Friday, 2 September 2016

A glass of rosé with a view...

And my goodness, what a view!

It's Friday - hurrah!  

View of Eiffel Tower in Paris
A glass of rosé with a view of the Eiffel tower at sunset. (c) Capturing Paris 2016

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Les Confidents - Part 2

Here I am, still hanging around the Palais-Royal...I told you I can't get enough of this work...!

I found myself skulking around the garden, lying in wait to nab my two other favourite chairs by artist Michel Goulet...

I adore this quote by Charles Baudelaire: "La mer est ton miroir; tu contemples ton âme..." (The sea is your mirror; you contemplate your soul".

Les Confidents artwork in the Palais-Royal
Les Confidents by Michel Goulet in the Palais-Royal (c) Capturing Paris 2016

And this one is by Paul Eluard: "Liberte: Je suis ne pour te connaitre, pour te nommer" (I was born to know you, to name you...Liberty).

Bonne dimanche a tous...

Les Confidents artwork in Palais Royal
Les Confidents in the Palais-Royal (c) Capturing Paris 2016

Friday, 26 August 2016

Tuileries garden

It's a measure of the extraordinary allure of Paris, I think, that even empty garden chairs around a fountain in a public garden are gorgeous.  Don't they look inviting?  

May you too get to kick back this weekend in a gorgeous place...

Empty chairs in the Tuileries Garden (c) Capturing Paris 2016

Friday, 19 August 2016

Enchantment at the Palais-Royal - Michel Goulet's Les Confidents

When my mind wanders from my desk in Sydney to my last holiday in Paris, more often than not, it wanders to the garden of the Palais-Royal and the enchantment of Quebec artist Michel Goulet’s Les Confidents - ten ‘chair poems’ bearing quotes or short verses by twenty poets, French and foreign.  

Michel Goulet's Les Confidents in the Palais Royal
Michel Goulet's Les Confidents at the Palais-Royal (c) Capturing Paris

The more I learn about this work, the more I fall for it.  

The chairs have been fashioned into ‘love seats’ by Goulet using original chairs from the Palais-Royal garden dating from the 1920s.  

Welded together, the chairs looking they are dancing - they are cosy, inviting, playful and comfortable.  

A small bronze object is placed between each of the chairs - a brown paper bag, an apple, a pair of binoculars, a piece of bread.  And a solar powered sensor allows you to plug in your headset to hear full readings of the poems by actors from the Comedie Francaise.  

Like all those familiar green iron park chairs in Paris, these can be picked up and moved around the garden at will.  

I kept returning to the Palais-Royal so I could try out each of the chairs, listen to the readings and sit in different spots in the garden.

I'm going to make a tough call - the quote from Emily Dickinson is my favourite:

Michel Goulet's Les Confidents in the Palais-Royal (c) Capturing Paris 2016

Que c'est bon - d'être en vie!  Que c'est infini - d'être.
Emily Dickinson 

My translation is - "How good it is to live, how infinite it is to be".  

Whimsical, tender, engaging, addictive - I utterly adore this work.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

A happy chap in the Tuileries garden

I don't know why this guy in the Tuileries garden makes me smile so much, but he does.  

He looks so damn pleased with himself, playing to his non existent audience...

Sculpture in the Tuileries garden
Sculpture in the Tuileries garden (c) Capturing Paris 2016

Friday, 12 August 2016

Musee Rodin

My dear friend, you should see this splendid building and the room I have lived in since this morning.  Its three bay windows have an amazing view of a neglected garden, where, from time to time, one can see innocent rabbits jumping through the trellis work, as in an ancient tapestry”.

So wrote poet Rainer Maria Rilke to artist Auguste Rodin from the Hotel Biron in August 1908.  

By late October, Rodin had also taken up residence there in four ground floor rooms.  From 1911, he’d taken occupancy of the whole house.

