My Own Road To Paris – Part II

The Big Bang of what would follow took place one of the first mornings of April 2016.
First, a question struck me:
Where was the person I knew, me, who in the past had dared, had achieved, had failed and stood on her feet again and who had looked her worst fears in the eyes and had marched against them?

That person was still there inside me and I had to honor her!
Immediately after that, the simplest insight of many months came to surface:
If it is possible to arrange all these things in my mind and if I find myself ready to move in case I had a job, then I can go, no matter what.

Suddenly, all needed powers proved to be inherent to my decision, including that against my own fears.

And suddenly my home was adored but outdated, if not a limitation.
My hard working became only the proof of my own strength and abilities and not something that had the right to keep me imprisoned – whatever we have inside does not fly away unless we renounce it.
My stuff, my beloved little or big things became just “things”; probably realized dreams of an earlier time but neither life itself, nor my masters. Seventy five boxes, all filled by my bare hands, together with furniture, were loaded on two tracks and where left (safely) behind.

Only a few more than mine!

My three suitcases (which at the airport increased to four plus a backpack) were all I took with me and served me fine for the first summer months. All the much too many arrangements, research, bureaucracy, schedule and execution of practical concerns were, after all, nothing but a “to do” list.
The answer for the job was negative but at that point it hardly had any weight.

When I announced “officially” my decision to my environment, masks fell.
Friends congratulated me, shared my happiness or cried.
I soothed the sadness with the belief that tried and true relations have the tendency to survive, same as everything.
I don’t claim that distance is not a problem (although I used the argument). Even if all the internet stuff and the telephones distract distances, the different experiences create a gap slowly.
Been there, lived that at some time.

It needs much devotion and love; that’s it.


Acquaintances highlighted the risks and difficulties of my decision, others expressed their understanding or admiration, a few mocked me while some of them looked at me with pity or “polite” astonishment when they learned that I had not found a job.
Certain family members stopped speaking to me and our communication was restored only after I made it obvious and clear, with all the calmness of my irrevocable decision, that psychological blackmail would not change my mind.

From early April until middle June everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) was organized and executed.

On 15th June, as you can see in About page, I flied to Paris and here I am, Thank God, until now.

Soon after my landing the city showed me its “teeth”. Since then I had the chance to see the difficult (hard as several people told me) side of Paris and to find out that impressions for a visitor are completely different from the everyday life.
The first months have been quite difficult but the treasure of my dream and the awareness of my “powers” offered me great support.
When there is no way back you find the strength to fight with what you have. Inventiveness is the child of necessity – well, one of them.

I share this story first because I feel like doing so and second because I see people doubt their will and dreams, their strength and abilities.
Even as the “new me” I recently found myself questioning my desires, craving relief from my own wishes and derailing to the unconscious path of defenses and safety.

As with great and genuine amours, I still love Paris despite its defects.
Life itself is both cruel and enjoyable, painful and fulfilling.
It’s up to us to make more or less out of it and it is love the element which makes it beautiful and worth living!

Humans are humans everywhere in the world; that’s certain.
If one is happy inside no matter how stagnant or repetitive the situations are, it’s OK!
If one is satisfied with false obligations and ancient commitments  over soul calling, it’s OK – though not for a long period I have to warn them!
If one is not yet ready, it is OK too, as long as they do not attempt to confine their flame and potential.

Happiness and success is wherever heart is oriented.
To change for the sake of change is kind of paranoia.
Nevertheless, it is crucial to allow older choices and dreams go away if they do not fulfill but instead limit your soul.
Changing in order to follow your heart is the “holy grail” of a living person and of a vibrant spirit.
It arouses both obvious and well hidden fears.
It demands sacrifices. (For me it was my home and journalism, above all.)
It is also painful sometimes.  
But after all, it’s a pity to suffocate a part of your personality and mutilate your prospect only for the sake of conformity or, worst of all, because you don’t believe in your strength and ability to accomplish!
There is only one way to self-fulfillment; our own!

