Archive for January, 2014

January 26, 2014

Some news from France CXXIII

Here we are again a Sunday, and still raining in Brittany well most of France or snow, and floodings in the South, so lets think of better things to do while in France.

The musée National Gustave Moreau ,14, rue de La Rochefoucauld 75009 Paris,  has re open after 6 months closed for rénovations.  This was his old apartment and has 3 floors with 1200 paintings, aquarelles  and cartoons with  4000 designs by hand done by the master painter.  9000 designs are kept in reserve. Gustave Moreau had renovated his house into a museum before his death so he can leave a legacy of his work for posterity, well thought out. It has a street level floor, apartement in 1fl and big stairs to go from 1 to 2 to 3 floors (French).  more here you can go there on metro Trinité or Saint Georges, and bus lines 67, 68, 74, 32, 43, 49.

50th anniversary of France establishing Relationship with China, first country to do so, is celebrated in Paris this year  such as “De la Chine aux Arts Décoratifs” at the museum of des arts décoratifs  from February 13 to June 29 2014 and  “Les Han, l’essor de la Chine impériale (206-220 après J.-C.) ” at the musée Guimet staring in the fall season .Also , at Nice the 13 February the new Chinese year at the Opéra. From March 13 to 20, the  Ballet de Shanghaï  is presenting at the Palais des Congrès de Paris. The city of Shanghaï is the invited of honor at the book faire  the Salon du Livre de Paris from March 21-24 as well as the honor invitee at the Paris Art Fair at the Grand Palais from March 27 to 30. The famous  La Fête des Lumières at Lyon will show its colors in honor of China from December 5 to 8.

Grand Palais Nuit de Chine, info at  and 50 years of Relationship célébrations at

One of my favorites Musée Rodin is still on until February 14 2014 with Rodin, la lumière de l’Antique , he was always interested in the antiquity , he lived around his antique collection in the  Villa des Brillants at Meudon, and later at the hôtel Biron in Paris.

A gorgeous site on Versailles, my favorite town ::) is the Versailles site here in English you will see development of the project for the Grand Versailles , Versailles numérique with all its host improvement for the castle and the city, Versailles 3D ,like you have never seen Versailles before, and the historical perspective of it all in 1620 to 2020 with all the history and international events in the lifetime of the palace museum.

Similar fashion in English for the city of Paris, with all its splendor and history before your eyes, lots of educational information not found in the common travel guides; at Paris Vision, you see the aqueduct, amphitheater, theater, forum, Cluny baths, the early house, St Jacques necropolis, and the rural developments ,see it all here all the way from the first Roman inhabitants, and the river boundaries not just the famous Seine but the equally important in the city’s history ,the Biévre,

Do not missed this expo in royal Saint-Germain-en-Laye, “André Le Nôtre chez Paul et André Vera à Saint-Germain-en-Laye”, its a tribute of these great gardeners to Le Nôtre in the Art Deco movement of the 1920’s.  It will be on until May 17  2014 Wednesdays to Fridays from  14h-19h,Saturdays and Sundays from  15h-19h, except closed on holidays. For information local guided visits tel  01 30 87 20 63, the place is at  Fonds permanent Paul et André Vera, 2, rue Henri-IV. More info here at the city tourist office  page,

down in the Vendée region, we have a retrospective on the WWI, the expositons “Historial de la Vendée présente l’exposition Clemenceau et les artistes modernes  : Manet, Monet, Rodin ” until march 2 , 2014, All on the subjects of  the newspaperman and the art critics, the Statemens, the lover of Arts and the collectionists, Clemenceau and Rodin, Clemenceau and Monet ,and the men of letters. . you can get there from PAris, on the road A11 direction Le Mans, at Angers, take the A87  direction  la Roche-sur-Yon or the N160  direction la Roche-sur-Yon, get off at La Roche-sur-Yon, take the D763 direction Nantes, get off at exit Les Lucs-sur-Boulogne on the road D937 ,and from here follow signs to the Historial et Mémorial de la Vendée. By train you can reach the town of Gare de Belleville sur Vie then taxi for 10 kms. or bus from Nantes  bus n° 180 stops in the town center than walk about 15 minutes on posted road to mémorial.

And yes ,do not forget there is more than one Louvre now, the annex at Lens on the nord of France is getting more and more visitors each day, a sign there is hunger for the goodies in the Louvre. Lots of work in storage for lack of space and funding, now the one at Lens will be a help. ; more Lens train station is only 1,5 km from the museum and for the first year there will be a free shuttle bus service. On foot the sites says is only 20 minutes,easy ::)

We just had the fashion week in Paris, and this is the federation site for the fashion designers at least the most important for me are here, see the news in French on the last week’s event here,4/article/haute-20th-to-24th-of-january-2014?archive=1  ,and check out on the same site the forthcoming prêt-a-porter or ready to wear designers for Fall/winter which will be from February 25 to March 5 2014.

