29 March 2011

Useful French Phrases for the Foreign and Confused: Installment No. 6

 I know it's been a while since I posted an installment from this series, so I thought I'd make your day with this one.

28 March 2011

I woke up with this song in my head

these past four days.

and saying that always makes me sing this song.

26 March 2011

Etsy in Paris!

French Etsy artist Lucile runs her shop out of her Parisian kitchen!
This print makes me smile. Piles of colorful macarons make me smile.
The other day Pierre Hermé hosted free macaron day,
so I got to try 3 usually-overpriced beauties at no damage to my bank account.
My favorite flavor was Arabesque: apricot and pistachio.

More great Etsy shops in Paris:

There are some stunning things happening in this city.

New work

All the photos on top that are a little bigger than the others were printed on glossy paper. They get fingerprinty so easily, it bothers me. The smaller ones are on matte paper. I'm not sure of the measurements because it's all in metric; I will check on that.
The top and bottom photos were taken in the studio during class while experimenting. For the others, click on the picture and you can see where they were each taken.
I never get tired of this. I am, though, tired of writing research papers. mehr.

25 March 2011


Ongoing fascination

I saw a girl my age on the métro today reading another one of Guibert's books, À l'ami qui ne m'a pas sauvé la vie. This one is about how a friend of his promised that he would take him to the U.S. to find a cure for AIDS, that he could save his life. It's all so very tragic. I'm still reading his journal, and in a weird way I feel mentally and artistically closer to this person than I've felt towards anyone in a very long time. 

And now the similarities:

1.) We both think la galette du roi (taste: THIS) is the most delicious dessert we've ever eaten.
2.) We have both taken photographs of our respective stuffed animals tucked into our beds. He had a lamb that he named (though I can't for the life of me find the passage); I have a lion named Mr. Lion / Monsieur Le Lion.
3.) We both read Crime and Punishment and freaked out over the fact that we hesitantly/ mildly identify with Raskolnikov. We adore Dostoyevsky.
4.) We both write in our journals about strange dream sequences and people we see while out walking around, on the métro. He wrote a passage once about sitting across from a young girl on the train who was knitting. She had green eyes. I fancy this was me in my previous life, and perhaps that's why I feel so strangely connected to him. Maybe we've met and we never knew it. Wouldn't that be neat.

Here's a photo from photographer Billy Maynard. He's from New Zealand and seems pretty sharp for a 19 year old. This photograph screams Guibert to me.

24 March 2011

Roustem Saïtkoulov + His Grand Piano

Last night I went to a piano concert. The player was Roustem Saïtkoulov and the pieces were by Chopin, Schumann, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev. I didn't get a program for some reason. (I think the girl who shows people to their seats was bitter because I didn't have my tip ready for her immediately upon being seated. Thus, no program for you américaine, you!) I'm a bit miffed too because I couldn't quite find one after the show, and I don't know which specific pieces were played.  
 But besides all that nonsense, it was an intense and beautiful show. Here's a clip of Saïtkoulov performing Rachmaninov. This wasn't what I heard last night, but it's the only decent thing I can find on youtube. The piano makes me hang my head to the side, smile a little, and sigh. Sometimes furrow my brow. All good things.

21 March 2011

Sarah Trotter Vintage

Beautiful photographs by Lauren Bamford for Sarah Trotter's lovely vintage Etsy shop. So much talent in this collaboration– it's a lot to take in.

This week I'll be scanning new photographs and making more in the darkroom. I have some ideas for experiments, so we'll see what comes of them. 

This looks like fun

Made by Juan Rayos in Madrid 2010. via Holgarific.

20 March 2011

19 March 2011

Louise Lecavalier dances "Children"

I went to see Children / A Few Minutes of Lock on Tuesday night this week. It is of the most beautiful things I've ever seen happen on a stage in front of me... I really hope they come to New York. Here's a miniscule taste of what the show was like:

17 March 2011

Already decorating...

Though I'll be in Europe for more than the next two months, I can't help but be excited at the prospect of getting an apartment in New York when I return. I think about it constantly. Finally, a place all to myself. It will be small, but mine. I truly can't wait.

My mom informed me the other day that she suddenly detests the mirror I picked out for my bathroom at home, featured in this picture.

So it's now mine for my near future apartment and I am so thrilled! It's super heavy, made of mosaic style glass pieces with a thick rough black trim. And it's round– I have a thing for round mirrors. My family is in possession of a plethora of furniture from this person and that person, all stored away in various basements and hideaways. I'm excited that I get to essentially have my pick of it all when the time comes. Especially a certain armoir from a family friend.... I also have a thing for armoirs. 

