Why this blog?

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stéphane Hessel

Stéphane Hessel, author and diplomat, passed away last night at the age of 95. His name may not be a household name in the U.S., but he was held in high esteem in France.

We had the privilege of hearing him speak last year and I was very impressed by his intelligence and his humanity. He was a great man and will be missed. You can hear him yourself here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The 19th

On the 19th of each month (whenever possible) we return to the site of our first meeting -- the Café de la Marine in Montparnasse -- and we drink a Kwak to celebrate.

Yesterday we celebrated 22 months.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sidney Bechet

On Monday, we attended a fabulous concert of the music of Sidney Bechet. I was unfamiliar with the life of the New Orleans born jazzman, and apparently he is much more famous in France than he was in the U.S.

It was a treat for me to rediscover his music which I immediately recognized - after all, one of his pieces was selected by Woody Allen as a theme for the movie Midnight in Paris.

The concert was performed by a quintet which included Daniel Bechet (the only son of Sidney) on drums; Olivier Franc on soprano sax (the sax actually belonged to Sidney Bechet); Jean-Baptiste Franc (Olivier's son) on piano; Gilles Chevaucherie on string bass; and Benoit de Flamesnil on trombone. You can listen to more of the songs here.

The quintet will perform again in October, 2013 at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens - just in case you find yourself in Paris in October.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

La Seine en crue

The Seine is experiencing some minor flooding due to rain. The tourist boats were not able to pass under the bridges yesterday, but it's nothing serious.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Eclectic outings

Winter in Paris is gray, rainy and cold -- not exactly picture-taking weather -- and so I apologize for the lack of recent postcard photos of Paris. However, we haven't been staying home! Recent outings included conferences with various titles such as: "Will future robots resemble humans?" "What does China want? From Mao to capitalism" "The discovery of the Higgs boson" and "Sex, love, and seduction on the internet."

We've also seen several movies, including Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, and Alceste
à Bicyclette.
Saturday night we went to small bar in the 20th arrondissement to listen to music. The show opened with a group of six young French rap singers. I don't know if they were presenting their own or others' music, but I enjoyed their energy. 
 Next up was a quintet of rock musicians who sang in both French and English. Toes tapping, we drank mojitos and sat in the front row.

The headliners for the concert came onstage around 10:30 PM.
 I noticed that while setting up sound equipment that they also placed a full box of packaged ear plugs in front of the stage. Hmmm. The music was a little loud, but I sure liked the lead singer's cowboy boots!

I'll sure be glad when spring comes along so that we can start going out again . . . .