Photo News, New Moon Review & Thé Mariage Frères


Mural in M° Abbesses

27 June 2009

I am getting another late start at posting here today.

Part of it is that PJ started work a little later today and wanted to work on his movie review of “Twilight: New Moon” before going off to work shortly after 10 AM.

Part of it is that I seem to have zero energy today.

Part of it was that I was having such a good time watching “Ugly Betty: Season 1” this morning while PJ was writing that I just did not feel motivated to get online and write after he left for work. I actually kind of fell back asleep watching the last couple of episodes of the season, so maybe I have needed some rest.

But I am here now, on Day 20 of NaNoWriMo. I have ten days left to pull about 9,000 words out and post them here. I actually would like to surpass that number by about 1-2,000 words since in some early posts, I quoted a lot of external material, but we’ll see what happens.  I just realized that means an average of 2,000 words per day, and I know I probably won’t be posting this weekend. Aack. That might be cutting it close.

Well, I am not going to panic, just write. So here I go.

News: My Photo Chosen

Check out this Schmap Paris Guide. Recognize the name in the photo byline there? Yup. It’s me. Well, now you know my real name and could steal my identity. It is SO not worth it, though. You would have totally crappy credit and owe some back child support, so no, you do not want it. But, you can do a background check on me now, I suppose. Ha.

This is the photo they picked:

Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde, 5 Sept. 2009

I’m happy to have had this photo chosen! It seems a little “cluttery” to me, and there are other photos I like better, but also this one is representative of the Place, so it makes sense. Anyways, I am glad to have been picked! It’s a cool site.

Twilight 2: New Moon

I left this blog abruptly last night so I could make it to a showing of Twilight: New Moon.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I thought this movie suuuuuucked.

Oh, I am so disappointed to have to say that.

But it really, really did suck.

I saw the first one, Twilight, and really liked it! I have not read the books yet, but I have been captivated by the story and think that the ideas/concepts are fun. The young pre-teen girl that is still in me is taken with Bella and Edward’s story, and I had a good time at the first film.

This one hosed so badly though, I actually found myself on several occasions laughing uncontrollably in the movie, and it was during the most dramatic scenes.

Do you remember Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones? Do you remember how stilted the dialogue was between Hayden Christiansen as Anakin Skywalker and Natalie Portman as Padmé Amidala? This was about three times as bad because it was not just one couple in love, there was the love triangle in New Moon between Kristin Stewart as Bella, Rob Pattinson as Edward, and Taylor Lautner as Jacob.

The movie consisted of a ton of close up head shots of Kristen Stewart looking pained, a bunch of Taylor Launtner’s abs, and Rob Pattinson sparkling, but looking anemic.

And not saying a damn thing of importance.

In addition, this movie spent SO much time on exposition. Instead of showing and moving the story ahead with action, the movie was almost entirely composed of telling. We did not see the story unfold: the characters were often shown completely still, on the screen, telling us information. It was almost as boring as having the actors sit in chairs while being filmed and read from the novel. Okay, yes, there were a couple of okay-ish action scenes and one in particular at the end which made me perk up a little. But to only have these two major scenes in over two hours of movie meant that it is incredibly boring in those parts not composed of something happening.

Also, the acting was both less-than-exciting as it was so one-dimensional and overly dramatic. Have you ever watched kids pretending? You know how they speak when they are into their pretend games and how intent and serious they get?


Kid A: [with much intensity towards Kid B] Okay, now you go hide behind that tree, and then I am going to jump out at you and smack you down with my sword [holds a stick] and then you jump up and kick me, but then we realize we are friends, and then we are going to run and get those bad guys over there [gestures to the kids on the other side of the playground]. Okay? Dude! Okay?

Kid B: [nodding intently] Okay! Let’s do it, let’s go get the bad guys!

It’s fun to watch kids do this for a time because clearly they are into their games, but it’s a lot of talk, and little action, and most of what is going on is said in whisper-y intense voices. Pretty soon it all seems really silly, which it should be because it is children playing games.

That is this movie.

