Month: June 2012

Highlight – Concert at the Sorbonne

The Grand Amphitheatre of the old Sorbonne served as a beautiful setting for a delicious concert serving of a divinely orchestrated blend of German, Russian and Italian compositions. Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Puccini were woven together earlier this month make a gorgeous evening – and a fabulous date out on the city on my part – that will not be forgotten soon. Here’s a little taste of one of the many transcendent moments of the evening – an excerpt of the Gloria in Puccini’s ‘Missa di Gloria’. Divine! Gloria, Puccini from George on Vimeo.

Librarie le Moniteur

One reason why Paris is a foretaste of heaven is the abundance of bookstores. These are often easy to miss if one does not make the conscious decision to take note. Of late, thanks in large part to thesis-related reading, a whole new world of bookstores with work on Paris as a city, its architecture, urban planning, public spaces and history is becoming more apparent to my hitherto blinded eyes; Among my favourite places to find such work is ‘librarie le moniteur’ at 7, place de l’Odeon’. There is quite a treasure trove of well thought out work from some of the top thinkers and writers on urban spaces, design and such. It’s a fantastic place to pick up anything from coffee table books on architecture to well written academic work on the human and economic geography of Paris and other old and new cities. They even have a great kids book section with fabulous gifts for curious little minds who might also want to pick up a word or two in French. One must …

Fête du Cinéma 2012, Festival Paris Cinéma

I cannot claim to be a film fundi but I do appreciate the chance to explore cinema from different parts of the world and am especially delighted that there will be plenty of opportunity to do so over the next fortnight or so. It is time for the Fête du cinema and Festival Paris Cinema… Fête du Cinema , 24-27 June, 2012 (+ a few days extra, check website link) The Fête du Cinema has run its first two days and there is still a bit of time to catch a little bit of what remains: Click here for more details on the rest of the fête programme. Festival Paris Cinéma 2012, 29 June -10 July 2012 Not to be mistaken with the above, is the similarly named, but newer, yearly event, the Festival Paris Cinéma. The former will be making its 28th lap, while this Festival is 18 years younger. Also, whereas the ‘fête du cinema”s main selling point seems to be that of providing a window of access to affordable new and other …

La Bonbonnière

Authentic with a dash of kitsch, La Bonbonnière has the atmosphere of a French country brasserie. Yet despite its down-to-earth, rustic-ness it sits at a very sweet location with a view of streets that have featured in the great episodes of the city of Paris and France. Mont Saint Genevieve that bears the name of the city’s patron saint stands in birds eye view. Rue Saint Jacques that formed one of important axes upon which a Roman-inspired urban plan was developed for the city is also an artery that feeds La Bonbonnière. The historic palatial residence and tribute to the Medici’s lies not too far either: Jardin Luxembourg is only a few steps away. If the two-in-one deal of a centrally located place to eat and a homey atmosphere are not appealing, the cranberry tart is worth a visit, all by itself. The sheer act of writing about the tart recreates a vivid memory of my encounter with it. Now, that cranberry tart shall most certainly come to me in my dreams. It is also …

From Paris to Rabat

I had my first tantalising taste of Morocco when I visited its capital, Rabat, a few weeks ago. I ate more food than I believed possible, bargained for gifts to bring back to Paris, took long early evening walks and drank several cups of ‘nous nous’ (a special version of Moroccan Cappuccino). Traces of the influence of Paris are difficult to miss – the city’s café’s, artisan-run shops and the indelible mark of French bureaucracy. A follow up trip to see what the rest of the country has to offer is officially pencilled in – can’t wait!