A French Perspective in New York...
Join me as I search New York for everything that reminds me of Paris but of course is still New York. Follow me as I figure out what it means to be Paris in New York.
Last week, while I was in the plane coming back from the beautiful and delicious Buenos-Aires, I was watching Julia Robert in Eat, Pray and Love (click to see the scene) and, since then, I cannot get over this fabulous term invented by the Romans:
“Il dolce far niente!” Translation from Italian to English? “The sweetness of doing nothing”. In French, "l'art de ne rien faire".
The scene is set in a barbershop in Rome. The character goes on to explain that Italians may wonder home after a few hours of working to take a little nap, they may be inspired by a nearby cafe and sit down to have a glass of wine, or they may just go home and make love to their wife.
In this rush of the holidays, I started dreaming about what would be the best way to do Il Dolce Farniente ? What could help us stop our frantic activities and just BE in the present moment and enjoy any minutes of it without that feeling of "have to do something" ?
I am thinking suddenly about the cows in their field watching the train pass...Hum, not too much unrealistic in the noisy and bubbly New York! Then I would recommend a good chair, a pair of sunglasses and a nice glass of wine in your hand....Hanging out in one of the brasseries like Balthazar or Pastis...Find a nice bench in Central Park.....
Parisians enjoying Il Dolce Far Niente in Le Jardin du Luxembourg
The New Yorkers enjoying a good meal at Balthazar
How about just staying in bed like Madame Recamier in Paris in the 19th century...
Madame Recamier whose salon drew Parisians from the leading literary and political circle
or adopting the "OM...." position ?
Sorry guys, but in that cold winter, I think my way of finding Il Dolce Far Niente is to fly far away from Paris and New York....
L’Olivier, the sleek floral design atelier on Manhattan’s West 14th Street is a long way from Brignoles, the Provençal village between St Tropez and Aix en Provence where Olivier Giugni grew up. Yet the warmth, whimsy, style and bursts of color this floral artist brought from his native Southern France are unmistakable. “Les couleurs c’est la vie!” he exclaims. His mantra: life is color and color is life. And Olivier has been adding sumptuous color and life to New York City, his adopted home, since 1986.
Olivier's garden for your own inspiration..
His floral arrangements swathed in supple and silky leaves of South African philodendron have become a trademark, along with splashes of green, often in unexpected branches of rosemary, mint or bay leaf. Considered one of the city’s most prestigious floral artists, Olivier’s first name alone now suffices to refer to this talented Frenchman. A-list New Yorkers from the worlds of fashion, finance and fine arts call upon his dramatic, one-of-a-kind arrangements to transform home and work place. From the renowned restaurants of Chef Daniel Boulud, to the public spaces of the legendary Carlyle Hotel or the model apartments of the city’s top real estate developers, New York is all the lovelier for Olivier’s weekly additions.
In his book Living Art: Style your home with flowers, the floral artist presents stunning portraits of his sumptuous creations in a variety of private homes, along with detailed descriptions of their design and placement and recipes for a dozen of his signature arrangements. You can find it on Amazon.com
Olivier Guigni presented his book at the FIAF in November. Look at the video
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Beauty or Energy ? Pleasure or Success ? Plat du Jour or Trend of the Moment ? Macaron or Cupcake ?...
Amy Thomas, a contributor to Hip Paris Blog and also writer in God I Love Paris, tries cracking a big dilemma on whether she prefers to live in Paris or New York.
" Paris is dazzling. All you need to do is watch a Godard film or see a Doisneau poster to know that. But to actually walk the streets—with the Plane trees and cobblestones; the rose-tinted street lamps, green bookstalls and golden limestone facades—well, the French know a little something about seduction, don’t they.
But in New York, you’re swept away by everything and everyone around you: pedestrians, taxis, buses, street vendors, blinking neon signs, little dogs, big dogs, and, oh the freaks everywhere! To walk the streets of New York is to know what it means to feel alive...more "
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