Celebrating With Choux

Celebrating With Choux

July 20 is Marina Day. In France, every day of the year has a saint's name associated with it. If you share the name of one of the saints, that is your name day. Every year since I started studying French and learned that this was a thing, I have treated July 20 (the fête of Sainte Marina) as a mini-birthday party, a gala of 'treat yo self', a celebration of my delightful self.

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Happy Place: Garden of the Musée Delacroix

Happy Place: Garden of the Musée Delacroix

This is part of Happy Places, a series about making the time to have experiences that bring you joy, but can be hard to justify with a busy schedule. The Musée Delacroix is so small that it is hard for me to justify return visits. If I am a Delacroix mood, I’ll make my way to the Louvre’s collection. But [ ... ]

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Kicking and Biting and Screaming!

Kicking and Biting and Screaming!

This is what my thesis is teaching me: Life is in this moment. I am so tempted to say that life will start again when I turn in this massive document. That I will literally never have a reason to be stressed ever again. But to think that this moment a waiting period for ‘real life’ is a dangerous [ ... ]

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The Best Burger in Paris

The Best Burger in Paris

I realize this might be my most controversial post to date, but here goes. There have been a lot of claims lately about the best burger in Paris, as the burger scene is exploding in the city. There are arguments for Blendle Camion Qui FumeBig Fernand, blah blah blah. The truth is, there is [ ... ]

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Château Vaux le Vicomte by Candlelight

Château Vaux le Vicomte by Candlelight

Have you ever walked into a period room with tacky 'candlelight' lightbulbs in the chandeliers and wondered, "What would this have been like with real candles? Château Vaux le Vicomte has the answer. This (relatively) modest château outside of Paris offers candlelit evenings every Saturday in the summer [ ... ]

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Exhibition: Birth of a Museum

Exhibition: Birth of a Museum

The Louvre Abu Dhabi will open in December 2015, but you can see the museum's first acquisitions now, on display in an exhibition at the 'Louvre Paris’. In 2007, an intergovernmental agreement was signed between France and the United Arab Emirates [ ... ]

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Waiting for the calm after the storm

Waiting for the calm after the storm

I am in the midst of finishing a 150 page thesis (in French) about mobile apps in temporary exhibitions in Parisian museums. It is eating me alive. Needless to say, stress is a constant presence in my life right now. I've been fighting back with an arsenal of calming techniques, including candlelight, [ ... ]

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Abu Dhabi Delights

Abu Dhabi Delights

I recently found myself in Abu Dhabi for a week. This was my first trip to the region, and I was excited to see the differences in culture, tastes, scents, the quality of light... On the plane, I was giddy when I saw on my seat's screen that we were flying over Mesopotamia and [ ... ]

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From the Right Bank to the Left Bank Under a Full Moon

From the Right Bank to the Left Bank Under a Full Moon

After spending a nocturne at the Louvre one Friday night, I stepped outside to find a lusciously full moon. I am a firm believer that a full moon brings out wildness and inhibition, and this night was no exception. I felt full of an almost manic energy in the moonlight [ ... ]

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I Am American, Give Me Ice

I Am American, Give Me Ice

A French friend came to visit my childhood home over the Christmas holidays this year. It was his first time visiting the great US of A, and I wanted to shock him with the cultural differences between our two countries. I took him to an enormous Costco, I made him drink a Root Beer Float, we almost got run over by [ ... ]

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Fourth of July Sparklers

Fourth of July Sparklers

The Fourth of July of 2012 fell on a Wednesday. This meant that the official party would have to wait for July 6. But a friend and I decided to have a quiet pre-celebration in Place Saint-Sulpice on that Wednesday night, equipped with a 12-pack of sparklers. We each pinned on a cocarde tricolore (ignoring that they [ ... ]

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Musée des Augustins de Toulouse

Musée des Augustins de Toulouse

Toulouse is known as la ville rose due to the pink bricks used to construct many of its buildings. The Musée des Augustins is no exception. Built in 1309 as a Augustinian convent, today the building houses a collection of paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. The galleries [ … ]

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Exhibition: The Parisianer

 Exhibition: The Parisianer

If Paris had its own version of The New Yorker magazine, what would the covers look like? This was the question that inspired a project where 100 artists made covers for an imaginary magazine called The Parisianer. Fifty of these illustrations are currently on display in the bite-sized exhibition at the Hôtel de Ville. [ … ]

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Happy Place: Happy Nouilles

Happy Place: Happy Nouilles

This is part of Happy Places, a series about making the time to have experiences that bring you joy, but can be hard to justify with a busy scheduleI was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. The kind of day where you feel overwhelmed and trapped and stressed. Unfortunately for my misery, it was a beautiful [ ... ]

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Easter Picnic Pins

Easter Picnic Pins

An Easter picnic in Paris practically screams for tissue paper flower pins. At least, that’s how I felt when getting ready for an Easter picnic in a park in the Marais last Sunday. I happened to have a lot of leftover tissue paper from my Tex-Mex dinner party decorations, so I got busy making tissue paper flowers. It was an easy and relaxing project: cutting out flower-shaped layers, stapling them together and then fluffing [ ... ]

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Exhibition: Henri Cartier-Bresson

Exhibition: Henri Cartier-Bresson

The retrospective exhibition on Henri Cartier-Bresson at the Centre Pompidou is an ideal opportunity to spend an hour or so carefully looking at very beautiful images. The exhibition space is sparse; plain walls are filled with small framed photographs. It is an utter [ ... ]

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Daisy Crowns

Daisy Crowns

I was in Toulouse this weekend, visiting a friend’s family. On Sunday, we spent a lazy afternoon lounging in the backyard, soaking in the warm southern sun. We put down blankets and stretched out in the soft grass. It turned out the lawn was scattered with tiny daisies. My friend's cousin's [ ... ]

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Louvre Photo Safari: Hands

Louvre Photo Safari: Hands

This is part of Louvre Photo Safaris, a series that focuses on details found in Louvre artworks around various themes, with the aim of looking at everything differently. Hands reach out, they touch, they manipulate. They can be used to cradle an infant, to turn a page, to cry out to God. In the Louvre’s collection of French [ ... ]

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A Rosy Birthday Party

A Rosy Birthday Party

I found myself in the midst of a polar vortex for my birthday this year, at the tail end of visit to my family in the Midwest. In the midst of record-breaking amounts of snow, I decided to throw a small party with hints of Spring. There would be roses, punch, and lots and lots of streamers. When I was a little girl, my idea of [ ... ]

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