The Basilica of Sacré Coeur as dialectic

The Basilica of the Sacré Coeur On Montmartre is a Parisian landmark that has long inspired debate and divided opinion – both on superficial grounds (is it hideous or comely?) to more profound discussions about its meaning. The site of the Basilica draws linkages to pre-Christian religious practice, later Christian martyrs and modern France trying to…

A History of Paris through Plants

Who needs museums to read history? Just take a walk through a forest. Well, this is a dramatic  and silly proposition that  does not  deserve response and that would lead to a slow spiritual death for this blogger if it were affirmative. Yet, there is something to be said for observing the oldest inhabitants of…

Basilique St. Denis, a ‘visual’ to the past

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/95643462″>Basilique Saint Denis, Paris</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user4635806″>George</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p> The Basilica of St. Denis fell outside of Paris of its day but was absolutely central to its political and cultural life. Today it is right on the city’s margins. A visit to St. Denis today may entail snaking through a labyrinthine market, stumbling…

(Over) shared life in Roman Paris

Demystifying Paris ? As romantic ideas about Paris give way to more realistic ones, I am beginning to entertain ambitions of demystifying Paris. The initial satisfaction of enjoying the sights and  immortalizing Paris in photographs is increasingly overtaken by a desire to peer beneath the surface and observe the layers that are not immediately apparent.  As such,…

2014 – Exploring the History of Paris through the senses

This year this blog will explore the history of Paris, and seek out the tastes, smells, sounds, sights – and maybe the tactile dimension – of different eras. In short, the blog will feel its way through the history of Paris via the senses. It is becoming clearer that moving to Paris was also a…

Sensing Paris and London: Taste and Smell

Grateful Graduate Project 2013: Reasons to be grateful 346-365 of 365   The experience of Paris and London is enhanced,  or otherwise, by the senses. The tongue and nose – the senses of smell and taste – are central to how we perceive places and our memories of them. In 2013, I was grateful for…

Songs on Paris – and London

Grateful Graduate Project 2013: Reasons to be grateful 326 – 345 of 365 I am grateful for  the role that this music plays in creating a sense of place, evoking memory, and stoking positive emotion toward Paris and London. These mostly Parisian songs are a few odes to these beloved cities that have enhanced the…

Paris and London Websites and Blogs

Grateful Graduate Project 2013: Reasons to be grateful 306-325 Each of these sites have forced me to look at Paris and London anew, and see them from a more profound perspective. I am grateful for each of these for providing light, deepening the joy of, and  even balancing my romantic ideas of the cities with…

Paris and London in Writing, Song, and on screen

Grateful Graduate Project 2013: Reasons 286-305 to be thankful    Now that 2013 is over, it is possible to reap the benefits of hindsight and  finish off the list of 365 things that contribute to making Paris and London great places to live, work, and study. Paris and London have inspired books, art, cinema, and…

Paris and London Desks

Grateful Graduate Project 2013:  Reasons 276-285 of 365 to be thankful     Much of life as a student in Paris and London is spent behind a computer, on the desk. The desks become unique spaces that say a lot about the differences between the two cities as places of study. As I look at…

Studying in London – thanksgiving list

A bit more to be grateful for the opportunity to be a  grad student in both Paris and London, in a spirit of Thanksgivingn here are a few thins that I am grateful about the London side of the grad student experience — The academic culture in London is robust and demanding – the quality…