That is my own road to Paris!
And I believe that while it is very personal at the same time it is also universal.

Photo: EliP©

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My Own Road To Paris – Part I

This posting will not be a description of the city or of an event and its intention is not only to share my impressions with Paris lovers.
It is personal and if you have difficulty with reading about one’s psychological and personal traits, believe me it is completely understandable; as for lots of persons, it is (or hopefully was) difficult for me as well to express and share personal and deep experiences and thoughts.
The new acquired ability (and “wisdom” if I allow myself to brag a little) is one of the gifts and gains of my new life in Paris and I am grateful to everyone who contributed to that.
Nevertheless, I believe that this story and my learning out of it, could be useful for anyone interested.
Perhaps it is also my own need to make public part of a long journey which started inside me.
Of course, it includes photos you can enjoy!

The story begins about three years ago.
Summer vacations were approaching for many people though not for me who had renounced that “luxury” for many years.
Yet, a professional dilemma, a staled personal life and the successful efforts I had made during the previous years called for a “recompensation” together with the need for an urgent change of  environment and a fresh look over my life.

Where to?
First of all somewhere I could afford.
My savings would not bring me even half way to New York which was a crazy dream (aren’t they all?) and on the other side I needed a rather “reflect-friendly” place which would not overwhelm me.
Same as in my life then, I searched to combine the known (safe) with the unknown (experience).  A usual trap in people’s lives which nevertheless was not a bad idea of a travel! 
I had visited Paris back in 1999, three hundred something days before the Millennium.
The, Oh! So few, things I remembered of the city had become a joke and I used to say that it was as if I had gone there blindfolded.
However I chose it among other places or countries, previously visited or not.
So Paris it was and my research begun!

Everything should be arranged, if possible “known” in advance.
It is utopian to attempt full predictability, if not a bit foolish and a clear evidence of a control freak personality. Yes, that was my attitude at the time. No spontaneity, nothing unpredictable.
History showed that we can program many things but never-ever the “turnings” of our soul and the desires of our heart.

My love for Paris was at first sight! (OK, second if the first-first counts.)
I guess that the same has happened to millions of people before and after mine.
One of the days of my visit, after a really heavy summer Parisian rain I decided to jump into the wheel – la roue.
When it started moving and I looked down I remembered my fear of height. No, it wouldn’t beat me.
The wheel turned, I managed my fear, I took photos and it was during those minutes over Paris and its rooftops when I prayed, wished and ultimately, I subconsciously decided to live there no matter what!
You can see some of the views in the following photos.
Who could “resist” amour?

I returned home on 15th August 2014 and by the end of September I had already started to send CVs and cover letters through various job sites – all unknown subjects for me but step by step I learned a lot about them!
It is normal to want/ need to work but do what exactly?
I had already changed three professional orientations. The most recent, journalism, had been an old dream which I had recently realized.
Work with a “dusted”, never used and long dormant French language?
Do what? Whatever, was my answer. It was of little importance.
Unfortunately, the months’ long searches remained fruitless.

Meanwhile, I stopped my collaboration with the newspaper and I was found with plenty of time to spend searching, worrying and dreaming.
As my desire to live in Paris intensified I started to question it.

“It” was managing to control me instead of me controlling it and that was unprecedented! 
At the same time I doubted my “ability” and/or strength to … dismantle my home, a beautiful apartment where I had been living the last fifteen years, freshly renovated after hard personal work and expenses.
It would be painful and it would mean the end of an era to which I had invested part of my life and myself.

Why I wanted it so much?
No reasoning could answer the question, obviously.
Wouldn’t it be “wiser” to plan a trip once in a while and satisfy my love for the place?
No substitute could replace living there; furthermore, my finances were not that strong.
On October 2015 though, I traveled once more, hoping to make some useful contacts in the domain of work. Indeed, I made contacts which gave no positive result. The difficulties remained.

