Love, love, love my Reeboks!

In my June 2017 post entitled “the King’s Road, shopping and strolling – London“, I was raving about my new CLOUDRIDE DMX 2.0 walking shoes. Like all tourists, travellers and walkers, I know the importance of a truly excellent walking shoe. (When vacationing in a big city I usually walk 8 to 9 hours a day.)

I also walk a lot here in Paris, because I don’t own a car.

And so, wishing to buy a second pair, I was crushed to learn that the CLOUDRIDE DMX 2.0 is discontinued in Europe.

So I waited, and now my patience has paid off. I’ve just bought their new model called the Reebok™ Cloudride LS DMX. For urban walkers, I totally recommend this shoe.

Reebok rules!



new Picasso exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay, and other exhibitions

Purchase your tickets in advance because this is an exceptional event. In collaboration with the Musée National Picasso Paris and dedicated to the artist’s Blue and Rose periods, his canvases will be on show at the Musée d’Orsay from September 18, 2018 to January 6, 2019.




For the first time, the museum brings together the works of two key periods in the painter’s career. A sumptuous set of paintings and drawings, testament to a precocious, prolific, and all-consuming genius.

Here’s a list of some other major exhibitions of the second half of the year 2018 in Paris:

Picasso, “Chefs-d’oeuvre” at the Musée Picasso (September 4 – January 13)
After exhibiting Guernica, the Musée Picasso offers us to discover what meaning Picasso used to give the word “masterwork” (English for “Chef-d’oeuvre”). Bringing together master pieces, some exhibited in Paris for the very first time, the exhibition offers us a new approach of Picasso’s works, from their creations to the critically reception.

Picasso. Bleu et rose at the Musée d’Orsay (September 18 – January 6)
For its exhibition running in partnership with the Musée Picasso, the Musée d’Orsay returns on Picasso’s production from 1900 to 1906, a major period in the artist’s career that has never been treated as a whole before by a French museum.

Miro at the Grand Palais (October 3 – February 4)
(information to come)

Basquiat at the Fondation Louis Vuitton (October 3 – January 14)
This is an event at Fondation Louis Vuitton! Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), one of the major painters in the 20th century is given pride of place through a magnificent retrospective of his work covering the four floors of Frank Ghery’s building!

Cubisme at the Centre Pompidou (October 17 – February 25)
The Centre Pompidou offers an exhibition about the most marking and influencing art movements in the 20th century, Cubism. Picasso, Duchamp, Picabia, Delaunay… Artists to discover and rediscover from October 17, 2018 to February 25, 2019.

Michael Jackson at the Grand Palais (November 23 – February 17)
From November 23, 2018 to February 17, 2019, Paris Grand Palais dedicates an exhibition to the King of Pop. An event offering to return on the singer’s career and his influence on the world of music and art.

The Listings Project – worldwide swaps, sublets, workspaces and art studios for artists

The next time I want to go to Berlin, say, or Los Angeles or London – maybe for a month or two to work on my book project – I’ll look to the Listings Project website to see what’s on offer. This week there are 235 listings in NYC alone for rooms to rent, apartments, art studios, office space, etc., all at cheaper prices (I think). Also in upstate New York, Hudson Valley, etc.

You have to sign up. Every week there are fresh listings. Take a look.

Here are two of my favorites featured this week: a Lower East Side apartment to rent for a year; and an office space in Tribeca:


muslims, the West, and self-censorship

hijab dimanche


This is the face of the future in our Western (non-Islamic) world. Before I continue, I’d like to remind people that a country’s immigration policies is directly linked to demographics and fertility rates. If you’re wondering why so many new immigrants, migrants and asylum seekers are allowed entry into Europe, Canada and the USA, the stark answer is that Western women are not having enough babies. It’s as simple as that. In any given society, when the death rate is higher than the birth rate, there’s a serious problem. Shrinking populations are a direct threat to economic growth and prosperity (jobs) as well as pensions, healthcare and social services.


I’ve just come from a shopping mall located on the western fringe of Paris (Les Quatre Temps at La Défense.) On this Saturday afternoon, the place was awash with hijabis (Muslim women wearing hijabs.) Many were also wearing abayas, a long cloak made of black synthetic fiber combined with a headscarf or face veil. Here’s what I thought as two young women wearing the abaya and the hijab walked past me: C’est la nouvelle mode. (This is the new fashion.) As I walked along, my thoughts went further. I pictured a future issue of Parisian ELLE magazine with a hijabi on its cover, the caption underneath reading La Nouvelle Mode. Well, why not? As a follower of fashion trends my whole life (my mother was editor of several fashion magazines in Toronto), I can recognize a tendency when I see it.

But this is not a fad or a fashion craze. This is an ideology exported from the Middle East to Eastern Africa, Mali, northern Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), and onwards to proliferate in Europe and the West in general. This ideology is a vision of the world and society that is not ours. Just one random example: girls as young as four being forced to wear the hijab. Why would a little girl be required to dress modestly and conceal her hair? A little girl’s body is not sexual; it does not need to be covered or protected from the male gaze. An utterly repugnant practice that I have personally witnessed in Lille, France.

As an active member of society who volunteers for the French charity, Secours Populaire, works full-time and contributes a ton of taxes to the government, I’d like to be able to speak openly on any number of social issues affecting us today.

Like everyone else, I notice the world around me. Arriving in Paris in the 1990s up to five years ago, I never saw a hijab. Now they’re everywhere. I wish to examine why that is. But can I?

THE TYRANNY OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS (or, in other words, self-censorship.)

Political correctness allows no room for dissent, or even healthy debate and discussion. PC dictates what is acceptable. If you dare speak out against the norm, you risk being labelled as a right-wing bigot.

One political commentator said, “Political correctness doesn’t change us, it shuts us up.”

In George Orwell’s novel, 1984, the state controls how people think through Newspeak: the elimination of words that are considered harmful. Similarly, political correctness controls how people think by eliminating both words and ideas from public discourse. Hence, it is a means of thought control.

I’ll leave you with this healthy and perfectly civil discussion in London, England on this topic. We need to have more of these.


French cemetaries

Today is 27°C, very dry, dusty and hot with an elevated and unhealthy pollution index. I’m sick of pollution – air, noise, water, food. I want to retire to the high plains of New Mexico and live under an endless, unpolluted, cobalt-blue sky. I want to smell the piñon and live in clean space and silence.

I’ve only been to New Mexico twice, but loved it intensely both times. On both trips I arrived by train – the first on the Amtrak Southwest Chief that originated in NYC and passed through Chicago (I was on that train for two and a half days. Crossing Kansas we saw coyotes.) The second trip was on the overnight from Los Angeles. I can’t wait to go again.

These photos are not of Santa Fe, but of a Parisian cemetary –

Neuilly, Sept 27, 2014 009
Neuilly, Sept 27, 2014 022Neuilly, Sept 27, 2014 019cemetary sept 20, 2014 040

In my neighborhood there are several parks as well as the Seine river which flows past the foot of my street. But I’ve recently discovered a new refuge in which to sit and read or write: the municipal cemetary. At the end of an alley and past a trio of chubby cherubs is a bench where I can sit in complete silence. And solitude! I was the only person there the other day. That is, me and a thousand souls. However, it became SO HOT I had to leave. Some people might find it odd to sit in a cemetary, but I find it peaceful. Here’s the bench below, under a tree whose name I do not know. (I’ve been meaning to buy a tree book for 15 years now.)

cemetary sept 20, 2014 017cemetary sept 20, 2014 015cemetary sept 20, 2014 027cemetary sept 20, 2014 030

French cemetaries, with their sepulchrals, numbered alleys, and family burial vaults, are not at all like English or North American ones. They are far more ornate, well-tended, regimented, and sacrosanct. 

cemetary sept 20, 2014 034cemetary sept 20, 2014 037
Neuilly, Sept 27, 2014 030

I’ve just learned that the famous Russian painter, Wassily Kandinsky, master of abstract expressionism is buried here. I had no idea. I’ll have to go back and find his plot.



part two – flea market 2018


Such beautiful paperweights. I searched all over for the ones with jellyfish inside, but didn’t see them this year.

A little girl sitting in the sun reading Asterix. I couldn’t resist taking this photo.


My 6-year old dining companion and I had Sunday lunch at our favorite restaurant. He wanted only fries (with lots of ketchup). I had an enormous Welsh Rarebit, fries and a glass of wine. The food at the L’Hermitage Gantois hotel is top notch.


The hotel used to be a hospice, and the original chapel still exists. We visited the inside courtyard which, compared to the crowds outside, was a haven of peace.



Back outside, the flea market was in full swing. French telephones from the 1980s and 1990s had an extra receiver that sat in a cradle at the back of the phone. Its purpose was to allow a second person to listen in on the conversation.








And that’s it for this year, folks. Back to Paris on the Sunday evening train. It takes exactly one hour.