Livin’ in the USA (2) Mermaid Parade

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Spur of the moment participation in the third annual Rosendale Mermaid Parade, a fund raiser for local pool, theater, and Farmers’ Market (Photo Matt Atkinson). Some views: IMG_4040.JPGParaders gathering in the park behind mainstreet (photo Lewis Primo)IMG_4005[2].JPGSeahorse in front of the bandstand (Photo Heather Lang)DSC03697DSC03696DSC03700DSC03694DSC03693DSC03699 (1)DSC03700DSC03701DSC03702DSC03703DSC03704DSC03707DSC03708DSC03710IMG_4048Paraders wow main street (Photo Lewis Primo)IMG_3979(Photo Matt Atkinson, all other photos by me)

Thank you people of Rosendale!  So long for now from the mermaids! xxxxx Aliss

 

Happy Birthday Buttes Chaumont Park

Paris 19th…Now:DSC03606and then, before landscaping, Eiffel’s bridge, and the cliff-top temple:DSC03607My favorite park is celebrating a big birthday–150 years… I thought I knew it by heart, but new signs commemorating remarkable trees and the park’s transformation are full of cool factoids:DSC03611Did you know this tree is called “horse chestnut” because in ancient times its fruit was used as fodder? That this former quarry was a horse cemetery in the 19th century? That draft horses from Vincennes are still used here for logging? DSC03610.JPGPlanted in 1870, this sycamore is 25m tall. Tiny picnickers and miniature bench give an idea of scale…Another specimen:DSC03609Planted in 1865, this one is 20m tall. Symbiotic parasites thicken its bark while its survival strategy creates an “elephant foot” shape at the base. In Greek mythology  plane trees symbolized regeneration and it’s dark heavy wood was used to build the Trojan horse…It’s so huge I couldn’t fit it into one shot. People left of the trunk (center) add perspective.DSC03608And on the other side of the park:DSC03613An association called Kaloumba had set up awnings, tables, chairs and traditional games from all over the world, for all ages. One item from their beautiful collection:DSC03612

Kaloumba specializes in keeping these alive as cultural, social, educational and therapeutic tools, organizing workshops to make your own games from recycled materials, to then keep or sell for worthy causes. Check out their website: http://kaloumba.com

Happy Birthday Buttes Chaumont 🙂 xxxxx Aliss

Happy Bastille Day!

DSC03623Firehouse in the Marais, soundcheck going on in the courtyard… Same thing happening all over France, flags and banners, firefighters setting up the annual Fireman’s Ball in honor of Bastille Day. In the olden days, it was about accordion music, live combos, tango, fox trots and slow dancing on cobblestones, checkered tablecloths, cheap champagne and flat beer in real glasses, women in skirts and dresses, men with their shirt sleeves rolled up, red faces from Renoir paintings… Now it’s huge PA systems, blaring pop and hip hop, fat cables duct taped on the cobblestones, cheap wine in plastic cups, bottled beer, clouds of marijuana smoke, a sea of faces of all colors, streetwear, tattoos and piercings… Fun of a different hue… Happy Bastille Day! 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)

Sanity Savers 11: Whimsy

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Paris 19, Bassin de la Villette (Canal de l’Ourcq) Thank you to the local resident who set up this reading nook beside one of our canal bridges 🙂 Happened upon it yesterday with delight for the surreal humor, statement about the lives we lead, our neighborhood’s conviviality… A stray aluminum can caught the sunlight… To be continued xxxxx Aliss