… 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.
** 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:
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.”
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.”)
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.
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.
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:
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.
Over and out.
(an alien parisienne)