Why this blog?

To understand why this blog was created and where it got its name, start here

Monday, April 30, 2012

Taroudant

From Essaouira we traveled south along the Atlantic coast to Agadir where we stopped for lunch. From there, we turned inland and arrived in Taroudant in time to capture the late afternoon light on the city walls. Taroudant is one of the oldest cities in Morocco and resembles a smaller version of Marrakech. It is completely surrounded by crenelated ramparts. Here is a view of the ramparts from our carriage.
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And here is a link for more photos from our stay in Taroudant.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Essaouira

After a day and a half in Marrakech, we rented a car and took off to visit southern Morocco. Here is a map of the route we followed.


Our first stop: Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. 
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Here is a link to more photos from Essaouira

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Marrakech

Arrival in Marrakech is flawless. We are met at the airport and whisked to the center of town where Francoise, the owner of the Riad Argan, meets us and guides us through the narrow alleys to the place that will be our home for our stay in Marrakech. After a refreshing cup of mint tea, we venture into the center of town. It is difficult to describe the overwhelming sights, sounds and smells of the Jemaa el Fna, where musicians, snake charmers, storytellers, healers, fortune tellers, and food stands compete for attention. Patrice has put together a slideshow to give you a taste for our stay in Marrakech.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Morocco preview


We have just returned to rainy Paris from warm, sunny Morocco and are sorting through hundreds of photos. Here is a brief sample of what is to come . . . 
Koutoubia mosque in Marrakech
Aït Benhaddou
Guide in Tamegroute
On the road through the Atlas mountains

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Morocco

Patrice and I are on our way to Marrakech. We'll be spending eight days in Morocco, taking lots of pictures and eating lots of couscous. Please stay tuned for pictures and stories from a different part of the world.

Invalides at night

Last night we attended a sound and light show at Les Invalides. The spectacle recounted the history of the building with stunning colors and animation. The photos below hardly do justice to the dramatic effects.
The ticket also included a visit to the interior of the dome and the tomb of Napoleon.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Paris Marathon

Today's running of the Paris Marathon through our neighborhood provided an opportunity to experiment with shutter speeds and camera angles.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Musée des Arts et Métiers

Often overlooked by tourists, the Musée des Arts et Métiers (Museum of Arts and Industry) is worth a visit if you are interested in scientific instruments and inventions. It was founded in 1794 and is located in the church and monastery of Saint-Martin-des-Champs. Not interested in science and industry? The building itself is worth the visit. See for yourself.
The museum houses the original Blériot XI - the first airplane to cross the English Channel in 1909. We visited the spot where Blériot landed near Dover last January.

The museum also houses the original pendulum of FoucauldIt's a stunning presentation of past treasures.
If you'd like to see more you, can check out the website or take a virtual visit.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Rue Mouffetard

Every Sunday morning at the end of the rue Mouffetard, in front of the Saint-Medard church, a group of regulars gathers to dance and sing along with an accordionist. I used to visit this square often. My first apartment was just a few blocks away. However, Patrice had never seen the dancers, so we made an effort to get out of the house early for our photo expedition. All the usual people were there and dressed in their Easter Sunday finest - just as I remembered.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stéphane Hessel

Yesterday evening the American Library in Paris hosted a most inspiring speaker - Stéphane Hessel.

Diplomat and author Stéphane Hessel, who is also a concentration camp survivor and former French resistance fighter, wants people to get mad and fight against what's wrong in the world, as he writes in his booklet, Indignez-vous! The booklet’s call to stand up to indecency resounded internationally; it has sold over 4 million copies in 100 countries. It has been translated into thirty languages since its 2010 publication. It is also credited with influencing movements like Occupy Wall Street and Los Indignados in Spain.

At 94 years of age, Hessel is stunningly articulate. Born in Berlin, he came to France at the age of seven. He writes in French, but he spoke to yesterday's audience in English. He addressed the four major points outlined in his slim volume, translated into English as Time for Outrage! These points included:
1. The economic gap between rich and poor which has widened in the last 50 years.
2. Deforestation and environmental destruction of the fragile resources of our planet
3. Terrorism
4. The Israeli/Palestinian situation. Despite his Jewish origins and his experience as a holocaust survivor; Hessel is an outspoken critic of Israel's stance on the creation of a Palestinian state.

Here is a short excerpt of his speech yesterday evening. I would wish to be so articulate at 94 years of age.
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunday in the park

Sunny weather on Sunday and a good day for a boat ride on the lake in the Bois de Vincennes. Of course, Patrice did all the work while I took pictures.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Dinner and show

We've gone out twice this weekend - diner et spectacle (dinner and show) - of entirely different styles. On Friday night, a sing-along with the group Tigresses Diatoniques and their diatonic accordions. The music? French classic songs from the 1930s - 1960s. Here's an example:

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On Saturday night, something entirely different. An old friend of Patrice's alerted him to a concert at Le Petit Journal Montparnasse, a Paris jazz club. The headliner Saturday night was Janet Robin, an American guitarist singer-songwriter. Janet Robin is a fantastic guitarist. As a teenager, she studied with the late Randy Rhoads. Later, she was lead guitarist in the all-girl band, Precious Metal. This was Robin's first Paris appearance.
The show was organized by friends of Patrice. Renaud Cugny plays the Hammond organ and his wife, Catherine Marie, is the tour manager. Here's a small taste of Saturday's concert:
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