The … urge combined to lack of results filled me with agony and self-doubt. I even wished to had never wanted it!
My indecision and conservatism (as I perceived my fear of separating ways from my old, safe and settled life), reached a level which became self-defeating.

I was between a rock and a hard place, between Scylla and Charybdis if you prefer!
Neither my dream to live in Paris nor my hesitation to abandon my country seemed logical to me (or probably to the part of me shaped by outside factors and influences).
My psychological immune system seemed to have collapsed.

My own self trapped me and at the same time discredited me.

No friend, family or acquaintances knew much about the … hot subject. The problem with dreams and ambitions is that in case they don’t get fulfilled, you feel not only the pain of failure but also ridiculed in front of others, apart from your own eyes – if you are that kind of person, and I was! Unfortunately, not sharing, also makes soul suffer and that’s a major problem.
However and rather stupidly, I did not think that sharing and discussing my thoughts would be of much help for an issue that was … internal.
Furthermore, the biggest part of realizations came later.
During a period of one and a half year I wasn’t completely aware of how, what, why, when, who, where (the … notorious five Ws/ questions of journalism).

So, only one person knew the details of my dream.
During that period, I was changing moods and decisions more often than dresses but s
he never judged, never urged me to do or not to do something while she never minimized my desire or my fears.
I am thankful to her and I know she is proud of me.

It was about one year ago, on March 2016, when a proposition for a job arrived.
While waiting a final answer, I started to plan practical details in my mind – packing, moving, settlements and arrangements for the needs of, before and after my hypothetical departure.

The plan seemed to take shape but the positive answer delayed.

…To be continued….

Photos: EliP©

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Adventures Of A Day #1 – La Souris Sourit *

July Column at Place de La Bastille

*The Mouse Smiles

The idea of the adventures came to me sometime ago, during one of the days when I work until noon, have a free afternoon and I do my best to squeeze the rest of the day by moving, circulating, shooting photos, visiting expositions, have wide open eyes, feeling and perception, in other words welcoming everything I meet.
This first article is in fact the second formed in my mind but having fresh memory and time, I start from here.
As I have poor photo material (due to unpredictable circumstances), I enhance them from other sources.

On Sundays I love to visit one of the outdoors farmers’ and producers’ market (le marché) of the neighborhood, at Bastille.
Although it makes me nervous to follow the pace of slowly – if at all – moving people, I sometimes sacrifice my calm and my usually brisk walking in order to see the goods from all over France as well as from many other countries.
It is also very likely that either a group of musicians or alone instrument players will be at the place – and that could make the day, isn’t it.
If one could remain cool and not push, kick or swear silently (“politically incorrect” but I confess that I do it sometimes!), it’s enjoyable and of course you can find and buy whatever fresh product you wish, flowers, fake or handmade jewels, clothes, scarfs, leather objects or small utensils – and all that even if you have no intention to spend money.
C’est la vie! in Paris.

After the visit to the market, I went for a walk without any specific plan or destination – and that’s a side of adventure – but knowing nevertheless that in late afternoon it would rain and I’d have to return home soon.
My steps led me (cliché) to the Jardins de l’Hôtel des Sens.
(Photos source: Wikipedia)

The planting at this season is different but the garden is still calm and beautiful.

At the nearby bench, a homeless man was sleeping. Although I do not usually take photos of people and I avoid to show faces, I took a picture of him mainly because he seemed to sleep peacefully, no matter what happened around or in his life.
Human need for rest!


While sitting, reading, taking a snack and having a cup of wine, a mouse passed under the bench and my feet!
It’s not something unprecedented or strange after sometime in Paris. Mice take their walks in gardens and pay no attention to human presence.
The first time I made their …. acquaintance, I never entered the garden and went somewhere safer. Normally, in the past I had been afraid of them with the kind of fear which is baseless given that they are rather harmless.
Although it is impossible to stay away from them if you live in the city and you visit Seine banks, gardens or forests (and I suspect also underground and basements of any kind) I prefer not to meet them … personally, regularly and in private.

