Thursday, June 24, 2010

Visit me at Vitrine!

As is evident, I have not been posting regularly these past few months because I have been working on my new website,, which is a web boutique for objects for the home-made by hand or small production, as well as artists books, unique artwork and personal accessories.

Vitrine was inspired out of this blog- through my developing interest in design and craft as well as contemporary art- on the website you will find designer profiles and a regularly updated NEWS section to include guest bloggers.

Work ships from the USA and France- combining my ongoing schizophrenia of living in and between the two! I hope you enjoy.

Thank you!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

La Revanche-Designer Market

Until Sunday, the 9th of May this great market of upcoming designers-textile designs on cloths, books, posters, kids toys, lamps and so on, is happening at 28, rue Beaurepaire in the 10th.
Lots of goodies to be found.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fresh Air Project

This had to be shared. In doing a web search on a friend of a friend's work I came across this project by Dino Sanchez, a New York based artist and designer called "Keep Air Fresh." This is an ongoing installation and public art piece in which Sanchez places an installation of boxes of matches in bathrooms around the greater New York City area. About 5000 pieces will be installed. The idea- Keep our air fresh. I love it. Super smart and funny. Here is a link to the blog of his Keep our air fresh gallery that documents the sites..

And a photo of the match boxes from his site.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


On through April 5 around the square of the Park Batignolles. It seems smaller this year then last, but always worth a walk through. Buy some incredible pasta or panini's to go at Da Zavola and have a picnic in the Park as well!

Friday, March 26, 2010


I have not been blogging of late, not for lack of cool things experienced-for example a delicious dinner at L'Office in the 9th and La petite sirene de copenhage. Fresh, delicious, mellow atmospheres. Highly recommend.

What I really wanted to share was this great website I just stumbled upon, Started as a blog by a couple, Pete and Parusha, in which they interview friends and then friends of friends and so on has now turned into a website with a zine. everything is in interview type format with photos and the people involved all seem to come from a wide range of creative activities. Fabulous concept and fun to read! It is going to be cold this weekend in paris so something to read inside.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Plastic Fantastic

In the latest issue of the French Marie Claire Maison, I came across some really beautiful work by Les Filles de Factuer, hanging curtains and screens made up of twined, colorful plastic. I went to look at their website this morning and discovered that it is in fact a French organization whose mission is to help people in need, particularly in developing countries and notably women and children, to help realize or develop certain skills or use of materials that could help them to earn an income and aid their social environment. Since 2008 this has been specifically to set up a link between France and Africa in a project called 'recyclagesacplastique' (recycled plastic bag), in which they focus on the material of plastic bags, to transform them into interesting objects for sale.

The work is for sale on their website. Check it out.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Of Carrot Cake and an exhibition

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 7, rue Debelleyme, has a nice exhibition on the top floor called "Infinite Folds," which is based around the simple notion of artists transforming a paper's surface by folding it. Though I am alrady paricularly partial to works on paper, I found this exhibition poetic and thought provoking. It explores some basic ideas of art, namely form and possibilites of a material, and the question of how can the simple act of a fold can create another layer or dimension to a work of art. This gallery is huge and there are two other exhibitions on view, including a few monochrome, shaped, paintings by Jason Dodge in his characteristic, though lovely, large, strokes of paint and a larger show by an Iranian artist named Ali Banisadar.
Following a little art viewing I unconsiously made my way to Coco Cook, a great new take out food shop on rue Charlot, across from the Marche des Enfants Rouge. The carrot cake and iced lemon cakes are to die for, let alone their delicious selection of salads, sandwhiches and plats du jour. It is a needed and wonderful addition to the upper marais.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Atelier Les Quatres

Atelier les quatres is a studio/shop consisting of four young, talented textile designers creating fun and funky prints, designs and illustrations for pillows, napkins, dishtowels as well as t-shirts, baby clothes, canvas bags and one-off ideas like masks and found ceramics. The studio includes Eve-Marie Bousquet, Rachel Pelquin, elsako, and Hélène Georget, and on Saturdays they open their doors to the public to see what they are making and of course, to shop. They all work independently but a couple of them collaborate on other projects including Duette Design, and A Wolf at My Door. Most of the work is made in a limited edition and all of it by hand. It is ambitious yet fresh and fun- it seems they work hard but don't take things too seriously. Bright colors, birds and other animals, sunglasses are silkscreened onto their respective objects giving them a new life and attitude. 36, rue du fer à moulin, 5eme.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hello & Goodbye

