Archive for October 16th, 2020

October 16, 2020

Some news from France, CCCXVIII

So here I am again in my belle France, never far from it. The time has change we are fully into Fall season and the weather is changing with temps going down to 5C or about 41F and now afternoon day almost over is 14C or about 58F and cloudy gray in my neck of the woods. In lovely lonely Paris is the same conditions.

I like to take a breakt to thank all those loyal readers over these years ;looking back I realised started this series of Some news from France back on December 9; 2010!! Already in its 318th edition. Thank you!!!!

Now this is my latests on what is going on in my belle France!

Since 2017, the project to redevelop Place de la Bastille has been launched. Only two months left before its complete , with the highlight being the new staircase which descends on one of the quays of the Port de l’Arsenal.

The leaning house, symbol of the effects of global warming, will leave the forecourt of the Gare du Nord 10éme arrondissement. The “Maison fond”, a work by Leandro Erlich symbolizing climate change, will be removed. It would be in bad shape. Ahh mother nature!

The Sacré-Cœur soon to be classified as a historic monument! A little more than a century after the end of the construction of the Basilica of Montmartre, the process is finally launched. Another deserving effort, do not understand why not before if only does not belong to Paris but the archdiocese!!

One-way street, cycle paths: in a few weeks, access to Paris via the Porte de la Chapelle will be transformed. The goal is to calm a very dense area, but some fear congestion. Porte de la Chapelle 18éme. On November 9, the entry of vehicles into Paris will be profoundly changed. Local residents are afraid of the big traffic jam and deplore the lack of communication. Of course, they needed to do this years ago, but now will be another traffic hell in socialist Paris.

Always a hassle to get around in Paris, the one-way street of the rue d’Alésia is annoying. Rue d’Alésia 14éme arrondissement is now one-way. If this choice makes cyclists happy, residents and shoppers are divided. Of course, free flow and no cash , Paris of the future!

A prehistoric Neanderthal site discovered at the gates of Paris. This is the first Neanderthal site discovered so close to Paris in two centuries. The site has been updated on the banks of Clichy-la-Garenne (Hauts de Seine 92).

In Seine-Saint-Denis technical incidents, exasperated travelers , is the T4 tramway cursed? A series of technical incidents paralyzed the line for several days, the last station of the extension to Montfermeil (Seine Saint Denis 93) being commissioned at the end of last August. And of course, new delay of metro line 12 and the inhabitants of Aubervilliers (Seine Saint Denis 93) annoyed. RATP announced a third delay in the delivery of the extension of line 12 to Aubervilliers. The stations should be inaugurated in the spring of 2022. Oh yes cut off the roads for more transports that do not work and are not enough, Paris of the future!

The remains of a Gallo-Roman village discovered in the Val-d’Oise (95) Traces of dwellings dating from Antiquity have been unearthed in the heart of Louvres. A first, which comes as Archéa, the museum dedicated to archeology, is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The current excavation site is taking place at 95, rue de Paris.

Take-away meals, advanced service or outright closure … The curfew requires the managers of the 1004 restaurants in the department 77 Seine et Marne to find an organization to combine the need to work, respect for health protocol and customer expectations. The restaurant La Bodega Don Felipe in Melun (77) will offer take-away meals between 18h30 and 20h30 during the curfew. An innovative idea of many to survive the wuhan virus.

Take your precautions if you are leaving the area for the start of the holidays this weekend of October 16-18. Friday is classified orange in the direction of departures. In addition, several RER and Transiliens train lines are closed this weekend for works. The toll of Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines (78) of the A10 should be loaded this weekend in the direction of departures going out especially south! Always happened, they should know by now, take alternative routes but the folks continue the habits.

In Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines 78), PSG (Paris Saint Germain) is on every street corner. A photo exhibition is organized for the 50 years of the club. It honors everyone who made PSG from the founding in 1970 to the present day. The photos reminds all that the history of PSG has largely been written on the side of the Camp des Loges here. You got it merger of a football/soccer team from Paris and from Saint Germain (en laye) Yvelines 78!

In Versailles, street art makes the popular tourist district. This coming Saturday, tourists will be guided to the popular Bernard-de-Jussieu district (furthest near Hauts de Seine dept92) where giant frescoes have just been installed. The ten giant frescoes were painted on the gables of buildings!!

