It’s one of the cool things about living in big cities, the awareness that at any moment one of the people you know by name and face- but have never met before- might be just around the corner.
I’ve got a few people that I’m thinking of reaching out to when I return to Paris, in the hopes of meeting. It’s a short and eclectic list, but true to me.
If you’re familiar with me (or my Instagram habits) the lack of ‘French Girls of Instagram’ might surprise you, but they’re really more people whose style I admire- it’s hard to want to meet them knowing relatively little about their interests and personality (beyond shared tastes in bathing suits, jeans, and sweaters).
But I wouldn’t say no to a patisserie with Sabina Socol, any day.
So who’s on the list?
- David Lebovitz: I recently finished reading L’Appart and the story of the author’s harrowing journey to owning a Paris apartment really resonated with me, in terms of expatriate growing pains. And as a big fan of home renovations, I’d love to hear more.
- Rosie McCarthy: Speaking of expatriate growing pains, Rosie’s youtube channel, Not Even French, is a recent favorite discovery of mine. In her videos, the native New Zealander discusses the surprises (both good and bad) of life in Paris. She seems like such a lovely person, and I can only imagine how interesting (and informative) a talk with her would be.
- Paul Taylor: I may have shared one of Paul Taylor’s videos in the past, because they’re quite funny. He’s a British comedian responsible for the What’s Up France?/What the Fuck, France? series.
- Jessie Kanelos Weiner: Jessie Kanelos Weiner is the writer and illustrator of Paris in Stride, a gorgeous book for the dedicated flaneuse (me) who wants to explore Paris. It’s currently hiding in my Mom’s closet for my July 25th birthday. Sometimes she holds watercolor classes. And I really want to attend one!
You may have noticed that this list is super expat-heavy. This isn’t because I have no interest in native Parisians… so much as I think expats subconsciously strike me as being much more approachable. Parisians have notoriously close social lives and with expats, I have the benefit of a shared language (frequently) and similar experiences.
Due to a weekend-trip hiatus (NYC was great, thanks), this links post is a bit later than usual. Coincidentally, many of these links seem to have a bit of an LGBTQ theme.
Let’s get the smell stuff out of the way first:
- Auklets are a bird species in which males demonstrate fitness not only by very fancy and sexy crests, but seemingly also by emitting a strong tangerine scent, research finds.
- Study finds that activation of a certain smell receptor speeds the progression of prostate cancer, suggesting new treatment methods via blocking of the receptor.
- Department stores reevaluate traditional beauty and fragrance marketing techniques as the beauty industry changes.
All the feels:
Odds and Ends:
WordPress tells me the blog turned two today, which is adorable and I had no idea. As such, I have nothing more celebratory than the regularly scheduled Friday links post, rampant cramps, and a beauty hangover from seeing La Sylphide last night.
- The Eat Drink Vegan festival in Pasadena, California is tomorrow. It looks great fun and maybe someday I’ll go! (If that’s too soon for you (as it is for me 😉 ), the Salt Lake City VegFest is on September 8th.
- USPS is releasing popsicle scratch-and-sniff stamps, just in time for summer. By the way it’s getting up to 88 Fahrenheit here, today. I think I may need a real popsicle. It’s good that there’s some vegan Peanut Butter Mud Pie ice cream in the frigo.
- How RuPaul’s Drag Race is broadening the horizons of what it means to be gay in America. I don’t watch the show but I have a few friends who are absolutely devoted to it. I’m so glad it exists.
- So you want to date a New York Museum?
- The twin trick
- A smorgasbord of trailers I’m excited about: The Happytime Murders (all street, no Sesame), Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Mr. Rogers is iconic- and yes, I understand those two trailers shouldn’t be anywhere near each other), Hearts Beat Loud (so sweet!), Fireworks (from the makers of Your Name), and a Pope Francis documentary.
Happy Friday and Happy Mother’s Day weekend!
Do you have any plans?
In a few hours we (my parents and I) will be going up to Belfast, Maine to spend the weekend with my Aunt Susan and Bill, whose mother owns an alpaca farm. There will be alpaca shearing, vegan food, and tactful discussions about Infinity War without mentioning to movie fan Bill (it’s so nice to be around other movie fans) that I never plan to see it.
