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BellaOnline's French Culture Editor

 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Buttons at the Bismark
Glimpse into the diverse collection of buttons on exhibit at the Mona Bismarck Foundation. If you’ve amassed jars of buttons and aren’t quite sure what to do with them, get inspiration from Lisa Kokin’s recycled button sculptures and tapestries.

Lucien Freud at the Pompidou
Lucien Frued aimed for rawness rather than painting glossy artistic nudes. In the canvases on exhibit this summer at the Centre Pompidou his subjects resemble marbled meat in tones of grey and cream administered in sweeping brush strokes.

Prix de Diane - When Parisians Wear Hats
The Prix de Diane held in Chantilly is the race of the year that offers people watching of the best sort. Everyone out of their shell in costume paints a turn of the century daydream. It’s not really about the horses though, it’s about the hats.

Jardins Jardin – How to Cultivate an Urban Garden
How to create an urban garden answered by Paris’ landscape architects and exterior designers in a dozen ephemeral vignettes that cropped up for the Jardins Jardin festival in the Tuileries.

Edvard Munch – The Anti-Scream
The Pinacotheque is currently exhibiting Edward Munch’s oil paintings and wood gravure prints that range from landscapes to macabre depictions of illness and death. To make and afternoon of it, browse the bookshop and order a coffee and dessert next door at Fauchon.

They Dance to Afro Beat
I haven’t stopped since last Friday when Femi Kuti and the Positive Force performed in St Germain en Laye. For a week I’ve been dancing around my living room to the jazzy Afro beat. The waves that pulsed through the crowd are summoned even now as I listen.

Chorus, A Festival for the Suits
A mysterious tent crops up on the plaza below the Arch de la Defence on the dawn of spring. Part circus, part saloon, it serves as home to the Chorus Festival, a two-week series of concerts. I arrived with the afternoon draw of suits and stayed around to see B.B. Brunes close the night.

Tea and Cake in the Marais
The Marais is an artsy Paris neighborhood well worth getting to know. My favorite place to have dessert, Le Loir dans la Theiere, is papered in theater posters, seating is a composition of mix matched furniture and a full sideboard of tarts, crumbles, cakes and pies sit out on display.

Collioure and the Costa Brava
France feeds into Spain on a cobalt stretch of the Mediterranean known as the Costa Brava. The whitewashed fishermen’s villages are sleepy in all seasons but summer when sunbathers hold vigil on their coarse sands. In the fall without the clutter and clatter of people the solitude is priceless.

French Women for All Seasons – Book Review
The appeal of French Women for all Seasons and the non diet it prescribes lie in the simplicity of Mireille Guiliano’s suggestions. Looking at the way lifestyle influences wellbeing, she encourages becoming more in tune with the bounty of the seasons, savoring food and owning the beauty of your age.

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