Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Café Mouffe: Ces soirées là

Friday, August 21st, 2009

How many French pop singers named Yannick could there be. I came across Ces soirées là, his hit from 2000, and now I can’t get it out of my head. If you can’t stay in your seat for this one, we have a place for you in the Café Mouffe chorus line. When I went looking for more information, I found Yannick Noah, pop singer and pro tennis champ in a previous life. Here’s his official site. Maybe someone with better sight than me can tell me if they are one and the same. Wish I’d been on the street in Paris when the video for Vous was shot… I would have tried to dance and lip-sync, too.

Update 082209: Ms. Modigliani puzzled out my question about the singer: “Yannick Ngombo, not Yannick Noah, is the singer/rapper from Angola who sings Ces Soirees la. Tons of singers with name Yannick!

Encore: I found my way to “Ces soirées là” after nourishing obscurity sent me a trackback. He linked to a photo montage of Charlotte Casiraghi that used the song as soundtrack. While searching for the original, I was totally charmed by a webcam vamp of it by two girls who are having too much fun. The post that started all this featured a concert clip of Willy DeVille’s Venus of Avenue D. Many thanks, nourishing obscurity!

Café Mouffe opens on Fridays. Please drop by for a listen and a chat. Sometimes the embedded videos don’t work here due to bandwidth constraints, but you’ll always find links to video sources in the notes. Try them. If you’re curious about the Mouffe, here’s the original idea behind it’s creation.

Paris, je t’aime - Bastille

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

After I posed the rhetorical question yesterday about video tributes to world-class neighborhoods, Alex sent me Paris, je t’aime-Bastille. Point well-taken, and many thanks!

According to Wikipedia:

Bastille (XIIe arrondissement) — by Spanish writer-director Isabel Coixet. Prepared to leave his marriage for a much younger lover (Leonor Watling), a man (Sergio Castellitto) instead decides to stay with his wife (Miranda Richardson) after she reveals a terminal illness - and rediscovers the love he once felt for her.

Jonesing for Saint Germain des Prés

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Returning to Jazz A Saint Germain at yesterday’s Mouffe sent me searching for that album’s cover track, Debbie Harry’s version of “Il N’Y a Plus d’Apres.” I couldn’t find it on YouTube, but Juliette Greco is just as alluring, especially for the grainy 60s feel of the street footage. That made me jones all the more for Saint-Germain des Prés. I’m not alone in this yearning. What other neighborhood has tributes like these produced by Peterkein and DiegoHCantor?

Obama Ladies Bid Paris Adieu

Monday, June 8th, 2009

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia at the Pompidou Centre in Paris on June 7, 2009. [Photo source: AFP]
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia at the Pompidou Centre in Paris on June 7, 2009. [Photo source: AFP]

PARIS (AFP) — US first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha flew out of Paris on Monday morning after a busy tourist weekend in the French capital, an airport source said.

Obama and the two girls kicked off their Paris stay with a trip up the Eiffel Tower on Friday evening before joining President Barack Obama, in northern France for Saturday’s D-Day commemorations in Normandy.

The family on Saturday visited Notre Dame cathedral and dined out in a Paris bistrot, followed on Sunday ahead of the president’s departure with a more than two-hour early morning private tour of the Pompidou modern art centre.

Left to thair own devices, the Obama ladies lunched with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife before shopping in a children’s clothes store and getting a private tour of the Louvre museum.

They dined in a restaurant renowned for souffles located on a small pedestrian alley close to Saint-Germain-des-Pres.

Large crowds gathered wherever the Obamas went. For 10-year-old Malia and Sasha, 7, it was their first excursion abroad as daughters of a US president.

Grabbing a Bistro on the Postcard Side of Paris

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Gendarmes hold back people at a street corner in the 7th Arrondissemen as the Obamas arrive for dinner at La Fontaine de Mars on June 6, 2009. [Photo source: Associated Press /NPR]

According to Obama Foodorama (no kidding, there is a blog devoted to “the Obama Foodscape”):

Last night, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama had dinner with daughter Malia and two other guests at La Fontaine de Mars in Paris. The moderately priced bistro specializes in rustic dishes from France’s southwest region of Bordeaux Perigord and the Basque. Foie gras, duck and cassoulet are on the menu. Restaurant staff told the media that the President chose roast lamb for dinner, while everyone else in the party had beef fillets.

