I know it is clichéd, but I do
love Paris! This city of romance is truly seductive!
As you trip down cobbled
streets in the different quartiers, you began to sense the centuries of history,
from the Sun King’s lavish building projects in an effort to make Paris the
‘new Rome,’ to the gory beheading of Marie Antoinette, the conquest and
opulence of Napoleon’s era and the ambiguity of the Vichy Régime.
Amble along the rive gauche of the River Seine and rummage through the
piles of old books for sale as so typically portrayed in the movie, Midnight in
Paris. Weave past the gifted street artists in Montmartre as you climb up to
the Sacré Coeur Basilica, erect and majestic at the top of the many steps -
it's highest point higher than the top of the Eiffel tower with unsurpassed
views across Paris. Here even the least religious will embrace a sense of light
Enjoy the pace of life, though still more hectic than where I live,
in Nice, compared to many other Western capitals, no one rushes yet everything
gets done efficiently. Waiters never write down an order but remember
everything and food is served at a pace in complete harmony with the community
– where there is time to digest and discourse, which Parisians love with a
passion. This is a city where academia and philosophy are not disdained (forget
not that the official world language of Diplomacy is still French!) Traffic is
scary fast (though not quite as dangerous as Italians in Nice) and there is an
element of courtesy in the honking and breakneck maneuvers! Scooters zip around everything and everyone,
with rider chatting on cell phone squeezed between ear and helmet, possibly
carrying a dog in a basket between his legs!
Paris needs to be
experienced on foot and with minimal agenda and an openness to be enticed into
an antique shop, or a Jewish bakery or spend two hours over an espresso at a
table on a busy sidewalk or tranquil square. For any Americans, please don’t
even larger Statue of Liberty than yours - approximately 35 feet in height. She
stands upon a tiny island called Swan Ally, [Allée des Cygnes] in the Seine near the Grenelle Bridge – a gift to
the French in 1889, by the American residents of Paris as a remembrance to
commemorate the Centennial of the French Revolution.
could rave for pages of this city that has been home to so many great artists
and writers, instead I want to leave you with some book and app recommendations
pertaining to Paris should this city be part of your summer vacation plans.
Madeline by Ludwig
4-8) - I think this classic, award winning 1940’s rhyming story about an orphan
girl is still one of the best picture books on Paris for younger kids. The
illustrations of this Parisian era are sublime.
from 0-10by Suzie Morgenstern (ages 7-11) Ernest has lived a
regimented life with his elderly grandmother and equally aged housekeeper for
10 years. All changes when Victoria and her 13 brothers come into his life. His
dull routine is blown apart. He has NEVER even been to a grocery store until he
helps Victoria, but on this fateful day, he discovers a book in the paperback
rack that may have the answer to his life-long question; where is his father,
and why did he leave him?
Anna and the
French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (YA) - A somewhat predictable ending, but a cute and very
funny teen love story set in Paris.
Author Bio:Joanna Marple is the author of Snow Games. She grew up
surrounded by the architecture of the city of Cambridge, UK, and
immersed in the books and landscapes of the Brontes, Tolkein and Beatrix
Potter. Her tall tales were not always appreciated as a young child, but her
passion for storytelling remained unfettered and was fuelled by the marvelous
people and animals she encountered during her humanitarian work across the
continents. More recently, her years as school librarian in Southern France
relit her passion for children’s books. Her stories focus on her love of the
natural world and the richness of the cultures she has encountered in her
travels. She lives presently in Nice with two quirky cats and a stream of
visitors from all over the globe.
This weekend, my husband and I went to see Beautiful (the Carol King story) at The Boston Opera House.
It was a cold night, and we planned to walk to dinner and then back to the theater, so I opted to wear this gorgeous cape made by my mom. I don’t wear it often, but it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Mom made this cape for me at my request many years ago. The inspiration: the cape Tim Curry wore when he played Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers. Sure, he was a bad guy, but his cape was fabulous. I mean, no-one could make an exit like the Cardinal when he whipped that cape around.
We had a wonderful night—delicious dinner, gorgeous theater, and inspiring show. My mom used to play Carol King when I was growing up, but I didn’t know her story.
I was in nearby New Bedford, MA with my kids yesterday for their music lessons. Normally, I go upstairs with them in this wonderful old factory that has been converted to studio spaces, but yesterday was sunny and nearly 60 F (15.5 C) so I opted to stay outside in the sun. Eventually I decided to lie down and this is what I saw. It immediately made me think of Dublin.
I realized that I don’t look at the sky here as much as I did in Dublin. I always watched the rushing clouds and the changing color of the sky. If you’ve been following me long enough, you probably remember the many sky photos I posted.
Why don’t I do that here? I think it’s because the sky is a piece of nature I could always see, no matter where I was in Dublin. I could be surrounded by buildings and look up. Here in Southeast Massachusetts, I’m surrounded by nature. Somehow that has translated to me not looking up as much. I should change that.
When is told my family about this over dinner they all knew what I was talking about before I had even explained it. My daughter commented that we were always looking at the sky between the buildings at Clancy Quay (where we lived). It’s funny how this all became clear to me because I looked up yesterday.
Also, I miss Dublin.
#nature #rurallife #citylife
The weather was spectacular today. After school, my daughter and I took a hike in the woods and had fun taking photos with the setting sun. That’s me in the first photo. I balance-beamed out to the end of that fallen tree. (The ice was not safe). #nofilter #playoutside #nature
From Thursday to Sunday, I was at a writing retreat in Vermont. I find being among other book creators so inspiring that I often lose track of time and forget to go outside. Either I’m engaged in meaningful conversations about books or off on my own writing.
Today, between appointments and other commitments, I claimed a much-needed hour outside to hike, write, and reflect on my weekend.
#amwriting #nofilter #latergram
Just finished Finding Langston by @lclineransome Started bf bed last night. Had to finish this morning. Don’t be fooled by it’s slimness. It packs a whole lot of love and pain and beauty into 104 pages. Passing it to my daughter to read. #KidLit
Bog views from my walk today. #RochesterLife #nature
Went to see @katwrightkatwright @narrowscenter last night. Great show and excellent venue. Added bonus: I got to see @painternik9 show again. It’s a bit surreal to attend a concert and see illustrations from our book hanging in the gallery just outside the concert room. #FlyingDeep #livemusic
It was 20 degrees below zero F with the wind chill in New Hampshire yesterday. That didn’t stop my friend and I from taking a walk or our kids from going sledding and cross country skiing. One friend even snowshoed most of the way up Tenney Mountain. We were all fine once we bundled up. The sleds didn’t fare as well, though.
I’d like to say it’s much warmer back here in southeastern Massachusetts, but it isn’t. Brrrr. (That’s me in the purple coat, by the way).
Want to learn an instrument in the New Year? My son @dantecusolito is accepting students for guitar, ukulele, and bass. He teaches ages 5 through adult. All lessons happen at 88 Hatch St. (Hatch Street Studios) in New Bedford, MA. Please share this with anyone you know who might be interested.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. @southcoastlessons
It’s not all airplanes all the time over here. Sometimes @dantecusolito takes a break from building planes to build a ski bike.
Now if we would only get some snow...