Friday, August 29, 2008

Looking Up






Parc des Buttes Chaumont






Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Lovely Summer

Summer is almost gone and I am a little sad to see it go. I have always been something of a Autumn guy, the weather is cooler, the clothes are better and usually I feel more comfortable in eating red meat. Bye bye fish. This summer was slow and easy. I did some traveling but not too much. I ate well, but not too much. I had some much needed quiet time. As mentioned, I spent time in the country and went to the beaches in the south. In Summer, Paris clears out and shows it's softer side. The cafes are less crowded, as are the shops. I took some lazy day walks in areas I had not visited before. I found some new places to recommend for future posts. I met some new people and I also heard from some total strangers who have come upon my little blog and left lovely comments, both here and in person. This blog is really a small part of my life, but it has become an essential one. As Summer ends, I am beginning school again, hopefully starting other projects in art and of course, continuing this blog. I hope to bring better advice and suggestions, as well as more images. As Paris fills up again and puts on the holiday sparkle, there will be so much to present. Still, I will miss this Summer, especially the time spent with friends. It really was a lovely Summer and I hope that every one's was a tenth as good as mine.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Weddings and Life in the Country






Because of the wedding of two lovely and dear friends, I am spending the next few days in the country (Normandy). I have spent some quiet and enjoyable weekends there in what is a veritable House of the Spirits, but without the scary spirits, but more like rambling rooms with quiet little stories to tell. It is practically in the middle of nowhere and the perfect place to listen to frogs, eat and nap under trees. I have been to two other weddings since moving here and they have all taken place, or had some portion, out in the country. I tend to hate weddings, but the nice thing about these have been, besides the usual friendly guests, the wonderful surroundings. And in case of the famous Norman rains...I have a stack of magazines and books to catch up on.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Signs












Friday, August 15, 2008

The Paris Eye

The Paris Eye- focusing on the beauty that is a city
Just a note: Clicking the photos on the site makes them BIGGER.
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Canal St. Martin






Canal St. Martin is a quiet and rather romantic area of Paris, which is well known to the people of Paris, but a bit obscure to tourists. It has been featured in films, but not many tourists know where it is. Located in the 10th Arr. It is another waterway which originates at the Seine and bisects the city northeast. It connects with the Bassin de la Villette and continues northward. Tree lined and with many small bridges crossing, the canal feels like a scaled down Seine. Dotted with small shops, restaurants and parks, Canal St. Martin is a good place to go when you are feeling lazy and wanting to take the sight-seeing slow. One of the pass times of people in the area is watching the tour boat navigate the complex system of canals. When entering one portion of the canal, the boat is lowered into the other portion and this occurs a few times till the boat is on the lower portion of the canal. I suggest taking the boat, which boards at the Quai de la Loire and Avenue Jean Jaur├Ęs, just in front of the movie theater, and after the ride, take in a movie or eat at one of the nearby restaurants. Since this area is off the usual track, you get to see another side of Paris, one that is a real city and not just one big museum.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Arles





Visiting Arles was something of a revelation for me. Of course the city has been made famous by famous artists like Van Gogh and Picasso, but I never really imagined the history of such a place. There is a hushed elegance and rich spirit there that is a mix of France, Spain and Italy. It is very spanish. The ancient romans made it there and left their mark. The Corrida is still a major event in the ancient roman arena. The couturier Christian Lacroix is from there and knowing this, makes his color sense, ideas and humor more tangible. I took a few photos there, but must admit that I got too interested in what was around me to always remember to pick up the camera and snap. I will have to go back.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Down South






As I mentioned in a earlier post, I spent a great holiday in the South of France. Without a doubt it was one of the best holidays I have ever had. The sun and the sea were in top form and the food... let's just say I ate very well. As always when I go to the south, I saw some incredible things and took photos when I could. I am not someone who carries a camera with him all the time. Usually when I am with friends and family, I tend to just spend the time with them. Sure, I might miss out on some great shots, but great shot opportunities come along quite often when you think about it. Here are a few shots from the trip. Plus, these photos are in color. The sky was the most beautiful blue and I could not pass up the chance of capturing that.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Quiet City


A big clue that August has arrived is when you notice Paris is less of people. Traditionally people go away on holiday during the month of August and with France's generous holiday time off given to it's citizens, everyone is rushing to spend weeks on the coasts, in the mountains, other countries, as long as they get out of Paris. It is like NYC. I once went there in August and felt I had the city all to myself. People complain about the heat, but being from Texas where August temps reach 100 and above, even at midnight...I can stand the heat. Paris in August means less traffic, less noise, and lots of ice-cream. There are still plenty of movies to see. On a hot day I love to go to a little theater showing an old movie. Afterward, I go a buy a book to take to a park. It is amazing how something so simple can be so enjoyable. Today I went to see a film about Chet Baker called Let's Get Lost by Bruce Weber. The film originally came out in '88, when I was a teenager and it had a profound effect on me. At the time I wanted to see it in the movie theaters, but missed it. I think it played for about a week at a small arthouse theater. After missing the movie I got the soundtrack, which ended up being on the last recordings ever Chet did. He was a great jazz trumpeter playing in the 50's and 60's and also a romantic vocalist. He had a unique sound all around. He was not pure, he had an edge. He confounded people, but when you figured out what he was doing, it all fell into place and you could not imagine things any other way. When you hear a Chet Baker rendition of a classic, soon no other interpretation sounds quite right. The light side of Chet Baker was the art, but the dark side was the abuse. The abuse of drugs on himself and the emotional abuse he inflicted on those around him. The photographer Bruce Weber captures Chet at his essence and makes you love him and the music despite of what you know will happen in the end. All in moody black and white, the films goes across the US and falls down in Italy and Paris and finally in Cannes. I saw the movie the first time a couple of years after it came out. It was on a video tape. I watched it with a girl I knew from high school but have since lost touch with. Back then the film and Chet's music was the ultimate in cool. It was music you listened to late at night when you were all alone. The soundtrack stayed with me for many years and got me a lot of dreamy eyed friends. Once in college I was talking to a girl living next door to me. It was a warm night and we ended up on the subject of music. I ran in and put Chet on and for about 5 mins. she did not talk to me. She got lost in the mood. It became an easy way to impress someone. Seeing the film again not only took me back 20 years, but it reminded me of what I thought was beautiful them and how I still find beauty in much of the same. I just spent my own time away. I took a little vacation to the South of France. It was wonderful to have the sun and feel the heat. I often went to the beach and loved the feel of the sand and the rocks. One evening there was the surprise of a fireworks show, which was the most beautiful I have ever seen. In the midst of the sparkle and the boom, I was taken back to the child-like feeling of awe. This brings me back to Paris in August because there is that feeling of awe when the streets are almost empty and the monuments seem larger. It is the time to take a ride in a car, roll down the windows, or the top and take a spin around the Arc de Triomphe, speed down the quais along the Seine, stand in line for ice cream or visit the Paris Plage. In August Paris feels like when your parents felt confident enough to leave you alone and eventhough you could have gone wild, you did not. You did not do what was expected, you just did the simple things you love.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Je reviens, but with technical difficulties

Since being away, I learned there were problems with Blogger.com. Photos, especially have not been restored to some sites, including my own. Hopefully this will all be solved very soon. I will make a full posting very soon. I had a wonderful holiday, but now back in Paris with more to talk about. Check back soon.
- The Paris Eye