What’s new this week? a new government…

parisdiaArt, Books, Happy moments1 Comment

Jean Castex our new prime minister has a nice southern accent

I was quietly having a bath listening to the news that we had a new prime minister when suddenly workers in orange garb started moving around a crate, and a large glass window was lowered on the building under construction… there is never a moment of peace in our world.

Prime minister Edouard Philippe, who was loved by 60 % of the French was dismissed. He is back running his city of Le Havre and Jean Castex, the mayor of Prades, a French Catalan village in the Pyrénées, is now at the helm. He was in charge of deconfining France and seems to have -so far- been quite successful. We will probably never see him in yellow pants on the cover of Paris Match like his predecessor who could have been a model in Men’s Vogue, but he seems to be revered by the unions and the villagers from Prades, alike. And he hired Roselyne Bachelot as minister of culture, an idea I love. She is an opera lover and speaks her heart in every occasion. We should have fun with her! Let’s pray he manages well the “rentrée” which will be tough.

Read More

At MahJ, berber jewelry is worn by Moroccan Jews

parisdiaphotography3 Comments

Sarah Abehassera and Messaoud Assouline in wedding clothes, Erfoud, region of Tafilalet, 1935

It all started with Hannah Assouline‘s passion for history and when she found a picture of her father’s as a young groom, shot by Jean Besancenot in 1935 in Southern Morocco, this woman who is herself a photographer, decided to research more about the Jewish community in Morocco.  Photographer Jean Besancenot (1902-1992) spent his life documenting costumes and jewelry in Morocco with photos and with gouaches. He published a book of drawings in 1942 and worked at Musée de l’Homme.Read More

Taisho, a Japanese restaurant for a Japanese aquarium at Trocadero

parisdiaRestaurants & HotelsLeave a Comment

Taishô is located just below Cité de l’Architecture in the Trocadero gardens

It’s a pity that l’Aquarium Paris did not put a little bit more effort in the temporary decoration of its summer restaurant, Taishô, named after the 1920’s era in Japan. A few bamboos and no Martini sign on the deck chairs would have helped. But it’s still a pleasant experience to have lunch outside in the garden facing the Eiffel Tower. And the excellent Japanese chef, Keisuke Yamagishi, whose cuisine I had tasted at his fancy restaurant Etude last year, was there to supervise the kitchen. Read More

Musée d’Orsay resurrects with James Tissot

parisdiaArt1 Comment

The artists’ wives, 1885, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA, gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. © Ed Pollard,

It was so exciting to be able to return to Musée d’Orsay that people in the short queue at 9.30 am last Tuesday could not stop smiling. And the occasion was definitely worth it with the “James Tissot, Ambiguous modernity” long awaited exhibition (it was due to open on March 24).  There are many paintings of the Thames that you have already seen at Petit Palais in 2018 or the large “Cercle de la Rue Royale” which is permanently at Orsay, but there are also wonderful surprises such as the series of religious gouaches from the Brooklyn museum, the Parisiennes, the different versions of the Prodigal son and the enamel cloisonnés that the artist designed. The works have come from Providence, New York, San Francisco, Dublin, London, Karlsruhe, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto… just before confinement, it is a true miracle.Read More

My first movie, my first museum, my first restaurant …

parisdiaHappy moments2 Comments

Waknine is the hot spot near Galliera

The first day restaurants opened I went out for lunch and dinner and I already have an overdose of mediocre food, noisy neighbors and drafts. Our confinement dinners were so cozy and perfectly planned!  Thank God, movie theaters are reopening and some music events like the 40 th piano festival at La Roque d’Anthéron in August and Sir William Christie‘s garden festival in Charente, are taking place. There is great need for courage and determination at the moment among cultural institutions, to keep projects going because musicians, singers, dancers and actors need to work. Read More

Christo is alive at Centre Pompidou

parisdiaArt3 Comments

Packing surface, 1960

It was especially moving to visit the new Christo and Jeanne Claude exhibition curated by Sophie Duplaix at Centre Pompidou in the presence of his nephew Vladimir Yavachev, operation manager of the Arc de Triomphe project, and old friends from the Pont Neuf project in 1985. The show was due to open in March, when the American artist was still alive. He has since left us, sadly, but his art and the numerous films in the exhibition are hilarious and fascinating. It is a rather small show devoted only to his Paris years, with very rare early works, portraits and abstract paintings, and his personal collection of drawings of the wrapping of the Pont Neuf. It is a true joy to celebrate him in such a glamorous way.Read More

Hotel Alfred Sommier, a new garden near la Madeleine

parisdiaRestaurants & HotelsLeave a Comment

One of the smaller rooms which goes for approximately 300€ a night depending on the season

A hotel with taste and a large garden: this is what Alfred Sommier‘s descendant, Richard de Warren, a former diplomat, has endeavored to create 18 months ago. Since, the “yellow vests”, the strikes and the world pandemic have slowed down his business, but on July 1, the hotel reopens with its delightful garden, one minute from the Madeleine. The place is charged with history of the Sommier family, who built it in 1860. Far from the rates of other five star hotels, it is a discrete and luxurious hideaway with a host and a beautiful lunch place, Les Caryatides.Read More

Double bill at Templon Paris and Brussels

parisdiaArt2 Comments

Will Cotton, Bareback, 2019, Oil on linen, Courtesy Templon, Paris – Brussels and the artist © Adagp, Paris, 2020

Daniel Templon is as dynamic as ever and he was among the first galleries to reopen in Paris and in Brussels braving the absence of ArtBasel and the Venice Biennale, which usually attract world collectors at this time of the year. Two fun artists are showing at the moment, New Yorker Will Cotton who reinterprets the myth of the cowboy with boys riding pink unicorns, in Brussels. In Paris, Japanese performer and sculptor Chiharu Shiota gives us color threads and new bronze sculptures moulded after her hands and feet.Read More