Waiter Gabriel de Carvalho, who waited on the presidential party, told the UK’s Independent, as well as AFP, and everyone else in town:

“They [The Obamas] were very pleased. They said that they had had a ‘wonderful meal’. The President was very friendly. He had gigot d’agneau and an île flottante. No wine, just water. The others had fillet of beef and crème brûlée.”

The Deep Throat waiter also went on Itele news channel and repeated his menu story, adding that just to be safe, the Secret Service had a taster in the kitchen to test the Obama food before it was served.

“They have someone who tastes the dishes,” said de Carvalho. “It wasn’t very pleasant for the cooks at first, but the person was very nice and was relaxed, so it all went well.”

Managers at the restaurant confirmed the report for the AFP news service.

The smallish restaurant has country-style decor, complete with red and white checkered tablecloths and dark wood furniture. Established in 1908, the restaurant prides itself on a “family atmosphere,” according to AFP. Roads were blocked into the tiny neighborhood leading to 129 rue Saint Dominique, but of course mobs of people turned out to try to catch a glimpse of the President and First Lady. And of course, French and American security officers patrolled the streets outside, and snipers were hidden on the rooftops.

The President and First Lady declined dinner with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, which is still being discussed in the European press.

La Fontaine de Mars menu (PDF)

According to Libération (translated by Daniel B., Suits):

Despite the official obligations connected with the movement of theAmerican President in Normandy, the Obama family took advantage of hisstay in France to engage in some escapades on the post-card side ofParis, at the cost of a program minutely kept under highest surveillance.

From the Eiffel Tower to Notre-Dame de Paris, passing through theGeorges Pompidou center and the Louvre Museum, the Obamas followed asa family the classic tour of Paris.

Friday evening, arriving ahead of her husband, Michelle Obama andtheir two daughters, Malia and Sasha, 10 and 8, went to the EiffelTower, where they were welcomed by Bertrand Delanoë, PS mayor of Parisand by several hundred enthusiastic people, including a number ofAmericans.

Saturday evening, after a day at Colleville-sur-mer dedicated to thecelebration of the 65^th anniversary of the Landing, Barack andMichelle Obama joined their daughters for a visit to Notre-Dame deParis, closed to the public for the occasion. The Obamas climbed tothe high towers of the gothic cathedral, where they were photographed,and they waved at a crowd of several hundred persons, kept at adistance by the security operation.

The Obama couple then dined with Malia in a Parisian bistro typical ofthe 7^th arrondissement, “The Fountain of Mars”, in company with anAmerican woman writer and a fifth person, Gabriel de Carvalho, one ofthe waitresses, told the AFP. “They were very satisfied. They saidthey had had a ‘wonderful meal’,” she said. “The President wasextremely nice to the personnel. He ate leg of lamb and a floatingisland. No wine, just water. The other guests took beef steak andcrème brûlée.”

According to her, the Secret Service had place in the kitchen a personcharged with tasting all the plates of the president before they wereserved to him.

Sunday morning, the imposing procession went along the quays of theSeine, closed to traffic for the occasion, to reach at 9:00 o’clockthe Georges-Pompidou Center, in the center of Paris, which holds afamous museum of modern art. Before it opening to the public, theObama family spent more than two hours waving from the fifth-floorterrass at the occasional by-passer and at the tourists.

According to a speaker for the museum, it was “a very relaxed visit,very family-like. The president wore a shirt, without a tie.Michelle’s mother was also there.” They had especially visited theexpositions of Kandinsky and Calder, accompanied by the organizers ofeach exposition.

Afterward, President Obama left rapidly for Orly, where Air Force Onewas waiting, and which took off a little before 12:30 for Washington.

Michelle Obama and their two daughters stayed in Paris, where theywere received for Sunday lunch by Nicolas and Carla Sarkozy at the Elysée.

The First Lady of the United States devoted the afternoon to shoppingin a store of children’s clothing in the 7^th arrondissement, beforegoing to the Louvre Museum about 6:45 pm for a private visit. She wassupposed to dine in a restaurant of the 7^th arrondissement.The First Lady and her two daughters will leave for Washington Mondayat the end of the morning.

Ooh La La… Hero’s Welcome for Obamas in Paris

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Barack Obama à Notre-Dame, arrivée du cortège.
Uploaded by papyrazzi - Up-to-the minute news videos.

Daily Motion: Arrivée du cortège du président américain Barack Obama à Notre-Dame. Filmé vers 20h rue Lagrange, face au café Panis.