Some fashion blogs I was recommended ::) lol!! they look goood!   ,,,  ,,,

and why not to kiss in Paris, places to do it better, ok better, ok ::) the Buttes Chaumont by the avenue de marnes and ave darcel off metro buttes chaumont ; with a beautiful view of Paris below you!!!  And while at it, come back down and have one of the best burgers in Paris at Mamie Burger, 18 rue Saint Fiacre, 75002 tel  02 01 42 33 97 74; open Mondays to Saturdays from  12h – 14h30 / 19h – 22h30, the resto is small ,tight places but the beef is Worth it, try  the Mamie Burger Classic (9,25€ or 12€ with house fries) or the  Papi Dédé with grill bacon, melted cheddar cheese , caramelise onions, and pickles, for times like now cold and rainy try the cousin de Savoie coming down with cheese sauce, pepper, caramalise onions, ciboulette and raclette cheese. All yummy good.

And finally on the Chinese deal,plenty of restos in Paris, and believe me I get a lot of request to find them. They are ok, but most are marketed to the tourist and the French who went to Shanghai, or Hong Kong, for me you have to go to the family restos that don’t get much publicity. My all time favorite is not even in Paris but in nearby Suresnes dept 92 , Le Lotus d’Or, wonderful place by an entire family and great traditional food. here is the webpage  In Paris proper, you get the second choice at L’Orient d’Or, 22 Rue de Trévise, 75009 tel 01 48 00 07 73 no webpage but cuisine from Hunan province the real one. closest metro Grands Boulevards lines 8 and 9.

Enjoy your Sunday and have a great week ahead. Still raining ::)

January 8, 2014

Some news from France CXXII

A wonderful beginning to 2014 and we have news, yes YSL movie is on. This is the day where schools are close earlier and we get to come home earlier too ::) The flooding is gone, and thanks God we didn’t get any, those poor folks down the coast had a nightmare and even in Vannes the marché was flooded. Now its back to normal and even the sun came out. The coastal areas in Brittany down to the border with Spain remain in Orange alert thus.

The movie on the life of Yves Saint Laurent is on. Out tonite with Avec Pierre Niney, Guillaume Gallienne, Charlotte le Bon, Laura Smet, Marie de Villepin, Xavier Lafitte, Nikolai Kinski ,and Judi Beecher. See some familiar last names here ::) YSL in 1957, at just 21 years old is driven to the artistic direction of the House of Christian Dior. The young designer presents his first collection “Trapèze” during a triumphant parade where he met Pierre Bergé, who became his lover. A success which allows him to build his own house with the help of his companion, but that also opens the door to a great anguish. The 1970s are those of consecration, but the excesses that are beginning to damage the health of the creator. Subject to bouts of depression, Saint Laurent takes refuge in the work, by designing collections that mark the history of fashion.  The nearest cinema to me is at Rennes, same chain we see here near me;

Galerie Yvon Lambert, is showcasing paintings by Andres Serrano, Cuba until January 18 2014.

the Disney presentation of La Belle et la bête or the beautiful and the ugly is playing at the nice  Théâtre Mogador, 25, rue de Mogador ,just near the grand magasins Tuesdays to Fridays at  20h, Saturdays  15h and 20h,Sundays at 15h, admission is 25€ to  150 €, web; and the theater

Paris Face Caché is on, from January 31 to February 2, the public is invited to go into about 90 places of unique value in the city and suburbs. Réservation is a must by January 10 and 22nd.  You have it all here, if in the capital don’t missed it.

see the victorian roses at gorgeous musée Jacquemart-André, During the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), painters like Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Sir Frederic Leighton, Edward Burne-Jones and Albert Moore meet a great success by developing a sensual and poetic aesthetic. 11€ admission, web,

Don’t forget André le Nôtre is of the honor at Versailles, until February 23rd, entitled  André Le Nôtre en perspective. 1613-2013 at the castle.

The latest news is the boulevard Periphérique or beltway of Paris is going down in speed, tonite, from 80 to 70 KPH, so slow down. this is due to the effort by the city to reduce its polution which is already high.

and keep an eye for this one in Meaux, dept 77 Seine et Marne, wonderful town with great gothic Cathedral where rest the Eagle of Meaux, Bishop Bossuet the confidant of Louis XIV.  From Saturday June 14 to Sunday September 14 2014.  Grand spectacle historique de meaux. For 30 years the historical spectacle of Meaux relive you the incredible destiny of the city. Today, after six artistic creations of incomparable quality, show offers a creation conceived and staged by Meaux historical show. With its 500 volunteers, 3600 costumes, the sound in digital multi-source, new special effects… These are 700 years of history that you are told, combining music, dance and poetry to a few meters from the spectators. Through the narrative of a nostalgic soldier who passes through the difficulties of the first world war and remembers his years of recklessness in his beautiful city of Meaux, the show takes you to the discovery of the fascinating past of the city of Bossuet, from the middle ages to the 20th century: a total immersion in the heart of a turbulent history between dark moments and hours of glory… webpage

Until next time in hour favorite channel, ::) Cheers


January 5, 2014

Epiphany, the 3 wise kings, and the start of 2014.