The Compiègne Memorial has a bookshop!. It is one of a kind, dedicated to history and especially to WWII. A bookshop is the result of a public-private partnership between the Memorial and the Librairie des Signes.

Well not tourist oriented but , Amazon is inaugurating a unique distribution center in France. This gigantic warehouse supplies the brand’s other sites from Senlis (Oise 60). It will eventually be able to process up to 11.5 million items per week. 342 permanent jobs have already been signed. For the Christmas period, up to 1,500 people will work at the distribution center

And finally, Matisse and his “ Intérieur aux aubergines ” or eggplants interior: an itinerary of a little-known masterpiece. The painting by the French painter, owned by the Musée de Grenoble since 1922, will finally be exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris from October 21. In the fourth room of the exhibition “ Matisse, comme un roman” or like a novel.

The gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin took another rabbit out of his hat: on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October, he is organizing a treasure hunt at the Grand Palais with, as a result, twenty works donated by the artists he represents. They will be hidden by his teams in the 16,500 m2 of the nave, which should have hosted the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) – canceled due to the virus.

An exhibition on Genghis Khan at the Nantes History Museum censored by China!! Oh those Chinese again, like not calling it the wuhan virus!!. This exhibition dedicated to the Mongol Empire had to be canceled after interventions from Beijing. It will be presented in another form in 2024. This was to be the event of the Nantes History Museum in the first half of 2021 it will ultimately not take place in its initial form due to acts of “censorship by the central Chinese authorities “, deplores Bertrand Guillet, director of the Château des Ducs de Bretagne-Nantes History Museum. Beijing’s interventions to change the content of the exhibition are an illustration, according to the director, of the “hardening of the position of the Chinese government against the Mongolian minority.” Located in northern China, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is populated by 4.2 million Mongols, who make up 17 percent of the region’s population. Demonstrations were held in September to protest against Beijing’s desire to impose Mandarin in school curricula. Hopefully the museum will not allow drastic changes to the original presentation!!!

In Bretagne, the islands want to regulate the great human tides. Oh yes we are popular, tourists welcome, but now running from the avalanche of the beauty we have here !! An increase of 10.22% in Ouessant and Molène, + 17.90% in Sein, + 6.65% in Groix; etc. This summer, the number of visitors to the Breton islands – already very high has increased almost everywhere, according to figures from the region. There is hardly any other than in Belle-Île, in the Morbihan, where it is down slightly (- 2.05%). The Île de Bréhat, between 350 and 400 inhabitants per year, welcomed more than 350,000 visitors in two months!, with peaks of more than 5,000 per day. “By day it was Mont-Saint-Michel and at night it was Ibiza,” sighs Stephan Morlevat, president of the tourist office. In Hoëdic, off the Gulf of Morbihan, the water supply was even interrupted for one afternoon, in mid-July, to prevent stocks from running out! Well little islands you better be ready because they know where you are now and you are gorgeous!

For the second time, the Jardins du Trocadéro and its sublime terrace-bar of the Paris Aquarium will host an ephemeral ice rink with the added bonus of a view of the Iron Lady. 500 m2 of sliding space and pure happiness! From November 15, 2020 to January 31, 2021, the ice rink will give all aspiring athletes time to step on the ice between two shopping sessions. Christmas music, carols and decorations, skating, tobogganing … and even a gourmet village to enjoy delicious homemade hot chocolate, sweets or spicy hot wines! Patinoire des Jardins du Trocadéro ice rink, 5, avenue Albert de Mun 16éme arrondissement 14€ for adults and 9€ for children. From November 15, 2020 to January 31, 2021. Great event one that I missed the Paris region still.

Basilic & Co. , with around 30 locations in France, has finally opened in Paris, a stone’s throw from the Bataclan. fine and gourmet dough, flavors from all over France: the Basilic & Co pizza has arrived with great fanfare. The secret? It is made in front of your eyes and has a very specific feature, it is made from semolina and not flour: The dough pushing system is very long, explains David the owner. We exploit our dough after at least two days, which gives a light and crispy dough. In addition, all the pizzas and focaccias are homemade ”. Basilic & Co. 58, Bd Voltaire 11éme arrondissement. Welcome and best of luck

The famous Bo & Mie bakery, renowned for its fruit tarts and XXL puff pastry pastries, is going to open a third Parisian address, and not the least since it will be 400 m2 opposite the Louvre museum, the new Bo & Mie bakery will be the largest in Paris. This new setting will be inaugurated on next Saturday, October 24 and will be spread over three floors for a total of 400 m2. It will be spread over three floors for a total of 400 m2 . Bo & Mie , 91, rue de Rivoli 1éme arrondissement. Welcome and best of luck.