I so very much *wanted* to like it. I am usually so generous with even the WORST of movies, trying to find a redeeming quality about each stinker I see. I am often willing to give a movie a little bit of forgiveness and generosity, but with this one I struggle to do that. It was seriously that crappy. It was Saw VI crappy, which I saw a couple of weeks ago. It was the kind of movie where you are hoping it is over soon, and you then go about trying to wipe it from your mind once it is.

If you *have* to go and see it because you liked the first movie, like I did, and/or you have read the books and you *have* to see how the second one was brought to the screen, then go for it, but please pay for matinée prices, not the full ticket price! You may find that you like it more than I did, and I think that is great if you do.  Especially if you read this first, see the movie and expect it to be bad, but then are pleasantly surprised as it is not as bad as you thought it would be. If I could give that to you, then I am glad. But if you find that you have to be dragged along with a teen girl to this one, just make sure you do not drink a soda. It will be spraying out your nose as you burst out laughing from the ridiculousness that is this movie!

After seeing this movie, too, I think that both Team Jacob and Team Edward are stupid, I think they should all just get  into one big vampire-y and werewolf-y fight and off one another. Ugh. Both Jacob and Edward are complete douche bags and Bella would be better off becoming a lesbian vampire with Edward’s sister, IMHO.

So there you go. My review of Twilight 2: New Moon.

Thé Mariage Frères

Last Saturday, I met up with my friend Tess and we walked around the Etoile area near Place de Ternes where the 17th arrondissement meets up with the 8th.


Ternes is one stop before M° Charles de Gaulle/Etoile on Line 2 going towards Porte Dauphine.


An archetypal Parisian florist at the Place de Ternes.


Flying rats (lol). Part of me wants to be a romantic in regards to pigeons. They are symbolic of great urban areas such as New York City, Paris, Rome. In flight, taking off, they are almost pretty. Then you watch them scavenge with their beady little red eyes and their bold, beggar-like attitude and they become more monstrous. I like them. At a distance.

Not like when one decided to perch on my leg in the Tuileries Gardens.


5 September 2009

We passed Avenue de Wagram and I got a side shot of the l’Arc de Triomphe up the street. The Etoile means “Star” and it is because 12 major streets/avenues, including the Champs Elysées, spiral off from the l’Arc in a star-shaped configuration.


We continued down the Rue Farbourg Saint-Honoré until we came to n° 260. I had not intended to go here — Tess and I were just walking around the area and I had never been down the Rue Farbourg Saint-Honoré direction from Place de Ternes, and I got really excited when I saw this sign.


You can visit their website for more information, but Thé Mariage Frères is one of Paris’ premiere tea vendors and salons, and they have hundreds of teas.


Mariage Frères Etoile
260 Faubourg Saint-Honoré
Paris 75008

I took this photo surreptitiously. I had a feeling photography would not be welcome, and I was correct. I asked a young man working there, whose name I later learned was Luc, if I might take some photos for my blog. He politely inquired, and we got the ixnay, however, he was very apologetic, said he knew just for what reason I wanted the photos and suggested I go to the Mariage Frères in Madeleine and ask their supervisor if pictures for a blog would be welcome.


Luc hooked me up with a very fine Himalayan Darjeeling (FTGFOP) from the Maloom estate.

Oh kids.

I have thoroughly run out of time for this blog today. This was only a part of the adventure. I have just over 1,600 words under my belt today, though. I will be taking a break this weekend, most likely. PJ and I are going to the birthday party of a friend tomorrow late afternoon, so the kids are not coming until Sunday, but still. I don’t think tomorrow or Sunday I will have time to write.

Wish me luck that I can wake up on Monday, raring to go and knock out another couple of thousand words, all right?

I hope you have a good weekend, and until next week, live long and prosper.

Categories: Movies in Paris, NaNoWriMo, Paris Adventures, Paris Friends | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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7 thoughts on “Photo News, New Moon Review & Thé Mariage Frères

  1. Lauri

    Wow, congratulations on having your Place de la Concorde photo chosen for the Paris Guide!

