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How to be French
A list of language, style and fashion ticks. A top ten I’ve compiled after nearly a decade living in France. How do you stack up?
Monumenta at the Grand Palais
Each May an artist is given carte blanche to create a monumental installation that dialogues with the expansive verrière of the Grand Palais. Freshman president Francois Hollande was there under polka-dot sky for “Excentrique’s” opening night vernissage.
The Nice Carnival, Like Mardi Gras but Better
The Nice carnival feels like a cleaned-up version of New Orleans Mardi gras where costumed children throw confetti and the parade route traces the Mediterranean sea.
Vincent Van Gough's Last Days
In 1890 an overworked Vincent Van Gough escaped to Anvers-Sur-Oise. After several months in a rented chamber of the Ravoux Inn he took his own life. He lies beside brother Theo in a graveyard beyond the sprawl of yellow wheat.
Winter in the Wolf Park
Nestled among ski resorts in the lower Alps, the Alpha reserve is home to three wolf packs. Visit the park during feeding time when the wolves cautiously reveal themselves.
Afternoon in the Tuileries Garden
Parisians use the Tuileries like their backyard for barefoot picnics and lazy afternoon sunbaths. Monet´s water lilies reside in the garden at the Orangerie and the Jeu de Paume nearly always has an interesting photography exposition on.
How Antibes Weathered the Storm
November has been an unusual month on the Cote d’Azur, first as the G20 summit temporarily closed Cannes, then as storms ravaged the coast. On a stretch of beach piled so heavily with debris that it resembles a beaver dam, a village of driftwood forts has been erected.
Decree that an object is art, display it as such, and that is what it becomes. France’s emerging avant-garde artists of 1960 sought to renew art with abstraction and themes of destruction and spontaneity surfaced.
Jazz in Juan - Evolution in Jazz Paradise
To the purist’s discontent the definition of jazz has expanded to include nearly every other genre of music and the festival in Juan les Pins is no exception. It is a place the artists call paradise, where the crowd watches through parasol pine trees and the ocean sets the tempo.
Madame Grès - Paris Couture from the 1930's
Madame Grès' intricately worked, asymmetric designs accompanied by their sketches and fashion photographs present the timeless output of her Paris workshop. They are on display amongst the sculptures in Paris' Musée Bourdelle.
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