Showing posts with label Paris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paris. Show all posts

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Movie: Paris Je t'aime

This movie from 2006 is actually a collection of short movies, made by 20 directors, who each have chosen a part of Paris and a particular theme. But, it its flawlessly sewn together, to make a whole. Starring actors like Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Nick Nolte, Fanny Ardant, Bob Hoskins, Natalie Portman, Elijah Wood, Rufus Sewell, Gérard Depardieu and many more.

One of the less spectacular, but really most touching parts is this one: "The 14th Arrondissement", where we meet Carol, an American tourist describing her first visit to Paris in a voice-over.
Bear over with her less-than-perfect French (there are subtitles), and try to enjoy the sound of a person expressing herself in a foreign language.
Do watch it all the way to the end, because even though you may be thinking that this Carol is just an ignorant tourist, she really grows on you, and what she says towards the end,  is something I have experienced many times, while traveling alone:

"Sitting there, alone in a foreign country, far from my ob and everyone I know, a felling came over me. It was like remembering something I'd never known before or had always been waiting for, but I didn't know what. Maybe it was something I'd forgotten or something I've been missing all my life. All I can say is that I felt, at the same time, joy and sadness. But not too much sadness, because I felt alive. Yes, alive. That was the moment I fell in love with Paris. And I felt Paris fall in love with me"

Monday, March 11, 2013

Paris Boy

My youngest son outside the city hall of  the 18th arrondissement in Paris.  Picture taken 11 months ago, while we lived in that neighborhood.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Picture of the day: Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde, the large open space in the heart of Paris. It was designed as the "Place Louis XV" and later renamed,  it was were the Guillotine stood during the French Revolution of 1789, and since 1836 it has the Egyptian obelisk in its center.
The square has beautiful fountains, fancy street lights and it's framed by big statues representing important French cities.
To the west of the square, the entrance of the famous Champs Elysées street, and to the east, the Tuileries Garden leading to the Louvre museum.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Book Review: Métronome by Lorant Deutsch

Another French book on my "TBR mountain", the reading challenge I'm doing this year: Métronome by Lorant Deutsch, published in 2009.
I picked up this one in Saint-Etienne last year, because I wanted to learn more about the history of Paris, France.  I didn't know anything about the book or the author, just thought it was a great idea, to tell the history of Paris, through selected Metro (subway) stations. There are 20 chapters, one for each century since the beginning of our era.
The knowledge of this man is incredible.  He is truly passionate about Paris, and he is able to transmit this to his readers.
It's  not a typical history book,  and he omits the most obvious, the stories you probably already have heard.  On the other hand, you get a lot of anecdotes, interesting facts and funny details about the city, and he tells us where to look for those remaining bricks, walls, even buildiings, that most people just pass  without knowing the story behind them...
This book was entertaining to read, but also very informative and useful to me, as I'm planning new group trips to Paris. 
As for now, I don't know that there exists an English translation. Hopefully there will be one!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Picture of the day: The Louvre

The Louvre Museum in Paris. I took the picture on Good Friday this year, and the view is seen from the Sully wing, towards the Tuileries Garden and The Champs Elysées. During my time at the Ecole the Louvre (the Louvre School), I spent lots of time, almost daily, wandering around  the different galleries, and when I go to Paris, I usually pay a visit to this amazing building, the world's largest museum, which used to be the Royal Palace of Paris.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Venus of Milo

Venus of Milo  is by far the most known statue of the Louvre Museum in Paris, and definitively one of the world's most famous as well. The slightly larger-than-life statue was discovered in the sea outside the Greek island of Milos in 1820. She was probably made around year 100 BC
There are many reasons to why she has become so famous.  One of them, and the most important by my opinion, is that we're talking about a real, original Greek marble statue.  Most of the marble statues we know of from the classical period are not originals, but Roman copies, made up to several hundred years later. Most classical Greek sculptures were made of bronze, not marble, and when the Romans  conquered Greece, they made marble copies of many of the statues, before  the originals were melted and turned into weapons. Well, Venus, or rather Aphrodite of Milo is one of these very rare originals we can still enjoy from ancient Greece. You should  go and see her if you're ever in Paris. And, don't really mind the crowds.  Just see her, and then move on.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Picture of the day: Paris Metro Entrance

One of the remaining Art Nouveau metro entrances in Paris, from the early 1900s. This one is Place Saint-Michel, in the heart of the Latin Quarter.

