“Monk with a camera”

With his grandmother Diana Vreeland at 25

Nicky with his grandmother Diana Vreeland in New York at 25

Nicholas Vreeland was born in Geneva, where his father was a diplomat and the first time he heard of Tibet was while reading « Tintin au Tibet », a comic book widely read in French speaking countries. His first holidays as a baby, were in Portofino, a very jet set Italian resort. His grandmother was Diana Vreeland, the editor of American Vogue who created the Costume Insitute at the Metropolitan Museum.  His first work experience at 15, was as an assistant to photographer Irving Penn. From Paris and Morocco, he was sent, at 13, to Groton boarding school at a time when Cecil Beaton was photographing his family. He felt very much an outsider in the United States and he developed a  passion for photography which brought him the happiness that he lacked. “Monk with a camera” is the story of his life at 60, a beautiful film with no special effects and his unique simplicity. The story of a very special destiny. Read More

An address to keep for yourself

Leeks to start with

La Rôtisserie is open every day

Every time I bring a friend to « La Rôtisserie », we come out with a feeling of complete happiness. First, the drive there and back along the Seine, is very romantic; second, Frédéric, the maître d’, is charming, speaks English and always remains serene. Third, the food is French and fabulous. When the former Rôtisserie du Beaujolais, a very old bistrot on the left bank, came up for sale some years ago, Claude Terrail, the then owner of La Tour d’Argent, bought it. Nothing has changed in the restaurant which specialises in roasting, chicken, duck, pigeon, quails and all sorts of game during shooting season.Read More

Lartigue photographs, but in colour!


Florette, Megève, mars 1965

I was going to interview Jacques-Henri Lartigue on July 3, 1984 at 2 pm for Vogue Hommes magazine when, at 1.30 pm, I received a phone call, my father had died. So I never met Lartigue and he has  always fascinated me. At the time, he was obsessed by painting and only wanted to be recognized (he was 80) as a painter of bright flowers… when he was known worldwide as a black and white photographer with a 100 000 negatives. Later on, I spent an evening with Henri Cartier Bresson, I drove him home and he invited me for a last whisky at his rue de Rivoli apartment. All he wanted me to look at, were his drawings…these two amazingly successful photographers had something else in mind obviously!

The exhibition at MEP, Maison européenne de la photographie, in the Marais, is one of the jewels of this summer.

Florette Vence, Mai 1954

Florette, Vence, mai 1954

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Mona Hatoum is back in Paris

02. Mona Hatoum - Portrait 2 ∏ Mona Hatoum, 2013 ∏ Andri Pol 2013

Mona Hatoum, photo Andi Pol, 2013

I was on my way to the Pompidou center to see the Le Corbusier exhibition (very serious and technical) and was irresistibly attracted by this wonderful British artist’s large retrospective. Mona Hatoum was born in Beryrouth in 1952, from Palestinian parents and was caught in London, when the 1975 civil war erupted in Lebanon. She therefore attended Slade School of Fine Art and became a British citizen. But her roots are very present in her work which is both minimal and militant, and englobes all sorts of mediums.

T42 (gold), Bill Orcutt

T42 (gold), photo Bill Orcutt

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Vive the 4 th of July!

The five star brass played all evening

Ladies were reigning over the 139 th celebration of the American Independance on July 2nd at the Embassy in Paris. Ambassador Jane Hartley gave a speech in honor of French US relations underlining the help America received in 1776 and again US’ determinant part in saving our country in World War 2. Minister of Ecology, Ségolène Royal was there until late in the evening. Wearing a glamorous gold dress, the Ambassador looked more like a movie star than a diplomat, but she was exstatic at receiving with Crystal Nix-Hines, Ambassador to Unesco and Daniel Yohannes, Ambassador to the OECD.Read More

Driving through Paris with Maureen

The fabulons Parc des Buttes Chaumont was planted in the 19 ht century

The fabulous Parc des Buttes Chaumont was planted in the 19 th century

The 68 th annual Magnum Photos party was strange for there were many famous photographers and no photos to be seen. And the uniform was unique ! A small camera on the shoulder seemed like the code to crash the party. By chance, I was carrying my freshly repaired Nikon and was very proud for that…The reason for my being there was the invitation extended by Richard Kalvar, a talented American photographer working in France, and a long time member of Magnum. Most people there, were speaking English and had flown from all over the world for the General Assembly where 6 new young nominees were coopted to join the small group of members who own the agency …Read More

When Pizarro meets Atahualpa

Los Trece de la Isla del Gallo

The 13 on the Island of Gallo, Juan B. Lepiani, 1902

Born in Cuzco in 1500, the Inca leader, Son of the Sun, Atahualpa, was trying to reign over 10 million Indians in an Empire that went from Ecuador to southern Columbia and Chile when his fate made him meet the Spaniard Francisco Pizarro. This conquistador had spent twenty years in Haiti and Panama before mounting an expedition to Peru. Pizarro by twenty years his elder had a clever army and caught him by surprise at a meeting on November 16, 1532 Cajamarca. Remembering Cortes’s success in Mexico in 1519 with the Azteqs, he sent a priest to discuss with Atahualpa. After catching him, like Cortes, he took an Inca mistress Mama Ocllo, Atahualpa’s own sister with whom he had two sons.Read More

“Scaramouche” moves to Montmartre

Food writer Elizabeth Bard started Scaramouche with her husband

Food writer Elizabeth Bard started Scaramouche with her husband

When American food writer Elizabeth Bard and her French husband Gwendal Auffret moved to the Lubéron six years ago, they had no idea their lives would change so drastically. In Céreste, East of Apt, they bought the house of poet René Char,  who spent the war there, fighting in the Resistance. And they started a gelateria, ice creams and sherbets, called “Scaramouche” after the film with Mel Ferrer and Janet Granger.

at the bottom of the steps of S

At the bottom of the steps of Sacré Coeur

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