31 January 2006

More journalists in peril

Un journaliste de ABC et son cameraman sérieusement blessés dans un attentat

"Un présentateur de la chaîne de télévision américaine ABC, Bob Woodruff, et son cameraman, Doug Vogt, ont été sérieusement blessés, le 29 janvier 2006 près de Bagdad, par un attentat à la bombe visant le convoi militaire irakien avec lequel ils circulaient.

Selon un communiqué de la chaîne, un engin explosif improvisé a explosé au bord d’une route, au passage du convoi, à Taji, près de Bagdad. Après l’attentat, les véhicules militaires irakiens ont été pris sous le feu d’armes légères. Les deux journalistes ont été blessés à la tête et sont actuellement traités dans un état jugé "sérieux" dans un hôpital militaire américain." (-Reporters sans frontieres)


30 January 2006

In Cold Blood

28 January 2006

Cirque du Fellini @ John Galliano show

I am not fashionable and don't attend many fashion shows. But, if I were such a chap I would have sold my soul to have seen John Galliano's women's R-T-W spring/summer collection presented in Paris last October.

I ran into some photos and video of the show on British Vogue's Web site. For all of the grief people give models and the fashion industry this was a show that asserted "Everything is Beautiful." Contrasting pairs of real people in all shapes and sizes made this an interesting concept. It seems the show was well received and I doubt that anything quite like it will ever happen again. It had an Argentinian-Old Cinema-Cirque du Fellini sort of vibe. Clever!

Check the links above for access to British Vogue. If you want to watch the video, remember you can advance to the start of the actual show.

, ,

22 January 2006

Le Chat Noir - Paris

16 January 2006

Travel in Paris : RER, Metro, Bus -- or hoof it!

Like most cities with a subway system, Paris has an online trip planner that helps you design your itenerary and tells you how long your trip MIGHT take in perfect conditions.

In Paris, the Metro itenerary planner goes a step further (no pun intended) and tells you how long it will take you to walk to or from any given address to the suggested Metro station or bus stop. It's a very thorough Web site and from what I can tell it is also accurate.

No Web site can predict strikes, security scares, international incidents or late trains. Within 24-hours, sometimes 24-minutes, you might (read: should) learn that extra patience is required at all times. As they say, sh*t happens. Paris - and all it contains - is not a model of efficiency. It has other charms on which you can focus if your train or bus is running late.

As for me, I prefer to take the bus. I don't care much for the way people on the Metro tend to stare at their fellow riders. Travelling in a subterrerean manner leaves people with nothing to see through their windows. Unfortunately I am self-conscious (not as young, thin, fashionable, etc. etc.) as I once was. I realize I can't blend in as a Parisian, but given enough time I think I could manage to not stand out. Plus it's just creepy to have someone staring at you for long periods of time.

If you prefer to stay in contact with the sun and other elements, and you don't favor the Metro "air" that often smells of machinery and urine and humanity, you can use the Web site previously mentioned for different modes of public transportation. A private Web site offering the same information and PDFs of actual maps can be found at this link. I don't think you can get to the planner from this site.

Walking is a great Parisian tradition that, along with an oppressive heatwave, assisted me in losing 40-lbs. Use MAPPY - yes, it is called MAPPY - if you'd like walking directions from point to point. That's a travel tip and a fitness tip all rolled into one.


Happy Birthday Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today the United States celebrates the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. America's race issues, like those of France, seem insurmountable. The solution is simple -- painfully simple. But, racism - and most of the unsavory type of "isms" - are unlikely to dissolve without consistent, small and ordinary heroic acts by individuals.

Many black Americans moved to Paris. Not just Josephine Baker, but scores of others who found Paris more accepting, while America treated them poorly. Either for professional or strictly personal reasons, these folks were absorbed into Parisian culture.

I missed an opportunity to take it last summer, but a tour featuring the history of black Americans in Paris is offered by former journalist Ricki Stevenson. I hope to catch the tour later in 2006 and possibly interview Ms. Stevenson. The Chicago Sun-Times had this to say about her and her venture.

"Her complete tour finds any student amazed at the depth of this history lesson--enough so, you find yourself envisioning Baker strutting down the Champs Elysees dripping in diamonds and furs with her pet cheetah...To contact Stevenson for your own tour, email her at Rickis@club-internet.fr or call from the U.S. (011.331. Cost is 90 Euros for the seven-hour tour."


14 January 2006

Paris Real Estate Finders (Sounds daunting)

HGTV recently featured an Oregon couple named Sandra Menashe & Mark Pavillard on "House Hunters-International." The couple sought (and found) an apartment to buy in Paris. It seems an enormous challenge -- at best. It was interesting to see Sandra's expectations melt over time. Paris overpowers all.

At first she disliked the exposed pipes and flash water heater in the bathroom, then the tiny Parisian kitchens, etc. etc. There are so many things to detest about old, small French apartments. I almost felt sorry for them and for Stephanie Freedman (pictured below), the agent from Paris Real Estate Finders tasked with escorting Sandra and Mark into a new life in Paris.

Sandra's Swiss husband was a little less particular, though he had concerns about noise and light. Paris has plenty of the former and not much of the latter. It appeared that the realities of Paris wore them down. American expectations are a force to be reckoned with. Things are generally spacious, modern, efficient and new in the U.S.

Ultimately they landed a large apartment with an upgraded kitchen in my old neighborhood near the Moulin. It is one of the busiest and loudest parts of town but the apartment was gorgeous and had a terrace that was larger than my old apartment.

It seems intimidating to purchase property in France. I hope we have such a problem one day soon. Perhaps I will run into Sandra & Mark when I am back in Paris and visiting the Place Blanche area. On television it looked as if they've been embraced by the neighborhood -- and Stephanie aparently survived the ordeal.


08 January 2006

Bernard Planche found in Baghdad

"Bernard Planche was found Saturday night in a car from which several men fled just before reaching the checkpoint in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib suburb, said Maj. Falah al-Mohammadawi. Planche, who worked for a non-governmental organization called AACCESS, was kidnapped Dec. 5 on his way to work at a Baghdad water plant." -- Associated Press


Smart Car meets Nascar?

SmartCar vs. Nascar
Apparently the SmartCar has been engineered to protect its occupants. Sur la rue, il ressemble à quelque chose qui peut être cassée comme un bidon de bière.


04 January 2006

Can a democracy have an "official" history?

"Hardly had the fires died down in the Paris suburbs, as the November rioting by immigrant youths petered out, than the flames of another conflict fed by France's colonial past began to sweep through the political landscape here.

This time they are metaphorical. But the passionate debate under way over whether French history teachers should stress positive aspects of colonialism is generating almost as much heat. The argument reveals the same ambivalence among French politicians about their country's former empire and its peoples which also fuels much of the immigrants' alienation."

-- Peter Ford, Christian Science Monitor

02 January 2006

Portmanteau: "Parlez Globish?"

Jean-Paul Nerrière invented Globish. "It is not a language, it is a tool," he says. "A language is the vehicle of a culture. Globish doesn't want to be that at all. It is a means of communication." --Mary Blume, International Herald Tribune


Site au hasard
Voir la liste