Are we shocked by “King Charles III”?

parisdiaPerforming arts8 Comments


Remarkable Lydia Wilson with Tim Piggot-Smith as Kate and Charles


I was lucky enough to be attending this London long running play by Mike Bartlett between two British historians, Rebecca Fraser, who is completing her new History book on characters from the Mayflower and Munro Price, author of the recent « Napoleon, The end of Glory ». After a lovely Dover sole and white wine at J Sheekey’s around the corner, we were in perfect form to watch this almost Shakespearian drama.Read More

Wandering in the Marais

parisdiaArt6 Comments


Chronochrome exhibition. Courtesy: Galerie Perrotin ; © Jesús Rafael Soto / ADAGP, Paris, 2015

Going to an art gallery at 11 am is like going to a movie at lunch time : the faint guilt that you feel doubles the pleasure. This time, I went to see the Venezuelan Jesus Rafael Soto «Chronochrome » (kinetic exploration of the monochrome) show curated by Matthieu Poirier at Galerie Perrotin. I went to the Paris one but it also shows in New York until Feb 21 st.

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Michel Houellebecq, the bird of ill omen

parisdiaBooks2 Comments


« Soumission », the latest novel by Michel Houellebecq, was the object of somber rumors since mid December. It finally came out on ….Wednesday January 7 th, 2015, the same day that Charlie Hebdo caricatured the writer on the cover. And you know the rest of the story….
The next day, his face was on all the newspaper stands (the Kiosks à journaux) around Paris promoting l’Obs, the new magazine born from le Nouvel Observateur. That day, he decided to leave the media scene and go skiing.Read More

New Year Good Wishes

parisdiaHappy moments5 Comments

Nicholas Vreeland leads His Holiness the Dalai Lama on December 29 th in Southern India

Nicholas Vreeland leads His Holiness the Dalai Lama on December 29 th in Southern India


There is a wonderful custom in Great Britain and The US of sending Xmas or New Year cards. Each year my French friends envy the mantelpiece in my living room, where I display the cards. Of course more and more arrive by e mail with endless stories of the children having lost their teeth or the husband having run off with a youngster, and it’s harder to show off. This is why I will use this little blog to show you the most precious Good Wishes message I received this year.
Nicky Vreeland, grew up in New York as the grandson of Diana Vreeland, the Vogue queen and founder of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum (how on earth did the Museum dare erase her name and replace it by Anna Wintour’s ? I don’t understand…). He then became a photographer assisting Richard Avedon and other major stars in the 80’s, but found his real calling in becoming a Tibetan monk.
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Les Chouettes is “drôlement chouette”

parisdiaRestaurants & Hotels15 Comments

The restaurant was a clock factory in the 19 th century

The restaurant was a clock factory in the 19 th century


Les Chouettes (the Owls) is « drôlement chouette » as we would have said in French in the 70’s, very groovy indeed. This fairly recent restaurant –it opened four months ago – is located on rue de Picardie between République and the Marais. It’s already a hit among the thirty/forty crowds of beautiful Parisians and I was introduced to it by my nieces who know the sous-chef, charming Frédéric Lutz.

But as a group of slightly olderpeople, -hilariously funny and food connoisseur New York artist Donald Sultan was one of us- we did not feel out of place. A continuous stream of tall and slender young girls came up and down the Eiffel type cast iron staircase which leads to the third floor, a library/bar with a view down on the restaurant. There are tables on the three floors with a covered courtyard and a glass roof. The place used to be a clock factory in the 19th century and the decorator enhanced the black and white decor of tiles on the floor and on the walls. The atmosphere seems very New York to the French but keeps its Parisian flair. Read More

Notre Chanel by Jean Lebrun

parisdiaBooks3 Comments

Starting the New Year is always a little tough. One is overwhelmed by all the emotions (or lack of them) generated by Xmas with the family and also disgusted by all the food that has been ingurgited over the holidays. I nonetheless immensely enjoyed  my lunch with former boss at the radio Jean Lebrun who has been on air evey day of his life in the last 32 years. His broadcast on France Inter radio station (a French public radio) runs at 1.30 which means that lunch is well deserved at 2.15pm. He has his habits in a very classical French delicious bistro, Chaumette, near the radio, where we had duck and purée with a strong Côtes du Rhone to fight the cold. And we discussed biographies.

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Louise Pressager plays with her videos

parisdiaArt5 Comments

To get over the dreary visit of Frank Gehry’s L.V.M.H foundation building, on a gray January Paris day, I headed for Palais de Tokyo where I wanted to see for the second time, the hilariously dark videos of Louise Pressager. Louise is a young artist who used to write songs and study Political Science in Strasbourg, France, before giving up to the family tradition and becoming a strong and intense artist.
Her father, Etienne, draws magical and enigmatic animals, plants, letters, objects. Her mother Natalie uses photography and images to convey her charming and poetic art. They both teach art in Lorraine. Louise is both very funny and dramatic, almost childish and naive at times and mostly… too grown up. As a laureate of the Salon de Montrouge prize last June, an art fair for young artists, her videos were shown at Palais de Tokyo (the epitomy of trendiness in Paris contemporary art) during the month of December. Read More