Never Leave Opened Oysters on Bed of Ice, Never Use Vinegar, Tips from Paris for Men

Don't call it a guide, Paris for Men (Editions du Chene via ACC Distribution for USA and Canada) curated by Thierry Richard with illustrations by Aseyn and photos by Juliette Ranck offers educated opinions on topics ranging from Cycling to Buying Cufflinks, Having a Cocktail Made for You (best places), Lightning the Fire not to neglect Legs Akimbo or 'Where to go for a pleasant view of this light dance of women's legs' (time to see film 'The man who loved women' by Truffaut) to name a few.

To broaden the palette Thierry Richard ponctuates Paris for Men with 'words from Parisiens like Emmanuel Rubin (Journalist) on 'Le Train Bleu', Nicolas Bedos (Playwright) on his 'Noon-Midnight' moments, Patrick Roger (Chocolatier) in 'Life Size' on Musee Rodin and its garden, Franck Baranger (Chef, Le Pantruche) in 'Sunday Martyr' on week-end shopping in espadrilles starting with a stop for espresso on corner of Rue des Martyrs and Rue Choron.


As a Breton, I paid special attention to Thierry Richard's take on 'Shucking oysters with friends' with list of places where to buy them or where to taste them.

He concludes his oyster bit with how to get the most out of them and lists 2 no-nos's:

-Never leave the open shells on a bed of ice, as the cold will neutralize their flavor. It's better to use algae that you've gotten from your oyster shop

-For seasoning, never use vinegar, which is too powerful, but only lemon, and sometimes just a touch of ground pepper

Thierry Richard's musings can also be found at Chroniques du Plaisir, his blog (in French only).

Hopefully I will have a chance to put 2 or 3 of his suggestions to the test during my 1 day in Paris, early September.

Dishing out a Meal in Space, Animated Short by Corentin Charron via Enjoy Space

One of my stops while in Toulouse will be the Cite de l'Espace where space exploration is the star.

I am especially looking forward to their Explore Mars Exhibit.

Space buffs can get the latest space related news via Cite de l'Espace news site Enjoy Space where I stumbled upon the wonderful short animated film (below) by Corentin Charron titled Un Petit plat pour l’Homme (One small dish for Man).

Don't try chef in space moves at home.

In case you wondered, wine is a no no on space missions.

Rebel Moliere to Coco Chanel Neighborhood, Forever Paris Chat with Christina Henry de Tessan

The main challenge for any first time visitor to the French capital will be what to choose to see and where to start.

Paris Metro is a good way to explore the city.

In Forever Paris (Chronicle Books, March 2012), 25 Walks in the Footsteps of Chanel, Hemingway, Picasso, Molière, and More, Christina Henry de Tessan maps some of the city's attractions and favorite spots of famous residents all within walking distance of a station de metro (subway station).

Christina takes us on a stroll around Paris in this Forever Paris chat we had 2 weeks ago.

Q: Christina, How did you select the various artists that were included in the guide?

It was a huge challenge to select who to include—and who to cut—but I finally settled on the following criteria: they had to have been influenced by the city in some way and/or have an influence on it. They couldn’t just be passing through, but needed to interact with the city in some tangible way. Second, there needed to be some evidence of how they lived or the legacy they left. I would have loved to include Gertrude Stein, for instance, but she seemed to spend most of her time holding salons in her living room, rather than venturing out. That made it difficult to build a walk out of her life. Third, I wanted the reader to experience variety—both in terms of types of artists and in terms of parts of the city. Edith Piaf could only have become who she was in Belleville. The artistic hive of Montmartre was vital to Picasso’s early success. Each neighborhood gave the artist something different, and I wanted to capture that.

Q: Why is the most contemporary figure in your guide, Serge Gainsbourg?

I didn’t want to profile anyone who was still alive. People are entitled to their privacy. So I focused on people who wouldn’t be interrupted having their morning coffee. I also wanted to convey the many layers of Paris—that there are still places to go and experience Moliere, you can still dine at Napoleon’s favorite restaurant—as well as contemporary figures such as Gainsbourg.

