Looking up…(update 15/6/17)

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Art on the canal… Many NLP (neurolinguistic programming) courses teach that when a person looks up to their left they’re making pictures and when they look up to their right they’re remembering pictures… This is controversial but MRI scans seem to show that imagining activates the neo-cortex (frontal lobe and most recently evolved area of the brain). According to these studies, vizualizing a best-case scenario activates all parts of the brain (frontal-visual, mammalian-emotional and reptilian-survival) in synergy, and there seems to be a loop effect–looking up stimulates positive image-making… so why not try it and “see”? To be continued xxxxx Aliss

Stayin’ Alive

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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

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)

Taste Paris!

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If you’re within traveling distance, don’t miss this event near the Champs Élysées, in the Grand Palais, a vestige of the World’s Fair of 1900, itself worth the trip!

Taste of Paris Ticket Info

Some of the delicacies and the people who create them:

DSC03503.JPGAt the Ferrandi Culinary Academy stand: Onion stuffed with onion, crouton, sorrel and matured mimolette cheese + Mousseline goose egg, shredded goose neck, grilled corn and herbs from chef Amandine Chaignot (turning her back to her photo at left):

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Chef Yoshitaka Takayanagi of Agapé:DSC03504

White asparagus, organic egg yolk confit (like a very subtle pineapple hollandaise sauce!), bottarga and flowers + Smoked red tuna tataki, beetroot medley, condiments and flowers:DSC03505

From Chef Philippe Labbé at the Tour d’Argent (vying to restore their two-star rank):DSC03508.JPG

Challans duck sausage by Liliane Burgaud, cabbage stuffed with duck, crumble, fresh dill, caraway seeds, home made ketchup:DSC03507.JPG

Star chef Thierry Marx posing with fans, in person he looks like Bruce Willis 🙂DSC03510.JPG

His Confit veal shank, macaroni au gratin and truffle emulsion + Heirloom tomatoes, strawberry, mozzarella di bufala, vanilla oil…DSC03512

Pastry star Christophe Adam’s creations at l’Éclair de Génie:DSC03515

Éclairs caramel noisette: caramel cream, hazelnut praline, wafer and caramel icing:DSC03514

But we chose his Vanilla pecan éclair sandwich with vanilla ganache, caramelized pecan praline, and milk chocolate:DSC03516

After sampling white wines (Chateau Le Grand Verdus, Expression 2015, and Domaine de Pouilly Clos de la Condemine 2016) and a red (South African Marianne Wine Estate, Okoma 2015), we sipped arabica expresso coffee by Illy and shared a glass of Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne…DSC03517.JPG

My advice: get there early, 11 or so, before the crowds, before the heat, if it’s sunny… Otherwise, tables in the shade around the perimeter. Keep your first set of plastic cutlery and goblet so you don’t wind up tossing dozens of utensils 🙂 There’s good live music:DSC03519

Also cooking classes, meetings with chefs and book signings, displays of organic vegetables, cheeses, wines, honey, coffee, tea, jams, mustards…improvised sing-alongs and choreography to Yanick’s danse hit “Cette soirée -là” led by the young team at Nubé:DSC03509

Don’t miss À la recherche des femmes chefs documentary film by Vérane Frédiani, coming out on July 5th Female Chefs

Thank you my dear Nicola Manwaring for sharing this with us!

To be continued! xxxxxx Aliss

Sanity Savers 13: Real Music (updated 30/3)

Omar Sosa (Cuban pianist), Seckou Keita (Sengalese Kora), Gustavo Ovalles (Venezuelan percussionist), Meiko Miyazaki (Japanese Koto), and Ana Carla Maza (South American cellist, singer), recent concert at Café de la Danse…DSC03309

Perfect concerts are very rare. If you want to experience one, catch this ensemble on tour to promote Sosa and Keita’s latest collaboration, Transparent Water. Would you call it World Jazz? There seem to be different guest stars depending on the evening, bringing unique influences and styles. On March 16th, the line-up was Afro-Cuban, Asian, Afro-Arabic, and Latin American, beginning with Ana Carla Maza’s spirited singing in English, Spanish, and French, accompanying herself on electric cello. Her version of Serge Gainsbourg’s “La Javanaise” was a show-stopper. She was followed by the three men, who were later joined  by the Japanese virtuoso. Everything was gorgeous and surprising: sound quality, lighting, variety and intricacy of instruments, non-verbal communication between musicians, their delight in each other’s skill and playfulness, vocal solos, and harmonies. It all blended together in a pulsating sensual caress. Especially fascinating: the huge Kora looked like an extraterrestrial antelope’s head with dozens of strings stretching from its horns down its back and the Koto like a giant sea-creature carcass with many ivory bridges supporting its thread-like “bones.” Among the percussionist’s accessories was a wooden tube that released a subtle curtain of water and sparkling  treble notes into a miked bassin.  Enjoy! xxxxx Aliss

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Sanity Savers 12: Point Zero

Point zero

Photo: Jean-Jacques Breton, Paris à vos pieds, editions Parisgramme, Paris 2013, p. 106. (Scan and color-adjustments, Aliss Terrell)

Embedded in the cobblestones in front of Notre Dame Cathedral is this marker, the starting point of all main roads leading to French cities and the endpoint used for measuring their distances, the very heart of the country. DSC03304The cathedral itself is a visual encyclopedia of French culture and history.DSC03305

Beside the main altar stands a 14th century statue of the Mother. No matter what tradition you come from, she is the incarnation of compassion enfolding soul,  reminding me of Kwan Yin, (Guanyin) the Buddhist bodhisatva, sometimes compared to Mary.

DSC03307I’m grateful to have this sanctuary nearby, to sit in silence, in candlelight, sending and receiving love through this portal, always, but especially in times like the ones we are living.

To be continued xxxxx Aliss