In gardens, they run one after the other, search for food, play maybe, and today I heard them shrill.
They were worth shooting.
Difficult to catch a small thing running between bushes unpredictably.
Nevertheless, one of them remained for a while near me, maybe smiling self-complacently and allowing me to take its picture.

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Somewhere in the middle under the bushes and the homeless man waking up
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The little creature magnified and posing

The man on the bench woke up, greeted me and when I offered him a cigarette declared that he never smokes.
Soon after, rain started. In fact, just a few thick drops made all of us leave the garden. Really useless decision.
The homeless man came near and proposed to offer me a cup of coffee.
Yes, that’s Paris!

Among my … incomplete French (to put it politely) and the man’s accent, most of the conversation was “lost in the translation” and I am not sure that my refusal was made clear.
However, after I said goodbye, the man approached and I let him kiss my cheek (twice) while he bragged a bit for his love for women. He proved a “lover boy” with long hands if allowed to.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, that is Paris as well, together with human nature!

The rain stopped soon after. It restarted a few hours later in the form of a rainstorm and it continues until now, four hours later.
It offered me time to write and the chance to enjoy it from home, as it is always enjoyable to hear  the sound of the rain, furthermore on the roofs of Paris!
But, you have to know though that even if it is an almost everyday phenomenon, rain is always a pain in the ass.
Have a little thought and care (if possible) of people living or working in the streets please!

Unpredictable meetings and weather is, bien sûr, Paris after all!

Photos (unless otherwise stated) : EliP©

Coluche, Les Restos du Coeur, Les Enfoirés

Coluche

As time passes, life in Paris evolves from that of a simple observer to what it is: Life in my new city, in my new country – without renouncing the quality of observer of course which is some kind of a second nature.
That impression of “belonging”, though not complete yet, satisfies my wish and my tries to be part of the place I love.
Under this state of mind, pieces of information and of everyday life come together and form a larger picture and a frame which is consistent both to one’s whole life as much as to the new environment and conditions.

It’s been several months since I visited an exposition at L’Hôtel de Ville, The (Paris) Town-Hall, dedicated to Coluche.

Michel Gérard Joseph Colucci, as was his full name, lived between 1944 and 1986 which means he died too early, too young. And yet, it is safe to say that he lived several full lives.

He has been an important actor, musician, comedian, persona, “intense”, gifted and sensitive personality, humanist and a man socially and politically involved – presidential candidacy in 1980, which he withdrew before elections of 1981.

We know Coluche the clown and him who provokes, Coluche of the scene, the radio and the TV. And also Coluche the comitted, the humanist, the one of the presidential elections and of Restos du Coeur. These that Coluche himself gave to see. But who was he really? Beyond the artist, the topics covered by this tribute have thereby as an ambition to reveal the different aspects of his personality, to understand what he loved, how he functioned. His sensitivity, his passion for life, his playfulness, his instinct of belonging to small people, his sophistication which he made a way of living, his willingness to seize the mechanism of everything, reveal along this course an evidence….Up to politics, his supreme requirement.

I had no knowledge of him and the exposition has been my first source.
The single fact that the presentation made me adore and admire that person and to feel a bit “non-privileged” for not having knowledge of him while he was alive, means that the expo-tribute succeeded its purpose.
After all these months and the information which followed, I have to say that I feel lucky to have visited the expo-tribute which has been “eye opening”.

“I fight against pedants, assholes and hypocrites.”
LIFE ON THE SCENE
“I have gone further than anyone would go with me. I have been taken for a fool and I was put on the scene in these conditions in front of the public.” “The art of comedy is to give the impression that you do ‘whatever’ when you have worked ten hours on a mimic or a phrase.” ” I am rather one of those who want to learn than to know. I’m more interested in the period of becoming a star of the music-hall than the fact of keeping it.” “In order to mock someone you must love them.” “I know very well the persons about whom I speak. That’s because I am similar.”

