Category Archive 'Paris'
14 Apr 2020

Nice Vacation Rental


Rue Quincampoix is a one-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Le Marais. On the sitting room’s mezzanine, you’ll find another sumptuous bed, making the office the comfortable quarters for a third guest. Every room in this opulent 17th-century home has been furnished with a wealth of museum-worthy antiques and artworks carefully chosen by its discerning designers. From the sitting room’s original fireplace and Italian Renaissance paintings to the contemporary Shen Wei piece that hangs above the master bed, you’ll discover many unique treasures here. Even the bathrooms are an Ottoman-inspired dream. Rue Quincampoix is beautifully situated too – on one of the oldest streets in Paris, close to all the city’s sights and just a two-minute walk from Rambuteau metro station.

For rent at only $675 a night. Here.

04 Nov 2019

Putting a Biplane Through the Arc de Triomphe

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As part of the World War I victory celebration on the Champs Élysées, Jean Navarre, the ace among French fighter pilots with twelve air victories, was chosen to fly through the Arc de Triomphe. He was killed in the practice flight. A young flying instructor from Aubervilliers, Charles Godefroy, volunteered to take over.

At 7:20 on the morning of 7 August 1919, dressed in his warrant officer uniform, Godefroy took off from the airfield of Villacoublay in a biplane Nieuport 11 “Bébé”.

And here’s what happened…

16 Apr 2019

Good News

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The Crown of Thorns

Many of the most important treasures of the Cathedral of Notre Dame were saved.

The facade and the two front bell towers survived as did the three Rose Windows over the main portals dating back to the 13th Century.

Apparently, the Great Organ was also saved.

Both what is purported to be the original Crown of Thorns worn by Christ during the Crucifixion and the tunic worn by St. Louis when he delivered the Crown to Paris in 1238 were also saved.

Apparently, Father Jean-Marc Fournier, chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade, entered the burning cathedral and personally saved both the Blessed Sacrament and the Crown of Thorns, passing them out of danger via a human chain.


And much of what has been lost was not as old as one might have supposed.

J. Duncan Barry explains:

Bear in mind that the “real” — or near-original ”modern” state of — Notre Dame was significantly defaced during the iconoclastic spasm wrought by the French Revolution.

What we see today is largely the result of the highly controversial theories of architect-scholar-architectural restoration advocate E.-E. Violet-le-Duc — as executed by Ballu in the middle of the 19th century.

Today’s cathedral is as much symbol of these historical layers as it is an artifact.

I would even argue that the symbolic quality of this event already FAR surpasses the physical and *actual* damage — which appears to me to be a fire that started in the wooden substructure of the flèche [the tower that collapsed –jdz], a NON-original, 19th-century design put up to “improve” on the original. It was put in place when Lincoln was running for President.

But this “new” appendage carries with it all prior incarnations of the earlier variations of the flèche, as well as the Divine significance it carries as the tectonic marker of the crossing of the cruciform ground plan. It is a real thing, but it is as a carrier of meaning that gives it such power over our thoughts about the building and its place in the way our species has conceptualized our role in creation.

The symbolic aura is precisely what drives our visceral reaction: we respond to an image that is freighted with emotion.

The symbol has become more real than the object.

11 Feb 2019

Boat Moored in Front of the Louvre for Sale

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This magnificent boat sailing 25 meters/82 feet, is moored in one of the most sought after areas of the Latin Quarter. Classified of heritage interest, it has a roof of 16m/52.5′ long under which take place all the comfort of a beautiful apartment.

The wheelhouse, entirely preserved in exceptional condition, gives access to an unusual reception. Its proportions allow it to host a lounge area with its cozy fireplace and a dining room that will turn into a billiard room if necessary.

At the same level, at the stern, under the wheelhouse is a first cabin separated from the living room by an office area and kitchen. On the other side, at the bow are two cabins, one with a bathtub overlooking the Seine.

At the bow level, a terrace of 15m2/49 sq. ft., will allow you to appreciate the exceptional view of the Louvre and the Ile de la Cité, in the tranquility typical of the small arm of the Seine.

The authentic fittings, its look and its benefits give it an undeniable charm.

Anneau: 1500 € ($1690.50) quarter

1 050 000 € ($1,183,350)

29 Jan 2019

Behind a Wall in Paris

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In Paris, renovation work for a new retail store wound up revealing a treasure concealed within the wall. NYT

Alex Bolen, the chief executive of Oscar de la Renta, planned to have his new store in Paris open around this week, just in time for the couture shows. He planned to have a presence in the city even if he didn’t have a show. He had it all figured out.

Then, last summer, in the middle of renovations, Mr. Bolen got a call from his architect, Nathalie Ryan.

“‘We made a discovery,’” he remembered her saying. On the other end of the phone, Mr. Bolen cringed. The last time he received a call like that about a store, their plans to move a wall had to be scrapped because of fears the building would collapse. He asked what, exactly, the discovery was.

“You have to come and see,” she told him.

So, gritting his teeth, he got on a plane from New York. Ms. Ryan took him to the second floor of what would be the shop, where workers were busily clearing out detritus, and gestured toward the end of the space. Mr. Bolen, she said, blinked. Then he said: “No, it’s not possible.”

Something had been hidden behind a wall, and it wasn’t asbestos. It was a 10-by-20-foot oil painting of an elaborately coifed and dressed 17th-century marquis and assorted courtiers entering the city of Jerusalem.

