April 15th, 2013
We finally have some Spring in Paris with these Anemones (daughter of the wind)…
“The anemone is one of the earliest flowers in spring, appearing in April, and continuing through May. The name, anemone, or wind-flower, some writers claim, was given because it is so fragile that it withers when the wind blows over it; others say that it only blooms when the wind blows it open.”
March 21st, 2013
It’s the first day of spring and the Persian new Year of 1392 starts with Noruz (No: new, Ruz: day):
We are celebrating in Paris with a newly converted Venus,
I have extensively written about the Noruz (or Nowruz, Norooz) before in my blog, so if you’ve been with me in the past 4/5 years, you must know all about the items that go on the Noruz spread.
The famous “haft seen” of 7 S’s:
My fish, Samad (his name has nothing to do with the S’s… ), has been with us since two Noruz’s ago and he is happy to play his role this year with the famous Haji Firouz , the politically incorrect Persian messenger of the New Year:
Haji Firouz’s face is covered in soot and he is wearing bright red clothes and hat. People consider it only as a face paint and there is no racial implication.
Do you remember Samad on my previous year’s Noruz card?
One of the S’s is Sekkeh or coin; the last Shah of Iran is overthrown even in my Haft Seen…
It was raining in Paris on the first day of spring:
but I didn’t care because a bunch of hyacinths can bring the spring to your room.
Happy Noruz and,
happy 1392 to all of my Persian friends!
Some links to my previous Nowruz posts worth your time (I promise):
Nowruz 1390 here
Nowruz 1389 here
Nowruz 1388 here
My most visited blog post (and most used images without my permission) Haft seen here
Just decided to add this photo of myself (3 months old) on my mom’s lap having my first Noruz and not terribly impressed…
January 21st, 2013
It’s been snowing in Paris and amazingly the snow is staying so the whole city is white white white!
I had to meet a friend for lunch in Montparnasse; no bus was running in Paris yesterday so I had to take the metro which was deserted:
it was me and the live statue of a king…
The famous cafés of Montparnasse, like Le Select (once the haunt of Hemingway, Picasso and Henry Miller) were kind of empty,
La Coupole was not much better,
so we settled on some mean steak and frites and Entrecôte:
Who can say no to that?
I said goodbye to my friend and decided to go and take some pictures of the city under snow.
It snowed on bikes,
and on flowers,
and the café tables:
Still majestic after 800 winters!
It was glorious inside; I particularly love its three large rosettes. These examples of technical and artistic genius were constructed in the 13th century. The largest two measure 13 metres in diameter:
I was giddy by the time I left – snow makes most people like that. It reminds me of my childhood in Tehran and cancelled school days! I took a picture of myself with the Saint Michel bridge behind me.
I would have been happier if it wasn’t for the stupid love padlocks! They have invaded the Pont des Arts (Art Bridge) and now it’s all the other bridges’ turn…
The Conciergerie (where the notorious Marie Antoinette was held before being decapitated in 1793) looked beautiful in spite of the recent Disneyesque cleaning of its façade. I liked it better when it had some of its original grime…
I took the metro again to go to Trocadero:
and some more realistic ones like these homeless men sleeping…
By the time I got out it had stopped snowing,
and the beautiful Eiffel tower was on time for her rendez-vous with me:
These gilded statues each had a live bird on them:
but the only one close enough for me to take a picture of was this little sparrow:
And of course everybody could take their own tower home:
I didn’t buy any but I started writing this blog to share it with you looking out from time to time to the melting snow.
January 2nd, 2013
December 23rd, 2012
I took the train from Paris to Zurich a couple of weeks ago and here are the things I saw; the ride is fabulous especially when it snows:
I arrived at the main Bahnhof,
And thinking about my dad who loves the famous veal sausages (Bratwurst), I had one before heading to my hotel:
The view from my hotel room was magic at dusk thanks to the snow:
I had a huge smile staring out the window the next day:
After two days I headed back to Paris but not before relishing the site of the divine Sprungli cakes; you gain weight just looking at them!
My favorite is this Vermicelles cake. “In Switzerland, chestnuts are used in a variety of desserts, most commonly in a dessert called Vermicelles where the chestnuts are sweetened in a purée and then pushed through a ricer or similar instrument to produce delicious “noodles” which can be eaten as is or as a decoration on top of cakes. Vermicelles are most commonly served atop some whipped cream with some crushed meringues for added sweetness and texture, a dessert sometimes referred to as Mont Blanc outside of Switzerland”:
The train ride back was as beautiful:
I came back and guess who was waiting for me in Paris?
Happy Holidays Everybody!
November 8th, 2012
“We have a choice: we can become a shrinking regional party of middle-aged and older white men, or we can fight to become a national governing party. And to do the latter we have to fix our Hispanic problem as quickly as possible, we’ve got to accept science and start calling out these false equivalencies when they occur within our party about things that are just not true, and not tolerate the intolerant.” John Weaver (a Republican strategist)
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Isaac Asimov
October 31st, 2012
October 6th, 2012
It’s a rainy afternoon in Paris, just the way I like it, but I am in bed 3 weeks after a foot surgery and lots of time to read.
Some time ago I was nudged by my friend, Ajay, (happy birthday Ajay) to read Paris: a love story. I thought maybe it’s about the one among millions of little/big romances in the city of lights so I didn’t rush to it. I was surprised to find a very interesting book by Kati Marton:
She was the wife of Peter Jennings and Richard Holbrooke and she has been in love with Paris all her life. I liked both these gentlemen and her story starting in Hungary and continuing all over Europe and United States kept me reading through the night (pain is also responsible for keeping you awake).
I knew Holbrooke from his days in Bosnia and Afghanistan and Jennings was coming to all our homes for years via ABC News. After that book and no brighter future in pain reduction, I started reading The unquiet American, a very interesting book published by Holbrooke’s friends after his death in 2011.
It is an amazing book if you like history and/or are interested in high diplomacy; Richard Holbrooke shines with his whole package of qualities and imperfections. I am considering to read (finally) a book by John le Carré, being nudged this time by Holebrooke himself!
I rarely read fiction so it would be hard to choose which of these two to read and which just watch as a film. The free first chapters from Kindle will help me make up my mind. I am as they say a “promiscuous” but loyal reader – I read many books at the same time but I do finish them all!
“History keeps her secrets longer than most of us. But she has one secret that I will reveal to you tonight in the greatest confidence. Sometimes there are no winners at all. And sometimes nobody needs to lose.” John le Carré
September 7th, 2012
I made the above image 4 years ago for this post.
I remember how happy I was when creating these and I am still hopeful that maybe he will be able to deliver in his second round…
And I remember this gloomy yet hopeful december in California in 2008…
My favorite picture of Obama is still this one:
Many are a bit disappointed with him but the alternative is just scary…
August 18th, 2012
I’ve been to the Loire Valley in France a few times but never seen anything like the Château de Villandry’s magnificent gardens!
I would like to share this with my friends so let’s start: the Loire region is a few hours from Paris and the roads are bordered by poppies in May/June:
herbs and vegetables and of course fruits: