Spring in Normandie

trouville normandy

(Yes, that’s Normandie as in French, sorry but I cannot bring myself to write Normandy, I think the y removes all the French glamour immediately.)

I had been thinking about traveling to that region of North-West France since a few years now, after seeing pictures of Honfleur and Deauville in some travel article, and falling in love with the coloured front row houses and vintage beach changing rooms. I also wanted to see the disappearing Mount Saint-Michel, but didn’t have time for that this time. (They say every time you travel, it’s better to leave some things off for a future visit 🙂 )

Giverny or the impressionist dream

If you come from Paris, as me and my sister did, I would recommend making a first stop by Giverny before heading towards the beach and visiting the Fondation Claude Monet. Especially if you’re coming in Spring. Remember those marvellous huge Water Lilies paintings? They were painted here.

Monet, one of my favorite painters, built his own garden with flowers that would grow all year long in front of his house. Once I saw the scenery, I realized that 2 hour-drive and the 40-minute waiting in line under the sun to get in were well worth it. I will let my pictures speak for themselves.

maison monet house jardin garden

jardin garden giverny monet

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Love the questions

rilke love questions galilee

Like trying to figure out what’s on the last page of a book you haven’t even started, I too often try to answer many questions before living them. As if there was a rational and definitive answer to a question that only us can bring a meaning to.

A few months back, as I moved in a new room closer to the center in Jerusalem, I found a magnet with this quote from Rilke. I had the impression this magnet had been waiting for me, and many were the times I reread it to try an ease the thirst for answers in my heart.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

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The Art of Jerusalem

Jerusalem art for peace
Picasso once said, “Todo lo que puede ser imaginado es real” (Everything that can be imagined is real). So when Ahmad and Oren imagined a safeguarded space for citizens of Jerusalem where they could express themselves through art and leave behind any cultural, political or religious differences, they made it real.

They first found a rooftop in no man’s land in the old city of Jerusalem. A misused space full of garbage somewhere in between the Christian, Muslim and Jewish quarters. Anyone who has visited or lived in the Holy City, will know that the population usually stays around their own neighborhood and rarely intertwines with their neighbors. So, to find a place which is easily accessed from the different quarters appears to me like a sign that this project, called Jerusalem Art,  was simply meant to be.

CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT THEY DID!

Mistress America and the Freedom of Being

mistress america

Tracy just started a writing program at Barnard in NYC, however, her life is not what she had dreamed about. The literary club rejected her work, her only friend found himself a jealous girlfriend and being an introvert she dares not join the college party scene on her own. Suddenly, the idea of calling her soon-to-be stepsister Brooke she has never met doesn’t seem such a bad idea.
Brooke, a 30 year-old Times Square resident, turns out to be everything Tracy would dream of being: crazily fun, confident and enchantingly unpredictable. Together they start a fresh and honest friendship while Brooke becomes Tracy’s muse for her new writing piece, Mistress America.

As Michael Mohan perfectly describes in The Talkhouse, “The drama is rarely manufactured from plot, but usually stems from the characters going through some kind of real transition. And somehow he always manages to do this hilariously without ever betraying the characters or dramatic situations.

It’s true that Baumbach’s movies have a great deal of comedy and you usually find yourself smiling during most of the movie. But Mistress America is seriously hilarious, the whole scene at Dylan and Mamie-Claire’s house (Brooke’s ex-fiancé and ex-best friend respectively) with fast-paced dialogues, perfectly timed puns and twisted plots is simply perfect with absolutely no time for boredom. I remember wishing Woody Allen‘s last movie, Irrational Man, had been anywhere close to this. It’s, as some critics have described, a modern screwball comedy up to the best Capra.

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