And you may have seen, heard, the news in France , from our glorious government of patch up gang of incompetents in my opinion. There will be starting this Saturday October 17, a curfew from 21h to 06h or 9pm to 6am, for a period of four maybe six weeks. Every week, a supposedly Defense Council on Covid-19 (out of Wuhan China) is organized to put in place new measures to limit the pandemic. And they keep putting out crazy arguments that are not clear and makes sense to most in my entourage. This past Wednesday, October 14 at 20h., the head of state (very well orchestrated by Macron) took the floor to announce new restrictions as well as the re-establishment of the state of health emergency from this Saturday, October 17. A certificate will be available directly on the phone via a mobile application for professional reasons, health reasons, transport reasons – train or plane -, take out your pet or to help a loved one in a situation of dependency. On the other hand, if individuals travel without a certificate, they risk a fine of 135 €. To enforce the measures, “12,000 police officers and gendarmes will be, every night between 21h. and 06h, specially responsible for actually verifying the prohibitions mentioned. Wow an army, we got bucks when money can be made easily. “Companies, and especially those in areas where the curfew applies, are now asked to define a minimum number of days of tele working per week for positions which allow it”, declares Elisabeth Borne, the Minister of Labor, Employment and Integration (which means less jobs). Direct state loans will be granted to the most troubled companies and extended until June 30, 2021. Right; welfare won’t solve the problems never has and never will. For clarification this curfew is only for the Ïle de France region (Paris, Versailles, Fontainebleau etc) , and the big cities of Lille, Grenoble, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Rouen, Saint Etienne, Montpellier, and Toulouse. Therefore, my beloved Bretagne is spare come on over!!!

So there you go folks some news and some of my enlighter rants on current events; again thank you for reading and be safe.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

October 16, 2020

Mexico and Jorge Negrete!

So I have come to Mexico several times over the term of my life and always nicely welcome. Now I have written several posts on Mexico in my blog, but I need to do justice to one person.

If you are from the Spanish speaking world then you should have heard of Jorge Negrete! Granted you have to be perhaps a mature person as unfortunately Jorge Negrete died in 1953. His music and movies continues on as a legacy of Mexico and Latin America and a special place for him, Cuba. I like to tell you a bit about the Plaza Jorge Negrete and the person.

mex plaza jorge negrete statue sep18

An interesting statue and this one real Mexican charro , and one of the most famous singer and actor of Mexico and well known in all Latin America is of Jorge Negrete and its Plaza de Jorge Negrete square.  Located by Ave de los Insurgentes Sur and calle Capuchinas,not far from Parque del Conde park.  Metro line 7 and 12 are close by or metrobus line 1 stop Teatro de los Insurgentes (see post on the theater).

mex plaza jorge negrete statue far sep18

Briefly, Jorge Alberto Negrete Moreno was born in Silao, Guanajuato, on November 30th, 1911 and died in Los Angeles California on December 5 1953. He studied at the military college at the age of 14 and at 18 came out with the highest qualifications which led him to perform further studies in Paris and Rome. He seemed to have a brilliant military career, because he also studied medicine and manages the military Hospital in Puebla. But at the same time he takes singing lessons, and finds out that he has a privileged voice for opera singing. He starts singing on the radio, and soon asks for his military career to end to devote himself to singing at the XETR broadcaster in Mexico City. The rest as the saying goes is history and good one. Worth a detour for the lovers of good music and films.

However, the idea of the text and new photos is to talk about Jorge Negrete for the lovers of good music and films.

His father worked as a teacher at the Alexander Von Humboldt German School, thanks to which he was able to enroll his children in that institution. There Jorge finished high school and learned German, French, English and Italian, and studied the fundamentals of Nahuatl in a self-taught way.

Later he entered the Héroico Colegio Militar or Heroic Military College, graduating as Lieutenant of Cavalry and Administration  of the Mexican Army with high qualifications. There he learned to ride a horse, a skill that he would show off by playing the Mexican charro in the cinema. Later he worked in the Fábrica de Armas de la Ciudadela or Citadel Arms Factory performing administrative tasks, and partially studied medicine.

