February 19, 2017-A place to write on a Sunday afternoon in London

Hello February,

I thought it would be ok to take my computer and go work at a Soho café on Sunday. Well, it was nice to change neighborhood and to see new people, but as for working, I should probably forget it.

It was small and crowded, with great coffee, though.

I even tried two or three others in the area, packed with people having the same idea.

What do I exactly look for?

A comfortable café with a lot of space, half filled customers. So that you can amuse yourself with other people but they aren’t too many and noisy to completely distract you from whatever you are doing.

A place which is not a well-known chain but something more personalised.

So I went to the Foyle’s café on the 5th floor of the homonymous bookstore.

 

 

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February 17, 2016: day 20 of 60 day challenge- afternoon tea at Covent Garden

Dear February,

after having worked for hours on my project with a Roumanian and a French artist, I only want to share my afternoon tea-time. The Roumanian artist, who is a 40 something year old, has lived for a while in London and she suggested a place for tea. She is working part-time in a cosmetics company and the rest of the time she writes.

In any case, she took us to BB bakery for our afternoon tea, and we looked a little bit like these three characters in the photo. I would be the one in the middle holding a macaron, only that I chose a macaronpistache” and I had a lot of fun: “Amidst the hustle and bustle of busy Covent Garden is the relaxing sanctuary of BB Bakery. Come here to relax with a coffee and cupcake before you hit the shops or stop for high tea or even a bite to eat before your evening out”.

There is something very girlish and playful about this place which is just what I needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of my serious every day life 🙂

Afternoon Tea

February 19- Happy Chinese New Year’s Eve!

Hello February,

happy -Chinese- New Year’s Eve! I have extremely enjoyed New Year’s Eve with Chinese friends in Belleville, the Parisian Chinatown in previous years! So great! Watching the dragon dance and tasting excellent food at a traditional restaurant, is something to remember!

Friendship is probably the best way to get in touch with another culture, that is, if you don’t travel there yourself!

Discussions, and participation in different festivities, food, is an entrance to other people’s hearts 🙂

This good friend of mine is now back to China and I really miss him!

Xie Xie dear friend for introducing me to a new way of thinking!

 

the spring festival

November 17- Wine tasting in Paris

Hello November,

how was your day? I tell you how I finished mine: with a wine-tasting experience! A good friend of mine, invited me to a wine cellar, or to a restaurant that organized a wine tasting experience, with different varieties from … Greece!

You might say, wait a second here, with all this French wine of excellent quality, why bother?

Because we always look for new experiences in life! Isn’t this enough?

So I accepted the invitation to the “cave Mavromatis“, at the 5th arrondissement, and found myself tasting red and white wine from different regions, as well as some interesting “petit fours salés”, or “meze” with cheese, olives and spinach 🙂

My favorite, wines from Nemea, from the Skouras wine house (http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/skouras+grand+cuvee+peloponnese+nemea+greece); why? because there was something I found original, compared to French wines and easy to drink; but I am far from being an expert; but there was an expert around who also liked it and could say everything about the way it was made and all the flavors you could find…

Probably the best wine is the one we drink in good company, reminding us of gathering around the table with dear ones 🙂

http://www.tripadvisor.fr/Restaurant_Review-g187147-d4582810-Reviews-La_cave_Mavrommatis-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

October 22- Life with some flavor

Dear October,

Einstein seemed to have given some important incentives about the way to live our lives, and not have been ‘just” a scientific genius. Well, I have fallen into this one

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value”.

–Albert Einstein

Now, would success mean something that is valued by society, the media, the people and groups who are powerful? And I would take value as something that is meaningful to us?

What if it is meaningful to me to spent all my time at the Parisian cafés and observing people? (I might get bored in doing but this, but let’s say, what if…). How would I make sure I live from this? Because you have to order something to eat after a certain time, it’s a costly pass time. The solution would be to make something out of it, probably, something that would interest other people.

Because I feel that despite our differences, we have a lot in common. So maybe, finding something meaningful for us, and trying to communicate it, is adding value for everybody else also. And it becomes a success.

