the yelling reaction

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i’ve been outside

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Sleep ∞ Over – Outer Limits

I’ve been writing less lately because it’s spring and time for moving and sleepovers (tonight is only my second night in 8 days or so on which I will not be sharing a bed with one pretty girl or other) and reading outside and making iced tea and warm mornings walking to bakeries for bread; the winter is more conducive to long cozy thought sessions. Is it true for anyone else that in spring, one’s thoughts are made less of words and more of laughing?

This weekend I left Paris with R. and C. to visit J. at the villa in St. Raphael. It could be because I spent my first time there as a ten year old child, but each time I visit I feel like a little girl again. At the risk of sounding like an early-twentieth-century children’s book about wealthy families who travel to Normandy and Brighton for the benefits to the body and spirit of bracing sea air (“We went to the seaside and had ice cream in two flavors!”), I love going from the city to the coast because of the way that I’m reminded of the solid presence of my own body, of its vulnerability and resilience, in a way that I only remember feeling equally in childhood. My skin burns in the sun, my feet and hands are all cut up from hitting rocks underwater, my hips are scuffed and bruised from being thrown against boulders by alarmingly big waves at high tide. I check my legs for ticks after pulling my skirt up above my knees, running across the train tracks, and through high grasses on the other side. Nothing reminds me of childhood more than getting hit in the back of the head by a cold wave, spending what feels like minutes underwater as the wave rolls over and past, and coming up gasping, wide-eyed, and spitting out saltwater. Almost as shocking and exhilarating as birth, and causing a similar indignance.

In other news, my new apartment in the 18e arrondissement is perfect, with hardwood floors, almost-floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the cobblestone street between Le Moulin Rouge and Le Sacré Coeur, which is noisy and bustling in the best way. There’s a baby nearby that babbles a lot in French, a family across the street which has just opened up the windows and started listening to Maria Callas records in the evening, and a dog who seems to live at a cafe on my street and occasionally gets up the energy to bark when another dog goes by. Soon I’ll have to buy one of those rolling grocery containers to drag my food uphill, especially given my penchant for only buying groceries that come in jars and bottles (olives, preserves, milk, honey, speculoos spread, spices, clotted cream, pearl onions…) and then realizing too late how heavy they are.

I’m babbling, but just trying to get writing again.


Written by bellaheureuse

June 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm

so cheap and JUICY

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Peach season started.

And finished my jazz paper. Danced around to this in between pages.

Who am I kidding, in between sentences. Next up, avant-garde.

Gyptian ft. Nicki Minaj – Hold Yuh (Remix)

Written by bellaheureuse

May 1, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Posted in food, music

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ave maria

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Tonight I met C. and E. at Ave Maria for drinks at the very crowded bar and then finally dinner. We got three dishes to share, each served fast and in deep, round terra cotta dishes. The restaurant, always packed, noisy and dimly-lit, does a mix of Creole, Latin American, Asian and Caribbean food, called things like “Amélie Poulet” and “Woman on Top” (which we ordered out of sheer responsibility to our sex). It was delicious and filling, with spicy lentils, basmati rice, tender chicken with crispy cinnamony skin, all mixed in with slices of fresh orange and pineapple. For dessert we split an overwhelming chocolate tart with a shot of Calvados – a combination we all agreed should have been the dish to claim the name “Woman on Top,” no matter how good the lentils were.

While we were there they played two of my favorite songs:

Getz & Gilberto – So Danço Samba (I Only Dance Samba)

Buena Vista Social Club – Candela

Tomorrow is S.’s birthday and I’m taking her to brunch at Le Loir dans la Théière in the Marais. I was there before doing a Marais tour for Soundwalk, since the café is part of the tour, and I stood awkwardly in the middle of the restaurant between a pair of tables with my headphones in, listening to Isild Le Besco tell me what a chic place I was in while I felt increasingly out-of-place and conspicuous the way one does when is tall and standing up and surrounded by tablesful of people sitting down. So tomorrow I will go back and actually eat (i.e. gorge on their homemade desserts, which are oh-so-connu, I’ve heard). It’s known for its bad service and beautiful people – perfect.

