  upon a new party with a new melody. We were literally dancing in the streets… all night long! (Thank you, David Bowie and Lionel Richie!)

(I wasn’t able to upload my video, so alas this will be a still photo adventure.)

First, we wandered through the Bastille over to the Marais. After hearing a bit of roots reggae and rock from Quebec, we came upon a cool little blues band.

Blues and Tabarin

We continued our journey into the Marais…and found a little folk rock in the window. (The small tiny grey-haired dot is the attraction in this pic.)

music and martinis...excellent combo

We kept along our course, when in the near distance I heard the booty shaking rhythms of a batucada! Now that’s my kind of jam! Mojitos and percussion made this moment heavenly. Not to mention, that we were partying in the backyard of what was once Victor Hugo’s home (you know, Victor Hugo…the guy who wrote Les Mis…the book, not the Broadway musical!) 

Batucada in the streets!

After about 30 minutes of  solid cardio,  we came upon the cool down portion of the workout… a 5 piece band featuring a guy on a very tiny accordion playing what I think is French folk music. ( I asked my hubby for the exact genre, but he had no idea either, so I’ll just call like I hear it.)

taking it old school

After a rousing 2-step dance, hubby and I continued our venture about town. We were sure to hit up the Marais to see how the Rainbow section of town was celebrating…and let me tell you, it was quite the partay.  Sadly, my photos of the event don’t do it justice. But I will say this…house music and leather abounded!

Then…we decided to go see how the tourists were taking it in. The riverbanks were lined with revelers clustering around all sorts of music and there were even some very cool boat parties happening. (I had thought about pulling a James Bond and taking a dive off the bridge onto the boat, but with my luck, I’d end up belly-flopping past the party and into the brown water.)

River cafe at Notre Dame

This was a stationary boat. No need for bridge-jumping adventures…

Lastly, we strolled down the Left Bank making our way home. That last stretch of journey took us around the world and back as we heard a bit of blues, some salsa, more unnamed French folk music, a splash of tango, and even a high school band’s rendition of Abba’s Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight.)

Once home, we kicked off our shoes  and propped up our tired feet while the heavy bass sounds of the ongoing festivities pumped in through our windows. The party was still going strong. But I decided to call it a night. After all, I did have me a man after midnight…;)

Dear Friends…#2 (Food Wars)

21 Jun

Dear Friends,

Summer has started out with a bang! The weather is fantastic, and the city is buzzing with life. The cafes are packed as eager Parisians populate all the sidewalk terrasses everywhere. One thing I can’t quite figure out though…how do the French stay so thin?!  I mean, their entire cuisine is carb based and tends to consist of at least 3 butter laden courses. Not to mention, they drink wine as if it were going out of style! Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE it all, especially the wine part, but if I so much as look at a croissant, I feel the pounds claiming their place on my thighs instantly. What’s a non-French gal to do?  Perhaps it the whole “you are what you eat” thing? In which case, I should eat a baguette, so I too can be long, thin, and irresistibly fresh!

Enjoy your summer!

With love,

Sra. Blanc

Where do I begin?

From [Paris], With Love #1

5 Jun

Greetings weekenders!

I’ve decided to start a photo series to honor all those little things I find along my journey that strike my fancy as funny, amusing, interesting, or just plain random. Hope you enjoy!

Selling everything from beds to friends

Initially, I thought this was a place where I could buy some cute little friend or maybe a fun gang member, but alas it’s just a place to buy couches and beds.

To detect or not to detect?

If I ever find myself in the middle of a Film Noir, I know where to go.

Cleaning up stereotypes one napkin at a time

Come on, Frenchies…really? You could at least leave the banana at home.

Serving up stereotypes...on the rocks

This one goes out to my Spanish speaking homyz;)

Painting entitled: Old Stereotypes Never Die

Turning the stereotyping eye back on themselves…this does make me chuckle though cuz it’s still true! (I have seen cadavers on bikes carrying baguettes and a basket of veggies. I swear!)

Smoking will make you a revolutionary!

FYI…This is a pack a cigarettes! I’m pretty sure that when Che led his revolutions, this is not what he had in mind. (By the way, the label on the bottom warns that “smoking gravely damages your health…” I would imagine that Che would argue that the most damaging thing to his health was the Bolivian government.)

Spacepod or self-cleaning street toilet?

This space-pod looking thing is a public toilet that not only offers much needed relief after many a bottle of wine, but it also cleans itself after every use! No need to smell the reminders of all the previous users. After you’re done in the pod, all the filth is washed away. Kind of like an urban baptism.