Whereas, if we start with what everybody considers a success, it is like boiling a chicken for the fourth time, expecting to find some flavor in the soup 🙂

July 12-Enjoying my neigborhood

Dear July,

the rhythm of my last days was intensive enough to make me wake up at 11.00 today. I was supposed to get to the art exhibition, but found out the debriefing was not going to take place, so I could skip it.

The day started with coffee with my neighbour next door, one of my dearest friends. We had to catch up for the last few days: a lot of things have happened for both of us.

Just after, I went for lunch at my usual Saturday café. There is something about this place that reminds me of a family’s living room. Probably because it is owned by a real family. Perfect for relaxing 🙂

I thought I should wear something colourful and flowery to give me energy, but was sleepy and all I did was to follow from time to time the conversation of a mother and daughter who were having lunch beside me. They were to participate to a baby’s baptism. There would be a dinner party after. Should the adolescent girl be seated with the children or the adults?

The next step was a meeting with another friend at another café of the same street. We sat outside, observing the passers-by. The new generation of toddlers was present, parading with their parents and their tiny scooters.

And just because it is good to get up and exercise from time to time, we went to yet a third café of the neighborhood and a found a new spot to continue the conversation.

Just by sitting there and talking, we participate to the life of the street, we remake the world, in our conversation and imagination!

http://www.123rf.com/photo_948075_silhouette-girls-and-boys-with-bicycle-illustration.html

toddler girl on a scooter in a park in spring day photo

July 3- Red and white: passion and innocence

Dear July,

today it was a beautiful day maybe a bit hot in the afternoon, but such a wonderful evening! Nice temperature, not too hot, just what you need for a romantic date. Was I out on a date? No, I was out with two good friends. We talked about this and that, life, relationships, school memories, holidays, …

We went by the river, a lot of deck chairs with red and white stripes. They start symbolizing for me this month of July. I realize now a lot of flags use them, … I just googled this and it appears that red stands for bravery and white for innocence and purity. I will have a thought for the American friends tomorrow 🙂

To go back to red and white, there is something very lively about it, something that puts you in a good humor no matter what. Dynamic and relaxed at the same time.

And today I was also dressed in these colours, to match the deck chairs and my mood.

In terms of work, I managed to advance with the July event in the South of France. When it comes to accommodation projects, N is nowhere to be found. He gave me his mobile phone number to book together an apartment for him, his friend, and me.

Has he changed his mind? I think that everything will fall into place, but we have a lot of action before the day of the event.

My friends advised me not to count a lot on N. Especially from a romantic perspective. I think they are absolutely right. The red and white deck chairs were occupied, so we left the river and we found a quiet restaurant.

With red chairs again. Now it was a question of school teachers and the memories we have of them. Some touching, funny and infuriating stories came up. I mentioned my blog. What would be its objective for July?

Well, the red stripe is a job in my field. I have recently succeeded on the first round of the funding competition. The next one is on August 5, and if I pass there will be a third and final one.

The white stripe will be love: Get inspiration from fantasy, and act in my reality.

 

http://freevintagedigistamps.blogspot.fr/2012/01/free-digital-scrapbook-paper-red-and.html

https://april4june6.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/734ee-free2bdigital2bscrapbook2bpaper_red2band2bwhite2bstripes.jpg

 

June 23- Summertime in Paris: the quartier Bibliothèque

Dear June,

don’t tell me you don’t like this kind of open-air cafés and restaurants that open during summertime close to the concert-ships or “bateau-concerts” such as the Nix Nox, the Batofar and others. There are a lot of events organized around and on them. This time I am talking about the 13 arrondissement of Paris, close to the National Library, the “Bibliothèque François Mitterand”.

You can also have lunch and coffee, sunbathe, if it is a sunny day. It is just wonderful to stay close to the river, on a chaise-long, listen to the music and live the illusion of a holiday by the sea.

Anyway, here is where I took one of the artists who arrived in Paris from Ireland, and who participates in a future performance. A nice, quiet person with a lot of fire, I first met two years ago. We talked about his recent work.