Personal and professional objects, costumes, music intruments, posters, publications, clips of shows etc., formed the storytelling of a distinctive, “politically incorrect” person with an iconoclastic humour and a strong will to live to the edge – omnipresent throughout his life and till his death.

“Impose your luck, squeeze your happiness and go towards your risk. By looking at you they will get used to you”, wrote René Char. Mantra which suits so well to Coluche, him who has upset the humour, the language, the thought, who turned mad the politicians, who found solutions which them had not even imagined in order to feed millions of persons. The numerous and varied audiences but also the artists, the intellectuals and not the least, have joined unconditionally to his irreverence, to his “politically incorrect”, ready to follow him for a long time. Char was right. By looking at him they got used to him. But on 19 June 1986, a “fucking truck”, as wrote it so well Renaud, deprived them from him who had been their voice and who remains to this day the preferred historical personality of French, classified 4th behind Napoleon, Charles de Gaulle, Jeanne D’Arc and before Louis XIVth”. Fabienne Bilal – Exhibiton Comissioner

Beyond his memory and in full compliance with his personality and his broader initiatives, Coluche left behind an enormous trust: Les Restos du Coeur, The Restaurants of the Heart (Love).

POLITICS “Politicians are men who do the same job with me, only that they put less red make-up on their nose…” “If voting served anything, it would have been prohibited long ago.” “Why in a left government still exist syndicates if their intention is not to live through the government?” During his election campaign of 1981 Coluche has been trapped by the system: not allowed at his tv shows under the pretext that he was “in election campaign”, he had neither access to political shows on the grounds that “he was a clown”. Disappointed that he could not be able to realise his high idea of democracy, Coluche thought in a different way and created the Restos du Coeur in 1985. LES RESTOS DU COEUR “When I was candidate for president, I was afraid of politicians: when I made the Restos, I felt shame for them.”

A year before his death Coluche proposed the idea of Les Restos du Coeur which initially were meant to offer food to those in need. For the purpose of collecting money from private and institutional donors he endured a four-hour TV show.

Monday 27 January 1986: Front page of Libération referring to the four-hour TV show of Coluche for the support of Restos du Coeur.

The first of the Restos opened on 21 December 1985 and Coluche crashed with his motorcycle on 19 June 1986.

Poster with the names of the famous supporters of Restos du Coeur

His legacy expanded and at present is a respected institution in France.
Part of the funds for the Restos come from Les Enfoirés, “The Tossers” or “The Bastards” in English an annual concert of artists who (like everyone who offers) participate voluntarily.
The number of volunteers is now 75.000 and that of the “shops”/ reception centers is 6.000, all over France.
The help they provide is food offer, support in finding and maintaining a residence, help to those living in the street, consulting in finding a job, psychological support and many more.

I encourage you to get a deeper look in that triptych Coluche-Les Restos du Coeur-Les Enfoirés and, why not, offer to the cause, while enjoying the 2017 song.

Juste Une P’tite chanson, Just a Small Song.

Photos: EliP©

Official sites:
Les Restos du Coeur
Les Enfoirés (English)
Les Enfoirés (French)

The Delayed 14th July 2016 in Paris


It is known and remembered worldwide that last 14th July or Bastille Day (major national holiday in France) celebrations have been marred by the terrorist attack in Nice which costed 86 additional deaths of people and hundreds of injured.
How to think that the shiny and festive day would end up in such a fatal way?
It’s not possible to know how the relatives manage the losses in their hearts.
What I know is that the sorrow was present in everyday life and the unexpressed question was “why?”

On a personal level the day had the exceptional meaning of my first national holiday in my new country and my presence in such a significant event filled me with great anticipation.
I felt very happy of having the opportunity to watch the celebrations and parades (in the morning) at Champs Elysees which was later open for the pedestrians and at Place de la Concorde. In the evening (night in fact) it was time for the fireworks in front of Eiffel Tower.
Both costed me a lot of walking, searching, waiting, standing, sitting on the ground, being hungry and thirsty (as I had not yet experience in having food with me) and an incredible squeezing among indescribable crowd – most of the above are not my best.
Nevertheless, the joy and the happiness of the celebrations could not be expressed after the tragedy, out of respect for the victims and the national mourning.
Therefore, all photos and impressions of that day were kept in my archive.
The time passed and the life goes on.
Passing of time offers softening of emotions so I find that it’s time to show pictures and share impressions of that truly magnificent event.

