I Lied…

… when I said just a week ago I would not blog again until the end of NaNoWriMo.

It was in part because I took some cool photos that were begging me to share them with you, and also because of some wonderful readers whose kind words have inspired me to be ME again here in the blog, and carry on the way that I used to here at AAP, especially as I did a couple of years ago when I wrote something like 60K words here for NaNoWriMo. Call me nostalgic, but I just wanted to throw another bit of Karin Brain Spillage onto the page before I hit the crazy novel writing for the next 30 days. Maybe it is because the Muse is with me! I hope so…

I may also have some writing assignments in addition to NaNo that could pull me back here in the next month — obviously, there will be something posted here if I do. Otherwise, if you see me goofing around on FB or Google+ too much in the coming days, holler at me and tell me to “GO WRITE.”

First off, though, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween.

Another** cute window from Microlithe, the association at 59bis rue Olivier Metra, 75020

** I posted  about another one of their windows a year ago.

For more thoughts and photos, please keep reading!


The same day I saw the witch up there, I also caught this photo:

Someone needs graffiti spelling lessons...

I’ve been kind of quiet about it here on the blog, but one of the things that keeps me busy is a regular babysitting gig with a little Parisian guy. This is on our route home from his school. I’d passed it several times, and each time the “BONYCLYDE” cracked me up, so I finally snapped a picture of it. The little Parisian guy thought the face was funny. I do, too.

Now for a little more of “traditional Paris.”

Something to preserve the soul a little more.**

The same sunset view (different sunset, though) from Pont Neuf as in my previous post. (** ref. to the Victor Hugo quotation, “To inhale Paris preserves the soul.”)

A little more life preservation.

Before we leave the prototypical views of “Paris Proper” here is another autumnal shot looking up the Seine towards Île-de-la-Cité (the island with Notre Dame de Paris on it). On the left in the photo is the Place du Châtelet, and on the right you can see one of the towers of the Conciergerie.

Paris has a certain glow in autumn.

Back to the Ghetto Pad here in the ‘hood.

We just had our return to Standard Time here in Paris on October 30, a week before folks in the US. Here was the view out our apartment window at 8:09 am on Saturday the 29th:

And the same view out the same window on Sunday, October 30th, at 7:48 am:

What a difference an hour makes!

Of course, it is 6 pm as I am composing this, and it is already dark outside. I noticed that sunset was beginning a little more than an hour ago. And so the season of Living in the Dark Cave begins. *sigh*

Moving right along, here is a series of photos I took in the Métro while out with my friend, photographer Karin Crona (she took our wedding photographs when Mr. Paris Paul and I wed in September. Oh yeahhhhh, I was going to post some more of those, too… Maybe for our first anniversary. *cringe* Or when I think of it next. Not now, so sorry…). Karin and I were out and about to see the Diane Arbus exhibit at the Jeu de Paume, something I enjoyed very much (no photographs allowed in the exhibit, but you can get the idea from the website here: Diane Arbus at the Jeu de Paume. There is a downloadable PDF — only in French — that shows many of her photographs here).

Coming home in the Métro at station Opéra, where we had walked to after the exhibit at the museum (which is in the Tuileries Gardens), I saw these posters in the corridor, ones I have passed in multiple stations multiple times, and every time thinking the same thing.

Here's the corridor, lined with the posters for the Opéra Royal at Versailles.

A little closer view. No, it's not the men in their underpants...

It's the Blanche Neige Boobage (Snow White, for those not in-the-know).

Now, I am not really a prude. I get artistic boobage and yes, this kind of looks like the boobs in many paintings that hang in the Louvre. I think it is that in just about every case in the Métro corridors where I have seen this poster, there is not just one poster, but three, just like this, in stark repetition, and there’s that young chick’s round apples hanging out with the round apples, and I cannot help but GAWK every damn time! They are pretty, and perky, and rosy-tipped. They are very cute ta-tas. But I would NEVER, ever see this kind of poster in public in the U.S. and I think about this every time I pass not only this poster, but this kind of thing whenever I see such in Paris. Parisians (and perhaps the rest of France, too, I don’t have much experience with that) seem to really like their tits, and don’t mind them showing up in ads in the Métro. I guess I kind of have a hard time understanding why Show (whoops! Seriously, that was a Freudian typo, ha ha! The “H” key is just above the “N” key on my AZERTY keyboard), I mean SNOW White needs to be all bosomy in the poster. Are her naked breasts supposed to show her purity? *Serious cognitive dissonance for me here.*

Alors. I don’t know if there is much more that I can say about that. I mean, are you gawking now, though? Do you see what I mean?