All comes together today Sunday 5 January 2014. Tomorrow we head back to work and our normal days of family life and work, and hopefully some spare moment to travel and see the world. I didn’t want to be too far from my blog, already missed you all.

Tomorrow is officially the celebration of the 3 Wise Kings, or Los 3 Reyes Magos or simply the Reyes Magos. From my Spanish Catholic tradition it is the day where we give our gifts to our children, as the Wise Kings gave it in honor of the new born child Jesus. Over the years my travels my nationalities I have mix all tradition where we do follow up with all .

Living now in France, as French, the day is not celebrated even if a Catholic country per se, we just do the galette des rois a frangipane of almond with a figurine Inside that according to leyend was the opportunity for role reversal as a Roman slave took the place of the emperor before he reigned for a day later was send to death. King Louis XIV was the first one in France who push for it, and the tradition flourished, where the person who gets the portion with the figurine in it, gets to be the kind or queen for the day and especially gifts are given. The cakes differed a bit from the north to the South of France, what we do today is usually call the Parisien version of the almond bake frangipane cake.

In my other country of Spain, we have the similar cake of Roscon de Reyes;as a cake to eat on these days, but the celebration is much bigger with parades of the Wise Kings with great beautiful décorations, and the gifts to our children Under the arbol de Navidad or the Christmas tree. Even thus this year due to the economy many cabalgatas or parades will be diminished curtailed from previous year, still even some neighborhoods are creating their own. In my Madrid, the route of the parade will begin at 18h30 at Nuevos Ministerios (corner with plaza San Juan de la Cruz square ) down the Paseo de la Castellana, and passing through the Plaza del Doctor Marañón, Glorieta de Emilio Castelar, Plaza de Colón and the Paseo de Recoletos, with arrival at 20h45  approximately to the Plaza de Cibeles, where King Melchior will read the message on behalf of the three Magi. After this at about  21h, there will be a fireworks show.

Basically the meaning ,and history  in Spain is like this

The Magi from the East (or simply Magi) is the name which according to tradition are the visitors who, after the birth of Jesús from Nazareth, came from foreign countries to pay tribute and give you rich symbolic gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Gospels speak only about «magicians», nowhere lists their names, which were Kings, nor were three (a number that is possibly due to the amount of offered gifts). These beliefs were added centuries later and have remained in the popular tradition.  According to Catholic belief, these Magi were representatives of «pagan» religions of neighbouring villages, which the Gospels come as the first fruits of the Nations that accept the Catholic religion.  In some countries (usually Spanish-speakers) there is the tradition of representing Kings bringing gifts that children have asked in his letters during the night before Epiphany.  The Magi, traditions in some countries, part of the crib next to Joseph, the baby Jesus and Mary.
The Catholic figure of the Magi has its origin in the accounts of the birth of Jesus, some were integrated from the canonical Gospels that now make up the new testament of the Bible. Specifically the Gospel of Matthew is the only biblical source which mentions a few magicians (though not specific names, the number or the title of Kings) who, following a so-called Star, looking for the «King of the Jews has been born» in Jerusalem, guiding them such a star to Jesus born in Bethlehem, and to whom offer offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  In that same apocryphal gospel it is said that they had any family link, and that also came with three legions of soldiers: one of Persia, Babylon and Asia.  According to subsequent interpretations, the wizards were considered to be originating in Europe, Asia, and Africa respectively . However, the last book written by the Pope Benedicto XVI on Nazareth Jesús, «Childhood of Jesus», notes that the Magi probably came from the East, as it has believed traditionally, but Tartessos, an area that historians located between Huelva, Cadiz and Seville (Andalusia, Spain). In this way, the wise men from the East have become Kings, and with them have come into the Manger camels and dromedaries, said  Benedict XVI and continues:”the promise contained in these texts extends the provenance of these men to the far West (Tarshish, Tartessos in Spain), but tradition has further developed this listing of the universality of the kingdoms of those sovereigns«, interpreting them as Kings of the three then-known continents: Africa, Asia and Europe “.

They represented all men seekers of God of all times and all places and that included everyone until then known and whose western boundary was Tartessos, in the Iberian peninsula”, he explains. Mention to Tartessos, Benedict XVI refers to this geographical limit that had the world in the first century  AD, «magicians are East but that God seekers men of God of all places and all times are represented in that concern by search». With regard to the names of Kings (Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar) the first references seem to date back to the 5C through two texts, the first entitled Excerpta latina barbari, which are called Gathaspa, Melichior and Bithisarea, and other apocryphal gospel, the Armenian Gospel of childhood, which are called Balthazar, Melkon and Gaspard.

There so even if I won’t be having my Roscon, I will definitevely eat my galette des rois. Happy Epiphany !!!


January 1, 2014

2013 in review, Thank you all, Best wishes for 2014.

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 81,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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