Paris and Reckoning

It’s a moment of reckoning again. Or not. The current furore surrounding the French  political ‘earthquake’  –  brought about by significant far-right party gains in recently held European elections –  seems to be the cusp of one of many moments of ‘reckoning’ that have shaped French political life and Parisian history. Indeed, the theme of…

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…