UPDATE November 2: Wonderful Reader Maria shared this link in a comment below. I was so moved by what I saw that I wanted to share it here, so that you all could see it, too (in case you don’t see the comment). http://youtu.be/nuZm_VcyCIE Angelin Prejolcaj´s Blanche Neige – “The lover´s despair” extract. It is really terrific. If you can, check it out. It makes me want to see the entire ballet.

Change of topic…

Today I went to Office Depot to get another black ink cartridge and some paper anticipating NaNoWriMo and my desire to print up what I am writing as I write it. This will be a new thing for me! Last year, Paul’s old printer, which has since been sent off to wherever old printers go to die after the City of Paris people come to pick them up, ran out of ink last year, and it was so expensive to replace the cartridge I never did print up what I wrote. This year, a most lovely woman, the mother of the child I babysit, gave us a printer for our wedding (it was on our Amazon Wish List). And hell yeah! The black ink cartridge is ONLY €17 to replace! Booyah! It’s about half the price of what black ink cartridges for Paul’s old printer were costing us. I can print with abandon! Or, well, on “fast” mode because I am still pretty cheap and €17 ain’t nothing. But this year I can actually afford to print my manuscript as I go along, and use it for eventual editing, if it does not suck too much once I get finished. (<—- note positive assumption that I will finish).

While I was out on this beautiful last day of October, on non-Halloween here in Paris, but on the day before Toussaint, All Saints Day, I snapped a few fall photos of the Bassin de la Villette, which is where the Canal Saint Martin ends and the Canal l’Ourcq begins.

Also while I was out today, I saw something that I have walked past a few dozen times, at least, in the three years I have been in this neighborhood, and only just noticed today.

At the lower right of the photograph, you can see a placard — it’s dirty and gray, but it says on it “Société philanthropique été fondée en 1780” or something along those lines. Then, at the top of the building, in green brick, you can see this:


The Internet, Google Search and Translate, and Wikipedia (or Wikipédia as it is in these parts) are beautiful things, and a short search later yields the following:

The Philanthropic Society is the oldest non-denominational charity in France. It was founded in 1780 under the patronage of Louis XVI and state-approved in 1839 by Louis-Philippe (source — in French).

This link is the website for the society and explains (in French) a bit of the history. It’s one of those copyright protected sites, so when I went to copy and paste into Google Translate, it told me I was forbidden to do so. I think the gist of it is that it’s a society that is old and has been helping people a long time (heh).

What was even more interesting was this portion of a book Le Logement social à Paris 1850-1930: les habitations à bon marché by Marie-Jeanne Dumont which refers to this building at the address 5-7 Passage de Melun (Google Maps ariel view) in this passage here. Google Books is amazing, too. It looks like the area around where I live was full of social housing projects back at the turn of the previous century. It interests me as I live in a social housing project myself — not a huge one as some are in this area, but in a building with seven apartments that are rent-controlled and administered by the social housing organization France Habitation. It’s an area quickly becoming gentrified, but really is one of Paris’ original “ghettos” in terms of how it has been crammed full of people that were pushed out of living in central Paris back in the day (well, and today, too, honestly).

Oh, I could blather on about other things related to this, such as Hausmann’s renovation of Paris, and how a new book by Tatiana de Rosnay (called Rose in French and which will soon be coming out in English — I just learned from her site that the US book will be entitled The House I Loved) explores the issue of people losing their housing and needing to look for someplace to live back when the grand renovations of the late 19th century were happening. I’m going to be sure to get the book when it is out in 2012 as I have loved reading her other books in English.

But, it is late. I have spent more time that I intended putting together this post. I’ve had fun doing it — but it is tiring, and posting all those photos a bit of a chore. I feel very pleased, however, to have spent a little more time with my blog today, tending to it, and hopefully providing something interesting for you to read and look at.

One last photo. If you think of me in the coming weeks, this is where I will be working:

My Work Nook

I have commandeered Paul’s secretary desk as my own personal workspace, populating the surface of the fold out desktop with my laptop and stuff (ah! That’s right! This year I am writing for NaNoWriMo on my very own laptop! A dream come true! Thank you Paul, again, for this wonderful birthday present). I love this nook, even if the dining room chair is not very ergonomic and makes my rear end numb after a while. I’ll have to get up and stretch now and again while I work.

