I believe we can fly

dsc03091Lightening up for the holidays with shopping therapy, explored a new space opening in my off-the-beaten-track barrio. I’m torn between wanting to keep it all to myself or sharing it with the world… It’s Vill’Up in the 19th arrondissement, Metro Porte de la Villette or Correntin-Cariou. Brand new, with friendly faces offering samples of chocolates, frozen yoghurt, and mince pies, there are well-known chains (Marks and Spencer!!! Cultura, Sephora, Bensimon) and specialty shops I haven’t seen before, with unusual gifts, gourmet foods, spas, clothing for women, men, and children… plus restaurants, cinemas, and two new attractions: I Fly (pictured above, reserve in advance via their website!) and YOO MOOV (Virtual Reality Outer Space Experience? Will know more when it opens later this week)…

Laid out on three floors with a spectacular view over the park and Canal de l’Ourcq, it’s both welcoming and mind-expanding. Watching delighted kids and adults learning to fly with a coach in the glass air-tunnel tube, I remembered a story about the 60’s, during the Viet Nam War, when a large crowd of “Yippies” led by activists Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin vowed to exorcise and levitate the Pentagon with psychic energy as a non-violent gesture to end the war.

On October 21, 1967, 100,000 protesters formed a human chain with the intent of “chanting ancient Aramaic exorcism rites while standing in a circle around the building, (so) they could get it to rise into the air, turn orange and vibrate until all evil emissions had fled. The war would end forthwith.” For a hilarious account of the festivities, see:

http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/the-day-they-levitated-the-pentagon/

Inspite of this, and contributions from Allen Ginsberg, the Fugs, Benjamin Spock, Peter, Paul, and Mary, and others, the massive structure did not lift 300 feet off the ground, or even 3 as was hoped, but the widely mediatized event, described by Norman Mailer in his Pulitzer Prize winning non fiction novel Armies of the Night, fed a ground swell that eventually brought peace and paved the way for non-violent movements of the 80’s and 90’s (WAM, ACT UP).

So I’m wondering…what can we do to levitate the heavy-handed, mean-spirited bullies of our time? Maybe start by learning to fly, bring that lightness into our beings and project it outward until they lift off?dsc03092Meanwhile, gorgeous handmade traditional crafts, jewelry, lighting, ceramics, furniture, linens, cards, Christmas decorations at Storie:dsc03093dsc03094Sensual women’s fashions and edgy jewelry at Nina Kendoza (waterfall and cascading plants in window at back of shop, go see):dsc03095International cuisine, coffee shops with news stand, open late…dsc03096Frozen yogurt to sample, served with a big smile, and Flying Tiger gift shop in background:dsc03097Gourmet chocolates, mustards, olive oils, vinegars, at Le Comptoir de Mathilde:dsc03098One of a kind gifts and decor items from new designers at Boutique Éphémère:dsc03099And endless fun:

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xxxxxx Aliss

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Seize the Joy

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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

(O)living the Life

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You haven’t (o)lived until you’ve been to La Tête dans les Olives, rue Sainte-Marthe, Paris  10th arrondissement, just up the hill from the dreamy Canal Saint Martin and Chez Philou (see previous post), at the entrance to a hidden passageway leading to secret Place Sainte Marthe (where you might think you’re inland from the Rivera, near Manosque). It’s the smallest restaurant/grocery you’ll ever encounter, but so full of deliciousness, you’ll never forget it. You must meet Mr. Andrea and see his tiny boutique with a view on a green courtyard. He will pour you tiny spoons of the best olive oil you ever put in your mouth, direct from his friends’ olive groves in SicilyDSC02649so you can choose the ones to take home from different varieties for cooking and salads (all in beautiful reusable bottles)…

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Every square inch is packed with salted ricotta and other seasonal cheeses, pasta, mushrooms, bread, herbs, sun dried tomatoes, wild fennel seeds, capers in salt, white figs, dried tuna eggs, tuna bresaola, tuna sausage, dried swordfish eggs and more…

Go to their website to reserve the best (and only) table for an intimate dinner sampling olive their wares:

http://www.latetedanslesolives.com

(also on Facebook)

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Your taste buds will quote Wikipedia:

“Olive oil has long been considered sacred. The olive branch was often a symbol of abundance, glory and peace. The leafy branches of the olive tree were ritually offered to deities and powerful figures as emblems of benediction and purification, and they were used to crown the victors of friendly games and bloody wars. Today, olive oil is still used in many religious ceremonies. Over the years, the olive has been the symbol of peace, wisdom, glory, fertility, power and purity.”