En av de gjenværende metro-nedgangene i jugendstil, laget på begynnelsen av 1900tallet. Denne er på Place Saint-Michel, i hjertet av Latinerkvarteret.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Picture of the day: Saint-Michel

This statue is the central piece of the fountain on the Place Saint-Michel in Paris. Made by Gabriel Davioud in 1860, it depicts the archangel Saint Michael slaying the dragon (aka the devil).
I took the picture a few months ago.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Exploring the heights of Paris: The Eiffel Tower

A couple of weeks ago we visited the top of the Eiffel Tower, at 275 meters. (This is where the platform is, but the very top of the tower, with the antennas, is 324 meters high.)
This building of wrought iron was made for the World Fair in 1889, by Gustave Eiffel. It's an amazing structure, and during those 133 years it has become a real icon of Paris.
To avoid the 2-hour wait to access the elevator, we decided to walk the stairs all the way to the 2nd floor.  That is more than 700 steps, equivalent to a 42-story building!.. It's an amazing experience, literally walking within the iron construction with the view that changes all the time, and it's a great fresh-air workout!
The top part of the tower is only accessible by elevator, but on the 2nd floor the wait wasn't long, and before long we were on the top platform, enjoying an amazing view of Paris, all around.  From the hot sunshine on the 2nd floor, we experienced ice cold wind up there. What a feeling, being high above the city, admiring Paris from above, and on the same time experiencing this very special monument.
Afterwards we had lunch on the 1st floor restaurant, by the big panorama window. After all this walking, it was very nice to sit down, have a good meal while still enjoying the view.

Picture of the Day: Easter Day by Laurent de la Hyre

The risen Christ appearing to the three Marys. Painted by Laurent de la Hyre in the beginning of the 1600s. This rather big painting is in the Louvre, Paris, and I saw it this Good Friday. Was going to post it yesterday, of course, but I didn't get around to it.  Today is 2nd day of Easter, public holiday in many countries, and since we're going to be in the Easter Season for weeks now, I chose to post it anyway.
Happy Easter!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Picture of the day: Christ carrying the cross...

And, to illustrate Good Friday I choose this painting by Lorenzo Lotto, Italian painter: The Carrying of the Cross, painted in 1526. 
I saw it just a few hours ago, in the Louvre.  A rather modest size, most people just pass this one, on their way to see the Mona Lisa, but my eyes caught sight of it from a distance, and maybe it's the fact that today is Good Friday that attracted me to it.  
This is the whole painting, not only a detail, the painter chose to do this close-up, tight-cropped image of Christ carrying his cross on the way to Calvary, while enduring beatings and insults. The tears are so real you want to stretch out and wipe them off. The ugly sneer of the Roman soldier pulling Christ's hair, and the fist just hitting his shoulder on the left side of the picture are details who add to the reality and horror of the scene.  This is the day when Mankind was saved, but also the day of Jesus' horrible execution. Thus the name Good Friday in English, Holy Friday (Vendredi Saint) in French, but also the name Long Friday (Langfredag) in Norwegian. And, whatever faith or religion, it can be agreed upon that this was a pivotal day in our history, and a day that carry lots of importance, in different ways, for people all around the world. It's a day of grief, sadness, despair and awfulness, but also a day of hope, salvation and mercy.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Picture of the day: Snow Leopard in Paris

I met this snow leopard yesterday in Paris, in the little zoo in Jardin des Plantes.  It's an interesting kind of cat, with thick fur, small head and very muscular and strong hind legs.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Birthday in Paris

My kind of breakfast these days. Once in a while I head out to the nearby café where I'll order a cappuccino and a croissant, and then I sit there and write for a while. 
Paris agrees with us all, she really does. The kids don't want to leave now, and they started saying  "home" about the apartment almost immediately. We enjoy the city, the people, the food, the sights, pretty much all of it. 
Today is my birthday, and first I'll spend it writing and reading here at home, and then I'll meet my husband for lunch, but I don't know where yet, since he wanted to keep it a secret. 
Tonight we'll order in pizza for everybody, and there might be a cake...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Exploring the heights of Paris: Sacre-Coeur

Sacre-Coeur, ( in English: Sacred Heart and in Norwegian: Hellige Hjerte), the landmark on top of the Montmartre hill. This white, domed church can be seen from most places in Paris, and it's beautiful and different from other churches.  It's new (the first stone was placed in 1875), and the stone is of a kind that gets whiter all the time, beause of chemical reactions with the different weather conditions. For me, it's very much a part of my first Paris experience, in 1988, but last wednesday was the first time I ventured up in the arched gallery that goes all the way around the big dome. About 300 steps to walk, a little claustrophobic, but what a wonderful view when we arrived up on the gallery. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Picture of the day: A World of Questions

A world of questions behind those eyes...  Four years old and wondering about pretty much everything.
En hel verden av spørsmål bak de øynene...  Fire år gammel og lurer på det aller meste.

Friday, March 23, 2012

William Ropp

All photos: William Ropp
Yesterday I went to the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, the European House of Photography in Paris.  One of the exhibits I attended, was the one with the works of William Ropp, French photographer who makes amazing pictures.  The 20 pictures displayed on the walls were all in black-and-white, shot mostly within a studio setting, with a particular play of darkness and light. On a screen, we could also admire a series of pictures shot in Africa and another series, this one in color, of child portraits.  These pictures carry a strange quality of "ugly beauty", they are intriguing, yet disturbing to watch.
I spent a long time in this exhibit, contained in one single room.  The exhibit was produced jointly with the Charleroi Museum of photography, and with the support of Ellen K Fine Art Photography in