(*Drop it in the mail: If  along your journeys you find anything funny, amusing or random that you’d like to share, feel free to send it to me.  I’ll be sure to share it with the world…or well, at least those that read my blog!)

I Love Paris

1 Jun

First, let’s begin with a little tune that sums up my general feeling, shall we?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WF_yN1R2b5M

Now, I can continue…

Last Saturday marked the first full weekend day that Pierre and I had together that didn’t involve either a trip to Ikea (phonetically pronounced “Ee kay ah” here in France), apartment redecoration, or a family gathering. Ecstatic to get out of the house, we decided to do what one does best in Paris….stroll. And since the weather was absolutely perfect for a day hike through the city, we put on our best walking shoes (I’m still learning what are my best walking shoes as the ones I chose to use were not them) and hit the town.

As soon as we stepped out of our building, we quickly realized we weren’t the only ones with this brilliant idea. The streets were packed! People of all shapes, colors, genders, ages, and socio-economic status were enjoying the, what I came to find out later, unusually warm and sunny Spring. In my mind, this is exactly what I pictured springtime being like in Paris…sunny, warm, and romantic. After all, if Cole Porter and Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole sang so lovingly about it, there had to be something to this whole Spring thing here. However, according to all the Frenchies with which I have spoken, May normally brings showers while June offers up the flowers. Hmmm…perhaps that would explain the exorbitant amount of people outdoors? Regardless of all that, Paris in the springtime will remain in my mind just like this…until further notice.

Books galore!

Our jaunt took us down the quais than run along the Right Bank of the Seine. One of my favorite things about promenading the river is that both banks are dotted with cute, worn bookstalls that sell everything from used books to cds to posters to souvenir trinkets. You can get a book on Charles De Gaule’s early years and a pocket Eiffel Tower for the price of a crepe. Trust me. In France, that’s a bargain. And as a lover of books (and trinkets and all things old), I always make it a point to stop at least at one or two of the stalls and peruse their goods. One of these days, I’ll actually know what the books say. Til then, I’ll just keep checking out the cover art.

We kept on strolling all the way to the Louvre where we stopped in to meet up with a group of people I appropriately met on MeetUp.com. In case you have never heard of it, MeetUp.com is a website that offers the world’s largest network of local groups. Very cool if you want to meet people of similar interests in a new town as they have meet ups for any topic of interest possible. The group I joined is called Married to Frog. Being that I am married to a frog, I figured it would be a perfect fit.

Frog love

And there we sat…a group of international expats and their “frogs” enjoying wine and conversation passing the time exchanging survival tips, sharing stories of assimilation or lack thereof, and laughing at all the awkward moments that occur when cultures clash. It was really nice to know that I’m not the only one out here having problems communicating with the in laws. Comfort in numbers, I suppose.

Now, I’ll tangent a moment here to explain that I had brought back from the States a handful of bags of Reece’s Pieces and Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups to offer as souvenirs. Peanut butter is not a staple of the French diet (with the exception of these peanut butter flavored Cheetos-thingies, which if I may add, are really gross,) so anything with peanut butter is quite a novelty here. Pierre had the brilliant idea of bringing a pack with us to eat as a snack along our journey. Well, I pulled them out at during our cocktails with the expats, and needless to say, they were devoured in minutes. Ah…comfort food.

After the gathering wound down, Pierre and I hit the streets again, ready for one more adventure before day’s end. Still buzzing from our earlier glasses of wine, we figured more wine was in order. When in France, you know. And since I had not had the pleasure of experiencing a French picnic yet (definition of French picnic: take a bottle of wine, some bread and cheese and sit anywhere you damn well like as all ground is fair game when it comes to a picnic in the city), we made one happen.

nothing like dining along the river

We took our bottle of rose, our herb-spice goat cheese, and our organic gluten free breadcrisps (hey, a girl’s gotta watch her diet out here), found an empty spot along the river after giving all the other loving couples sitting in the prime spots the evil “get up and leave” eye for about 20 minutes, and laid out our feast.

Right there along the Rive Gauche behind Notre Dame and in front of the hundreds of picnic-ers around us, we watched the sunset and celebrated our first picnic as husband and wife…and the completion of our first full Spring day together in Paris. You have hand it to the French, they sure know how to enjoy life.

If only Cole Porter (and Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole) could see us now…

living the good life

(This is a little something I wrote about 3 weeks ago that I had originally posted on a different blog site. I figured, might as well spread the love and put on this one. ;))