unexpected snail mail
the guardian / door lady of our apartment complex delivered a package to me this morning. to my shock, she handed me a two-foot tall box and inside sat this orchid plant. interesting things to note: - because i was too late to pick it up, the door lady watered it for me last night! yay she doesn’t hate me. - the flower company secured the orchid stems to the supporting wooden dowels...
clocks in the lobby at cite chaillot George Nelson is reminding me that it’s been over a month since i’ve landed here. It’s also my mom’s birthday, and Andrea composed a little poem for the occasion: To Mom: hope you have a wonderful year don’t you worry, i’m staying quite near actually only 45 minutes away you could visit me every day! but...
the end of the tour de france, victory lap down the champs-elysees. how exciting…all thirty seconds of it. while i had originally envisioned somewhat of a Boston Marathon-like atmosphere, now i understand why most french people never get their pantalonies in a bunch about this event. [video via christophe] photosdeparispourunejoliefille: Tour de France 2010: Final Stage
an unconventional french wedding
Waiting on the steps of l’hotel de ville at Rosny-Sur-Seine, about two hours west of Paris. (Where I learned that Hotel de Ville means ‘City Hall’ and NOT ‘Hotel Of The City’) The mayor of Rosny-Sur-Seine, presiding over the wedding ceremony. To her left is a sculpture of Marianne, a symbol of the French republic. This one in particular is a very pop-art modern...
how locals feel
Jonathan: (with french accent) Oh man, look at those tourists over there.
Me: How can you tell they are tourists?
Jonathan: 1. More than three people in a group. 2. Everyone has a backpack. 3. There is always a leader, and a pack of followers. 4. They are looking lost and unhappy.
Me: But look! At least they have a map and are trying to figure it out.
Jonathan: That's even worse - even with a map, they are probably lost.
Me: Where are the most annoying places in Paris with tourists?
Jonathan: The Louvre, Trocadero, Luxembourg...but these tourists are in the 10eme arrondissement, and there are not that many here, so I think I will give them a +1.
Me: What kind of tourists are the worst?
Jonathan: The fat ones. I can't get by them on the sidewalk.
image to sun up today
1. yes, the googly-eyed landscape sculpture creature is staring at Dima. 2. yes, Dima’s parapluie has a broken leg. (it was sunshowering) 3. yes, that is a solar panel sitting in the background. and by sun up, i mean sum up. location: that park with the pingpong tables in the north part of the 3eme arrondissement along rue de temple and rue de bretagne
I ambled into Belleville a couple times this week - for grocery shopping, for drinks with Elesh at Cafe Cherie, and for an unintended detour on my Velib after a series of unfortunate one-way streets. It’s a scrappy, raffish, immigranty neighborhood at the intercept of 4 arrondissements (10, 11, 19, 20) with many Tunisian shops, Vietnamese restaurants, Algerian bakeries, and Chinese grocers...
high quality street performers at Pompidou
operatic “loolilooolilooo” + furious bowing and plucking and hair swinging harmonica + guitar riff + the side step foot shuffle “Country roads, take me home….to a place, I belong….” + guest performers on maracas
a running list of currently unanswered questions
How are so many people out lounging in cafes at 11am in the morning on weekdays? do they not work? are they all tourists? or mothers (/fathers) on the seven-month french maternity leave? Why must crepes be folded over into quarters? i enjoy crepes for their thinness and lightness, and i can’t seem to taste that if its hunked over four times like a sandwich. My roommate Lauren is watching...
sex and the city 2 as an urban design thesis
Sam Jacobs, in Icon Eye: “And shoes? Well, shoes perform as a key motif in SATC’s thesis. The trip-trapping of Louboutin on sidewalk is not just where the public realm of the city and the private realm of the individual meet. The fetishisation of the shoe signifies the transfer of Manhattan to a condition of total consumption, symbolising post-urbanity. The shoe, in effect, has become the city.” ...
beneath stormy clouds from Champs de Mars
corbusier's villa la roche
the main gallery - tina and helen traverse the not-to-code incline ramp (but then again, when is france ever wheelchair friendly). maria and i experience the below-pilotis space. my take on it + a slideshow: http://www.dwell.com/articles/villa-la-roche.html
While waiting for Dima at the Musee d’Orsay last weekend, a boy in line asked me, “Chinoise?” I replied, ‘sort of’ (silently waving my Formosan flag), and we proceeded to have a longish conversation in Mandarin, throwing in French words periodically. He was from Hangzhou in China, and he was studying Oil Painting at the Sorbonne. It was one of those rare times when...
Saw these ardent protesters at Trocadero last weekend.
After a week and two days, my model for Coligny is complete, and it was pretty gratifying to present it at the client meeting. The timely arrival of Charlyne (hooray! fellow intern) made it possible for to get everything done, and it was lovely to have another pair of hands and a new friend. Fun fact: the trees and the scale figures (1:200) alone cost 187 euros.
coconut + apple cake
My first weekend, I stumbled upon Atelier Lili, just down the street from my apartment. Lili is a chef specializing in ‘exotic’ foods and pastries, and she also teaches cooking classes for 20 euros, after which the students eat what they concocted at a roundtable dinner altogether. As we were putzing along (in her broken English and my broken French), she spotted my D40x and asked me...
free museum sunday
I made it to two (out of the gajillion on my list): Musee d’Orsay and Cite de L’Architecture. the delightful wooden AJAP exhibit (les albums des jeunes architectes & des paysagistes), where I took a rather comfortable nap on those adjustable brown hook-on cushions. dreamy daylighting I do like the Cite museum’s signage, as well as the way this old woman was sitting...
These people match so well with their choice of transportation. “Découvrir et vivre en véhicule néo-rétro: confortable, silencieux, écologique et élégant!” proclaim the makers of the cyclotrottinette. On the coolness scale, it seems to be one (petite) step ahead of the Segway.
In a rather controversial move, artist David Buren razed the former courtyard of the Palais Royale in 1986 to put up a permanent installation of black and white sculptures. I feel like people don’t necessarily enjoy this space, as so much just pass by to oogle at it. I couldn’t imagine curling up against one of Les Colonnes de Buren with a good book for hours, but I did pause to gawk...