Wish me luck, dear Readers, and if you would like to follow my progress, I will Tweet, FB, and otherwise post my progress as much as I am able. My NaNoWriMo profile is here. You can see how I am doing there as well. If I can find a cool little widget to stick in the sidebar of the blog here as I have in years past, I’ll do it.

All right, I think that’s it. I’m off to have some supper and then chill out with the TV, then go to bed a little early so I can rise and shine and write my little heart out.

A bientôt.

Over and out.

Paris Karin

(an alien parisienne)

Categories: Karin Brain Miscellany, Life in Paris, NaNoWriMo, Paris Beauty, Paris Places | Tags: , , , , ,

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25 thoughts on “I Lied…

  1. well now that’s the Karin we all know and love…great post…all sorts of things..none of them related..and tons of pictures…merci beaucoup!!

    and I know how much of pain it is to insert all those shots but so worth it for us…your comment posse….maybe MJ should come over and use your laptop since they have no internet or cable ….

    take care my friend….and I agree with the tits in the metro…it’s enough already..we get it.parisiens..you aren’t embarassed but then how about some full frontal of the male variety….haha….

    • Hi Deb! 🙂 Yes, I finally hit my groove again. It only took 10+ months, lol. “Non Sequitur” should be my middle name. 😀

      I’m super glad that you enjoyed the pics, too. Like I wrote, they were BEGGING to go up, so post them I did. Now that it is finished, I feel lots better, but I was cursing the computer earlier.

      Poor MJ. Yes, I am well aware of her predicament and already offered. It is such a trek for them to get over to our side of town! Although I did just discover that Bus N° 75 is a straight shot for her! It just takes about 50 mn or so, with waiting time…

      I will take care, thank you. And I’m glad you agree with me on the boobage. And yes, I also agree that this kind of thing should be equal opportunity if it is going to all be out there! Hee!

      You take care, Deb, and thank you for being such a loyal reader. 🙂

  2. Good luck on the Nano Wrimo, Angel! I’ll be behind you tapping your fingertips if you get off track!

    Also, I pro’lly would’ve paid more attention to the ballet posters if I’d known there was boobage on them!


    Paris Paul

    • Thank you, Mr Paris Karin. One of these years, you gotta join me and we’ll be the Nano household! Re: Boobage on posters — how could one NOT notice them?! Okay, maybe they don’t have them on the Métro lines you have been traveling, just the more unsavory ones I have been on, like Place des Fêtes, lol.
      Your wife

  3. janet fauble

    Good luck with the NaNoWriMo novel. I did it last year, finished it, but am still working on it. My advice is to keep it ready for publishing when finished so you don’t need to do it all after submitting it for word count. They gave me extensions but due to restores and first time status, I did not submit any of it to create space. Technicals about computer glitches didn’t help either. I am not doing it this year

    • Hi Janet! Nice to see you here!

      Thanks for the Nano tips. Knowing what I have done in the past I don’t expect to have something publishable in the least, lol! I’m aiming for a really nice solid skeleton of an entire novel that can be fleshed out and reworked to something that might pass as a novel. One encouraging sign: the stuff I worked on 14 months ago, which is the same main character I want to address again in the next 30 days, is not horrible. I printed it up today, just 23 pages of stuff I started in 2010, and re-read it. I kind of shocked myself with how not bad it was. 🙂 So you never know…

      My plan this time is to keep a running document — one piece all in one document. I have opened separate documents per chapter or even what I have written in one day and decided that is *not* the way to organize. So I agree: keeping it ready for publishing is what I will try this year.

      There’s always next year, isn’t there, or continuing to revise the work done in previous years! It’s the nice thing about projects like this: they can keep going for as long as one feels the need to keep working.

      Thanks for reading, Janet!

  4. You lied and, as a result…

    My entire editorial team are going to have to work through the night in order to re-arrange tomorrow’s Garlic!

    And who is going to pay their overtime, I ask you?

    All the best


    P.S. I blame it all on that Prescott chap! He’s a bad influence!

    • Oh Keith I am so sorry! Well, it was the boobage that cause this snafu, wasn’t it. Heh! I should’ve known! 😀

      As for the overtime, if I make millions on my novel(s) as a result of NaNoWriMo, I’ll make sure your overtime is paid! 😉 Hey, it happened to the chick whose NaNo project became Water for Elephants so you never know!

      P.S. I blame it all on that Prescott chap! He’s a bad influence!

      Ohhhhhhhhh, if only you knew!! Hahahaha!

      Best back atcha, Keith!