“It’s very rare and exceptional, for many reasons,” said Benoît Janson, of the restoration specialists Nouvelle Tendance, who is overseeing work on the canvas. Namely, “its historical and aesthetic quality and size.” …

Demolition was halted to figure out what the painting was and how it came to be in what was about to be a shop. Seeing the aristocrats on horseback and the mosque in the picture, Mr. Bolen said, visions of Crusaders and Knights Templar began to dance in his head. “I think maybe I have seen too many movies,” he said. …

So when the painting was found, and it became clear Mr. Bolen would have to talk to the building’s owners, whom he had never met (the lease had been negotiated through a broker), his relative was able to make the introductions. Another de La Rochefoucauld, who happened to work at the Louvre, got a recommendation for an art historian: Stephane Pinta of the Cabinet Turquin, an expert in old-master paintings.

Mr. Pinta determined that the painting was an oil on canvas created in 1674 by Arnould de Vuez, a painter who worked with Charles Le Brun, the first painter to Louis XIV and designer of interiors of the Château de Versailles. After working with Le Brun, de Vuez, who was known for getting involved in duels of honor, was forced to flee France and ended up in Constantinople.
Mr. Pinta traced the painting to a plate that was reproduced in the 1900 book “Odyssey of an Ambassador: The Travels of the Marquis de Nointel, 1670-1680” by Albert Vandal, which told the story of the travels of Charles-Marie-François Olier, Marquis de Nointel et d’Angervilliers, Louis XIV’s ambassador to the Ottoman Court. On Page 129, there is a rotogravure of an artwork depicting the Marquis de Nointel arriving in Jerusalem with great pomp and circumstance — the painting on the wall.

But how it ended up glued to that wall, no one knew, nor why it was covered up. There was speculation that maybe it happened during World War II, given the setting. It could be “a fog-of-war issue,” Mr. Bolen said.


03 Jan 2019

Paris, 1890

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They had a moving sidewalk! Who knew?

12 Dec 2018

Art Noveau Architecture

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Lavirotte Building (1901), 29 Avenue Rapp, 7th arrondissement, Paris.

I bet people who live here smile every time they see that doorway.

02 Oct 2018

Claire Berlinski Tackles Molière

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Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (Moli̬re РCompagnie Michel B) THEATRE ESPACE MARAIS (2)

Claire Berlinski was writing a book about Foreign Affairs (I forget the detail), and I guess it has not been going well, because apparently poor Claire has had to find another job. She’s auditioned to perform in the French theatre.

The French theatre tradition is genuinely unusual. It’s not the longest unbroken acting tradition in the world—that honor goes to China, with Japanese Kabuki in second place—but it’s the West’s longest uninterrupted theater tradition. Since 1690, when Molière and Racine were at their creative peak, not a single year has passed in Paris in which their works have not been played. Under Louis XIV, wastewater still drained in the open air. Voltaire remarked, bitterly, of Parisian priorities: “They will not begrudge money for a Comic Opera, but will complain about building aqueducts worthy of Augustus.” (Why a man who earned his living by his pen would complain of this schedule of priorities, I do not know.) If you want to understand French culture and literature—as well as the place of literature in French culture—the Comédie Française is the place to start.

Every French schoolkid can recite scenes from Molière and Racine. Come time for the annual baccalaureate exams, French Twitter lights up with hashtags like #niqueracine. Classic theater performs, for the French, the role of the King James Bible in English: Anglophones go to Church to expose themselves to the range and grandeur of their native language. The French go to the theatre.

I was telling myself all of this as I tried to work up the enthusiasm to walk out my apartment, turn left, and just knock on goddamned door of that verkakte theater. It will be so good for you. You will understand France, French, and the French so much more intimately. I opened the window and sniffed: Something about the atmospheric conditions felt wrong. I saw droplets of rain and high clouds. I sat down again.

What got me off my ass was checking my bank balance. It was horrifying. The anxiety that prompted vastly exceeded my stage fright. I had no choice but to march myself over there right then and there and cough up a story about becoming an actress.


Break a leg, Claire!

01 Aug 2018

Best Door in Paris

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At 29 Avenue Rapp in the 7th arrondissement, very close to the Eiffel Tower. Built between 1899 and 1901, this Art Nouveau masterpiece by Jules Lavirotte is quite striking. The detailed door was designed by sculptor Jean-Baptiste Larrive and sculpted by a variety of others. If you happen to be in Paris, seek this beauty out!” (Photo: W. Brian Duncan.)

19 Feb 2017

Au Bon Coin

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Robert Doisneau, Au Bon Coin, Paris, 1945

03 Sep 2016

French Catholic Clocks Muslim For Interfering With Rosary Prayers

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Mad World News:

A group of around 20 French Catholics was quietly praying the rosary in Paris just hours after the funeral of Father Jacques Hamel, the priest who was recently “beheaded” by Muslims in Normandy. The worshipers were peacefully protesting the closing of the Association of Catholic and Apostolic Chapels when suddenly a man, who is reportedly Muslim, walked up and purposefully attempted to shut down their demonstration.

Blog Catholique reports that the unknown man approached the group and began blasting music to stop the Catholics from completing their prayer. It was then that one of the worshipers rose from his knees and turned to confront the man before delivering a monstrous punch that instantly knocked out the Muslim.

The Muslim man hits the ground as spectators and demonstrators appear confused and horrified. The protester grabs the unconscious man and pulls him from the sidewalk before the footage cuts off.

According to the Daily Mail, there have been no arrests and it is unclear whether the Muslim man suffered any severe injuries.

The French blog states that the man was “chastised for his rudeness” by “a soldier of Christ.”

07 Jun 2016

The Seine Is Rising

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The Seine is rising, and Paris is on flood alert.

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