Monday, March 26, 2012

ALP presents: American Fashion Icons with Dimitri Papalexis

Paris Art Studies @ The Library presents
An evening with Dimitri Papalexis
Thursday March 29th, 2012 at 19:30
at The American Library in Paris.

Fashion week is over but couturier and costume historian Dimitri Papalexis will discuss 
American fashion icons and the ways celebrities and their fashion 
have influenced society and the fashion industry all over the world. 

Papalexis has studied and taught fashion and embroidery
since the late 1980's and owns his own boutique in Paris,
Ditri Couture, in the 4th arrondissement. 

From Mary Pickford and Audrey Hepburn to Princess Grace and Jacqueline Kennedy,
explore how the fashion and styles of the rich and famous
effected society in the 20th century.

Also,  ALP's Evenings with an Author presents Frederick Turner on Wed., March 28th, 2012 at 19:30.
Turner will discuss the banning and unbanning of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer and how it became an American classic. Frederick Turner is the author of several books (Go Between, A Novel of the Kennedy Years; In the Land of Temple Caves: Notes on Art and the Human Spirit; 1929: A Novel of the Jazz Age; Into the Heart of Life: Henry Miller at One Hundred among others) and his writings have been published in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Massachusetts Review, Tin House, Southern Review and others.

Check his website for more information:
And check ALP's schedule for Wednesdays Evenings with an Author series.

The American Library in Paris~10, rue du General Camou, 75007 Paris, France~Tel.+

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hemingway Wrote Here ~Missing Paris Day

Today we go back to Paris for another writer's tour
this time taken from Michael Palin's "Walk Like the Man" Hemingway Adventure tour.

On a rainy day in December, I followed Palin's directions:
Starting on the 7 line to Metro stop Censier Daubenton,
walk up Rue Mouffetard 
(not missing the most lovely and unusual house at the bottom of the hill, 
 across from church St. Medard) to the Place de la Contrascarpe.
Take Rue du Cardinal Lemoine to the right
to No. 74. 

It is here that Hemingway and his first wife Hadley lived during their first year in Paris in the early '20's. 
If you have not read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, 
it is a fascinating look at the turbulent and remarkable lives of the Hemingways from the woman's perspective,
describing the many and varied sights and sounds, smells and tastes of 1920's Paris
and, of course, life as the wife of Ernest. 

According to the plaque outside the door,
they occupied an apartment on the third floor.
Hadley, in The Paris Wife, describes it as "two oddly shaped rooms" across from a bal musette,
a dance hall, with constant accordion music playing. 
She determined that the accordion music would be the sound of their first year in Paris.  

And always, those shops or cafes near any door he's touched
make the most of his fame. 

When Hemingway found he could not write in their cramped apartment,
he took a top floor room nearby
just up Cardinal Lemoine and to the left 
at 39, Rue Descartes.

But this time the restaurant below has attached itself to the poet Verlaine
who apparently died here, calling itself La Maison de Verlaine.

In the book, Hadley describes the view as an ugly one 
across the Parisian chimneys and rooftops,
you know, the view we all wish we had. 

And it was here that he wrote, in that first winter in Paris, working in a small, cold room
and walking the city when he could no longer write,
and then that Ernest and Hadley met the writers of Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare and Co. bookstore,
those Gertrude Stein referred to as The Lost Generation. 

Coming soon, a few more writers locations
on our walks in Paris.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Divine St. Patrick's Day

st. patrick's day, st. patricks day, st. patty's day, st. pattys day, cupcake, irish, shamrock, four leaf clover, clover, 

via Pinterest

Some yummy photos to get you in the mood!

St. Patrick's Day green velvet cake recipe and cream cheese frosting recipe 

via Pinterest
And if that doesn't do it...

via Pinterest
...maybe this one will.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Library of my dreams...

~Photo from Pinterest~

"When I got my library card, that's when my life began."
~ Rita Mae Brown

I read a book when I was young
about a little girl getting her very first library card. 
I've never remembered the name of the book
or been able to find it, yet,
but it left a huge impression on me. 
I could feel her excitement, almost taste and smell the dust of the library, 
the musty smell of the books
and the anticipation and excitement, the freedom and responsibility
of being able to check out one's very own book selection.
And take them home, to be YOURS for a predetermined time.
My hope is that I will find this book again before I die. 

I loved the library of the castle in Scotland
but can you imagine searching for books at every level of this staircase? 
It looks like it should be a part of the set 
for the movie "Inception",
worlds within worlds of dreams. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pot au Haggis~ Missing Paris Day

It's my sister's birthday week.
And this is one of the things we did during my last visit to Paris.
A bit of the old Haggis appetizer at the Auld Alliance 
(just off the St. Paul metro stop)
with a beer and an Edradour (scotch) chaser.
Edradour was the scotch tour we took while in Scotland awhile back
so we were reliving a tasty memory. 

She doesn't like to travel to too many cities more than once.
Too many places to see to go back to somewhere you've already been. 
We've spent a lot of New Year's Eves together
but she said recently that she would go back to Scotland 
for Edinburgh's Hogmanay and torch light procession again at New Year's. 
It was THAT much fun! 

So here's a wish for a scotch (not too peaty) and a beer to you on your birthday 
and for another Hogmanay New Years together! 
Preferably from a nearby castle.
See that post here

Happy Birthday and love you, Beautiful Sister!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Famous Saint Sulpice~Missing Paris Day

A little view of the exterior of the Eglise de Saint Sulpice,
most recently made very well-known by Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code
though the interior has been the scene of many a book.

Dedicated to Sulpitius the Pious (a 7th century bishop),
it is slightly smaller than Notre Dame and
home to more than one mural by Eugene Delacroix.

It was built over a 13th century Romanesque church
and was the wedding place of Victor Hugo
as well as where the Marquis de Sade (1740) and
Charles Baudelaire (1821) were baptized. 

It is the burial place of the granddaughters of Louis XIV
and Louise de Lorraine. 

But I will always now remember it as the place where I broke my camera 
at the very beginning of our most recent visit to Paris
while sitting on one of those benches in the square. 

(I broke The Chef's too but luckily--if any luck is involved here--
 it was on our last day just before leaving.)

Maybe I should have gone into the church, offered up a few sacred words
and touched one of those meridian lines
before ever touching my camera that day. 

Next time I will. 

Bonne semaine!

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen
Facts via Wikipedia)