Wednesday, 28 March 2012

champ de mars in bloom

Here are a few pictures of the blooming craze going on at the Champ de Mars these days. I was there the other day to 'study' and took a couple photos on my way out. That place smells so damn good. Also, all the city's runners have emerged from their winter lurking places and have taken over the pathways. Makes for good people watching while out for a jog.

Monday, 26 March 2012


late nights/early mornings at the Social Club, curb side crêpes and the first metro home, sleepy morning phone calls from canada, waking up in the afternoon (!) to more sunshine and blue skies, ice cream and people watching in Montmartre, a visit to the artsy 104, eating a delicious cafe lunch with typical surly service, a trip to the cinema to see a film that makes me want to dance in public places, discovering the place to wait for your ride back to the belle epoque, the most filling crêpe ever at Au P'tit Grec, and walking home along the bottom of the Champ de Mars while the Eiffel Tower sparkles for the last time of the evening. So much goodness.

This week I plan on picnicking on the Champ de Mars (aka my backyard), drinking iced coffees, wearing skirts, and getting a whole heck of a lot of work done. Here's hoping.

Also, shout out to Mama Milne who is celebrating her birthday today! Joyeux Anniversaire!

(below is the trailer for the film I saw last night, Pina - stunning and thought provoking)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

JR and Liu Bolin

Love these two artists working together: JR and Liu Bolin. 

JR is a French artist that I only recently learned about from a fellow student. He's know for "pervasive art" - printing massive close-up portraits of people pulling goofy faces and putting them up on the walls of buildings for anyone to encounter and interact with. Here are some of his installations in a favela of Rio de Janiero, a slum in Kenya, and from his project Face2Face, with portraits of Israelis and Palestinians displayed in both countries.
the above photos are from his website

And Liu Bolin is somewhat of an internet sensation these days as the "real-life Invisible Man". His photos in which he's painted himself into the background are pretty remarkable.
all above photos can be found here

So I thought it was pretty neat to see them collaborating. In the top photo, Liu Bolin painted JR to blend in to his own work. 

Happy Weekend!

Friday, 23 March 2012

bretagne, day 2.... after a long delay

I have an important essay outline due today for my cours magistral so what better time to post a million photos! I never seemed to get around to putting up the rest of my pictures from my weekend in Bretagne in February - now, a month later, here we go. 

On the second day we went straight to a market in the morning to pick up some fresh seafood for dinner and of course, the legendary Kouign Amann with a buttery reputation. How can you go wrong with caramelized salted butter? It definitely lived up to its promise when we enjoyed it after dinner. 
There was lots of fresh seafood and long lines of people picking up their dinner. Happily for us, the boys waited in line, so we could shop around at all the stalls.
There were a whole bunch of stalls selling all types of baskets/woven bags (from Madagascar, actually). Rose and I hung out with this guy for a long time while we made very important decisions regarding colour, size and agreed on a price. 
This place sold awesome (and expensive) bags made out of old sail material. Like Bretange's version of the Freitag bag! My favourite though, were the bags made out of nautical maps.
We continued on to check out the Carnac stones - a massive collection of rocks (more than 3,000 in total), in different arrangements in fields near the town of Carnac. These pictures are from the Kermario alignment, which has 10 columns of over 1000 stones. Pretty amazing! The stones aren't as large as the ones at Stonehenge, for the most part, but the sheer number and size of the arrangements are very impressive. Strange to think of the people that worked to bring them here over 5000 years ago...
In the afternoon we went back to the house for some lunch and tried this beer that we'd picked up along the way. It was made with local sea water. It was an interesting taste and not insanely salty, but not my favourite. 
In the afternoon we went out for a walk through the town and to visit the village of Aubray connected by  a bridge over the inlet. We went back later in the evening to visit a pub when the tide was out and the little boats you can see below were sitting on mud flats. It looked like a different place altogether.
I want that mailbox above when I grow up. Below is the beautiful home we stayed in for the weekend. Thanks so much to Thomas and Camille for hosting and guiding and cooking and driving for us! Couldn't have asked for a better weekend :)

Thursday, 22 March 2012


I have to admit - in trying to study/work on essays/readings over the past couple days, I have frequented my local Starbucks. Alana let me in on the wonderful fact that here in Paris you can get a loyalty card so with every 9 coffees, you get one free. Seems like a good enough reason to account for a few more visits...

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

this week

It seems the time has come to actually get down to work. I've had the rude awakening that I do have 3 presentations, 3 essays  4 essays! (what is with professors not mentioning required essays until the last weeks of class?), 2 reports and final exams looming in the next month. Time to get to work. It is very unfortunate that this realization has coincided perfectly with the apparent coming of spring - making it much harder to spend afternoons in crowded libraries. On the plus side, picnics and being outside to look forward to!

I made this funny little chain out of pages from an old magazine while watching Drive the other night (SO good! except I kind of hated the theme song). It is both a reminder to actually do a bit of a workout everyday (I'm just aiming for some pushups/sit ups, let's not get too carried away) and a perfectly cheesy countdown until Steve's visit at the end of April. We're planning to spend most of the week that he's here in Mallorca, enjoying some sunshine, beaches and sangria (hopefully the weather complies with this plan). We've been looking at renting a little place through airbnb to have as our base to explore the island. The caves on the east side of the island sound pretty amazing, and I'd love to bike through some of the national parks and hike to some of the mountain monasteries. Pretty exciting!

I want to see some of this goodness in Mallorca:

Pretty beautiful, isn't it? So, so excited. Hope you also have some upcoming travel plans up your sleeve.

Sunday, 18 March 2012


Kurt Vonnegut's writing is as wonderful to me now as it was when I first discovered his books in junior high. If you haven't read his books yet, at least try Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five. I borrowed his words for my url. I hope he wouldn't mind.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

eating by yourself

In class today I was telling someone about my little apartment and he responded, "Just by yourself? And you have to eat by yourself? Isn't that lonely??" Well, I didn't think so until you said it that way! And he followed that up with - "That's a pretty long walk to class - I guess it would be ok with some good walking shoes!" and then a pointed look at the skimpy ballet flats I had on.  Not good walking shoes at all.

Since my life choices were beginning to look pretty suspect, I was very happy that this evening I was not, in fact, eating alone, but instead joining a friend for a gyro pita in the Latin Quarter. On our walk back towards school, we passed the fountain at Saint Michel which had been transformed into a bright neon green. Detergent to make bubbles, maybe? No bubbles in sight, but a lot of fluoro-green-yellow water, and a hazard cone by Saint Michel himself.

Walking home towards this view, my life choices were starting to look a bit better.

Happy Wednesday!