According to AFP:

PARIS (AFP) – US President Barack Obama and his family received a hero’s welcome in Paris on Saturday as they were given a private tour of the famed Notre Dame cathedral.

Thousands of cheering Parisians and tourists lined bridges over the River Seine as the presidential motorcade swept past, desperate for a glimpse of Obama, his wife Michelle, 10-year-old Malia and seven-year-old Sasha.

Applause and whistles erupted as Obama’s 20-vehicle motorcade pulled in to the large square in front of the cathedral, closed off to the public specially for his visit.

With Paris abuzz, the presidential party spent more than a hour being given a tour of the 12th century cathedral, considered one of the finest examples of French gothic architecture in the world.

The crowd below erupted jubilantly when the Obama daughters Malia and Sasha, on their first trip with dad since he became president, waved from a balcony high on the iconic building.

There was no disappointment from sightseers hoping to get inside the cathedral, simply excitement that an even bigger attraction was in town.

“It doesn’t matter we’ll come back tomorrow, we wanted to see Obama anyway,” one of a group of Venezuelans said.

Security was tight around Notre Dame — located on Ile de la Cite, an island in the heart of Paris on the River Seine — with sharp shooters in place and a helicopter hovering overhead. Police had earlier cleared out the cathedral.

Obama, in France for commemorations to mark the 65th anniversary of D-Day, was to dine later with his family at a Parisian restaurant before returning to the home of the US ambassador, a French presidential source said.

Café Mouffe: Tarace Boulba

Friday, June 5th, 2009

No, this isn’t the Rebirth Brass Band. It isn’t New Orleans, either, , but it could be. You can go ahead and second-line. Don’t sit down.

This brass band is  Tarace Boulba from Paris. Their 2006 and 2008 concert clips prove that neither side of the pond has a monopoly when it comes to funk. According to Global Hit’s Marco Werman:

Tarace Boulba. Sounds like a sweet Turkish dessert. It’s actually one funky brass band from France. Technically, they consider themselves a “fanfare,” spelled like fanfare, but in French it means a brass ensemble. Tarace Boulba sounds like Balkan wedding music…if it were played by African and African-American funk musicians. The group was founded in the outskirts of Paris in 1993. It has 800 members, most of them non-professional, all of them very committed. So committed, they’re unpaid. They actually pay…a membership fee of 15 euros (or 20 bucks), and they’re in the band, for life.

Encore: Some members of the Tarace Boulba collective compled their first North American tour last week, tracing the roots of funk from New Orleans to Minneapolis, Chicago, Cleveland, and New York. They closed at Rubulad in Brooklyn on May 30.

Café Mouffe opens on Fridays. Please drop by for a listen and a chat. Sometimes the embedded videos don’t work here due to bandwidth constraints, but you’ll always find links to video sources in the notes. Try them. If you’re curious about the Mouffe, here’s the original idea behind it’s creation.

Something To Savor With A Sip Of Calvados

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

“Farming offers many fashionable careers,” says a breathy French actress who sounds like Catherine Deneuve selling the proverbial bath oil. She’s the voice of a new government advertising campaign meant to entice more French youth to toil, fashionably, on the land. The ad campaign was launched at last week’s Paris farm show. You can hear a snippet on NPR.

Sign me up! True, I’m no spring chicken, but I know how to prune apple trees. I know how to squeeze cider. I venerate Calvados vénérable. If I’d known Paris had a farm show, I would have packed my bibs and John Deere cap and hopped the next flight over there.

Here’s the scoop from AFP (022109):

PARIS (AFP) — France’s annual crop and livestock show opened on Saturday with President Nicolas Sarkozy promising farmers to help prepare them to face a future with smaller European subsidies.

Part trade fair and part family day out, the week-long jamboree is expected to draw half-a-million visitors to an exhibition centre in Paris and allow city dwellers to reconnect with French farming traditions.

It is also a highly political event, an annual opportunity for a string of Paris-based politicians to have themselves photographed with one of the 650 prize cattle, 550 sheep and 140 horses on show.

Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac, has a country retreat of his own in the Correze farming heartland and was a farm show natural, clearly enjoying the ritual and a chance to talk to farming leaders.

