It’s happening! (updated 17/07/17)

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Live Water Swimming, Bassin de la Villette, Paris Plages, Grand Opening Monday July 17th, 3pm 🙂

Paris has been working towards this for many years, well before the Summer Olympics bid, part of a long term environmental clean up and biodiversity project. What better way to raise awareness than to open a swimming area here? It’s a biofeedback loop for Parisians: water quality is monitored constantly and the pools will be closed whenever the water is unsafe. All around the enclosure displays show how this works, what sources of public and private pollution are being supervised, plant and animal species living in this water, how and why the waterway was constructed, how it has evolved… Maybe this will discourage deadbeats from throwing their refuse into the canal? Come swim and view the displays with your family, it’s a rich learning experience and a way to create a better future 🙂

More pix: DSC03625DSC03628DSC03626


Smooth sailing! xxxxx Aliss

Today the water was laughing


Bassin de la Villette, Paris 19, near the soon-to-open “Live Water” swimming area, canal so clear, I stopped in my tracks to admire fish of all sizes swimming among the plant life.

Two electric-blue dragonflies flitted in front of me, hovered and disappeared, too fast to photograph. (The fish, too, are camera-shy). When Jacques Chirac was Mayor of Paris many moons ago, he announced he’d swim in the Seine in the year 2000. It took longer than he thought, but decades of effort by local communities and the Paris city government, bio-diversity campaigns and sewage treatment, are paying off. What seemed like science fiction is actually happening.

For more information about wild flora and fauna in Paris,  “sustainable walk” apps, action steps:

Beautiful posters to download:

Reasons for optimism! Love xxxxx Aliss

Stayin’ Alive


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

Seize the Joy


Taking a moment to immerse myself in Joy… Time to “store” up light for 2017, we’ll need it!

This is the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann Christmas tree. Go to the second floor for more information about uploading a magic app, or use the tablets on site to view the world in a holiday glow (no spoilers!) More coming xxxxxx Aliss

I won’t stop believing (November 9th)


Since I saw the swan on Friday, trying to find words for how I feel.
It’s been quite a year, many challenges in my life and around me, too many to count: terrorism, violent demonstrations, floods, refugee crisis, family issues, and now the US presidential election… Trying to stay up to date, reeling from toxic news overdose, head down, walking in cold rain, not looking for a sign, I lifted my eyes at the right moment and there it was, a white swan, first in almost a year,* pure beauty and grace, life, resilience. Took my breath away, filled me with joy. The only way I can describe my feeling is “something happening in the Force”… but not a “disturbance”… so what is the opposite of disturbance? Smoothing of the force? Harmony in the force? Light in the force?
That day, someone added me to a private FB group called Pantsuit Nation, carrying positive information about the election that ballooned from a few people lightening up with pantsuits, to three million in a matter of days, a community of thought, a fabric of kindred spirits, shining like beads of light woven together in space.
Suddenly there was a refuge to share our stories, dreams, courage, determination, love, inspirations, tolerance. Millions people opening up, laughing and crying together, trading experiences and pictures. An antidote to the poisonous headlines.
There are millions of good people out there with energy for the future.
The days are darker as we move towards the winter solstice and the rebirth of Light. I won’t stop believing.
dsc03043Since Paris implemented a Biodiversity  Program several years ago, stopped using pesticides, and began creating Green and Blue corridors for wildlife, a pair of swans settled on the canal and raised 6 cygnets every year. Last January we found one of the adults sick or wounded on an embankment and it was taken to the vet school for treatment. Never heard anything more about it but the flock disappeared completely. Until Friday…