Q: A few Americans, Henry Miller, Audrey Hepburn, Hemingway, made the cut, I don't see any Jazzman even though many of them called Paris their home, was it a deliberate choice?

No, not a deliberate choice. There were a lot of people who didn’t make the cut.

Q: Would Chanel or Picasso recognize their favorite haunts, their neighborhood? Do you think they would pick the same spots if they came back today?

Great question. Coco Chanel’s neighborhood is probably still similar in spirit to what it was when she lived there. The rue du Faubourg St. Honoré has been and still is a mecca for fashion. She might be shocked at the sorts of fashions she sees on display. But perhaps not. She was ahead of the curve all her life. One hates to think what Picasso would make of the tourist-swarmed Place du Tertre at the top of Montmartre. He would probably gasp in horror at the many artists doing on-the-spot portraits of visitors. And he likely wouldn’t recognize how gentrified and respectable it’s become. Back in his day, people moved to Montmartre because it was cheap. That’s obviously no longer the case.

Q: Why did you include Moliere?

He was such a rebel, and yet he managed nevertheless to secure the favor of the court. And he had such tremendous insights into human nature. His plays are a fantastic way to see what Parisian society was like back in the day.

Q: Did you personally visit every bar, market, bakery mentioned in 'Forever Paris'?

I did indeed. I didn’t necessarily get to spend much time in each one, but I walked every step of those walks and put a lot of time into figuring out the best or most interesting way to connect the dots. Some people made it easy because they spent the bulk of their time in one neighborhood, while others spent time all over the city.


Q: Was your book’s small format chosen to fit in backpacks and coats so that people would actually browse it while they visit the actual places and not just consult it while planning their trip?

Exactly. I’ve written many walking guides to different cities that are in the form of decks of cards (City Walks decks). I think people like the simple and easy-to-follow preset itineraries in the cards. The same principle applies here: People don’t necessarily want to heave a five-pound Rodin biography around with them as they explore the city, but they can do their in-depth research at home (if they like), then bring along an easy-to-follow itinerary that gives them just enough information to bring the city to life. I wanted more than anything for this information to feel accessible, lively, relevant, not overly dry and academic.

Q: Will the book also be available as a Mobile (phone, tablet) application with interactive elements?

I hope so! It’s already available on Kindle. I hope the rest is in the works, but that’s up to the publisher.

Q: Is Velib service (bicycle rental) available at all 25 'Metro' stops (subway)? Are some or most destinations best explored on foot?

I’m not sure that Velib is available at every stop. I think that Velib is brilliant, but that might not be the most practical way to experience these walks since Velib is really designed for brief use, to get from Point A to Point B, rather than as touring bikes. I think Paris is always best seen on foot, and I manage to do most of my research without ever getting on the metro. That’s the best way to discover not only the points of interest on the walks, but to make your own discoveries along the way.

Q: How many of your original picks did not make the final cut? Can you name a few?

I would have loved to include Gertrude Stein, but again, she didn’t seem to get out much (instead, all those famous people came to her). I wanted to include a fascinating Resistance leader named Jean Moulin, but he spent most of his time in hiding during World War II, so it was impossible to build a walk around him (that said, if you’re interested in that sort of thing, there’s a great museum dedicated to him on the roof of the Gare du Montparnasse). I also considered including Antoine de St. Exupery, but the highlights of his life really took place in the North African desert. I couldn’t figure out how to make a strong enough connection to Paris.

Q: If you were in Paris for a day, which of the 25 stops would you pick first?

So hard to say. For an idea of a perfect composite walk, you can check out my post on the subject, A Perfect Day in Paris on the Girl Friday website. 

But if I absolutely had to choose, I might start with Hemingway because he loved Paris so much and loved the same neighborhoods I do, or Julia Child because I love an excuse to browse the markets and eat well.