As the French say, “Tu m’en diras des nouvelles”  = “You’ll thank me”!

xxxxxx Aliss

Dreaming on the Sky

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Looking up, projecting inner visions on the sky, our infinite screen, opens imagination.  What do we want to take with us into the New Year?  What do we want to leave behind?  What bridges do we want to cross?  What do we love so much that we can’t not do it?  When we put our hearts fully into a dream, it changes us and our “reality.” Most people hate the word commitment, but here’s another way to look at it:

“As long as we are not committed, doubt reigns, the ability to withdraw remains and inefficiency always prevails. Concerning all acts of initiative and creativity, there is an elementary truth,the ignorance of which has countless consequences and aborts splendid projects. At the moment we fully commit, Providence also goes into motion. To help us, all sorts of things take shape, which wouldn’t have happened otherwise. An entire chain of events, of situations and decisions create in our favor all manner of unplanned incidents, meetings, and material support that we would never have dreamed of encountering on our path…Everything you can do or dream of doing, you can venture. Audacity contains genius, power, and magic.”  Goethe, The Power of Commitment

Let’s throw our big dreams for ourselves and the world into the sky: health, happiness, creativity, abundance. No dream too big to come true.

Happy New Year! xxxx Aliss

 

Love Forever True

DSC02401I’m inspired by these two creatures living on the canal around the corner from my building. Year in year out I see them swimming together, cob and pen, raising their cygnets, feeding, flying over the water.

If there’s one thing I wish everyone for the New Year, it’s love.

xxxx Aliss

 

Yet In Thy Dark Street Shineth

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Joyeuses Fêtes=Merry Christmas and Happy New Year=Happy Holidays

The waters of life continue to flow in tears of sorrow and tears of joy. My friend Marilyn lost her young daughter this week and yet in darkness she was a source of light, giving thanks for the years they had together and allowing her child’s life to give life to others. Thank you to everyone in distant countries holding her in their thoughts. I believe the love we send out is never lost and maybe even saves the world. As we start another trip around our sun, our moon reflecting its light, I’m grateful for my family, friends, and home. Wishing you all radiance….

Christmas Countdown

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This is our advent calendar, one of my favorite Christmas rituals 🙂
Every night from December 1st to 24th, I put a china figurine
(collected from years of Epiphany king cakes) into one of the little drawers with a tiny chocolate. I start out with toys and animals and gradually
switch to the Nativity theme so that a tiny baby Jesus in the manger is in
the last drawer. It’s pretty intense, like being the Tooth Fairy every night for three and a half weeks, but my son loves it, of course. Sometimes I forget to do it before I fall asleep and have to run frantically to my secret figurine and chocolate hiding places, and sneak them into the calendar before he sees me! When my daughter was at home, I was doing double
duty with her calendar, a big felt hanging Christmas tree
with numbered pockets. Traditionally, the treat is just a piece of chocolate, but one year in a commercial calendar I bought, there were little plastic
gumball machine toys in the windows as well. I could never find one of
those again but saved the toys and put them in the next year’s
calendar compartments with a chocolate. It was always really fun seeing
how the kids reacted to a tiny plastic hotdog, a roulette wheel, or a pair of
dice. Then I got the idea to use the king cake “fèves” (“beans”) 🙂
Trying to keep journaling, something I’ve done since childhood. Unstructured-blowing-off-steam-not-meant-for-prime-time, it helps me stay focused and make sense of non-stop barrages of information we all get every day. When I look back over the last month’s notes, I see changes, more fear, but also more love. If you have thoughts, please let me know.
Thank you everyone for checking in and liking or following my blog! It’s really carried me these past few weeks since November 13th. I love doing it and love your feedback!