Then, it was question of our personal life: he had a second child in the last couple of years. How about you April? Eh… I haven’t had any, nor a stable boyfriend, job, nor a sense of material security for the future. I am in love with B, I haven’t even kissed yet. But I like what I do, and as a bonus, I can have a café by the river whenever I want.

Ok, the truth is, I like my life, but an improvement in any of these fields could be very welcome.

I could have added: I am also part of the fantasy of foreign artists I work with, who would like to live an adventure with me, as an ingredient of their trip to Paris. Not you, dear Irish, you are very serious. But I had a recent experience with a Dutch, who wasn’t satisfied with photos, wine tasting and art.

I am flattered to be chosen as the ingredient for someone’s romantic fantasy, but I hope they don’t mind I have other plans for myself 🙂

http://www.parisrivegauche.com/

 

June 14- Saturday at Café Germain

Dear June,

this is the place where I ended up Saturday night with a friend, in order to have a drink; I actually ordered an orange juice despite the nice cocktails they serve, for a change. Actually we had been looking for a place to watch one of the World Cup’s football matches. Am I a football fun? Not exactly. The World Cup is the rare case I become interested in it. Because I like the festive ambiance in the cafés and bars. And because there is a narrative easy to follow. The whole world is involved. Like a big party!

But we thought the bars with a television set were too crowded. Or too dark. Or the spot we found not comfortable enough. So we arrived at the Café Germain, at the Saint-Germain des Près where there was no football match. I find the ambiance a bit cold there, but probably because I am not a regular. It was more festive outside on the street, where people were going to smoke. I don’t smoke and the night was chilly. We had to settle somewhere.

This is a good spot for actors, producers, and probably the right place for me to be. But I was not feeling particularly sociable, that is why I was not satisfied anywhere. B was not present in my favorite café at lunch time. Had he been scared by my sms the day before? Was I not sweet enough? Was he involved in a relationship? Was he not interested in me? Not interested in women in general?

A wise blog-friend, JF, who commented my previous post, suggested that talking about relationships is not the right approach, and that he had not even kissed his wife before marriage. Neither have I been kissed by B, yet. We have only exchanged various “bises”: the French greeting kisses on the other person’s cheeks.

The other major topic of the day has been that a lot of businesses suggest temporary job contracts, and you have to constantly be on your guard.

Is it the same for relationships? How about quality? Duration?

How do we create something that lasts?

http://www.beaumarly.com/en/germain/home

http://www.orgone-design.com/blog/cafe-germain-une-brasserie-dun-nouveau-genre-a-paris/

Cafe Germain  - Costes - Paris - 2

June 2- Where to go with a date in Paris

Hello June,

My working plan was a bit shaken today since two of my invited artists cannot make it for the date they were supposed to be present. I will find a solution tomorrow.

But I have a piece of information for you, if you want to go on a date in Paris. A restaurant with a romantic air about it: Monteverdi, in the Saint-Germain area, where I often go. It is very cosy, and I stopped to check it as I was walking by: I pictured myself there, exchanging passionate looks with the object of my affection while I am sipping red wine.

Is the cooking good? I haven’t tasted it yet. It is kind of expensive and I don’t know if this is the best Italian restaurant. But such a great scenery for the play I have in mind!

The romantic scene where we have just discovered that even if we seemed to have come from a different background, we share something, very deep. The taste of the pasta can go unnoticed. Or almost. Emotions don’t need words. The sound of the piano is enough.

Is daydreaming a way to escape reality or to shape it? After all, we need to know what we want, in order to recognize it when we see it.

Do I have more chances to go on a date with B at a restaurant like Monteverdi, or to a playground with his little kid? For some reason, the second scenario is more realistic to me.

Do I mind? Not really. The most important ingredient, is love, and to share important things in each-other’s life. It could be members of their family, a hobby, a taste in food, travelling, watching a dvd, whatever.

When feelings are present, any place becomes enchanting.

And life is tasteful.

 

http://www.lemonteverdi.com/bienvenue