My Bastille day week end

Brigitte and Emmanuel Macron and Les Bleus on Monday at l’Elysée

Everything always happens at the same time and Bastille Day week end was a busy one for the whole world. The French had the military parade of July 14, the Brits had Wimbledon in the heat with the longest match ever in six hours and thirty five minutes between Kevin Anderson and John Isner in the semi finals, and Nadal and Djokovic playing over two days in five hours and fifteen minutes! while Serena Williams was being beaten by  German player Angelique Kerber. But I was invited to the most charming and fun wedding ever.Read More

Maison Astor, a discreet hotel with history

Ahmed Salhi, Stéphane Mouttet, Denis Pirouelle, are all Clefs d’or concierge

The new Maison Astor, on rue d’Astorg in Paris has a motto. Friendliness and  charm. The bar is called the “club” and serves real food and cocktails at a reasonable price, the dining room has special lunch menus for 39€ and a glass roof open on the 131 rooms of this Haussmanian house built in Proust’s times across the street from Comtesse Greffulhe’s private house. I had lunch there and liked the atmosphere, the skate and toasted foie gras. Read More

Musée de Cluny is young and beautiful again

Tapestry of the Lady and the Unicorn : Sight, ca 1500 © RMN-Grand Palais (musée de Cluny – musée national du Moyen-Âge) / M. Urtado

You thought there was nothing happening in Paris in the summer and went away with a tranquil feeling of not missing anything. Well you were wrong! Musée de Cluny very quietly reopened on July 14th, when everyone had something better to do, except for the 3 080 visitors who rushed over the week end to see it and it is stunning. A special exhibition “Magic Unicorns”, around the tapestries of the Lady and the Unicorn is hanging in the new gallery designed by architect Bernard Desmoulin (who is working on Hospital Lariboisière at the moment)and one can walk above the Roman ruins which date back to the first century.Read More

In Meaux, the Great War becomes alive

The museum of the Great War was open on 11/11/ 2011

Where else but in a museum celebrating the First World War and founded on 11/11/ 1211, should one go and learn about an event which shook Europe and the USA and turned the XX th century into a modern world on many levels? In Meaux, an hour east of Paris, le Musée de la Grande Guerre was built on one of the first battle fields of la Marne. Whether you like weapons or uniforms, (I don’t particularly) you will be interested in the exhibition “Families throughout the war” which describes the incredible bereavements of men and children abandoned by the 1 400 000 dead soldiers. And this year is the hundredth anniversary of the armistice.Read More

Azzedine Alaïa is celebrated again by Olivier Saillard

Coral cotton satin dress and bra in white broderie anglaise, worn by Veronica Webb, summer 1992

It is incredibly moving to return to Azzedine Alaïa‘s gallery again after he suddenly died eight months ago. The opening of Olivier Saillard‘s new exhibition devoted to the Summer 1992 show, was well attended by all the fashionistas who came to Paris for the Couture shows. And most star models who were part of the défilé were there. The building acquired by the designer in 1987, used to be where Madame de Pompadour lived as a small girl. Thus Alaïa dedicated his first collection of 115 pieces, designed on the spot, to Louis XV’s very sexy mistress.Read More

Giacometti at home, in Montparnasse

Giacometti’s studio recreated at 6 rue Victor Schoelcher

We are in the heart of Montparnasse, overlooking the cemetery and not far from Fondation Cartier on rue Victor Schoelcher, 1804-1893 the man who abolished slavery in the French colonies. Alberto Giacometti‘s studio is part of a block of houses with many other ateliers, their high windows facing North East. It has just been renovated and opened to the public a few days ago as “Institut Giacometti“. To visit it, you have to buy your ticket (8,50€) online and book a specific time. It is a charming spot with many drawings and sculptures all in line with Jean Genet. Read More

Color and Couples in art celebrated in Metz

Romaine Brooks, “By the sea” or “Portrait of the artist”, (summer 1912), Centre Pompidou

It’s always a great joy to board the train for the one hour and fifteen minutes ride to Metz, where Centre Pompidou organizes the most intriguing exhibitions. At the moment, “The adventure of color” a selection of works from the Pompidou center in Paris is an easy show for all publics with some marvelous works by Morrelet and Matisse. And the very much talked about “Modern couples”,  puts forward 40 arts couples from 1900 to 1945. Both shows are worth the trip and they complement each other perfectly.Read More

“Les Etés de la danse”, an American ballet festival

The Pacific Northwest ballet “Emergence” choreographed by Crystal Pite, photo Angela Sterling.

It was my first visit to the Seine Musicale, the large concert hall built by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines on Ile Seguin in Boulogne and the occasion was a performance of the Pacific Northwest Ballet from Seattle. A large contingent of West coast benefactors made this evening very special as did my discovery of the new stage of the west of Paris. Out of 2 000 spectators only three men wore a tie and they were American. Popular culture is hot in Paris!Read More