  5. Contrary to popular belief, we do not have “just so many blogs in us” and then we dry up, rather life in always in flux about us, effecting us and inspiring us, blogging lubricates the gears so the process of translating expirience to word becomes easier.

    The film about Diane Arbus – Fur has been circulating and I’m tempted to see what the fuss is about. I have admired her photographs, it has usually been via Photo magazines such as Aperture or Zoom. I’ve never see a gallery showing.

    ” But I would NEVER, ever see this kind of poster in public in the U.S” Last year there were the two nude models that gallery patrons would have to pass between to get to one show in NYC and then the recent performance artist who gave birth in an art gallery. Yet there was the Governor who had the breasts of a statue of Justice on the steps of a courthouse covered. There is a push to be mature about the human body that is met with an equally strong push to be juvinile and purient about it here.

    I’ve blogged before that I work with youthful volunteers at the beach here in California and while there ARE local areas where nudity is common, those areas are not usually our state beaches. About this time of year when our children are back in school, we will get european visitors who will occationally forget how hung up on such things this country is and will sunbath au natural. I will check from the bluff and if flesh can be seen I will suggest to the kids I am working with an area away from the beach that needs attention, because if it is my expirience that once naked breasts are sighted, then all work stops and I might as well “call it a day”.
    as we type, there is legislation right now in San Francisco over nudity

    *sigh* Paris picks up old technology. Here, it is illegal to simply through away because of the possability of toxic parts polluting, but anywhere it is legal to take it, charges to take it. There are occational Free collections that you must take your stuff to a site that is set up for only a day or two of collection (I either find out about it while it is happening, don’t have a vehicle or it is happening while I am working) and so unworking technology builds up around the house.

    Try a dining room chair with a throw pillow.

    • I love this, Ken. It’s so true!

      Contrary to popular belief, we do not have “just so many blogs in us” and then we dry up, rather life in always in flux about us, effecting us and inspiring us, blogging lubricates the gears so the process of translating expirience to word becomes easier.

      Maybe on the poster, I should have amended what I wrote to say something like “I would NEVER see this kind of poster in such prevalence in a place like Denver, Colorado!” LOL. It’s true that in other places, showing more artistic nudity is more acceptable, and more common, too. I think another thing that I found a little disturbing is the youth of the woman pictured. She is clearly “legal” in terms of being able to give her consent as an adult to be photographed naked, but she looks *really* young. It’s not so much that I am bothered by the nudity, I think it is the prevalence of it, and mostly that I just can’t stop staring at her perfect pink & really obvious nipples! I guess I am a pervert, hahaha! 😉 Maybe if we saw it more in the US, we would become blasé about it, too.

      Yup, the City of Paris has a program to come & pick up things like old sofas, other furniture and household goods, and so on. It actually was still a functioning printer, just really old and therefore hella expensive to replace the cartridges. And now we have one with a scanner, too… I think one reason the city has this is that few people have cars that they can drive to transport these old things to a disposal center, and we don’t have things like Goodwill or garage sales here. Either neighbors take old things off people’s hands, or people post fliers (maybe there is this kind of thing on the French version of Craigslist, too). It’s another way in which a more socialist government uses tax money to fund how it takes care of excess in a city the size of Paris with the constraints present.

      I have a cushion on the chair now. 🙂

      Take care, Ken & thank you for reading and commenting!

  6. A wonderful post with some wonderful photos :). Keep ’em coming!


    • Hello Animesh!

      So great to see you here! Thank you for stopping by and checking things out. I’m really glad you enjoyed the post, and yes, I hope I can keep them coming. After NaNoWriMo, lol.

      Be well & see you ’round the Internet if not in Paris itself, F2F!


  7. Maria O. Russell

    What can I say about this post, Karin?

    It is exactly what I´ve been waiting for in a while.

    So delicious!

    P.S. About the poster showing those female glands; I don´t know why it does not bother me.

    Another P.S. I have a DVD called Best of Maurice Bejart – l´Amour – la Danse. Beautiful!!

    • Hello Maria!

      You were critical in my desire and decision to post, so thank you very much. There are some wonderful cheerleaders here! I’m so glad you enjoyed.

      As for the poster — check out my reply to Ken down there. I think it could very well be that I really just have an American Brain when it comes to this stuff. Intellectually, I don’t mind much at all (well, except that she seems really young, and this may be crossing a line of sorts, even if she is legally of age). It’s more of a kind of childish desire to stare and stare because I am just not used to seeing that much nudity in public in a photographic form. Maybe one day the transformation of my becoming more European will be complete and I won’t even blink when I see boobs like this. Then I will know I have really changed! 😀

      Ooooh, that sounds like a nice DVD! I have not seen a ballet in a really long time. Hmmmm, that might be something to try to do here in Paris! What an idea…

      Take care & thank you for your consistent support.

