Why I’m here

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To stand on this bridge, looking into the light, full of conversations with others drawn to this place by love of words, ideas, color, images, sound, rhythm… thinking of everyone I care about, sending out this picture…This is why I’m here…

Welcome to Wonderland

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Being in the right place at the right time…

Ok, so I love this place and the staff, come here every chance I get and they refer to me as their best customer. Had no way of knowing they were planning to completely redecorate inside and out in honor of my namesake. Cool coincidence. Can we surf on synchronicity? Is love a magnet? What about time and tea?

DSC02707Pavillon des Canaux, Pavillon des Merveilles

Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.” –Jorge Luis Borges, LabyrinthsDSC02708

“You would measure time the measureless and the immeasurable…
But if in your thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons,
And let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing….”
 Kahlil Gibran

White Rabbit:

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“Arthur blinked at the screens and felt he was missing something important. Suddenly he realized what it was.

‘Is there any tea on this spaceship?’ he asked.”
― Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Queen of Hearts:

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“Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?”
― D.T. SuzukiZen and Japanese Culture

“As far as her mom was concerned, tea fixed everything. Have a cold? Have some tea. Broken bones? There’s a tea for that too. Somewhere in her mother’s pantry, Laurel suspected, was a box of tea that said, ‘In case of Armageddon, steep three to five minutes’.”
― Aprilynne PikeIllusions

And one last picture: installation with tiny Alice under a glass dome at the tea party…DSC02715Must find out more about the artist, one of several contributors to the decor… To be continued, thanks everyone for checking in and liking…xxxxx

Proof That The Wheel Turns

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When my daughter was a baby, the canal area above was a drug-infested post-industrial wasteland. I started finding bloody syringes in our building and was about to pull up stakes, when the powers that be rerouted traffic behind the colonnaded 18th century Rotonde to create an esplanade for carnivals and concerts. Suddenly there were playgrounds, cobblestone walkways, trees, and a bike path out to the country. Some brave local dads stood vigil around a crack house to attract media attention and organized petitions and protests until the dealers left. Movie theaters, restaurants, and a marina opened. Every summer the city stages Paris Plages, with its sandy beaches, palm trees, party lights, dance floors, and water sports. On weekends, singles and families wander to and from pétanque parties and picnics. All year round, you can watch double decker tour boats passing through the locks, wild swans, and sunsets. Risen from its ashes, the quartier is a hip destination. Against all odds, religious communities coexist without much friction, maybe because plaques at our elementary school door remind us everyday how almost 400 Jewish children were rounded up here and sent to death camps during the Occupation. The least we can do to honor them is keep the peace in our urban bubble.

Since 2011 Paris has created green and blue corridors (land and water migration paths) as part of a far-reaching Biodiversity Plan, no longer using chemical pesticides in public spaces and leaving many lawn areas fallow. Foxes, squirrels, hedgehogs, peregrine falcons, wild swans, bats have returned to the parks and waterways in our district and the water quality has improved enough for humans to return to the Bassin de la Villette for swimming summer 2017. Paris hopes to organize the summer Olympics in 2024 and hold aquatic events in the Seine 🙂

To be continued! xxxx Aliss

Burgundy Road Movie 2

Elegant, hearty breakfast at the Domaine de Bouloy: fresh eggs from the owner’s free range chickens, bacon, baguette, home made jams, coffee, hot chocolate, real orange juice… Comfy modern rooms, lush gardens, great place for weddings and parties, see their website http://www.domaine-du-bouloy.comimageimageFrench rooster emblem standing guard at the door…

Next stop, near Guédelon: 13th century Chateau de Ratilly, very cheerful once you step through the gate…image

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Lovingly restored by the Pierlot family, many things to see: ancient dovecote with revolving ladder, contemporary art exhibits, owner’s pottery workshop with nesting swallows, ceramics showroom with cream, sky blue/sapphire, and sea green pieces for the home and table. Synchronicity: turns out Lewis’s family water jug (right), treasured relic of his childhood, also came from this place (see tiny owl logo marked on side, Chateau de Ratilly trademark),  when he planned our itinerary he didn’t know he was retracing his parents’ steps) https://www.chateauderatilly.fr

Stopped for lunch in Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye at the welcoming Relais du Morvan:

http://le-relais-du-morvan.relais-du-morvan.fr

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Feasted on fresh fish and local meats, all garnished with colorful exotic fruits, chef Sébastien Bourgeois’ signature…(home made wild boar pâté, beef bourguignon, sole in sparkling white burgundy and cream sauce around an island of sautéd rutabaga, jerusalem artichokes, and parsnips topped with fresh spinach), wine: Côteaux du Giennois

Final destination: a friend’s house in La Charité sur Loire, sleepy little town on its namesake river, known for its vintage book shops, literary festival, and summer blues concerts…

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Addictive view from our host’s living room: Priory bell tower, Loire river and fields all the way to the horizon…

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Wined and dined for two days, walked along the ramparts and the Loire, hiked in ageless oak forests nearby… Thank you Étienne!

On the way back to Paris, explored Sully-sur-Loire castle…

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