The lockdown is over, so what’s new?

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A dogwood in Paris, rue de Vaugirard, near the Luxembourg garden

More dogwood pictures are being sent to me, I realize how ignorant I was about their growing presence in France! I am told there is even one in the Jardins du Luxembourg next to the Statue of Liberty… And since it is the full season, don’t miss them, the gardens of Paris have just reopened.

American artist Christo was confined in New York where he died  on May 31. He gave his last interview to CNN and it is very moving: he shows his project for the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe, in his 19 th century building on Howard Street, Soho. The red rope holding the floating silver and blue fabric will give it a unique look! This amazing artist lived with his wife Jeanne Claude a giant life, we will miss him terribly.

And it is time to go shopping since everything is reduced. Electric cars are almost given away thanks to the government subsidies and there is no-one in the stores… A sad taxi driver told me that Parisians had decided to stay away all summer. Read More

An exclusive sale for women with taste

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Spanish purse embroidered with shells, Imagin, 150€

Since she opened Juste Mauve on rue Greuze in 1973, Anne Marie de Ganay has always surprised me with her eccentric and refined taste. Born in a French aristocratic family with Argentinian connections, she was raised in English and was nicknamed “How do you say begonia in French” (it’s the same word) when she was a debutante. She has closed the shop since, but has kept private sales twice a year and provides the best presents for people like me who spend the summer as an itinerant guest all around France. After the confinement, she is putting everything on sale at 40%. I went to check before it opens this Tuesday and there are wonderful finds.Read More

Giverny, it’s the year to go and celebrate the 40 th anniversary.

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The house from the garden, ©Fondation Claude Monet Giverny

Hugues Gall, president of Fondation Monet in Giverny, has already canceled all group tours and reservations for the season: when the gardens reopen on June 8 at 9.30 am, only individual visitors will be admitted in small numbers and internet booking is mandatory. But the gardeners have  all been at work for months of course. For the 40 th anniversary of the opening of the gardens by Gerald Van der Kemp with Anne Aymone Giscard d’Estaing in 1980, a new book by Gilbert Vahé, the head gardener for 42 years, is published. The first year, 83 000 visitors came to see the temple where Monet lived for 43 years. Today there are over 600.000 a year.Read More

Nathalie Jeanson takes over the Golf Paris Longchamp

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Nathalie Jeanson at Royal St George’s for the Vagliano cup 2019

French golf pro Nathalie Jeanson has been a friend to many golfers for a long time and her recent appointment as general manager of the Golf Paris Longchamp  makes all of her fans very happy. This is one of the good surprises of “deconfinement” and I wanted to share it with you. She has just been asked by businessman Antoine Arnault and Pascal Grizot, vice president of the French Golf Federation, to reorganize, on the racecourse of Longchamp, the golf practice and teaching facilities. As the Vice President of the French PGA, she was the ideal candidate.Read More

Joël Dicker is back, with a great Swiss novel…

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Joël Dicker turns 35 next month and has shown a new maturity in this book

On May 27, everyone will be able to discover the new Joël Dicker in French, in Spanish (on June 3) and in Italian, “L’Enigme de la chambre 622”. It was due to come out in March and the 300 000 copies have been patiently waiting in the Hachette warehouses to be distributed. I read it ahead and I loved it. It is his first novel since the death of Bernard de Fallois in January 2018, his cherished publisher who is constantly  present in the book. Joël Dicker has magnificently mixed reality and fiction in this fresco of the famous Geneva banking world. Rue de la Corraterie (Banque Lombard Odier‘s real address is at n°11) has never been so well described. Read More

Charles Xelot photographs “gas under the tundra”

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Gregory and the Factory, 2018, © Charles Xelot courtesy galerie Sit Down

It took three polar winters to shoot this series of photographs in the Peninsula of Yamal in the Russian Arctic, where natural gas is being produced and French photographer Charles Xelot is the living witness of the transformation of wild tundra inhabited by the Nenets into fields of pipelines. The sea coast is now illuminated by the lights of oil tankers and icebreakers. The immaculate white landscape of “The end of the earth” as Yamal is translated, is now populated with huge refineries. Two worlds cohabit, the gods of high technology and the reindeer breeders who sleep in Chum tents.Read More

Woody Allen is back front stage with a surprising autobiography

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Woody Allen some time ago in Annie Hall

Apropos of Nothing” is the title of Woody Allen’s autobiography published on March 18 th in the US by  Jeanette Seaver at Arcade books.  In French it is translated as “Soit dit en passant” and  will come out on June 3 rd at Editions Stock, an Hachette imprint. Both titles make the book sound like a modest account of a very extraordinary life as a writer, an actor and a director. Yet what struck me the most in this book is the hilarious language and the unique words Woody Allen uses. It will be very difficult task for any translator to render his style. The first hundred pages are the most fascinating, with the description of his childhood and apprenticeship of working life. There is a very precise account of all the great men who inspired him and helped him in his career including a number of directors of photography. Read More

Billie Zangewa is a hit at Galerie Templon

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Billie Zangewa, “Soldier of love”,  with her son, 2020 (detail) embroidered silk

She was born in Malawi but now lives in South Africa with her husband and children. She is confined at the moment and since all fabric shops are closed, she cannot send more works to galerie Templon which has sold out the exhibition during the lockdown. It was a beautiful discovery for me to see the ten embroideries by Billie Zangewa, which are mostly devoted to her family life and peace.Read More