Trying this to ease jetlag… Flat on my back in the grass, soles and palms facing down. The Buttes Chaumont park is calm but not empty: couples laughing on blankets, old people chatting on benches, moms feeding babies, dads and grandmas walking toddlers, someone playing the flute, classical music piping from a puppet theater hidden in the bushes, outdoor cafés shaded with bright parasols, a film shoot, people taking pictures at the waterfall…
How ironic to spend more time outdoors here in the city than on vacation in the back country of upstate New York…But then, the weather is less extreme here… bees, butterflies, birds…You can walk right out your front door and find green spaces to keep walking for hours, no need to drive somewhere for a hike…
To be continued xxxxx Aliss
Even before Les Bleus won the World Cup soccer championship, sailor stripes were a thing here, but now they’re The Thing. This summer, if you want to feel French in every sense of the word, go with stripes. Sleek mini shift versions are taking the streets, blue and white Place Saint Sulpice (above) or red and white waiting for the Bateau Mouche Square du Vert Galant:
Long and short sleeved tees make a fresh statement on everyone— young or mature, female or male, slim or less so:
They’re available everywhere, but if you want the real deal, made in France with Fair Trade cotton by a company founded in the epicenter of the marinière, that sponsors music festivals and the beautiful replica of Lafayette’s ship, l’Hermione… go with Armor Lux.
Their Paris store 16, rue Vavin 75006 Paris (Phone 01 44 07 00 77) is slashing prices right now and until August 7th:
Check out their website for prices on every possible item imaginable for the whole family and the home. You’ll also find info on the history of the brand and its commitment to sustainability.
For the backstory, pictures and folklore (originally worn by Breton “onion johnnies” peddling garlic and onions across the channel in England, it became part of the official French Navy uniform and then sexy androgyne high fashion thanks to Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Paul Gauthier, to name a few…) see:
Or if you’re not ready to take the plunge, Have a drink at a sidewalk café and people watch and count stripes 🙂
Happy Parisian Summer!
Whatever else you plan in Paris this summer, put Imagine Van Gogh on your list:
“The brain child of Annabelle Mauger and Julien Baron, technology in the service of art, plunging the spectator into the heart of each work to feel the artist’s creative emotions… Admire Starry Night, Irises, and Sunflowers…Vincent’s Room,” along with actual photographs of Auvers sur Oise, its wheat fields, people and places Van Gogh knew. Sound track by Saint-Saëns, Mozart, Bach, Delibes ou Satie.
Information in English:
The show’s designers previously staged an immersive art experience in magical Les Baux Provence, La Cathédrale des Images. If you’re in that area make sure to see “Carrières Lumières” http://carrieres-lumieres.com
xxxxx love, Aliss
Paris 19th…Now:and then, before landscaping, Eiffel’s bridge, and the cliff-top temple:My 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:Did 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? Planted in 1870, this sycamore is 25m tall. Tiny picnickers and miniature bench give an idea of scale…Another specimen:Planted 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.And on the other side of the park:An 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:
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
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 🙂
Smooth sailing! xxxxx Aliss
Firehouse 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