May 20, 2008

A larger than life camel toe



Today I saw THE biggest camel toe ever. A Mc camel toe.
What's bigger than a camel toe? An elephant toe? A dinosaur toe? A brontosaurus toe?
I was so disturbed at the sight of such thing walking the streets of my city that I decided I wasn't going to be French for the day. I spoke English -or French with a heavy fake American accent- all day .
The dog walking alongside the big camel toe was tiny with a long skinny tail.

I have yet to figure out how anyone can bear such a sartorial intrusion into one's loins.

May 19, 2008

Les Majorettes de Sainte Radegonde—not your regular Majorettes!



Did I forget to talk about the Majorettes?!!
Ow My GAWd!
I love me some whacky Majorettes!
The crazy kinds who look hecka bored when they are supposed to look super upbeat and joyful, the ones who will mistake themselves for a horde of horses and whinny with their batons nested between their legs.

They will be back in Paris (75) next month:
Sunday June 8, 2008 at 4pm
Festival Onze Bouge, Paris 11ème (corner of rue Thiéré and boulevard Charonne).

and also in the banlieu, dans le neuf-deux (92):
Saturday june 7, 2008 at 4pm
Fête de la ville de Malakoff (92), boulevard de Stalingrad

Sunday June 8, 2008 at 10.30pm
Fête de la ville de Malakoff (92), sur le marché, place du 11 Novembre

.....................................

(in french)
"2008... Majorettes !"

"Il y a 40 ans se signaient des pétitions pour demander aux villes d’arrêter leur soutien aux groupes de majorettes. 2008 serait-elle l’année de leur grand retour ?
Qu’on ne s’y trompe pas : relookées, investies, joyeuses, elles prennent la tangente pour rester droites.
Tout terrain et armées d’un drapeau français, les Majorettes se lancent dans une « parade d’appel », chantant des airs révolutionnaires et républicains, au son d’un musicien fanfare-beatbox.
Les Majorettes s’adaptent à toutes les situations, tous les scénarios (dans la mesure de leur éthique). Au besoin, le groupe peut aller jusqu’à 17 majorettes."

Diffusion :
le samedi 7 juin 2008 à 16h00
fête de la ville de Malakoff (92), boulevard de Stalingrad

le dimanche 8 juin 2008 à 10h30
fête de la ville de Malakoff (92), sur le marché place du 11 novembre

le dimanche 8 juin 2008 à 16h00
festival Onze Bouge, Paris 11ème, angle de la rue Thiéré et du boulevard Charonne

D'autres pistes sont en cours…

May 18, 2008

The gardener/architect/interior designer bird



Trust me, it doesn't matter that the voice over's in French. The bird's tribe-like dance at the end is priceless. Watch until the end. I giggled at the idea of human beings dancing in such a fashion but than i realized we kinda do at times. When taken out of its context, what we human beings do to attract one another's attention can be pretty silly and ridiculously amusing.

And since i can't get enough of it, here's some more (gotta appreciate MC Hammer's "can't touch this" as the soundtrack for the mating dance):

Antiquithon



Submerge yourself in a world of fantasy. A mysterious world in which the siblings Vodek et Urelia Cazaniescu will take you on a tour, enchanting you with their hybrid creatures and magical tricks to then better scare you off while they dive in their dark and gloomy world and forcefully push you away from it.

Place René Cassin, 75001 Paris
(right next to the St Eustache church)
Métro: Les Halles

Antiquithon half-hour shows at: 9.30pm, 10pm, 11pm, 11.30pm and 12am.

May 17, 2008

Imported Jams



There's really nothing like Blue Chair Fruit jams for breakfast. I didn't even like jam before. And now, well, that's how I start my day. I got spoiled in California and the maker of my morning addiction spoils me more by regularly sending jams our way. Thank you Rachel.

May 15, 2008

Richard Serra at the Grand Palais



I definitely recommend checking out this show after seeing the Marie-Antoinette one. Aside from the fact that there's no wait to get in and that it only costs an extra 2€, it feels extremely refreshing to go from an over-crowded part of the Grand Palais to an almost empty part of it. It was peaceful, quiet and much brighter. Quiet until the rain poured over the glass ceiling, our haven in the middle of the storm. The winds blew in smells of earth and cobblestone.
Richard Serra's piece was built for exhibition at the Grand Palais and the combination of both the artwork and the setting made the experience a magical moment.

Wow, it may happen in the end!



"Gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry in California, the state Supreme Court said today in a historic ruling that could be repudiated by the voters in November." So let's wait until November to celebrate because you never know, with all those "fucking Puritans and their sex-hating, Jesus-freaking, GOP-voting descendants" gathering signatures against it, it might not happen in the end.