I’ve been reading a lot, falling behind on the films I have checked out from the library, gardening for hours a day, and enjoying the springly weather. I also cooked some interesting pancakes yesterday so that have foods when I return next week. I will report back.
What’s happening on the worldwide web?
- Speaking of movie people, this film looks like it could be amazing. Also really excited for The Seagull, an adaptation of one of the few Chekhov pieces I’e actually read.
- A beautiful essay that I’m at a loss as to how to describe.
- The Duchess of Northumberland sounds like a fun lady- she created the garden at Alnwick Castle, possible the deadliest garden in the world.
- How does Deadpool always win the promotion game? This is genius.
- One of the greatest things about being back in America is the access to SNL’s youtube uploads. I know the main story (DESERVEDLY) is the release of This is America by Donald Glover- but let’s not forget about the Barbie skit.
- #MeToo and Junot Diaz: Cycles of victimization and victimizing, sexual harassment, celebrity and race.
- When two celebrity ladies (internet fashion personae?) give birth in close succession and get together to share their experiences with the early days of motherhood.
- I love this Public Place Meditation Guide– it’s very closely related to some wisdom my mother shared with me years ago: practice seeing the divinity in everyone around you.
- A mathematical model may explain how two brains agree on the experiential profile of smells.
- Possibly the most charming interview I’ve ever seen. I think I may have just fallen in love with all three of these men.
- Have you liked any pages created by Russian bots?Ask Facebook.
- A complex algorithm predicts the likelihood of final season Game of Thrones deaths. Bye, Daenerys.
- An amazing photograph. I love whales.
Again a pretty light Friday but at least it’s actually a Friday this time!
The Kentucky Derby is tomorrow and I went to the beach twice this week, as it’s the only reasonable place to be when the weather is over 80 degrees. And I finished Middlemarch this morning. Very exciting.
And say to my new beluga desktop background.
It was a long time ago that my default Amazon wish list was renamed ‘Book Wish List’ and colonized by- you guessed it- books.
But not just any books- the books that my library doesn’t carry. I’m aware that I pretty frequently sings the praises of the Boston Public Library conglomerate/system, which allows you to check out any book in the Greater Boston area and have it shipped to your local library. But that doesn’t mean they have every book I have ever wanted to read. Almost, but not quite.
I don’t usually buy books. I also don’t usually shop on Amazon anymore (given that they still advertise on Breitbart and I find it problematic). But Mom (who originated this politically-minded ethic) recently told me that we have a fair number of Amazon points. So maybe I’ll make an exception for some new used books around my birthday time…
And that inspired a visit to my list, and then, as per my usual compulsions, some much needed pruning. The oldest book had been added to the list two years ago. Which isn’t too bad, but still almost 1/10th of my life. So some stuff was eliminated and some had been acquired by the library (!).
Here’s what remains:
- Mad About the House: A Decorating Handbook
It hasn’t been published yet, so finding it used on Amazon is not an option, as of now.
- Paris in Stride: An Insider’s Walking Guide
I recently started following this illustrator on Instagram and am always on the lookout for Paris recs.
- Home Sweet Maison: The French Art of Making a Home
- Parisian Chic Lookbook: What Should I Wear Today?
I enjoyed the original Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange. I’ve heard that this one isn’t nearly as good, but I’m still interested.
- My Little Paris
I subscribe to the My Little Paris newsletter via email. They share lots of fun news about the city and favorite locations.
- Une Femme Francaise: The Seductive Style of French Women
Clearly books about Paris, style, and the intersection of the two are one of my pets.
- Don’t Be a Tourist in Paris: the Messy Nessy Chic Guide
- The New Paris
- Impressions of Paris: An Artist’s Sketchbook
- Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood
Mari Andrew, whose illustrations I sometimes share in links posts, published a book!
- Yours Always: Letters of Longing
- The Book Lovers’ Miscellany
- The Milk of Dreams
Children’s stories by an excellent surrealist author.
- How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life
- The She-Devils
So hard finding this one in English (Les Diaboliques in French).
- Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman
- The Story Cure: An A-Z of Books to Keep Kids Happy, Healthy and Wise
I liked The Novel Cure, and as a big fan of children’s literature I feel like this one seems pretty promising.
