Le Car Rapide at Musée de l’Homme

"car rapide" Bonne Mère located now in the Musée de l'Homme

We are heading to Senegal in December. A restored version of the famous “car rapide” (Sengalese express bus) the Musée de l’Homme was a natural source for our visual information on Saint-Louis and Dakar city transportation. The “Bonne Mère” was waiting for us on the second floor. We will have no problem recognizing the bus. The colorful paintings of popular art blend and illustrate the country’s Islam and Animiste cultures ….

Paris Scenes – A Rainy November Night

Friday, November 20, a week after the Paris attacks. The Eiffel Tower is specially lit in red, white and blue until November 25

A week after the Paris attacks I went out to see if anyone else was out. Along the Champs-Elysées the cars were moving along as usual, the Ferris wheel was turning. They switched on the lights along the avenue a day later than planned. Not many wandered the the Village de Noël Christmas market lanes and sidewalks. Walking toward the Seine, Dior along the Avenue Montaigne had the most spectacular decoration among illuminated trees. Catching the bus from Alma-Marceau to Trocadéro, the Eiffel Tower …

Vigée Le Brun Retrospective at Grand Palais

Maternal Tenderness (1786) Salon 1787 one of three paintings shown at the salon exulting the joys of motherhood, reflecting the new spirit of the time, fashionable to express sentimentalism.

“Only in painting have I found happiness” … Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. This is the first French retrospective for this portraitist. One hundred fifty-nine works are on view until January 11, 2016 at the Grand Palais. You will be mesmerized by the moist, glinting eyes that look at you. One of the best times to visit avoiding lines and crowds is Friday around 5:30 pm. In her portraits, I see an artist who painted impressionism, fashion, motherly tenderness and narrative art. Although not the first to paint teeth showing or expressive eyes, Madame Le Brun did have an expressive talent for naturalness. For her education….

Global Chocolate at Paris Salon du Chocolat

Willie's Cacao Salon du Chocolat 2015

On opening day, I entered the Salon du Chocolat while the afternoon sun was shining. The colorful packaging struck my eyes brightly! Entering the trade show on the second level, I was swept up globally and landed in Brazil. After doing a tasting I bought three squares of various Brazilian chocolates from Mendoá: café, ginger and 80% with cocoa feves with in my first ten minutes on site. I had to watch that my cravings did not get near my purse… My taste buds were set to seek out the unusual in this year’s Salon du Chocolat. By the time I left this vast array of packaging three hours later, the sun had set. I was not craving chocolate any longer, but the pavilion did look like one big box of chocolate…

Paris Parks begin Winter Hours

The gardien ending his day at Square Louis XIII - Place des Vosges in the 4th arrondissement of Paris walking toward the statue.

Walking through Square Louis XIII (also known as Place des Vosges), my short cut route was cut short. The route became the long way around! The corner where I usually exit was already locked! And then I heard a hint of why.”Le square ferme. Mesdames, Messieurs et Mesdemoiselles*, le square ferme,” he called out. To my surprise the 7:30 pm closing time was no longer; it was now 5:45 pm! The majority of Paris park changed to winter time when the clocks fell back an hour. …

Auvers-sur-Oise Has a New Tourist Office

Auvers Painter

The season is slowing down in Auvers-sur-Oise. Some museums close between November 1 and March 31; others remain open. My last visit was 2010 and I am planning a re-visit in the Spring to catch the flowering fields and spring flowers. You can plan your Spring, Summer and Autumn visit with some helpful brochures (see links below) from the Auvers tourist office. Auvers-sur-Oise opened a new tourist office in 2015 and is now called Auvers Tourisme. The village celebrated the 125th anniversary in 2015 of one of its best known visitors, Vincent Van Gogh….

Un Picasso – Play at Theatre de Nesle


Paris is a small world. On an art tour in the morning and someone hands me a flyer about the play, “Un Picasso (A Picasso)”. That evening, attending a vernissage, I am now speaking with one of the directors of the play. Performances are at the Theatre de Nesle from October 22 to November 15 in French or in English, depending on the night of the show…..

Pierre Cardin’s Permanent Paris Museum

4797_Pierre Cardin_Museum

Pierre Cardin goes to his studio everyday, continues working with his stylists and leaves a notebook next to his bed to make notes and drawings…. In 2014 the fashion designer told his closest assistant and former apprentice, Renée Taponier, that just in case no one pays homage to his legacy of work after he passes on, he might as well do it himself. He opened a museum on rue Saint Merri. What a collection! This visit opened a new world for me about someone who I thought just designed men’s suits and the Beatles collarless jackets. Ingenuity and a view to the future with no pang of nostalgia are alive and well at the Museum Pierre Cardin.