  8. I love your work nook! Is that the New Yorker I see there? I miss it!

    • Hi Cynthia!

      Thank you so much for stopping by! I really appreciate it. 🙂

      Nope, not the New Yorker. I wish it were, too! It is actually an open page of Le magazine de la ville de Paris: à Paris, the free one that gets sent to homes from the City of Paris with articles and events that are going on. It’s open to info about an exhibit of works by Chinese artists exiled in Paris from the years 1930 to 1958. It’s at the Musée Cernuschi right now & I’m going tomorrow. I’m liking the work nook, too. I’m happy to report it yielded 2,145 words for NaNoWriMo today. Yay!

      Happy creating to you, Cynthia!

  9. Maria O. Russell

    Thank you Karin for your kind words!

    http://youtu.be/nuZm_VcyCIE Angelin Prejolcaj´s Blanche Neige – “The lover´s despair” extract.


    • WOW. Wow wow wow! That Video is INCREDIBLE. How beautiful that extract is! Just amazing! I love it. Thank you so much for finding and sharing it — it was really super-moving. Intense and lovely, and the dancing is incredible. Hoooookay – I kinda want to see the whole ballet now. 😀 I’m going to add this link into the post, too, so that others will see it! Thank you, Maria!

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  11. I am pleased that you wrote such and interesting post. Your autumn photos of Paris are great. Here we still have many trees with fall foliage.
    I was amused by your remarks about the Snow White poster. It is true that in the US they are scared stiff at looking at any part of a woman’s body like that. My daughter is breastfeeding her 4-month old son and has to do all kind of gymnastics if she is in public to hide her breast. I even read that a judge in some US state fined a woman who was breastfeeding as “indecent exposure” I kid you not – only in the US!

    I did not know you were married already. All my belated best wished for much happiness. I am looking forward to reading more of your long posts – I don’t feel then too alone in writing mines. By the way if you come on my blog my latest post shows a picture of yourself – hope you like it – it is about bloggers that I have met. It was a pleasure to meet you and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • Hello V! So nice to see you here! I’m sorry it has taken me a couple of days to reply. I left a comment on your blog, too, so I know you at least got that. 🙂 Thank you for posting about me there. I really, really enjoyed meeting you and your husband, too. You’re good folk. 🙂

      Americans and their hangups about boobs, lol. It’s stuff that would sure keep Freud busy if he were still alive, haha! Oh it’s hard to believe that people freak out so much about women who are breastfeeding their children. I mean, every country and culture has its taboos and so on, but nourishing a child via the way nature intended, even in public? People need to grow up. Stuck in some latent phase, those old-school psychologists would say, eh? Maybe I am, too, in a way, but my comments about the breasts are more prompted by a kind of fascination I guess, and understanding that this taboo exists in my culture of origin, and I am baffled by that, and my own reactions to the exposure. It makes for interesting thought and discussion, though, eh? 😀

      Thank you for the congratulations on the marriage! And we’ll hoard all the wishes for happiness we can get. Thank you.

      More to come here, soon, I really do hope. I’m supposed to be writing the novel now, but I wanted to finally come here and reply before I kicked in. I’m “cleaning the slate” right now so I can work with a clear conscience. 🙂

      Be well, Vagabonde, and here’s to more Long Blogging!! *hip hip hooray*

  12. I come to you via Vagabonde, As an American who loves Paris (and it only took one visit to become smitten!) I’ll look forward to more of your Paris tales. I love what I’ve seen scanning down so far!

    Good luck on NaNoWriMo. Every year I keep saying I’ll do it. And every year, it doesn’t happen!

    • Hi Jeanie! Thank you so much for stopping by! Just like I wrote to Vagabonde up there, I am so sorry my response is a little late. But here I am, and ready to thank you heartily for coming over to read and comment! I’m so glad that you will enjoy reading about Paris. I’m going to do my best to keep writing about it. 🙂

      Thank you for the luck on NaNoWriMo. As I wrote to V, I should be doing that now, but I felt compelled to clear my “worktable” so to speak, to feel free to let the words flow.

      See you again, I hope! Take care —

  13. My dear the sunset photos of the Seine almost brought tears to my eyes. Merci.

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