Looking up…(update 15/6/17)

DSC03550.JPG

Art on the canal… Many NLP (neurolinguistic programming) courses teach that when a person looks up to their left they’re making pictures and when they look up to their right they’re remembering pictures… This is controversial but MRI scans seem to show that imagining activates the neo-cortex (frontal lobe and most recently evolved area of the brain). According to these studies, vizualizing a best-case scenario activates all parts of the brain (frontal-visual, mammalian-emotional and reptilian-survival) in synergy, and there seems to be a loop effect–looking up stimulates positive image-making… so why not try it and “see”? To be continued xxxxx Aliss

Stayin’ Alive

DSC03543

This July Paris is opening it’s first “Live Water” swimming area on the canal in my neighborhood, the result of decades of work by city governments and local activists who’ve brought the river water that feeds the canal back to life. Particularly relevant as summer returns and I’m coming back to life myself after terror episodes and two exhausting presidential elections…also  inspiring and galvanizing, as Trump withdraws the US from the Paris Climate Accords. Many of us are dedicated to keeping the planet alive and imagining a better future. He can’t stop us! xxxxx Aliss

Cakes and Cathedrals

Dear blog friends, Haven’t been able to post this week, hosting visitors, long conversations with long lost friends, sharing my favorite places. More thoughts taking shape about the soul of France, how cathedrals and cakes are holographic alphas and omegas of the traditional French experience, the first, centuries in the making, centuries standing solid, the second, sensual and ephemeral, but with the same love for graceful architecture, story-telling in images… More to come, love xxxxx Aliss

(Bakery Benoist, 29 avenue Secretan, Paris 75019, tel: 01 42 40 23 86, and rose window in Chartres Cathedral)

Taste Paris!

DSC03520.JPG

If you’re within traveling distance, don’t miss this event near the Champs Élysées, in the Grand Palais, a vestige of the World’s Fair of 1900, itself worth the trip!

Taste of Paris Ticket Info

Some of the delicacies and the people who create them:

DSC03503.JPGAt the Ferrandi Culinary Academy stand: Onion stuffed with onion, crouton, sorrel and matured mimolette cheese + Mousseline goose egg, shredded goose neck, grilled corn and herbs from chef Amandine Chaignot (turning her back to her photo at left):

DSC03502

Chef Yoshitaka Takayanagi of Agapé:DSC03504

White asparagus, organic egg yolk confit (like a very subtle pineapple hollandaise sauce!), bottarga and flowers + Smoked red tuna tataki, beetroot medley, condiments and flowers:DSC03505

From Chef Philippe Labbé at the Tour d’Argent (vying to restore their two-star rank):DSC03508.JPG

Challans duck sausage by Liliane Burgaud, cabbage stuffed with duck, crumble, fresh dill, caraway seeds, home made ketchup:DSC03507.JPG

Star chef Thierry Marx posing with fans, in person he looks like Bruce Willis 🙂DSC03510.JPG

His Confit veal shank, macaroni au gratin and truffle emulsion + Heirloom tomatoes, strawberry, mozzarella di bufala, vanilla oil…DSC03512

Pastry star Christophe Adam’s creations at l’Éclair de Génie:DSC03515

Éclairs caramel noisette: caramel cream, hazelnut praline, wafer and caramel icing:DSC03514

But we chose his Vanilla pecan éclair sandwich with vanilla ganache, caramelized pecan praline, and milk chocolate:DSC03516

After sampling white wines (Chateau Le Grand Verdus, Expression 2015, and Domaine de Pouilly Clos de la Condemine 2016) and a red (South African Marianne Wine Estate, Okoma 2015), we sipped arabica expresso coffee by Illy and shared a glass of Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne…DSC03517.JPG

My advice: get there early, 11 or so, before the crowds, before the heat, if it’s sunny… Otherwise, tables in the shade around the perimeter. Keep your first set of plastic cutlery and goblet so you don’t wind up tossing dozens of utensils 🙂 There’s good live music:DSC03519

Also cooking classes, meetings with chefs and book signings, displays of organic vegetables, cheeses, wines, honey, coffee, tea, jams, mustards…improvised sing-alongs and choreography to Yanick’s danse hit “Cette soirée -là” led by the young team at Nubé:DSC03509

Don’t miss À la recherche des femmes chefs documentary film by Vérane Frédiani, coming out on July 5th Female Chefs

Thank you my dear Nicola Manwaring for sharing this with us!

To be continued! xxxxxx Aliss

Thank You France

DSC03466

Emerging from election stress and heavy weather… This is where I wanted to be the day after  Macron was elected, immersed in the light of one of the great souls of France at Giverny…May 8th is a national holiday here (V-E Day) so the place was packed with French and international tourists, it was rainy and cold, but this living masterpiece, wonder of the world, was still perfect. Thank you France xxxxxx Aliss

Sanity Savers 19: Hope

DSC03447.JPG

I’ve been having a hard time taking pictures… Paris is gray and cold, there’s a national psychodrama going on due to the presidential elections, the atmosphere is very heavy.

I look for openings in the clouds. No matter who is elected on Sunday, we will have to keep hope alive, as we are doing in the US, by every means possible.

Some lightness from Emily Dickinson:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.”
And what if we are extra kind to everyone we meet every day? Can that open the clouds, even a little bit?

To be continued xxxxx Aliss