I feel a future post about art nouveau et les arts décoratifs coming to fruition. Keep an eye out.

View camera mug shots

NPR's The Picture Show blog did a wonderful article on 1920s mug shots from Australia. Fascinating...
Read it and see the rest here.

11 March 2011

Fat Friday!

Vendredi Gras > Mardi Gras.

This morning I stumbled into a neighborhood not too far from where I live. I'd never been there before, so I just walked around and tried to absorb the surroundings (a skill I'm becoming quite proficient at). I stumbled upon a traiteur/ boulangerie/ boucherie/ patisserie alsacien, the first of its kind I've seen in Paris. So obviously I went in. Lunch ended up being the most ridiculously fatty sandwich I've probably ever eaten. It looked kind of like this, but better:

Ingredients: saucisson sec cut in paper thin slices, sprinkled with paper thin slices of the most delicious pickle I've ever had. Oh and there was butter, a lot of it. The baguette was the best I've had in Paris thus far, definitely. And for dessert a chocolate tart that I'm almost positive was 3/4 butter and 1/4 chocolate.

This is just lunch.

So yes. Fat Friday.

07 March 2011

Fay Andrada

Fay Andrada designs and makes jewelry by hand. She lives in BK and keeps a really neat blog.

Four words: 
1. Beautiful 
2. I 
3. Want 
4. Please?

Purchasing possibilites located here.

06 March 2011

Hervé Guibert

Yesterday I saw an exposition at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. It was a retrospective of 230 prints of Hervé Guibert's photographs. He was born in 1955 in Paris and died in 1991 of AIDS. He was openly gay and photographed his lovers often. He was a writer and filmmaker as well. I think the reason I'm so attracted to his photographs is because they look always like a work in progress. I got the impression from viewing so many of them together that they are all connected like pieces of the same puzzle, and that he was constantly a student in his craft, experimenting but keeping it simple. He photographed bedrooms, people, objects, shadows, and himself, all from very interesting angles. 

There were quotes from his journal written on the wall of the exposition too, and one of them said something to the effect of, I hesitate always to call myself a photographer. Once you realize that everything is photographable, you start taking pictures, and you don't know where to stop, and you think you're missing out on every single moment of every day that you're not capturing on film. I'm not putting it in quotes because that's not the exact quote, but it was the idea. I saw this quote at the very beginning of the show, and was hooked for the rest of it.

So I promptly visited the librairie and bought his journal, Le mausolée des amants: Journal 1976-1991. It's quite a thick book, published in French, but I started reading it on the métro and it's not too hard to get through. It's fascinating, actually. There aren't many of his photographs available to view online, but I recommend that every person who enjoys looking at images search out a way to look at his work. My day yesterday started out as a bit of a bummer, but I left the show feeling completely inspired.

I also read the essay by Paul Graham, "Photography is Easy, Photography is Hard" (2009) (discovered via the blue hour), and it's been sticking with me since I read it.

In the end, it's all just so much. But it's a muchness I really enjoy.

A few hours later, and I've found the quote in my book. I thought it would be on page 217 or something like that, but it's actually on page 33.

en français:
« Je me défendrai toujours d'être un photographe : cette attraction me fait peur, il me semble qu'elle peut vite tourner à la folie, car tout est photographiable, tout est intéressant à photographier, et d'une journée de sa vie on pourrait découper des milliers d'instants, des milliers de petits surfaces, et si l'on commence pourquoi s'arrêter? »

in english:
"I will always defend myself from being a photographer : this love makes me scared, it seems that it can quickly turn to madness, because everything is photographable, everything is interesting to photograph, and from one day your life you could dissect millions of moments, millions of little surfaces, and if you start it, why stop yourself?"


02 March 2011

inspiration + idioms

 My host mom taught me a fun little idiomatic phrase over dinner tonight. She was complaining that she always forgets to salt the vegetables, but she insisted that ça va because it's much better than oversalting them. She told me that when the cook oversalts the food, people usually say "le cuisinier/ la cuisinière est amoureux(se)!" which means "the cook is in love!" The idea is that the cook was so busy daydreaming about his or her petit(e) ami(e) that they weren't paying attention to the amount of salt going into the pot. How cute is that?
 I bought these two postcards at the Musée d'Orsay this weekend. The left is a colored photograph of Monet in his garden at Giverny (where I'll be visiting soon!) and the right is the painting La Toilette (1896) by Toulouse-Lautrec. They have a [hopefully] cozy home on my desk.