The new president, the former mayor of one of Paris’ plushest suburbs, is less comfortable at the show. Last year, Sarkozy was caught on video telling a visitor who refused to shake his hand: “Get lost, you stupid bastard.” Read more

Flaneur’s Gallery: Paris Street, Rainy Day

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Gustave Caillebotte. Paris Street, Rainy Day (La Place de l'Europe, temps de pluie). 1877. Oil on canvas. Art Institute of Chicago. [Source: Wikimedia Commons]
Gustave Caillebotte
. Paris Street, Rainy Day (La Place de l’Europe, temps de pluie). 1877. Oil on canvas. Art Institute of Chicago. [Source: Wikimedia Commons]

See the permanent page for Gustave Caillebotte: Paris Street, Rainy Day.

Louvre? Some Kind of Brothel, Right?

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

[Source: Nicolas de Crecy/NPR]

What would archaeologists of the future imagine if they dug deep into the rubble of Paris and unearthed the treasures of the Louvre?  That’s the concept behind a comic strip about the Louvre now on exhibit there. It’s the first exhibition of bandes dessinees ever mounted in the palace of high art, though you must descend to the depths of its medieval stone moat (excavated only in the 1980s) to view the comics. According to NPR:

The three strips currently on display are in fact drawings from the first three comic books ever published by the Louvre. One, by artist Nicolas de Crecy, is set thousands of years in the future and features a museum guide who is a cross between a pig and a dog.

De Crecy’s pig-dog can speak intelligently about all of the museum’s art objects — from the naked pre-Hellenic statuary to the Mona Lisa. In the strip, he’s charged with leading a group of archaeologists through the museum. But the archaeologists, who believe they have discovered a lost city preserved beneath a glacier, get almost everything wrong when they look at the art.

“When they saw the name E. Delacroix they think that it means Delacroix House and they conclude that it’s a bordel, it’s a whorehouse,” says [exhibit curator Fabrice] de Crecy.

The scientists’ tendency to make uninformed conclusions about what they find in the museum — rather than merely appreciating the objects for their own beauty — is a not-too-subtle swipe at pointy-headed academics.

Overall, Douar argues that the exhibit is more than just a tip of the hat to contemporary pop art. He says that bandes dessinees have a pedigree as old as any of the Louvre’s holdings from the Renaissance — from tapestries that tell stories to the work of the great Italian painter Carpaccio, who did a series of works telling the story of St. Ursula. Listen.

See The Louvre embraces comics for first time/AP/IHT 012209

Café Mouffe: Alice Russell - Live in Paris

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Everyone knows Amy Winehouse didn’t want to go to rehab because Duffy and Adele caught the latest wave of British blue-eyed soul and swept her out to sea. Seems there is no end to that wave’s surf-pounding. Alice Russell was new to me when I heard her interview on PRI The World’s Global Hit, but she’s been around as long, if not longer, than her compatriots. Her third album, Pot of Gold, has just been released in the U.S.

The clips featured here, Seven Nation Army and Taking Hold, come from a 2007 DVD recorded in Paris (available from Tru Thoughts,directed by Frederic Feuillet). If anyone can name the club, I’d love to know.

Encore: The wave rolls in with a soft sea breeze in Sweet Is The Air, described in the clip notes as a “new surfing advert.” I don’t know the destination adverted in the animation, but I want to escape there!

Café Mouffe opens evry Friday ’round 3 p.m.  Please drop by for a listen and a chat. Sometimes the embedded videos don’t work here due to bandwidth constraints, but you’ll always find links to video sources in the notes. Try them. If you’re curious about the Mouffe, here’s the original idea behind it’s creation.

Flaneur’s Gallery: Place du Théâtre Français

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Camille Pissarro. Place du Théâtre Français. 1868. Oil on canvas. Hermitage, St. Petersburg. [Source: Wikimedia Comons]

Renoir’s Portrait of Alphonsine Fournaise

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Pierre Auguste Renoir. Portrait of Alphonsine Fournaise. 1879. Musée d’Orsay, Paris. [Source: WebMuseum Paris]

Alphonsine Fournaise was the woman in straw boater standing at the rail in the center of Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party. Alphonsine is the subtle heroine in Susan Vreeland’s novel of the same name, where she animates her family’s riverside resort on the Seine as artist’s muse and modern river goddess. La Maison Fournaise, where Renoir painted Boating Party as well as this portrait, is now the Musée Fournaise in the city of Chatou near Paris.

Bomb Scare at Paris Department Store

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 video: Panic after Paris bomb scare 121608