The French HATE cinnamon. Isn’t this so bizarre? At first I thought maybe it was just my “French Family,” but after further investigation it appears that it really is true, they don’t like cinnamon. Virginie said it is comparable to Black Licorice in the states…really? I love cinnamon, especially around the holidays.
My very favorite scene from Amelie
La partie meilleure de Amelie
There is nothing better to do to get yourself in the Christmas mood in Paris than to walk down the Christmas markets of the Champs Elysees. Starting mid-November the entire street is transformed into a miniature Christmas village with Christmas music playing on speakers and hundreds of little white huts full of delicious French holiday treats and gifts. To top it all off, at the end of the Market on Place de la Concorde is a massive ferris wheel that all the Parisian children beg their parents to take them to over Christmas break.
One of the staples of the market is it’s “vin chaud” or spiced, hot wine. It is absolutely divine and completely warms the soul! I need to get the recipe asap…I’ve been back 3 times already and I’m sure I’ll be returning again soon to get myself in the Christmas spirit! Only 26 more days….
Jean-Michel Basquait is probably one of the most intriguing/mysterious artists to ever live. He started out as a New York graffiti artist in the 70’s, and is by far the best-known artist of his generation. Initially, Basquiat became “famous for his works, then famous for being famous, and later, famous for being infamous.” He didn’t give two shits about the art world because drugs and women were a much bigger priority for him during his lifetime.
Basquiat epitomizes Neo-Expressionism. His figures and forms are easily recognizable, yet incredibly abstract, raw and violent at the same time-a perfect reaction to minimalism. One of the reasons I like Basquait so much is because he truly never knew if he was finished with a piece or not. He was constantly adding to his works, crossing things out, painting over the entire canvas and starting completely anew. You can visibly see the layers of paint and precisely when and where he changed his mind in his works, which really adds to the child-like quality of his art.
He lived an extraordinary, yet incredibly short life, which is why it is so amazing that he created so many works in such a short amount of time. He died of a drug overdose at the age of 27. Really, there is just so much to Basquiat as an artist and as a person that I can only begin to touch the surface. I’ll let the paintings speak for themselves.
If you’re interested check out the film “Radiant Child,” an excellent documentary of Basquiat’s life. Here is the trailor:
Trisha's delicieux stuffing made solely from baguettes
My rhubarb cake before it burnt...
All the women congregate in the kitchen...just like a real American thanksgiving
Jean saying grace...I think he said "jesus is everywhere...jesus is in your hair"??? We had all religions present so he had to be vague...
Anne, Antoine & Kristen
Tout le monde
“I am thankful for…”
There is no Thanksgiving in Paris, so just like for Halloween we had to think of our own way to celebrate! None of us Au Pairs happen to have a big giant kitchen to cook in and a dining room to eat in, so Emma offered to host! Similar to at home, we ended up listening to christmas music and cooking all day long. I realized it is a lot harder to plan an event like this when you live in a big city. At first when we were picking out who would do what dishes we quickly realized that carrying a turkey on the metro probably wouldn’t be such a good idea…that’s like a homeless mans dream come true. Even carrying small dishes like green bean casserole would be a hassle. You really don’t have to worry about these things at home…you get in your car, put your dish in your lap and 5/10 minutes later you’re at your destination! Eventually we decided cooking everything at Emma’s and leaving it there would be our best bet and it turned out to be a lot of fun.
The Thanksgiving meal itself was one I will never forget! There were 4 native Parisians present and I think they were a little weirded out at first but ended up loving it. We had some catholics, presbyterians, baptists and jews so Jean’s grace was interesting to say the least haha. The food was surprisingly really delicious considering all 20 somethings with not much experience cooked it all. (And let me tell you, it is not hard finding all the right ingredients in France and converting all the French measurements to accommodate our American recipes). The French people seemed to like Kristen’s sweet potato casserole the best. And I discovered there is no such things cranberries in France…they don’t even have a translation for it! Interesting…
I have a lot to be thankful for this year, most importantly my family and friends at home, but also I feel very grateful to have made such good friends here to share Thanksgiving with 🙂
November 26th, 16:00