I am declaring the countdown to spring officially on. Some of you in Paris today might think I am a bit premature, but you have to admit that in between the coolish gusts of winds, the sun feels warm and the days are noticeably longer. Walking home today I noticed little signs: the pods hanging off trees and small bursts of yellow and lavender flowers in the parks. Maybe I am feeling inspired from the Jan Dibbets exhibition I just saw at the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (this place needs an acronym). I have been a fan of Dibbets, a Dutch artist born in 1941, for awhile. I love his use of simple landscapes of the ocean and green reedy grass which are turned into geometric constructions suggestive of Frank Stella or Ellsworth Kelly. This exhibition compares his early 1970s work to work made in the late 2000s, using the same techniques and landscapes. It's earth art or land art à la Smithson, with less machismo and more poetic. Maybe I am partial to landscape painting in general, and Dibbets in many ways seems like the proper extension out of 17th century Dutch landscape painting--but of course photography and conceptual. It is a small exhibition and worth a quick visit.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


As an American living in Paris one question I seem to be asked relatively often, by French and non-French alike, is "oh, France, don't you love the food?" or "Isn't the food amazing?" To which, perhaps being a bit of a rebel inside but also not able to be dismissive and flattering, reply something like, yeah; it is ok-cheese, butter, magret de canard are great, but what about diversity? And then I go into a tirade about how Asian food has been bastardized here and how shameful that sushi restaurants put cheese on their menus in what must be a way to ease French culinary anxiety. My point being that yes, French appreciation for good, slow food is wonderful but it is too insular and living in this city after New York seems sleepy food-wise.

In the weekend Financial Times Arts & Leisure section was an article titled "Ripe for Revolution," about the Omnivore festival in Deauville this weekend, and it's founder, Luc Dubanchet, who started the monthly magazine of the same name with the goal of trying to shake up the French food world which he found boring, stuffy and complacent. The author of the article, Mike Steinberger, has written a book titled, "Au Revoir to all that:Food, Wine, and the End of France," (yikes!). Apparently I am not alone in my sentiments and it was fun to read about Dubanchet's horror for Michelin stars and Sarkozy's petition to place French cuisine as a UNESCO cultural treasure. As art, music and dance keep up with changing times, shouldn't food? Spain being the most oft cited having led the first decade of the 21st century in food.

Dubanchet says that it is time for his French compatriots to see that food is a global phenomenon and who cares about being number one. No doubt French chefs have talent and it would be fun to be at the festival this weekend to see the incredible offerings and perhaps it will lead to some revolutionary (we know the French love revolution), ideas in the kitchen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Michelberger Hotel

The Michelberger Hotel is all things good and hip about Berlin. I had the pleasure of staying here for four days last week and I have to say I totally dig this place! For 70 euros a night (including an amazing breakfast), for a single, the price is quite right as well. Set in the East, in Kreuzberg, in what was once a factory-- and from the exterior certainly retains this coldness, inside is like living inside an animated film. Drawings and quirky construction abound, but not over the top--simple, funny and well thought out, the rooms are simple, plywood dominates. I referred to my bed as my pod, as it was tucked in the side wall and felt cozy from the outdoor cold. I somehow deleted my photos just now so I copy some here but for the full experience a visit to their site is a must.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Tangier 8 in Berlin

From sunny rooftops and mint tea to icy streets, freezing air and beer-- but we are pleased to be presenting The Tangier 8 at the Forum expanded section of the 60th Berlin Film Festival. First screening Thursday at 12noon at the Arsenal 1 for any one reading this in Berlin, and second this Saturday at 1530.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bird on the Wire

Bird on the wire is a cute little boutique in the 4th, on the river side of rue St. Antoine, which I happened upon the other day. Filled with great gift ideas including notebooks, jewelry, knitted objects, fun Japanese candy and gadgets. I loved the tights from Les Queues de Sardine with handprinted clouds, flowers or rain and the retro mobiles from petit collage. They have a good selection of the lomo cameras as well and an hysterical game called "are you a bitch".
The boutique is perfect escape from chilly weather or just to unwind for a bit and get lost in all of the fun, quirky, cool objects on hand.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shakespeare & Co.