May 13, 2008

Marie-Antoinette au Grand Palais


Marie-Antoinette conduite à son exécution, le 16 octobre 1793, William Hamilton, Vizille musée de la Révolution française.

My favorite piece in the Marie-Antoinette show at the Grand Palais is a drawing by her, a portrait of a man she drew from a painting. The place where the hair parts right above his forehead looks like a vagina. But the reason why I liked it so much is not because of the vagina, that was just an added value.
The third and last part of the exhibit is a long hall, bathed in a very dim light, leading to the final piece, the painting of Marie-Antoinette being brought to the guillotine (see above). The pieces exhibited in that room are satirical drawings representing the decline of popularity of the queen and the king, memorabilia (the dress she was wearing in her last days) and quotes by Marie-Antoinette displayed on the walls, things that came up during the last years of her life.

May 11, 2008

Art de la rue—Antiquithon



A show by the Compagnie des femmes à barbe in:
Les PhénomèNomades DE NUIT du 16 au 18 mai.
Place René Cassin, jardin des Halles (Eglise de St Eustache), Paris 1er
Métro: Les Halles
Shows at: 9.30pm, 10pm, 11pm, 11.30pm and 12am.

"Un cabinet des merveilles qui bouscule vos certitudes en vous emmenant aux limites de l'inconnu... Dans ce face-à-face avec l'irrationnel, vous contemplerez le monstrueux issu des profondeurs de votre inconscient, pareil au gros insecte de La Métamorphose de Kafka. De vraies antiquités et d’authentiques phénomènes de foire vous conduiront aux frontières de l'humain et de l'inhumain, de la beauté et de la laideur, du réel et de l'irréel."
De et avec Gwen Aduh, Aurélie de Cazanove, dirigés par Martin Petitguyot
Tout public, à partir de 10 ans, durée 20', réservation conseillée, 2 euros.

May 10, 2008

Despicable smells

It isn't even summer yet and I'm already offended by the surrounding stink in the Parisian metro. It's the smell of old sweat, warm sweat that got cooled down and warmed up again. The kind that has been dragged around for several days, the one that lingers in its path and sticks to the walls, the musty warm humid dark odor that bites you in the nose. Those smells are pretty offensive.

Paris—spanish summer food



Great gazpacho at Da Rosa, a nice little terrasse away from the sun, and serving food from ten until midnight.

62 rue de Seine, Paris 6eme.

May 9, 2008

Paris—dance



Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris
Keep an eye out for the finals at the dance conservatory. You can attend a free two hour performance with the judges on the premises. The final grades are posted an hour and a half later. The Certificat d'Interprétation en Danse Contemporaine is the fifth year exam and it takes place over two days: first day is the contemporary dance session and the second day is the classical dance one. The representations are divided in two parts: first the duos in which one or both students are being graded and then the final part gathering all the students in one piece.
Choregraphies by Carolyn Carlson, Ashley Chen, Daniel Dobbels, Emio Greco, Sylvain Groud, Alban Richard.

May 6, 2008

Patrick Blanc—the vertical garden



" “I like to reintegrate nature where one least expects it,” Mr. Blanc said as he sat at a table in his overgrown back garden, smoking a Vogue Menthol and drinking chilled white Jurançon. (“I leave the water for the plants,” he said.)"
Leaving the water for the plants...so French!
Patrick Blanc is mostly well known for his vertical garden on the facade of the Quai Branly Museum but has created a lot of other beautiful walls all over the world. The plants grow without any soil and the structure (metal frame, PVC sheet, felt) supporting them are so light that they can be set on any kind of wall. Plants are set on the felt layers as seeds, cuttings or grown plants and can be grown indoors as well as outdoors.

May 5, 2008

Paris—l'immeuble de la rue Vavin



26 rue Vavin, 75006 Paris.
1912 building designed by the architects Henri Sauvage & Charles Sarazin.

Photos—Jardin du Luxembourg



We finally made it to the Jardin du Luxembourg after many failed attempts.
"30 ans d'émotions" is the new series of images ranging from 1978 to 2008.
I enjoyed looking at those huge photos on the street.
The overall sentiment is that it's about how utterly imbalanced this world can be in its disparity of wealth among the people. Many of these images reflect on the politics that prevent mankind to live in a more peaceful world.

About the photo: Vietnam 2005. Buddhist monks seeking the danger of very slippery waterfalls and crossing them as a peace and prosperity offering.