Many hours before the event, people have started to gather both near the Tower but also at the opposite side at Trocadero, which is located on a higher level and offers view to Champs de Mars.
All cafe and restaurants were full while others offered special menus in low prices. I took advantage of the delicious pasta in an italian trattoria, where the chef was preparing the dish outside the restaurant.

The spectacle of that night is, even at this moment after almost seven months, beyond words – and that is said by a “word person”!
Though I keep up a relation of “love-hate” with fireworks because of the noise and therefore I went to the place under a state of reserve as much as expectation, the result surprised me several times – I must declare that I adore pleasant surprises which, unfortunately, do not come easily.
I heard myself wondering: “What else would they do/ produce?”
And then: “They have done miracles! That’s it!”
And then again, several times: “What have they thought/ imagined/ invented the guys?!!”
Eiffel Tower changed colours and dimensions while fireworks blew their sparks and shapes all around.
And the surprise (and joy) kept on and on.
Yes, at some point and on impulse, I exclaimed my surprise, wonder and admiration shouting aaaaaah!! and clapping hands, together with the hundreds of thousands of people who had gathered that night near and around Eiffel Tower. Even the couple of Germans who were behind me expressed their admiration and – I think – Germans are more strict than others in expressing feelings. 🙂

There are moments when a person who watches something excellent and wants to capture it, wonders which is best:
To watch and imprint into the heart or to take photos?
It is easier to answer if you are a professional photographer and you earn your living from that.
If you are a Japanese, on the other hand, you are “destined” to take photos no matter what.
For the common people, it is a hard decision.

The spectacular show of fireworks captured eyes as much as it urged to imprint it – out of desire to watch and remember or of will to share or maybe an ambition to show off, it depends!

At the end of the day, and that means after midnight (I hope that my memory does not deceive me) as the spectacle started an hour before, the crowd had to leave the place.
At this point and sometime before that, I have to say that, being in the very front line of the limits for the crowd I noticed urge and unrest among the policemen who watched the place.
A higher in rank than the others, judging from his appearance, policeman communicated in a rather intense way with some of his colleagues.
At that moment I thought that it meant the stand-by they should keep, view to the end of the spectacle.
After the bad news of the next day I decoded that as, probably, the alert deriving from the information from Nice. I can’t be sure at all.
Yet, the drama of Nice was unfolding at about that same time……

Nevertheless, after the end of the unforgettable show, all the thousands of people (they seemed like millions) walked peacefully towards the nearest metro station and – judging from myself – all reached safely their destination.


The 14th July 2016 in Paris was a debut and though stained by the tragic attack, I hope it will be followed by many happy and unclouded others in which I shall be present, admire and enjoy together with loved ones and visitors.

Enjoy, admire and come to Paris next July if it is your dream!

Photos, Videos: EliP©

The beauty of cold Paris

Minus 4 and even -8 degrees Celsius is a bad deal for everyone and especially for people like me who have grown up and lived in soft mediterranean climates.
Climate Change has turned weather as we have known it upside-down but still local climates remain dinstincive and different.
Nevertheless, during the wave of cold which strikes Paris these days, it is obvious that low temperature is an abnormal condition for all  living creatures.
Both native French or those long living in Paris, as well as us, the newcomers, seem to suffer the same – I can’t say for northerns as for example …scandinavians.

