February 27, 2009

Allez les Bleus

Xavier, Vincent (Xavier's Dad), and I went to the France/Wales Rugby Game this weekend. It was fantastic.

Xavier's frenzy in the packed metro.

Le Stade de France

After the French team was announced and trotted out onto the field, I looked over at this guy and his eyes were filled with tears. It was touching.

Xavier, Vincent à fond.

And then these guys, in their florescence, lined the crowd and sat facing us with their elbows on their knees and their chin in their hands. Crowd control. I think if in their job interview they showed any enthusiasm for rugby, they were not given the job. In fact, they probably had to actually say that they hated the game. I kept tabs on them throughout the match and not once did they swivel their heads around to sneak a peak - not even when a try was scored and the whole stadium erupted. Impressive performance. I guess this sort of thing is necessary because people get trampled in Europe at these events.

FRANCE won! Bravo les Frenchies. Pas mal. We were happy together, this supporter and I. Final Score: 21 - 16.

La Marseillaise.

Promenade Plantée

In Paris' 12th arrondissement is the Promenade Plantée, a 4.5 km park, which was created on an abandoned 19th-century railway viaduct. So, it is a park that hovers above the city, above the cars, at apartment window-level. It runs from Bastille all the way east almost to Bois de Vincennes.

My friend Aralena and I ventured up to walk along its heights. I was charmed by Aralena and her red coat and by the idea of the thing itself. It was impressive, even on a gray pre-Spring day and I can't wait to return to see what happens to this strip when Spring fully hits. There were signs all about that it is on its way.

The Sun Shines For Everyone (when it shines, yes).

So, there is a similar thing in Manhattan. It's called the highline, an old elevated railway that runs through the lower part of the West Side of Manhattan. It is a big deal because for years it has just been a dilapidated, overgrown old railway (pretty cool itself) and now the city is making it into a similar space as the Promenade Plantée here in Paris.

This is the highline as it has been.

The plans...

February 24, 2009


While in Baugé, we took a little drive to neighboring Saumur.

At some point in my life, I would like to do a qualitative study on houses of hair design. Here are two lovely examples in a French town. One is even paired with the town's driving school. Amazing.

And here is Xavier, the weirdo. How I like that weirdo side.


This is the town where Xavier's parents have a house outside of Paris. Here it is on the map of France. It's in the Loire Valley.

Here is what we mean when we say we are going to 'Baugé':

Yes, even this. When we ate this for lunch over the weekend, I was horrified. That is a ridiculous thing to say, but it is nonetheless (unfortunately) true. The Joly family were gracious enough to explain to me that the top portion of this thing is pig gelatin.

That was my only complaint. As you can see, Baugé is a delightful place to be. The most delightful part is, of course, the people. Xavier's family are wonderful. Look at them in various forms:

First, in ancestor form. Paternal grandparents. Excellent beauty genes (hee hee).

In Marie on the wall form. I love Marie, Xavier's sister.

In Vincent (Xavier's dad) reading to Marguerite form. Marguerite loves Baugé more than anyone.

In birthday form.

In eating the pig gelatin form (Xavier's mom and dad).

In years gone by form. Xavier's mother (Paule), Marie, Xavier.

The Market in Baugé

Like every town in France, Baugé has a market. On Saturday morning we set out to have a stare. We didn't buy much, but we really took it all in.

Market Fashion:

Unabashedly, Xavier had a look around with the video camera. I would have been intimidated by all of those glares, but he is a Frenchie himself, I guess. Regardless, thanks to his documentation, we get an excellent view of what a Saturday morning market looks and sounds like in a small French village. I was just happy to be surrounded by all of those vegetables really.

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