View of Hotel Biron (Musee Rodin) from the garden
View of the former Hotel Biron (now the Musee Rodin) from the garden (c) Capturing Paris 2016

A few days before Christmas in 1916 (one year before Rodin’s death), France passed a law to establish Musée Rodin on the site and exhibit the works that Rodin had gifted to the state.  Musée Rodin opened to the public in August 1919 and listed as a historic monument in 1926.

As I wondered through the glorious sculpture garden on a Spring morning, it felt easy to imagine how the garden might have looked when Rilke sat looking and writing through his window.  

For me, the Musée Rodin is one of the most beautiful of Paris’ vast number of gorgeous places.  

Even the security guards at the museum - stuck in the open air under the shade of a temporary tent at the gates to the site - seem to me to be the most good humoured of all the museum workers in the city.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

A Writer's Paris

This is a book that's almost constantly laid open on my table top. 

Image of book A Writer in Paris by Eric Maisel from Capturing Paris blog
Photo by Capturing Paris.  

Written by psychologist and creativity coach, Eric Maisel, A Writer's Paris is as much a meditation on living life and being alive as it is about coming to Paris to write. And also about not being in Paris to write.

As I type this, it's been about six weeks since I left Paris and I'm only beginning to shake off my post holiday blues.  This is what Maisel says about writing about Paris when one is NOT in Paris:

“…access the Paris already inside of you…There is a Paris-of-the-mind made up of a thousand stories, a million images communicated in books and movies.  It is available to you right now…I have Paris even when I’m not there.  But when I’m there, it’s hard to leave her”.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Dear Paris:

Dear Paris,

When my heart broke, it was your beauty and your endurance that helped me to find my own hope. 

Image of the Musee Rodin Paris on Capturing Paris blog
Spring flowers in front of the Hotel Biron, Musee Rodin.  Photo (c) Capturing Paris.

I came back to see you and you gathered me close.

For precious days, you left me to idle on your bridges, to wander the rooms of your museums and to gaze at your golden domes.  

I gently touched your spring-time flowers as I walked your streets.  It had been a long time since I had felt so safe and free.    

You helped me to start to dream again, Paris.

I don’t know what magic you possess - but I’m grateful to have been touched by it.

Here I go, out to sea again
The sunshine fills my hair
And dreams hang in the air
...there's magic everywhere

Look at me standing 
Here on my own again 
Up straight in the sunshine 

No need to run and hide 
It's a wonderful, wonderful life 
No need to lie or cry 
It's a wonderful, wonderful life.

Wonderful Life - Black 

Welcome to Capturing Paris

Welcome to Capturing Paris 

Image of Eiffel Tower in the distance at sun set
View toward the Eiffel Tower and dome of the Invalides at sunset from near Place Saint Michel, Paris.  Photo (c) Capturing Paris
Were this a status update on Facebook, I’d disclose to you that my relationship with Paris is ’complicated’.  

I’ve spent my adult life living, working, dreaming, photographing and writing about Venice.  She and I go back a long way.    

I’ve been cold in Venice.   
I’ve been homesick and alone there.  
I’ve celebrated birthdays in Venice in almost every decade that I’ve been alive.  
I’ve overcome some of my greatest professional challenges in Venice.  

I know her language, I’m familiar with her curves and her corners, with her moods and her sometimes frighteningly deserted darkness.  

We’ve been part of each for so long that I feel a little bit like I’m cheating on a long-time love, on an ageing but still beautiful muse.  

I’m literally at the beginning of my love affair with Paris, the part of the story when Paris is so shiny and so new.…and just so pretty.

…But I'm beginning to realise that the heart is expansive and that love can be infinite.  

…So maybe I can fall for Paris and remain faithful to my first beloved.  

Welcome to Capturing Paris.  Thank you for keeping me company as I wander and write.   

A moment of love 
A dream 
A laugh 
A kiss 
A cry 
Our rights 
Our wrongs
A moment of love 
A dream 
A laugh 
A moment of love 
Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap