Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose

Gertrude Stein made the above utterance famous in a poetry of hers and i can’t get it out of my mind every time i see or smell a beautiful rose. Coming from a country known for its gardens of roses and jasmins, tuberoses and tulips, irises and narcissus, I am still like many Persians partial toward the ROSE, the queen of them all. The rose below, smelled like the rose gardens of my childhood, unlike the sterile tall red roses you find nowadays in flower shops.

rose, pink, garden, stein, spring

“Mignonne, allons voir si la rose
Qui ce matin avait déclose
Sa robe de pourpre au Soleil,
A point perdu cette vesprée
Les plis de sa robe pourprée,
Et son teint au vôtre pareil.”

“See, Mignonne, hath not the Rose,
That this morning did unclose
Her purple mantle to the light,
Lost, before the day be dead,
The glory of her raiment red,
Her colour, bright as yours is bright”

Ode to Cassandre by Pierre de Ronsard 1550
white,roses, black&white, flower

Other noteworthy “Roses” are Roman de la Rose, and the name of the Rose by one of my favorite italians, Umberto Eco.

bouquet, roses, pink, peach, flower, mother�s day

“I am close to the beginning of the earth.
I feel the pulse of the flowers.
I am familiar with the wet destiny of water
and the green habit of trees.”Sohrab Sepehri

bouquet, red, roses, romantic, flower, love

Claude Verlinde, the illusionist

I got to know the work of this great artist in 1998 in paris at the Michelle Boulet gallery. I just found out that Verlinde has been very active in the past few years. I loved this piece of one of his paintings which reminded me of Jean Ferrat‘s song, l’Amour est cerise.

verlinde, amour, cerise, love, painting, cherries, woman

Ahmadinejad, Bush and Sarkozy: fatal combination

How unlucky can you be to have these three as your presidents? I am iranian by birth, american by choice and french by nostalgia; these three guys are today at each other’s throats. Sarkozy is still the more tolerable of the three (which is not a big accomplishment).

sarkozy, ahmadinejad, bush, president, politics, war, bomb

I actually think that he can do something for france (that will be another post, another day) but now his foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, wants to bomb Iran. Bush is as trigger-happy as always and Ahmadinejad wants to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. I just read on today’s LA times that he is a hero to the underrepresented muslim/arabs of this world and has the audacity to go to Columbia university and be jeered! I am waiting to see him on Charlie Rose tonight; his second 60 minutes gig was as ridiculous as the first one: bad questions, worse answers (and lots of giggles!) NY times has this article about the subject. Life is tough…

“At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.” Aldous Huxley

Too much noise for an espresso

They say that alcohol lubricates the conversation; i would say that coffee or tea do that job way better (you start sober and stay that way). I am coming from a tea (called chai and almost never mixed with milk) drinking country where even babies are given sweet tea beside their mother’s milk, but i can’t be ambivalent towards coffee in all its glorious variations, taken preferably in a Viennese coffeehouse or a French café.


Today’s blogs/internet forums are becoming like the coffeehouses of previous centuries where people got together and exchanged ideas, read, wrote and generally got inspired; to be alone yet surrounded by like minded people. My beloved Stephen Zweig or Gustave Klimt have been ardent patrons of coffeehouses. The slow “coffeehouse death” of 1950’s has been reversed rapidly, of all entities, by Seattle’s Starbucks & other American coffee companies who went on a rampage with their idiotic “grande/venti/tall” shouts! I take mine “chez Peet” (the guru of everyone in gourmet coffee revolution). Too much noise for a small coffee… What’s missing is the true conversation; how can you have one when you are busy slurping your pumpkin spice frappuccino (770 calories)? Ok, so I am not proud of my decaf soy latte neither (they say decaf is the devil’s blend!)


I am very happy that this poster of mine got published. It should hit the sites like,, etc…by the end of September.

Lady in Green

I’ve always loved these ladies! I have fun playing with their images. They’ve been called torchères (torchieres), lampposts and some pretty banal names but I think that they deserve to be called by a “grander” name like “the green Lucinas” (Lucina: she who brings children into the light). I’ve photographed them several times (they are the best models, they never move). Their color changes from bronze green to dark jade passing by some moss and celadon.


The Paris opera house is not hosting any operas; it is now mainly used for ballet performances. Carrier-Belleuse, an old friend of Charles Garnier, the architect of this great theater, contributed the elaborate torcheres that hold the candelabra illuminating the grand staircase and the lampposts outside the opera house.


“Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings. Robert Burns


Carbon Footprint, global swarming

I feel kind of stressed out about this whole carbon footprint calculations. Just took a quiz with them and i am not proud of the result! I am not much of a carnivore but now i have to worry about that “once in a while” steak. A Carbon Footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide. Reading the Deep Economy, has been revelatory to say the least. I also suggest Bill Mckibben’s article in the NY review of books.


I just listened to the Slate podcast called global swarming and i have to admit that i agree with the idea. On a more cheerful note Alice Waters should cook for all of us…