    I read all four Twilight books, and I think New Moon is the weakest of the four. I will see the movie because… well, just because. I enjoyed the first Twilight movie, and I liken New Moon to a place holder, in preparation for Eclipse. Eclipse, the third book in the series, was my favorite. For some reason, I also crush on Robert Pattinson. (Yeah, I know he’s young enough to be my son, but I put that far far back in my mind, LOL!)

    As always, I love your photos and your stories.

    Have a great weekend!

    • pariskarin

      Thank you, Lauri! “I will see the movie because… well, just because.”That is a perfectly good reason!! It is good to know that you felt New Moon was the weakest. See, I really am curious what happens to Bella and Edward, so in all honesty, I bet I will beg PJ to see the third, even when he reminds me how much I disliked the second. I hope Eclipse is better, too. And I know, I definitely pick Robert over Taylor, too. I get it!! 🙂 I would still really like to read the books. Here is what I am hoping: maybe my saying the movie is such a stinker will allow people to enjoy it more. Like I was saying up there, they will read that I thought it was horrible and then see it anyways, saying when it is all through, “Oh that was not so bad…” If I can do that, I will be satisfied. 🙂

      You have a good one, too!

  2. Ken

    I’ve a feeling that the twilight steries is really a simple story that could have been told in much less words and the first couple of books will be introductions and “set-ups”. Of course I’ve never read the books and the comercials bore the heck oput of me, so I’ll probably skip the movies, but should I become curious, I might check ut the Amazon synopsis of the book that movie is based on to see if I am really that interested in seeing it acted out. There are so many good books that I would rather see brought to the big screen (even a couple of book series).

    It is funny, but while I’ve always been impressed with American productions for their special effects, it has always been foriegn films that provided riviting stories, believable acting and overall superior movies. Even when America remakes the a foriegn film, they seem to suck the soul right out of it. Maybe it is that they have a smaller budget that they work harder at the craft of movie making, but I would sure love to see a film with those values and an American budget. It wasn’t always that way. I think we got lazy creatively when we found that we could just throw money at it and fake it.

    • pariskarin

      “It wasn’t always that way. I think we got lazy creatively when we found that we could just throw money at it and fake it.”Totally!! I kind of feel that perhaps New Moon is also a victim of the success of the first picture. Like, maybe they worked harder on it, not knowing what its success would be. Since the second movie was guaranteed success after the first one did become successful, maybe they got lazy with it. I also had the distinct impression that everyone from the writers/adapters to the director to the FX people — all were biting off more than they could chew with keeping the story of the book intact in the film version. Not the first time that has happened.

      Ah well. I keep saying to myself that this has all made more kids read. That’s important! GO LITERACY!!

  3. Karen

    Yes, that’s wonderful about your photo of the Place de la Concorde!

    Nice shot with the Paris pigeons in flight… Can’t believe one was bold enough to perch itself on your leg! Bet you washed your jeans really well after that excursion, eh?

    Ooh, Mariage Frères tea–so good! Too bad they don’t allow photos at that location 😦

    I went and saw “New Moon” yesterday morning to get the matinée prices (after having read your review–thanks for the tip!) and while it wasn’t as bad as I had thought it might be, I was still disappointed. I agree with Laurie that “New Moon” can be seen as kind of a place-holder (albeit with a lot of internal struggle and growth for Bella that’s important for later on). The difficulty of putting it to the screen may stem from the fact that the story is darker and less eventful than the others. But still…the acting jumped from flat to overly dramatic (and Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson almost always seemed to be looking down?!) And the film also seemed to rely a bit too much on music to pull it through, although the score was forgettable…for a saga, even if they couldn’t get someone like John Williams to compose, after the success of “Twilight”, I would’ve thought they could’ve done better.) After reading the books (which I did enjoy), I decided that the “Twilight universe” that Stephenie Meyer created is more enjoyable than the writing itself, which was somewhat repetitive and doesn’t shy away from clichés. But yeah, like J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter”, at least it’s getting kids back into books, and the story does kind of suck you in!

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