Thanks Christina. During my short stay in Paris this summer, I will surely visit some of your favorite haunts.

(* Top map Colette neighborhood, bottom one Serge Gainsbourg, images reprinted courtesy of Chronicle Books, all rights reserved)

3.11 One Year Later, Commemorating Japan's Tsunami and Earthquake at Japan Society

Seems like it happened not long ago yet we are about to mark the one year anniversary of the tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan.

On Sunday, March 11, the Japan Society in New York has set a full day of activities commemorating the tragic events and honoring the memories of those who lost their lives under the One Year Later, A Day of Reflection banner.

There are family programs including Children Artwork from Tohoku, an exhibition titled Memory: Things we should not forget and discussions like Tohoku Post 3.11: What's happening now?


Films are part of the mix with Can you see our lights, Pray for Japan and The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (picture above).

Time for reflection for Tokyo Thursdays # 226

Previously:  Drive By Art, Poetic Pastimes: Japan and the Art of Leisure, Newark Museum, Until May 6

(* Image of The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom from Japan Society's program pages)

Love Will Tear Us Apart, Celluloid Heroes Version, Japan Society Film Festival, NY, March 2-18

Not wanting to spoil anyone's Valentine's Day, the Japan Society scheduled its 6th Globus Film Series titled Love Will Tear Us Apart from March 2 to March 18, 2012.

What do you get?

"Bad romance, blind love, amour fou! This spring, we screen a series of twisted, obsessive, heart-blazing love stories from Japan and Korea, because, after all, it takes two to tango and at least two to tumble. The 20+ film lineup, mostly from the past decade, includes the U.S. premiere of Shinya Tsukamoto's latest film, KOTOKO, and the world premiere of Koji Wakamatsu’s Petrel Hotel Blue, as well as Hirokazu Kore'eda's Air Doll, Nagisa Oshima's arch-classic In the Realm of the Senses, Yukio Ninagawa's Snakes and Earrings, Lee Sang-il's Villain, Lee Chang-dong's Oasis, and Kim Ki-duk's Bad Guy, among other twisted tales. The complex relationship between Korea and Japan provides a fascinating coupling of national cinematic identities. Although both Japanese and Korean films and filmmakers demonstrate their own unique preoccupations, narrative traditions, structures and cultural sensibilities, a considerable amount of shared ground leads directly to unique avenues of artistic collaboration (Korean actress Bae Doo-Na and director Hirokazu Kore'eda, Kim Ki-duk and Joe Odagiri), ultimately revealing a similar visual grammar and inclination towards the emotional violence that flows beneath the quiet surface of societal restraints."


Non Japanese entries include Vegetarian (South Korea):

"Ominous dreams haunt and drive a young woman to abolish meat from her diet and her household, and even reject her husband, who smells of meat. Her family mistakes her sudden fixation for insolence, and she soon grows despondent, alienating herself from everyone. Her sister tries to reach her, but only her brother-in-law, an artist, manages to penetrate her withdrawn state. Her mysterious trauma ignites creativity and desire in him, and they collaborate passionately on beautiful body-painting art--drawing on her psychological pain but also providing the catalyst for a mystical sexual transformation."

Visions of love and film obsessions on menu of Tokyo Thursdays # 223

Previously: Kibo celebrates Food and Spirit of People of Tohoku One Year After the Earthquake

(* Image from 'Vegetarian' above from Japan Society event pages) 

Free Brazilian Arts, Music, Dance and Film Festival, New School, NY, February 27

End the month of February with rays of sunshine thanks to Brazilian Arts, Music, Dance and Film Festival presented by Student Film Collective at New School in New York.



Event Date: Monday, February 27th from 6 to 9:30 – Location: Wollman Hall – Event Name: The New School Brazilian Arts, Music, and Film Festival  “Free Food, Films, Live Concerts by 2 Brazilian Bands from the Jazz School – Amanda Ruzza/Chris Stover Quintet and – Scott Kettner’s Maracatú NY Free to New School Students Come hang, eat and dance with us right after you are done with class!

Last sentence makes me wonder if it is opened to general public. I guess it is since they are spreading the word via social media.

G'Day USA: Merino Wool, Mudfest, Australia in 80 Sips, Australia Week, January 11-29

The variety of topics featured during G'Day USA- Australia Week (January 11-29) is quite large.

Closest stop for me is New York (most events on January 19).  Topics will run the gamut from Australia's contribution to Green Building to putting wool on our backs by being the largest world producer of Merino wool.

This last part will be highlighted in The Australian Five (January 23 to 25, 2012)

"The Woolmark Company and Australians In New York Fashion Foundation are pleased to bring the best of Australian Merino wool and Australian Fashion will blend with THE AUSTRALIAN FIVE – five designers working innovatively with the highest quality Merino wool will be on show in NYC."


Food and wine of course are part of the mix.

Highlight is dinner at Craft co-hosted by Tom Colichio and Australian chef Neil Perry who created meal with best meat, seafood and wines from Australia.

Most of the program is for trade and media.

General public can attend Around Australia in 80 Sips organized by Bottlenotes.

Other Around Australia in 80 Sips events will take place at stops in Chicago (January 26) and Los Angeles (January 12)

Warm up session was in Dallas (January 10). Australia Week 2012 really opens in San Francisco on January 11 followed by by Los Angeles where I would pick 'Nature and Adventure Forum' and 'Digital Down Under'.

Check the Full Calendar as programs on occasion take place only in some cities.

Amongst what organizers call Satellite Events are Australia Day Dinner in Boston (January 24) and Mudfest Film Festival featuring Short Film Program at Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles (January 17).

The tour concludes with BBQ, Cricket and Netball in Houston on January 29.

Dumpster Diving Gift Idea, Dive! Living Off America's Waste, The DVD and Eat Trash Campaign

Time's been scarce to jot down ideas for today's Green Day.

Thankfully a fully formed topic landed in my Inbox.

As our buying frenzy gets into high gear with each holiday, what could be a better antidote than the subject of Dumpster Diving, rescuing food leftovers.

Let's be honest, many people do it out of necessity rather than choice.

A man on a mission, Jeremy Seifert documents the trend in Dive! The Film- Living Off America's Waste.


The film site also promotes the Eat Trash Campaign to End Food Waste.

Will it be part of the conversation at the dinner table on Christmas or New Year's Eve 2011?

Dumpster Diving for Green Day # 205

Previously: Are DIY Gifts the Best Way to Give Green This Holiday 2011?

Boiled Peanuts are Stars of Hot Wet Goobers, Short Film in Honor of Hardy Farms

When I hear the word peanuts, I think of Dizzy Gillespie and his tune Salt Peanuts...

No jazz talk today with short film 'Hot Wet Goobers' starring Boiled Peanuts.

This Southern Foodways Alliance film was directed by Joe York.

It is dedicated to Hardy Farms of Hawkinsville, Georgia.

Thanks to Lee Bros for putting these peanuts on my plate.

Tokyo Drifter by Tetsui Matsue Premieres at TIFF Tokyo International Film Festival 2011

The 24th Edition of TIFF or Tokyo International Film Festival concludes on October 30.

The Japanese selections include Tokyo Drifter directed by Tetsuaki Matsue (not the 1966 classic) described as follows in program:

"In May 2011, the director of Live Tape (2009 Japanese Eyes winner) shot his latest work on the neon-less streets of post-quake Tokyo. Musician Maeno sings and yells as he wanders on a rainswept night."

Tokyo Drifter has its World Premiere at TIFF Festival with second screening on October 29 at 5 PM at Cinemart Roppongi.

Life couched on the screen for Tokyo Thursdays # 210


4 Decades of Photography Covered in An Evening with Daido Moriyama, Japan Society, NY, November 3

(* Trailer for Tokyo Drifter from TIFF Festival's program pages)