- How to Live Like Your Cat
- What Flowers say: And Other Stories
George Sand short stories.
- Book of My Mother
- A Book of Book Lists: A Bibliophile’s Compendium
- The Book of Forgotten Authors
- The Joy of the Snow
Elizabeth Goudge, noted children’s author.
- Gio_Graphy: Fun in the World of Fashion
- The Place to Be
The best destinations for different moods, according to Lonely Planet.
- Dress Scandinavian
- I’d Rather be Reading: A Library of Art for Book Lovers
- The Art of Discarding: How to Get Rid of Clutter and Find Joy
The original KonMari method.
- Siddhartha’s Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment
Buddhism and neuroscience- pretty up my alley.
A mid-20th century ghost story like The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. hard to find.
- Ladurée Savoir Vivre: The Art of Fine Living
- Quiet Houses
Intertwining yet distinct ghost stories.
- A Child Again
Robert Coover cynically and nostalgically retells childhood fables and tales.
- The Name Therapist: How Growing Up with My Odd Name Taught Me Everything You Need to Know about Yours
- The Diary of Lady Murasaki
- The Library
Zoran Zivkovic is an excellent name.
- The Blood of the Vampire
Like Dracula, one of the original Gothic vampire novels. Also check out Sheridan’s Carmella.
- Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances
It’s kind of funny because the books tend to fall on one of two extremes. the library doesn’t carry them because they’re more obscure, but half are more light/frivolous obscure while the others are foreign/old/scholarly.
Hello all, I’m completely immersing myself in doing nothing- but somehow that ends up with me writing immense to do lists to take up this newfound free time (and to prevent myself from doing the lab report I still have over my head).
And it’s a fair amount colder here than in France- but I can’t say exactly how much colder because I’ve also switched from Celsius to Fahrenheit and I don’t know the exact conversion. It’s not stopping me from daydreaming about the real summer though. From doing garden work to thinking about dresses and bathing suits to planning possible travels and beach reads, my brain is charging toward summertime.
One of the places I’m hoping to go is a certain yoga retreat that I’ve been a few times before, either for a program or an R&R.
But I’m not sure which program I might want to do- here are the ones I’m looking at, with a one-sentence summary.
Spoiler: They don’t have yoga with baby goats, which is a serious disappointment.
- The Power of Moving Towards: Moving towards is one component of Azul, a conscious movement practice and path of personal transformation created by Amara Pagano.
- Awaken Your Divinity Within: Paul Selig introduces techniques to heal yourself and others, develop and sustain higher levels of consciousness, and release emotional blocks that keep you from manifesting your higher nature.
- Hiking and Yoga: Explore miles of trails directly adjacent to the Kripalu campus, and enjoy group yoga classes with experienced outdoor guides and yoga faculty.
- Moving into Bliss with Yoga: Vishva-ji applies the map of the koshas to a full repertoire of yoga techniques including lifestyle tips, asana, pranayama, mantra, yoga nidra, and meditation, bringing insights from traditional wisdom into your present-day practice.
- Radiance Sutras Flow: Experience a contemporary perspective on time-honored yoga philosophy, the wisdom of The Radiance Sutras, ecstatic dance, and Kripalu vinyasa flow.
- Kripalu Outdoors: Satisfy your longing for a connection to nature as you explore hiking, kayaking, and yoga in the beauty of the Berkshires.
- Yoga Fusion: Yoga Fusion brings together leading instructors from various traditions for a powerful weekend of collaboration and community.
- Natural Spiritual Progress: Spend a weekend with a yoga master who has devoted 50 years of his life to understanding, practicing, teaching, and refining the traditional yoga received from his teacher.
- Power Vinyasa Yoga: Celebrate Power Vinyasa Yoga and learn how to develop a healthy, lifelong practice.
- Designing a Life that Matters: Debbie Millman reveals the common denominators that often hold people back and offers unique tools to help you conquer the obstacles you have put in your own way.
- Awakening Shakti: Using closely guided meditation, mantra, visualization, and inner journeying, this powerful, experiential program opens the body’s core channels and invokes the Sacred Feminine within the body and mind.