Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Obama Speaks

Did you listen to the State of the Union last night? Whatever you think of President Obama's ideas, you can't deny that he is a superb orator and a talented writer; I interned as a speech-writer at a Paris foundation for the arts and, a few years later, at the French embassy in Tokyo, back in the 90's, and I find speech writing a fascinating process.
Ever so cool, with its great team of designers, Penguin has released a slender blue hardback with Obama's inaugural address, some speeches by Abraham Lincoln and my dear Ralph Ellison's essay, "On Self-Reliance." If you are interested in Obama, in history and in the USA, it's a wonderful little book. Here's a brief passage:
And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself.

And if we mention our President, can we fail to mention Michelle Obama? I find her as stunningly intelligent as she is elegant and beautiful, and Glamour voted her one of its Women Of 2009 - how could it be otherwise?

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Glasses

Recently, I had been debating whether or not to get a new pair of glasses - after serving me loyally for 8 years, my little Guccis were showing serious signs of wear. And then it happened. They fell, breaking beyond repair. To replace them, I chose this Giorgio Armani pair. They are unapologetically big and have a retro, almost awkward style that I find rather cool.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Around Sculpture

Last week, I attended the opening of a new show at Venice's LA Louver gallery with my dear friend Spangler. I loved the gouache paintings by Sol LeWitt, as well as the sculpture above, by Joel Shapiro. It's magical how it seems to be falling, as if in motion, and how the lights multiply its shadows, like echos of light and darkness.

This made me reflect on how different LA and Paris are. LA, all angles and modern; Paris, voluptuous and old, as reflected in this sculpture by Antoine Bourdelle, in the garden of the Paris museum that bears his name.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekend Yard Sales

On Saturday I went to a few yard sales around Venice and Santa Monica. My loot includes a set of 3 red dessert/salad plates, a blue ceramic pitcher (perfect for when I make lemonade), and a huge wood salad bowl with its three matching individual bowls - all that for a grand total of $15.
Finally, I bought this ancient egg beater... I know I'll never use it but I just couldn't resist its retro look - also, it only cost $1.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

So Delicate


Top: White flowers in Pacific Palisades
Bottom: A Japanese ginger grater

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Accessorizing

I'm not much of an accessory fan, wearing very little jewelry and allergic to it bags of all kinds. However, I do need to carry my essentials, including a book (always) and some water; I always choose leather-free deigns that are as light as possible and preferably handmade. This graphic, geometrical felt bag found on Etsy fulfills all these requirements with style.

The bakelite ring I bought from Petit Oiseau and a bird necklace (from Rag Trader) I gave a friend for Christmas.

And since so many of you liked the pics of me trying hats at a Parisian department store (see them here), I thought I'd share 2 more pics from the series...

Monday, January 11, 2010

So long, Rio Bravo

A few days ago, my grandmother said goodbye to Rio Bravo, the house in Uruguay's Punta del Este where she lived with my grandfather and their two daughters after moving back from Texas - where my mum was born. The house was just too big for her to live alone in, among other things.
Oddly perhaps, I didn't even feel the faintest twinge the day my abuela moved out. Because I lived in Iran, Kenya, Iraq, China and then-British Hong Kong before moving to Paris, all before I turned 15, I have become quite indifferent to houses and apartments. To me, home is where my parents are; and if tomorrow they move to a hotel in a country where I've never set foot, I'll call that place home.

Top: that's me, aged 9 months, with my mum, when I first visited Uruguay.
Bottom: a few years later, in Rio Bravo again.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Is Benjy Vogue-worthy?

Benjy and I finally got our eager little paws on Dogs In Vogue, a superb collection of photographs and illustrations published over the decades in Vogue magazine, and featuring pooches of all kinds. Dogs, dogs, dogs everywhere! Dogs in the arms of their famous owners, like Moujik with Yves Saint-Laurent, and dogs as characters in fashion spreads.

And what about Benjy of the black almond eyes, the floppy velvet ears and the slender body, Benjy the dachshund jetting between chic Paris and trendy Los Angeles? Is he Vogue-worthy?

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Last Paris Snapshots

From the café-restaurant Le Fumoir, a view on the rue de Rivoli's graceful arches.

Chez Chloé, a dear friend from my high school days, a gorgeous poster and some trinkets.

Birds flying around the lake in the Bois de Boulogne.

I gave out many Etsy presents for Christmas, and now the items are "living" in Paris - here are two friends in the métro with a LOVE pillow I just gave them, and little Arthur (remember him?) wearing his handmade mouse hat, which I bought from ElleGanT's shop.
This post is dedicated to two beautiful and precious friends, Stacie and Adrienne, who have been dreaming of Paris for so long. May 2010 take you there!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Shops of Paris

The shop window at Guerlain on the rue de Passy...

An ancient shoe at a traditional cobbler's on the rue de Biot... A chocolate shoe in the window of a hip confectioner's on the rue de Seine.

The top floor of the Bon Marché - designer lamps under the old department store's splendid metal structure.

One of Paris's most famous department stores, Le Printemps is decorated with spectacular holiday lights.

Trying on some hats.

Slow Readers' Book Club

I just joined the Slow Readers' Book Club, whose name is based on the Slow Movement, "a cultural shift toward slowing down life's pace." The first book we are going to read is Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls, and of course you are all welcome to join in - just email diana@ourcitylights.org. Diana, the founder of the SRBC, has been joined by Gabbi and Sam, both dear and inspirational cyberfriends, as well as other bloggers I am eager to learn more about...