Tuesday, 28 July 2009

July and the Australian Invasion

July seems to be never ending this year!
But such a great month I'm not complaining.
After the week in Provence Sarah arrived!! All the way from Melbourne to spend the week with me!

We had many romantic dinners together, at Hotel du Nord and Frenchie. It's hard not to make dinners for 2 romantic in Paris.

She was also here for Bastille Day which was a bonus.
We had first class viewing for the fireworks, accompanied by first class champagne courtesy of Siggy.

The fireworks were pretty spectacular..... (this video is not).

Other social outings have included a Rose Bakery picnic in the Parc Buttes Chaumont.

There was lots of amazing food, juggling, inappropriate drunkeness and a watermelon water melon eating dog.

My old friend Gen arrived in Paris Friday night and I have been busily playing tour guide and hostess.

We managed to catch the end of the Tour de France on Sunday when they did 8 laps of the Arc de Triomph, just a stones throw from chez moi. (Gen took this photo, I was way too short, all my photos were of the back of other peoples heads and cameras).

We spent Saturday afternoon around the Marais wandering the streets,

and popping into the little squares and gardens.

Monday we did tea at Mariage Freres, Macarons at Laduree, chocolat chaud at Les Deux Magots and, dinner at Kong, made famous for the view, and for some, mainly Gen, by it's appearance in the penultimate episode of Sex and the City.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Une Semaine in Provence

Making the most of having my parents on the continent and profiting from the wonderful French working laws and all their accumulated paid leave, I took a week off to explore Provence.

We had rooms in this gorgeous 16th century house and garden in a tiny little village called Le Paradou.

It was such a good feeling to get out of the city - now I understand why Paris is void of Parisians in August.

The 25m pool was where I could be found before breakfast, in the afternoons and late at night.

I got along swimmingly with Mlle Plume, the resident cat.
Days were spend driving around and visiting the many hilltop villages,

the Abbey of Senaque, set amidst fields of lavender,

local olive groves and vineyards,

grand old chateaus,

fields and fields of sunflowers,

and more medieval hilltop villages.

In the evenings we sampled the local produce.
I was so lucky to be able to see Provence like that with my parents.
Now before I leave France I just have to focus my energies on finding a viscount or baron who would like to bequeath me his century old Provencal chateau (with all the mod-cons of course).

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Grey Noise

A quick recovery was needed after Siggy's departure in order to prepare for the second La Totalite project, Grey Noise.

Maria, Johan and I organised 8 artists from around the world to create a sound piece relating to the theme of the city. The final preparations took place on Saturday, finalising the playlist, producing a information handout and most importantly, constructing the "black box".

After 3hrs, 40 odd meters of garbage bags and a lots of tape, we could proudly stand inside and say the box was built.

By 5pm, after technical glitches and a pit-stop chez McDo, we were ready to go, with pretzels and marshmallows poised.

We were all feeling a little nervous as we waited for the guests to arrive.

Despite their tardiness, we had an excellent turn out (very difficult to capture on film).

The listening went very smoothly and the effect of the black box more intense than I had imagined. It was tight, pitch black and pretty damn hot. One person compared it to being on a crowded metro.
The response to the pieces was excellent -phew, thank you artists.
Tomorrow we debrief then begin work on the next project, potentially in Berlin!


Siggy's gone back to Norway for the summer.

Before he left he was busy ticking things off his list of 'things I want to do in Paris before I leave', one of which being a sushi night.

There was a little shin-dig the night before he left in his most-favourite and classiest street beer spot.

Just back from LA, the lovely James was in fine form, and loving Siggy's parting gift of a du-rag.

Siggy's departure has left a hole in the Parisian Saturday night party scene and will cause a decline in the sale of lowest-price beer and hip flasks.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Bicycle Adventures

In Siggy's last few weeks in Paris, being a gentleman of leisure, he has been taking full advantage of the velib bicycles. When given the chance I have tagged along anddiscovered previously unknown pockets of Paris, in particular some of her many and varied parks.

This sunny Saturday we headed West to the Bois de Boulogne. Absent of all the symetry, regulations and perfection of most of Paris' parks, this was the perfect setting for a bicycle adventure.

Despite it being ideal boating weather, Siggy was not confident of his ability to row me in a boat. Nevertheless, we still managed to see an awful lot on bicyle, including horse racing stadiums, boules tournaments, roland garros, remote control speed boats, an albino duck and waterfalls.

I was so so happy that the rain had stopped for my day off.

After an epic day of cycling (some 28km) including a trip south to the 13th arrondissment, Europe's largest China town) for some asian delicacies, we chilled out on the rooftop with soba noodle salad and tsingtao.
(another self-timer shot which is not quite right...)

I am trying to make the most of the rooftop on these long summer nights. It's so wonderfully raw.

I don't think I could ever get tired of this view.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Mumtime V. 2.0

I've recently had the pleasure of the company of my Mother dearest for the second time in 6 months.

Her oldest and bestest friend Louise has also been here. She is lots of fun and loves a beer.

Mum loves Paris almost as much as I do and we are a great team here walking, wining, lunching, dining, shopping, doing galleries, and gardens...

We had an extra special lunch at a private ladies club on the Rue Faubourg St. Honore on Wednesday. I felt like I was in a 19th century novel.

(photos weren't allowed of course so I had to be sneaky...)

Poor Mum got her wallet pick-pocketed on a bus, right after I had been explaining how much nicer the bus was than the metro, and how middle class it was. Luckily Amex came to the rescue within 24hrs so we still managed to have many great meals at Hotel du Nord, La Fidelite, Bistrot Paul Bert and, Tokyo Eat.

I have also been busy working on a little project with Johan and Maria, an exhibition of sound. It's all taking place on the 20th June, so not long now.
The meetings take place at Maria's place usually. She has even more stairs than me!! She has a beautiful place on the 7th floor and she carried her couch up there all by herself - amazing.

Siggy has moved in with me for the last 3 weeks of his time in Paris which is lovely.
It is of course close quarters, my nest being only 12m2.
We are literally face to face.

Sunday, 31 May 2009


I am beginning to tackle my never-ending list of museums and expos to visit. No mean feat in Springtime in Paris.
Last week I finally made it to the recently established centquatre centre in the 19th. The space was excellent, not feeling at all Parisian but more like Berlin cleaned up or the Tate Modern Turbine Hall.

It's a huge space but not a whole lot going on... however we went there especially to see an architectural installation which recreated Villa Arpel, the house from Jacques Tati's 1958 visual masterpiece Mon Oncle. The house is the scene where lovable Monsieur Hulot struggles with modern architecture, mechanical efficency and American-style consumerism.

Apparently the home was so admired that there is a real replica outside Paris built by an avid fan.

My co-curator Johan was an excellent companion.
Here he is doing a little research for our upcoming project.

As the clouds interrupted today's scheduled tanning and iced-tea rooftop session, I instead popped in to the Marine Museum to see the current show about marines and fashion 'Sailor chic in Paris'.

Despite reports of mediocrity, I was not at all disappointed. Unfortunately owing to the prohibition of photography my snaps were the only thing mediocre.

They really covered everything, including tattoos, visual art (Pierre et Gilles) music videos, hats, magazines...

...and some fabulous haute couture. Of course lots of Sonia Rykiel, YSL, Chanel, classic Lanvin but also some MMM and Tsumori Chisato.

It was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time (regardless of my nautical bias) and so exellently curated. I hope I can make shows like that one day....