Monday, 24 December 2012


Oh, the year I've had. The year we've all had.

Jan 1 2011

It's been a really interesting one. It's the year of drastic changes for me as I shook my life up. It's yet to be determined if this is recommended, but I did it and here I am.

It started with a swim at Coney Island (and a Nathan's hot dog. With fries.)

I took off and moved to a new country. It's been hard, but I'm so thankful for the experience and I am happy because of it. Escaping from New York is hard, but it can happen.

I said goodbye to old routines and started new ones. I said goodbye to a whole lot of people, and became an expert in cocktail conversations on my way to meet new people. I've sold or put in storage all my belongings and I've learned to live out of a suitcase.

I am so lucky to be able to travel and see and do all the things. Iceland, Norway, Czech Republic, Hungary, Belgium, plus I got to see a great deal more of Paris and France. I've eaten quite well throughout. Don't think for a second that I am ignorant of how fortunate I am.

I'm out of town for the next couple weeks. I figure what better way to start the New Year by starting to explore an entire new continent.

As always, may you all have your health and find happiness in the New Year!

Sunday, 23 December 2012


I recently had another chance to see more of Lille.

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Go, if you have a chance. Until the 13th of January, the Fantastic! festival is going on. Lots of site-specific modern art and happenings.


While the weather in Lille makes Paris seem downright balmy, there's a lot of really interesting stuff to see.

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I went with a big group on a motivated "see a lot" tour.

WED_0944 WED_0950 WED_0962 WED_0966 Most of the pieces were saw were very large-scale, and they had been set up in old churches and warehouses and abandoned train stations. WED_0991 WED_0994 WED_1014 WED_1020 WED_1027 WED_1038 It was a fairly grueling itinerary. WED_1041 WED_1043 WED_1044 WED_1045 WED_1046 WED_1051 WED_1053 WED_1055 WED_1060 WED_1066 WED_1074 WED_1077 WED_1081

A huge cling-wrap sculpture in which you can clamber into was a highlight.

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A hall of mirrors...

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The last stop was a pop-up beauty bar, complete with a chilly tub soak.

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The TGV only take an hour from Paris Gare du Nord, an hour and a half from London. Go!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Chateau de Versailles

Oh! How behing I've fallen. These pictures were taken way back in October, but I'm just now getting around to sorting and posting.

Here, just press play on this while you are browsing this post:

While I've been out to Versailles before, it's one of those places that you can just keep going back to.

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I have yet to tire of it anyway. It's overwhelming on so many levels. The crowds, the scale, the decor, the gardens, the lesser chateaus within the estate. Oh, and the prices. Holy Moses, they do charge you a king's ransom to enter. Lucky me, I'm local enough to make use of the fact that it's free the first Sunday of every month. Go!


Also...check out this site, where you can take a virtual tour of the Chateau.

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The palace is usually so packed with people- tour groups pushing their way past and blocking all the good sites, bottlenecks that take eons to push's enough to make for a tough day. The gardens, however...

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The gardens are just fantastic to get lost in. Ah, André Le Nôtre, what a fantastic artist you were.

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They only run the fountains on special occasions...summer nights with fireworks and such...but when we were there, they had some ballin classical music blasting from speakers all over the gardens. Made the situation somehow more regal.

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This was, by far, my favorite micro-garden. It's Jupiter, breaking through the earth.

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I stopped counting at 20, but let's just say that there is a very large colony of stray cats living in one section of the garden.

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If one thing Paris has made me appreciate more than anyplace else, it's how beautiful things look in late afternoon light when the sun is actually free of the burden of clouds.

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