After having gained a bit of experience, I assume that their advantage is that they know how to deal with the cold, i.e. to protect themselves -as a rule though not always.
On the other hand, nature as appears in green spaces, streets or parcs of the city, continues its eternal cycle offering its marvel and beauty, conforting and warming the eyes and the heart of the observant walker.
Though cold itself cannot be pictured, except through snow usualy or people wearing heavy, unconfortable and kind of funny clothes, the colours and the light change in an undeniable way.
Winter has its own palette of colours and of light which are attractive even for summer lovers like I am.

Furthermore, the sun of Paris shines in a unique way, in winter behind fog and clouds or as a gift during “extreme” cold, as much as in summer – and that’s said by someone who adores the … relentless sun of the south but at the same time is rarely exposed to it.

Winter sun, sky, trees, clouds, moon and nature it is!

Parisian Night Lights

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The clock of Musee d’Orsay

As it has become obvious at the previous post, at night Paris reveals another aspect and view of its beauty, which under the dark and the night lights, and with a dose of fantasy, resembles to mystery.

That, could be one of the reasons (besides commercial ones) why Mairie de Paris (the town hall), organises La Nuit Blanche (The White Night) the 1st of October.
It’s an overnight event dedicated, at least in theory, to modern art. The whole truth is that it is also an opportunity for residents and visitors of the city to stay out all night, to drink, mix and mingle and to live ‘Paris by night’ literally. Some of this post’s photos have been taken during Nuit Blanche 2016.

Paris seems open and transparent and the next moment appears mysterious and impossible to explore in full.
When you think that you have become familiar to, at least, its general properties, you will find yourself feeling “green”- too inexperienced for such an old town, culture, history, architecture, mentality or way of living.
It may need a cool approach, contrary to the passionate mood with which we dream it, visit it or live it. But then again, Paris without passion?!
Not being sure yet, I experiment myself while I don’t allow to the reappering feeling of the … beginner to discourage my exploring – quite the opposite.

Essence of Paris, at night, under moon and its lights, it is!

Photos: EliP©

Super Full Moon’s Night in Paris

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The night of 14th November 2016 has been marked all around the world by the super fool-moon phenomenon.
What is better for a Paris lover than to see and eventually photograph that spectacle?
Hmmm…. Last night, I took the bus to Eiffel Tower, to be near to the two miraculous subjects.
While Eiffel Tower can be seen from almost everywhere in Paris, furthermore at night when it is illuminated and is shining, the fool moon is anything but omnipresent if the sky is cloudy.
So, when the thick clouds do not allow the moon to “shine” – not even to appear, a solution has to be found in order to justify the waiting and the searching of the right point.
That is to photograph other night beauties in Paris.
After adjusting the camera, with poor success at first, I tried many times to capture the best views my eyes met.
It is known that the night and the photograph are not always compatible especially for amateurs, but after experimenting for a while I believe I have managed to reap fruits.
The harvest has been poor in quantity but hopefully it shows the magnificent ambience of Paris at night. 
Enjoy Seine waters, a couple of its bridges, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and, above all, Parisian night!

Bataclan One Year After

As of today 13th November 2016, one year has passed from the deadly attack at concert hall Bataclan at 11th arrondissement.
France and Paris in particular remember their victims who “happened” to be at the place where the hate, the madness and the bigotry of the assassins spread bullets and death that night.
Many people gathered today in front of Bataclan – early in the morning, relatives and friends of the 90 dead and the survivors.
President Francois Hollande was there and when his car passed in front of the waiting crowd, his window was open – as an indication of non-fear maybe?

Commemorative plaques have been exposed to honor the victims.

Last night, the club opened again for the first time after the massacre, for a concert of Sting, dedicated to the memory of those gone and to the life of all those who will remember.
According to reporting (LA Times):”In reopening the Bataclan, we have two important tasks to reconcile,” Sting said.
“First, to remember and honor those who lost their lives in the attack a year ago, and second to celebrate the life and the music that this historic theater represents. In doing so we hope to respect the memory as well as the life-affirming spirit of those who fell. We shall not forget them.”