Supermarket cashiers

Without going as far as calling it mysophobia, it's pretty clear to me that French people aren't quite suffering from the fear of germs: my cashier took over for her coworker, sitting at her register with a pack of french ham that she ate with her hands as she rang people up and handled a bunch of bills and coins. I, of course, could not help but think about all the hands and places all that money had been through (living eleven years in the States did not help.) Then, a few days later, a different cashier was munching on chips while ringing up her customers and chatting with her chubby friend standing right behind her. While standing in line and waiting for my turn I listened to their heavy-crunching-interrupted conversation that was about the chubby woman going to a wedding and how well she was going to eat. Her friend the cashier promptly replied that she was gonna get fatter! I looked straight up at the chubby woman with a smile because i was not going to pretend i hadn't heard the joke that everybody around heard and she looked at me and everybody else seemingly slightly shocked for a split second, before observing that it wouldn't make too much of a difference considering how big she already was. And then they went straight back to their crunch this, crunch that.

May 4, 2008

Paris Paris Paris



I spent the day out yesterday, wandering the crowded streets of the 11th, 12th, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th arrondissements. Walking on the deserted rue des Martyrs in the 9th around 11pm was quite refreshing, and finding an open restaurant when everything else around was closed was even cooler.
When I passed by the Sainte Chapelle I thought it would be nice to visit it again. But then I saw the line and told Chess no frickin' way Josay. Gotta be seriously desperate to want to visit it on such a day. After several stops in cafés and bars and an amazing ice-cream shop — I'm pretty sure my mango sorbet from Le Bac à Glaces was better than my friends' four other flavors added together — we landed right underneath the Eiffel Tower. It was getting dark and ten minutes later, on the hour, it all lit up. Which is actually more magical from far away. Quite an impressive sight as always. The line to go up was even more impressive! I was thinking there should be a day when the tower's closed to tourists and only opened to Parisians. Buses spilling hordes of tourists all day 7 days/week line up alongside the most visited monument in the world (6 million visits/year), and that leaves me with little chance to spend some time there away from the crowd. The Eiffel Tower replica in Las Vegas should be life-sized and maybe there should be a few other ones in other parts of the world. There's probably enough people out there who would feel like they don't need to climb up the real thing if they'd experience one of its replicas. Some might even think it would save them an airplane ticket or something. Tourists start lining up two hours before the Eiffel Tower opens its doors to the public at 9.30am...
On my way home there was a young inebriated couple going down the metro stairs. The guy went through the turnstile before his girlfriend who seemed to have been stuck on the other side. I went through the turnstile before her and her boyfriend ended up taking my arm thinking I was her. I told him I wasn't the right person and we both laughed a lot.

Along my wanderings, here are a few things I stumbled upon:
- Vert d'Absinthe. Since I can't really afford good Tequila I'm thinking I could give Absinthe a shot, as long as it's not the homemade kind that my brother brought back home from the boonies that one time... I had barely wet my lips with that beautiful turquoise elixir and I could already see flames coming out of my mouth.
11 rue d'Ormesson, 75004 Paris.
- Artès. Before buying your Moleskine Weekly Diary online, because all the art stores around are sold out, check out this place. They specialize in the Moleskine notebooks and don't look like they'll be running out of them anytime soon.
46, rue Saint-André des arts, 75006 Paris.
- Great photos by Daido Moriyama at Kamel Mennour Gallery.
47, rue Saint-André des arts, 75006 Paris
- Fuxia. Italian restaurant open 7 days/week until 11pm.
25, rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris (6 other locations in Paris).

May 2, 2008

Opéra Garnier—Mats Ek



Looking forward to the Mats Ek ballet. A choreography based on Federico Garcia Lorca's play The House of Bernarda Alba. Music by Johann Sebastian Bach and some traditonnal Spanish music.

at the Palais Garnier du 26 avril au 11 mai.

May 1, 2008

Support your green supermarket



Bulk food, organic goods, green products and more at the co'op supermarkets Les Nouveaux Robinson.

The Montreuil Robinson offers three supermarkets, one for the food, one for health and beauty products and one for environmentally-friendly household supplies
and cleaning products.
-food: 49, rue Raspail, 93100 Montreuil-sous-Bois
-eco-products: 56 bis, rue Robespierre, 93100 Montreuil-sous-Bois
-healthcare: 61, rue Barbès, 93100 Montreuil-sous-Bois
Métro: Robespierre (line 9)
Bus : ligne 318, arrêt : Voltaire

Paris—Pozzetto gelato and espresso



Pozzetto has some of the best pistachio gelato I've tried. The kind of ice-cream that compares with the amazing ones from Ici on College Avenue in Berkeley, California. There are only 12 flavors, so that each one can be given all the attention it deserves.
The espresso's good too. The decaf i tried tonight was really nice so i can only imagine the regular espresso to be even better. A pleasant surprise in Paris where most espressos will make the inside of your mouth cringe and make you feel like you're walking around with a contorted facial expression for awhile.

Pozzetto: 39 rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004 Paris et 21 rue de Levis, 75017 Paris