I have attended a few of the 7pm Monday night readings at Shakespeare & Co., recently and last night's talk by Wendell Steavenson about her recent book, The Weight of a Mustard Seed was really incredible. The book is about an Iraqi general, Kamel Satchet, but seen through the eyes of family, friends and former war colleagues, as she never met Satchet himself. It is a portrait of a man, but also a look into Iraqi life. Last night she read a nice portion of a chapter and really allowed you to get into the story. Sometimes it seems authors are anxious to read through and get to the wine or something and you don't get a strong sense of the writing. This was not the case. I have read the book, but awhile ago so it was great to "re-enter" it, so to speak. Second; often I find the q&a session following a reading a bit painful and akward but this one flowed and was full of engaging and good questions about Iraq and the war, something of a news item that we (I) seem to pay less attention to these days with the focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan and poor Obama's republican battles.
In any case, it was a reading that left you wanting more and I love that kind of thing.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Talk It Out: Half Empty, Half Full

Talk It Out: Half Empty, Half Full

I don't usually, if ever grab another blogger's posting, but I occasionally read the Decor 8 website for design ideas and last week she posted this entry asking her readers to "talk it out" and write about their own half full/empty experiences/realities, etc. I found it made rather interesting reading-like a mini-therapy session or something, to read about what some of these people are feeling in their lives. I didn't read all the comments, but many I did read had to do with winter or working from home, things that I think about a lot as well-as it's gray and early February, things feel darker and isolating, but one discussed her husband's deployment and several others about forced relocation, and many about work/life juggling. Anyhow, I wanted to pass it on for other people to enjoy/relate/empathize/laugh/etc.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Holiday rental in Southern Spain!

A good friend who is from Motril Spain but now living in Los Angeles, is looking to rent out their apartment for holiday visitors. It's a beautiful town, close to the beach- this text is taken from a UK holiday site that is advertising it, but if anyone reads this and is interested, please let me know and I can put you in touch with Maria directly. More photos on request!
This luxurious apartment is 1 mile walking distance from Motril downtown - Great shopping, restaurants & Tapas bars, five minutes by car to the beach, beautiful Los Moriscos golf course of Playa Granada, popular Harbor & Plaza De Toros. ONLY 35 minutes from GRANADA and SIERRA NEVADA - well-known by its great skiing and beautiful villages of Las Alpujarras. PERFECT LOCATION!!! Very close to other beach towns. Everything is in GREAT CONDITION…Why stay in a tiny hotel room when you can FEEL AT HOME in this INCREDIBLE apartment? Top of the Line Appliances…beautifully furnished and decorated…Two Bedrooms... Full Bath w/ Tub and Shower… Sleeps 5 comfortably… Parking garage… Brand New Kitchen… Outdoor Terrace With Breath-Taking Views Of The City, Brand New Flat Screen TV And Stereo, Air Conditioner/Heater... Great Nights Await.. Many Festivities And Amenities.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


If you are in Los Angeles I recommend a visit to TenOverSix, a funky, quality boutique with a great selection of men's and women's clothing as well as accessories and objects and art. If you are not in LA you can check out their online store. A mix of cutting edge labels like Rachel Comey, Vena Cava, as well as their own line, TenOverSix, is combined with choice accessories including jewelry from Aesa and objects for the home such as this great Ursa the Bear toy. It is an open and inviting store to browse through slowly as M and I did over the holidays.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Maison + Objet

I just returned home from an afternoon scouting around the twice annual design salon, Maison + Objet. I hit the fair on Friday when it opened and spent about four hours cruising around to check out the situation. It is an enormous fair that includes heavy hitters like Villeroy & Boch, Le Creuset, Esprit, Alessi and way more, as well as younger, smaller or mid-sized designers featuring everything from textiles to candles to spa to everyday. It was my first time with this fair as it is only for professionals. But the big news is that I am now officially an LLC and on my way to opening an online retail store to be called, Vitrine! Despite the global economic crisis (another possible name), I am starting a boutique online only-with a presence in Europe and the USA, to feature objects for the home and accessories such as scarves, artists books, and paper, by independent designers from around the globe whose approach to their work and design is tactile, thoughtful and smart. Most of the work will be handmade, but not all, and much will take into consideration a sustainable or low-impact approach. Most of the designers will work in a limited edition or small scale production.

In the next few weeks as I make the push to get this baby up and running I will be blogging about it and soon this blog will be filtered into the new website to include features about the designers I will work with as well as other topics from travel/food/culture. For now, some highlights from the show were my engaging and encouraging encounter with Normann Copenhagen, meeting the designers from Adonde?, who I blogged about awhile ago, and gushed around them like they were George Clooney or something, the yummy textiles of Donna Wilson, and the great line of dishes at Hana Blomst. These are just a few of the people I hope to be working with on in a couple months!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Seeing is Believing

"Seeing is believing" is the title of a solo show by mounir fatmi opening tonight at Galerie Hussenot, 5 bis, rue Haudriettes, in the 3rd. This eagerly anticipated exhibition is fatmi's first show with the gallery and his first solo show in Paris in nearly 2 years. "Seeing is believing" continues fatmi's exploration of the connectivity between large social structures such as architecture, religion, politics and art history,as well as the minute relationships found in everyday existence. This is perhaps most evident in a series of prints that line the wall with statements that read, "Minimalism is Capitalist," or "Futurism is Facist." They are semi-joeky but at the same time, imply other readings of classic art historical movements. The visual language of Russian constructivism, such as Malevitch's iconic "Black Square" is referenced in works such as the large square set high up on the wall, built from black VHS cassettes and in the video piece showing censored text of FBI files of interviews with the black panther's that has been reduced to the essential forms of black and white.