He studied singing with José Pierson, director of the Compañía Impulsora de Opera de México, who was a teacher of notable opera singers at the time, such as Fanny Anitúa and José Mojica, and popular interpreters such as Pedro Vargas, Alfonso Ortiz Tirado and Hugo Avendaño.  In 1931, with the rank of second Captain, he applied for a license from the Mexican Army to fully dedicate himself to his singing career, starting at the XETR radio station. At that time, he performed Mexican romances and Neapolitan songs, as well as pieces by authors of the time.

In 1934, he sang for the only time at the Palacio de las Bellas Artes in Mexico City, (see post on the palace of fine arts) with the student choir of maestro José Pierson in the musical La verdad sospechosa , (suspicious truth) by Juan Ruiz de Alarcón. In November 1936 he traveled to the border on their way to the United States. In New York played as the Mexican Caballeros for the NBC network. There in April 1937 Jorge Negrete participated in an audition to be part of the cast of the Metropolitan Opera House, but was unable to do so, as he was offered a substitute role, which he refused. Desperate, he agreed to work as a waiter at “Yumurí” and other restaurants with a Latin atmosphere. He made some money making adaptations of American songs into Spanish. One night in which the singer of the dance orchestra did not appear, Negrete replaced him, and due to the success of that modest presentation he was hired by the Cuban musician Eliseo Grenet to sing with his orchestra.

In 1937 he made his first film appearance, in the Warner Bros. short Cuban Nights characterized as a Cuban troubadour. Back in the United States, in 1939 he got a contract with the 20th Century Fox company, to do films in Spanish in Hollywood, but the project did not come to fruition due to a boycott by the Union of Actors of the United States (American Actors Union) against Latino actors. Around that time, he had the first serious manifestation of the liver disease that had been diagnosed by the doctors of the Heroic Military College and that would lead him to death years later. Due to lack of resources, it could not be properly attended to.

In that same year, 1941, back in Mexico, he played the main role in ¡Ay Jalisco, no te rajes ! ( hey Jalisco do not give up) , a film that would catapult him to international fame and made him one of the greatest artistic figures in Latin America, sharing the main credits of that movie. In 1950 he received the distinction as best actor by critics in Spain, for the film Teatro Apolo. 

The radio station Cadena Azul of Cuba offered the now famous actor to sing live on its radio channels in combination with the National Theater. The affection of the Cuban people was so great that then-president Grau San Martín went to the National Theater to applaud him. After his contract ended, he traveled to Puerto Rico, but returned to Cuba to perform charity concerts, since the island had been hit by a hurricane. During these performances, non-commercial recordings of his voice were made, which would be for the station’s private use and several years later they were digitally rescued.

Jorge Negrete was a great promoter of tourism and investments for the benefit of Guanajuato, of which he always wanted to be governor and where he frequently organized festivals and artistic caravans to support the construction of the central headquarters of the University of Guanajuato, a hospital, a dispensary and the temple of the Calzada de Guadalupe in his hometown. He was married towards the end of his life with the actress María Félix (another great one of Mexico and Latin America). The wedding with María at the Catipoato farm,  featured the most well-known celebrities of the show, as well as intellectual figures, such as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, María Teresa Montoya and Octavio Paz, as well as famous bullfighters and athletes of that time, among others. He only had one daughter, Diana Negrete with his first wife Elisa Christy.

Jorge Negrete founded the Union of Cinematographic Production Workers of the Mexican Republic and reorganized, together with a select group of actors, the National Association of Actors (ANDA), of which he was its most prominent leader.

The day of his death was considered national mourning and five minutes of silence were observed in all theaters in the country. At the Mexico City airport alone, about 10,000 people gathered to receive his body. In the theater of the A.N.D.A that today bears his name, his mortal remains remained exposed for the people to pay tribute to him. His admirers walked in front of his coffin in an unbroken line for two days and nights. On the day of his burial, a human fence of hundreds of thousands of admirers skirted the path of the National Actors Association Theater ,today Jorge Negrete Theater  to the Panteón Jardín, south of Mexico City.

A bit more on the life of Jorge Negrete in English:

There I feel I made justice to a great person ,singer, and actor of my Latin America. And reminds me of the wonderful welcome always given me in Mexico Lindo y Querido!!! Hope you enjoy the cultural post.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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