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January 24, 2010 at 12:10 am

chez jeannette & the night bus

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Today I had brunch with C. at Chez Jeannette on Rue Faubourg St. Denis. I had this delicious egg dish which I can’t find the name of on google even after searching a long list of breakfasty nouns called an oeuf cocotte et sa crème de girolles, which consisted of a sunnyside-up egg in a wine cream sauce with champignons. Chez Jeannette itself is great, with high ceilings and comfortably-aging tippy tables and tile floors; bustling and dinerlike. After we ate we walked under the Porte St. Denis and down the street, which is cobbled and lined with butchers and cheese shops and produce shops, and since it was beautiful and warm today we strolled along smelling the air and feeling very happy.

Tonight I had dinner at a friend’s house near the Pantheon, where we made two heaping dishes of tartiflette and talked and talked. On the way back I rode the bus in the wrong direction by accident for 30 minutes or so, very happily gazing out the windows watching the Eiffel Tower flash by at the end of long narrow roads and over rooftops. I was so content that I wasn’t even bothered when we reached the terminus and the bus driver informed me that I was several arrondissements in the wrong direction; he blew out his cheeks and widened his eyes, climbed back into the driver’s seat, and then very kindly drove me all by myself to the closest metro, where he deposited me and told me to get home to bed. So get to bed I shall. Bonne nuit, tout le monde.

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January 18, 2010 at 1:17 am

pretty delicious

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Macaroons from Ladurée

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December 25, 2009 at 9:15 pm

christmas week doings

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Oeuf, it’s been a long time since I was here last – I’ve been busy with lots of lovely pre-Christmas things and haven’t had time to write. My dear friend L. was here from Saturday until yesterday, when she headed off on her train to Brussels. We had a jolly time trotting around Paris togezzer, and ate so well. We went out to dinner with V. at Bistro du Peintre on Avenue Ledru-Rollin, where I had onion soup and Japanese Nikka whisky, which comes in this pleasing little rectangular bottle.

Later L. and I had fantastic cheeseburgers at Café Charlot, with their trademark tin of fries wrapped in Russian newspaper, and scoped out Parisian hipsters dipping their frites in delicious French mayonnaise.

I started my internship at Soundwalk this week, which I’m loving. I found out the company will be working on a film that’s screening at the Pompidou in the spring, documenting the collaboration that arose between the Ulysses Syndrome, a sound project using audio recorded over a summer in the Mediterranean, and the work of an artist inspired by the audio. I’m excited both to be involved in the publicity for the event and to find out more about the concept behind the production.

I’m staying in an apartment on Rue St. André des Arts with my dad until January 5. It’s gorgeous and right near Notre Dame/St. Michel, so the area is bustling and very festive. We did the big Christmas shopping thing at Galleries Lafayette, where I bought some black velvet (!) lace-up oxfords from Alexandre Herchcovitch and the world’s best simple striped, double-sided cotton shirt from Petit Bateau.

This morning we went grocery shopping for the food we’ll make for our Christmas feastings: huge King crab legs for tonight, endives, lots of pastries for the morning, and lamb filets for tomorrow. I think I’ll go to the store later and get some cream so I can make egg nog; not such a thing in France.

It’s Christmas Eve! How glorious. I’ll leave you with these morceaux – some charming, some funny, some horrifying:

My kid brother – I Can’t Put My Arms Down

Charlie Brown Christmas – Skating

Jack Webb & the Postal Singers – Mail Early

Reverend Glen Armstrong – Even Squeaky Fromme Loves Christmas

Portsmouth Sinfonia – Sugar Plum Fairy

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December 24, 2009 at 6:58 pm

les éditeurs

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Today I spent at the cafe Les Editeurs on Carrefour l’Odéon.

The café is relatively close to Montparnasse, which was sketched here by this man:

Also, I am psyched to begin my internship here very soon – Huzzah!

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December 14, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Posted in food, Paris

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