In a new piece titled "les assassins," about 80 hookhas are placed in the center of the room, their coils for smoking layed out for viewers to take a puff. The title comes from a historical link tracing the etymology of the word assassin-believed by many to come from the word hasish or Haschichiyoun, the name of people who smoked Hasish which was frequently smoked in the hookhas or the french word, nargile. This translation of the name was made popular in the West during the time of Marco Polo, although other readings exist inlcuding a link to the Assassiyoun, or those loyal to Assas, or the foundation of law. Whatever may be the case, the work is both beautiful and haunting and is purposely placed in view of a photograph from fatmi's latest (still in-progress) project, "Sleep," which spins the famous Andy Warhol film of John Giorno sleeping for 6 hours to show the author Salman Rushdie, a Warholian type personality most famous for once having a fatwa against him, in vulnerable repose and in view of "les assassins."

In all of fatmi's artwork and installations we are at first attracted by the graphic, aesthetic quality, but soon we get drawn into a deeper understanding of his intentions and the subversive nature of the work which always presents various layers of interpretation. The exhibition is on view through February 20.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Paper Goods

Lagom, which means "perfect balance" or "just right" in Swedish, is a design collaborative that emphasizes, as the website says, thinking about the greeting card from a new perspective. Among many things, the group is focused on innovative design approaches but also resources and methods of printing. But the website is more then just greeting cards, it presents a selection of great cards and stationary as well as notebooks, trays, tote bags, wrapping paper and other small, stationary type accessories. It provides a fresh selection from independent designers from Europe-mostly the UK and Scandinavia. They also have a news section outlining some interesting finds and places. Lagom Design seems to have succeeded in striking that perfect balance between smart design and functional, allowing you to spice up your office or home with fun, aesthetic and affordable products.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Travel debacle

Tyler Brule, media and branding genius, and editor of Monocle magazine, gives a weekly column on the back page of the Arts section in the Weekend edition of The Financial Times called, "The Fast Lane." In it, he discusses his own travel experiences, suggestions for certain airlines or routes, cities, hotels and gives tips and suggestions for better service, style, and all around re-branding and updated ideas for an industry that is somehow, ironically, dying. With the latest gem now called, "the underwear bomber" to emerge over the holidays, there was a global sigh of "ughhhhh," now what hell awaits us at the airport. Rather rally or rebel, most of us sat back in passive acceptance at the inevitable further downward spiral of air travel, resigning ourselves (myself) to the truly unacceptable reality of body screening and whatever else the government decides to deem "safe." But Brule's column from this weekend woke me up to the fact that this situation goes beyond the humiliation in the face of strangers and underpaid airport staff, and more profoundly, rights to privacy, which we would all eventually get over, (what else could we do?). This is of course, a political issue, dems vs. republicans, what isn't these days? Obama must appear strong in the face of terrorism to avoid bad press, but this needs to be looked at as an economic issue as well, in this recession, business travellers will avoid the US and plan events in places like Canada or Mexico (Brule's idea for Mexico and I have to say, a good one to help that country), tourism will falter and the US airline industry will decline even more. I get it that there is a gross issue of security that needs to be addressed but the US needs to get their screening and communications in line before subjecting all of us to public strip searches and punishing those who just want to get from a to b.

Friday, January 8, 2010


It is exciting to be in a new decade but the reality is, it's still cold and January with no spring in sight for a few months, and I am off to a slow start on the blogging front. So what to do? I am going to start cooking more and experimenting with my repetoire. New soups and stews and foods that I can reheat the next day as I am on mega budget. Jamie Oliver is my new friend in the form of a cookbook (thanks sis), and last night I made thai green curry. Not bad but I forgot a key ingredient- the coriander seeds. Oops: It was still good.

One food issue I have here in Paris is: where are the beets? By beets, I mean the non-cooked version that still have their leafy greens attached. I have searched all veggie markets in my hood and they all have the pre-cooked type. What is this? I don't get it and it doesn't seem to fit in with the French approach to foods. Maybe I need to hit the Raspail or Bio Batignolles market, but I wish it was not so out of the way. I love beets and the greens for an all around beet meal. Hélas.

Happy New Year.