That seemed to be the message of the hundreds of people who gathered today outside the club: “To remember, to renounce fear and hate, to live.”
Everyday lives of wounded at that night is difficult. Some bear the signs of wounds and all of them are wounded in their souls, as they have not only suffered the terror but they also have seen people die in front of their eyes.
According to French tv reporting, they are under psychological support and a number of them has decided to completely change their way of thinking and living.

The crowd outside Bataclan was silent in a sad way.
They all approached without talking when the road opened after the end of the ceremony.
Many to leave their flowers, others to take pictures and all of us to be at the place, to reflect and to send our thoughts to the victims.
And somewhere at the corner of Boulevard Voltaire and Passage Saint-Pierre Amelot, a guitarist was singing his mournful song, looking up at the covered windows from where many people have jumped to save their lives during the attack.
The lyrics and his expressed pain caused tears.

Sorry to mention that the tears are far “less” for all the victims of the unreasonable wars and violence all over the world.

Photos: EliP©

American Elections in Paris

The American elections are of importance not only for US citizens but for the millions of people in most of the countries and states which are affected directly or indirectly by american politics, in the exterior as in the interior.

This next election is probably of greater importance as a clown, an arrogant silly person claims presidency.
Of course, it is historically known that “sane and serious” American presidents have destroyed countries, have played a role in thousands of deaths, have bombed, have declared wars and have decided for the (bad) fate of millions of people around the globe – throughout decades.

Paris, among the tens of ethnicities, hosts many US citizens as well, students, working people etc.
It’s not peculiar that an, informal I suppose, team, outside the famous bookstore Shakespeare And Company, called US citizens to register to Vote.
I don’t know how it works with registration and so. US citizens would.

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Millions of Americans who live abroad do not vote – not that US citizens are very keen voters in general.
According to an Avaaz campaign,only 12% of Americans living abroad, vote. That makes eight million people whose vote could defeat Trump and offer a gift to humanity.
 That the victory would be for a candidate who decided bombings and wars and is implicated to other scandals, according to the leaked emails (Wikileaks – Hillary Clinton and DNC), is an American phenomenon.
An election which ignores other voices and candidates except the (similar) two and with the mentality of…the lesser evil.

One way or another, not only Parisians or Americans but also Europeans, Africans, Asians, Australians, who live in Paris, would want to watch the presidential night on TV.
Exactly that broad interest will be “covered” on Tuesday 8 November night and until the morning (in Paris).
 American Embassy and the Mayoralty of 3rd department of Paris, organise an overnight event, at Carreau du Temple (info here), a cultural space at the 3rd arrondissement of Paris. Find the press file of the event here.

As for me, I am very interested in the elections and I find it a good idea to take part to the event.
Anyone who lives in Paris and is also interested, may contact.

Good Mood, Line 29, Kindness and Place des Vosges

It is amazing how a predisposition of good will and light mood is followed (mirrored?) by happy situations.
Having met people after the mass, to whom I have given my wishes and they gave me theirs, I took the bus, walked to the wrong direction (it happens from time to time), I found one correct bus stop and waited there.
A fine elder lady came by and we started talking about the waiting (or not) of the bus drivers for those running the last metres away from the bus stop.
One word after another, we verbally explored the current, opposite to the past, behaviour and attitude of the people in general, the cleanness (or not) of the city and the general perspective of the people vs. life.
We agreed that young people “want it all and they want it now” in contrary to past years, when we were happy when attained, gained or obtained a simple thing.
The lady had lived during the war and had lost members of her family but she is not supposed to talk about it, she told me.
The bus arrived just in time to interrupt our conversation, to my disappointment.

The same bus, line 29, which has brought me in the past at an excellent place, Place des Vosges.
There, you can find one of the homes of Victor Hugo, Musee Carnavalet, the museum dedicated to the history of Paris and which will remain closed until the end of 2019 for renovation works.

Therefore, my good mood, the kind lady and the passing by  Place des Vosges is the subject.
All you have to do is to enjoy the rather amateur, at that time, photos.