Monday, June 23, 2014

American Library in Paris presents: Tilar Mazzeo and The Hotel on Place Vendome

This Wednesday's Evenings with an Author on June 25th, 2014 at 19:30, Tilar Mazzeo presents her book, The Hotel on Place Vendome: Life, Death and Betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris, "an extraordinary chronicle of life at the Ritz during wartime."  Set against the backdrop of war in Paris during the Nazi occupation, Mazzeo traces the history of  the icon's beginnings at the fin de siecle through its captivating story of opulence, glamour and espionage and the only luxury hotel allowed open while high-ranking Nazi officials made it their headquarters. 

Annie Bostrom of Booklist says: 
"...Amid chilling tales of the terrible ambiguities of war and the treatment and purging of enemies on all sides, Mazzeo offers lightness in her biography of an inarguably dark time through obvious care for her subjects. Friends and lovers abound, and all but the worst villains are showed multidimensionally,  as Mazzeo contemplates the Ritz, Paris and Europe in flux." 

Mazzeo is also the author of the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle Bestselling book,
The Widow Clicquot as well as  The Secret of Chanel No. 5.  She is an associate professor of English at Colby College and teaches nonfiction narrative workshops in British Columbia. 

The American Library in Paris  is located at:
10, rue du General Camou
(Just off the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower)
75007 Paris, France
• Tel. +33 (0)1 53 59 12 60

The library will begin summer hours starting July 15:

Tues-Fri: 13h-19h, Sat: 10h-16h. Closed Sundays. 
Regular weekday hours will resume Aug. 19.
Sunday hours resume Sept. 7. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Peace within and dance

"May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. 
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us." 
~ St. Teresa of Avila

Saw this quote today and felt like sharing. 
The photo was taken under the bridges of Paris
as part of an art show and seemed to fit.

And speaking of dancing,
this weekend, every June 21st on the Summer Solstice,
Paris holds its Fete de la Musique
which begins at sundown and goes all night. 
Free concerts all over the city
in the streets, bars and cafes. 

So if you're in Paris,
get out there and dance like no one's watching,
feel that presence and sing, dance, praise and love. 

And if you're not in Paris,
turn on some music and dance til you drop. 

For more info, click here:  Fete de la Musique

(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, June 9, 2014

L'anniversaire en Paris

I've posted some about my time recently in Paris for my sister's big 50th birthday
 but not really about what I did a week later on mine.
I started my day with the Brassai exhibit, 
For the Love of Paris

the Hotel de Ville.

FYI: the exhibits there are always free!

Then a light lunch at my favorite little 
resto cave-a-vins

also known as La Reserve de Quasimodo

And had my favorite entrees there:
the Rillette de Sardine
and a chevre chaud salad. 

From there, it's only a couple of short blocks to Notre Dame...

so I took a walk through to find some of my favorite angels...
(how gold his wings look)

and famous French martyrs...

I always love the shot of the burning candles
beneath one of the rose windows...

and the play of shadows on the ancient floor. 

Someone else also celebrated a birthday

Took a walk along the Seine ...

And in the evening had Birthday Tiramisu
(one of my favorite desserts)
after Ethiopian food with friends and family. 

It was a fabulous birthday 
in that most fabulous city. 
Don't remember the last time 
I spent a birthday alone
and enjoyed it so much. 

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Constant Flux~ Buddhist Thought for the Day

"Buddhism holds that everything is in constant flux.
Thus the question is whether we are to accept change passively
and be swept away by it
or whether we are to take the lead 
and create positive changes on our own initiative. 

While conservatism and self-protection 
might be likened to winter, night and death, 
the spirit of pioneering 
and attempting to realize ideals 
evokes images of spring, morning and birth." 
~Daisaku Ikeda 

Let's go for spring, morning and birth.

(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen
Taken at Portland Japanese Gardens in Oregon)

Monday, June 2, 2014

'Under the Bridges of Paris'

Took this photo on one of my recent walks in Paris
(there was even an outdoor art show using light and words 
against the walls under the bridges).

Turns out there is a song called 
'Under the Bridges of Paris'
recorded by both Eartha Kitt and Dean Martin
(which charted in Europe but never in the States.) 

Such sweet lyrics:

'How would you like to be
Down by the Seine with me
Oh what I'd give for a moment or two
Under the bridges of Paris with you.

Darling I'd hold you tight
Far from the eyes of night
Under the bridges of Paris with you
I'd make your dreams come true.'

(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen)