Friday, September 30, 2011

Marvels of the Modern (and not so much.....) World

Remember the "Blossfeldt-ian" pic I posted last week (here) ?

Same grouping, same location, same lighting, just a little tweaking of the old "I-Photo" software.  It's a wonderful world of modern science, isn't it?  And a wonderful world of Mother Nature.

Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Recoleta Cemetery - Buenos Aires

Those of us from the non-Latin world are always amazed

and seduced by these

cities of the dead........

It's also very sobering to contemplate

how it could be that so much marvelous talent

and skill could be concentrated in the hands of humble

craftsmen.  To create such beauty.  And that their names (as opposed to those of the people who employed them) and whose skills are now, in our modern hyper-achieving world,

almost entirely lost to us.

A place like this quite is literally and irrefutably deserving of the descriptive:  Passage Paradis.

If you want to believe it, Evita Peron is meant to be buried here.  But there is some controversy as to whether she actually is.   From Wikipedia:

Disappearance and return of corpse

Shortly after her death, plans were made to construct a monument in Evita's honor. The monument, which was to be a statue of a man representing the "descamisados," was projected to be larger than the Statue of Liberty. Evita's body was to be stored in the base of the monument and, in the tradition of Lenin's corpse, to be displayed for the public. While waiting for the monument to be constructed, Evita's embalmed body was displayed in her former office at the CGT building for almost two years. Before the monument to Evita was completed, Juan Perón was overthrown in a military coup, the Revolución Libertadora, in 1955. Perón hastily fled the country and did not make arrangements to secure Evita's body.

A military dictatorship took power in Argentina. The new authorities removed Evita's body from display and its whereabouts remained a mystery for 16 years. From 1955 until 1971, the military dictatorship of Argentina issued a ban on Peronism. It became illegal not only to possess pictures of Juan and Eva Perón even in one's home, but even to speak their names. In 1971 the military revealed that the body was buried in a crypt in Milan, Italy, under the name "María Maggi." In 1995, Tomás Eloy Martínez published "Santa Evita," a work propounding many new stories[56] about the escapades of the corpse—including allegations that many wax copies had been made, that the corpse had been damaged with a hammer, and that one of the wax copies was the object of an officer's sexual attentions.

Final resting place
In 1971, Evita's body was exhumed and flown to Spain, where Juan Perón maintained the corpse in his home. Juan and his third wife, Isabel, decided to keep the corpse in their dining room on a platform near the table. In 1973, Juan Perón came out of exile and returned to Argentina, where he became president for the third time. Perón died in office in 1974. His third wife, Isabel Perón, whom he had married on November 15, 1961, and who had been elected vice-president, succeeded him, thus becoming the first female president in the Western Hemisphere. It was Isabel who had Evita's body returned to Argentina and (briefly) displayed beside Juan Perón's. The body was later buried in the Duarte family tomb in La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires.

Extensive measures were taken by the Argentine government to secure Evita's tomb. There is a trapdoor in the tomb's marble floor, which leads to a compartment that contains two coffins. Under the first compartment is a second trapdoor and a second compartment. That is where Evita's coffin rests. Biographers Marysa Navarro and Nicholas Fraser write that the claim is often made that Evita's tomb is so secure that it could withstand a nuclear attack. "It reflects a fear," they write, "a fear that the body will disappear from the tomb and that the woman, or rather the myth of the woman, will reappear."[57] This cemetery, which is located in the northern part of barrio Recoleta, also holds the remains of many illustrious military generals, presidents, scientists, poets and other affluent Argentinians. There is a saying in Argentina that it costs much more to die than it does to live.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Corner View - Music

We are big music fans here at Passage Paradis.  Music is one of the glues that sticks us together.  We like pretty much any kind, as long as it's a good, honest version of that genre.  Mr. Paradis is actually more enthusiastic than I, however, and would have to be properly characterized as a pop music obsessive.  Do NOT challenge his expertise on popular music trivia!  He is so good, that he spotted this person on a London street when the average person might not reasonably have been expected to do so.

So who was this man-in-black, having a cigarette break outside the pub, sipping a tall Peroni and engaging in pressing seeming telephone negotiations? 

He is the very tall former lead guitarist in an '80's band.  His name is Mick and the band's name started with a "C" and ended with an "H".  What is this man's last name and what was that band?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Summer on "The Heath" - London

From the archives......can't believe I've never posted these pictures!  (Things get lost, don't they?)

One of the very best things to do in London in the summer..... is to go to the Heath.

Hampstead Heath.  It is an atmosphere at once

 convivial and intimate.


A place to find company if you are on your own.

Or a place to flee company if you've had too much of it.

Stay, doze, visit, read.  Watch the clouds go by..........

Just watch out for stinging nettles.  And make sure you've got a good pub not too far away picked out.

For after.

Monday Bites - Maldon Oysters, Duke of Yorks Square, London

For those of you who are headed to London sometime soon........(and I know someone who is!) don't forget the Saturday market at the Duke of York's Square in Chelsea.  Also posted about here.

Yes, huge wheels of Comte just across the Channel from France, West Indian and Portuguese specialties, salumi, and Spanish hams, fresh handmade pasta, Alfajores from Argentina.  And that's just to start with!

Bon appetit Sophie!  And Bon Voyage!!!!!!!  To all you other travelers and sojourners too: Don't forget to stop back by here and tell me about your adventures!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Words Can't Describe - Sepia

Well, not my sepia, and not quite sepia, but this great picture appeared in the New York Times yesterday:

Terry O'Neill/Getty Images

HBO will be broadcasting Martin Scorcese's "Living in the Material World" next weekend and I guess it's already in movie theaters in the U.K.

Do I need to tell you who this is?  My favorite Beatle!!!!!!  (Could those be Kickers he's wearing?)

Can't wait, can't wait!  Anybody seen it?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Emil Nolde - Do You Love Him?

One of my very favorite artists from the old art school days.  Emil Nolde.  I love how he was able to get such intensity of color and form from watercolors which are usually used in rather more sedate styles.  He is may be less popular in the mainstream these days because of his emphatic support of Nazi philosophy.  He was, however, very publicly rejected and condemned by the Nazi regime for producing "Degenerate" art.  Accordingly, he was prohibited from making art when the Nazis were in power, but succeeded in making these beautiful watercolors in secret.  He was a huge admirer of Vincent Van Gogh, with whom he shared similar humble beginnings.  Someone gave me some sunflowers this week.  They have such energy, no?  They do still look just a little like this:

(So beautiful, isn't it?)  Hey, have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

If You Could Only See It..........

It is


after all.

A world of fantasy.  And delight.

And sunny days.  All year long.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Corner View - Silly

Walking through L.A.'s "gift district"

it's hard not to be reminded that notwithstanding the

charm and cheer that an individual gift item might represent...... 

when you see it in really great numbers, i.e., as the "commodity" that it is, and scale it up to a global obsession with consumption.  It really starts to seem quite "silly"!

What do you think? 

Monday, September 19, 2011

North Shore Oahu - Shall We Try Again?

This is what we call an "upcountry" drive on Oahu.

Even when the clouds are low

it's all about

full spectrum color.

(Just in case it's raining where you are and the summer vacation is a distant memory.)  Have you started planning next summer's yet?

Yes, this is what I tried to post last week.  I got my pictures back - woohoo!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Monday Bites - What's in Your Market?

Our markets are full of goodies at the moment.  I'm guessing yours are too.

But I did not find these gorgeous beauties in Hollywoood.  I found them here.

What are you capturing and cooking for the ones you love?  How was the weekend for you, anyway?

I switched browsers - now I just need to take some pictures for you!  Meanwhile, MANGIA, MANGIA!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sunday Sepia

Found 'em in the hood. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Lights are On, But Nobody's Home!

Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Thanks for all your nice comments on the North Shore post everybody!  Didn't it look so nice until........?

Blogger is not playing nicely with my ancient I-photo software or something.  (This seems to be an annual September thing.)  It's making my pictures disappear.  I wanted to try to reload but without luck!  

I'm thinking of migrating to Tumblr - have you tried it, do you like it?  Is it easier?  How does it do with '08 I-Photo software?

Hope to be back soon!  xo - The Manageress

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Monday Bites -Another Summer Discovery

Actually we saw these in Buenos Aires and we were intrigued.  Possibly if we'd had a little more time to adventure into the lovely bakeries there, we could have tried an Argentinian version.

Now they are showing up a little bit everywhere and they are quite nice!  Sweet, but not too much, slightly flavored with fennel, or anise flavor.  Glazed with sugar.  Light.  Very fresh tasting considering how humbly they are packaged.  I love waxed paper wrappings with this old-style type.  We had some with a Chandon Blanc de Noirs one August evening.  They come in other flavors - yes!

Have you ever tried these?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Sepia

What did you read over the summer?  Anything good?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weekend Quick Pics

About three weeks ago, this is what the setting sun did to my dining room table and the bowl that my cat sits in.  I did not adjust my camera while taking the picture and I haven't edited the image.   Mysterious, no?

What about your weekend?  Anything mysterious in store?  Will you come back and tell me about it?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Unintended Consequences

So around about June, I told you about my kitchen project, about the maple cabinets that read so orange, and my lightning bolt of inspiration that came by way of GREY.   The grey seemed like such a great idea.  The combination of the two colors has always been a big favorite of mine, though not a usual one that you will find everywhere or that is easy to make work.  So in order to be sure about my choice, I had to investigate.  And I found some great stuff! 

What I had to remind myself was that our eyes mix color without our even knowing it.  So I could have black and white in some parts of the room, which would stand in for grey.  The combination gives a strong graphic punch.  But you quickly realize that accordingly you have to tone the orange right down, otherwise it fights with the black and you get close to Halloween combinations.  (Oh yeah!  That's why we don't normally decorate with it!)

via Fiona at CafeCartolina

This is a perfect integration of the orange and neutrals.  Somehow the delicacy of the cabinetry and the sheen of the lacquer softens the orange.  When I first bought my house, I happened on alot of orange lacquer along the lines of this cabinet and was really tempted by it.....but......go on, reread the preceding paragraph!

via bobbi at lazy designer

Grey can be so many things.  Rustic, shimmery, industrial.  And a variety of greys makes for such a restful visual. Which is what I think made the choice of grey most appealing to me.

I love what Camilla Engman did with greys and oranges.  (And recycled envelopes!) Wish I could hang this in my kitchen.  There's something at once sorrowful and joyful in this piece.

Who knew grey could be so energetic?

I guess you could call these putty colors.  Or stone.  But let's not call them GREIGE please!

design darling via a perfect gray

Pop in a lot of crisp white.  A little shine.  And what you get is quite elegant.  You don't even really need the French bits and bobs to get that effect.

OK yeah really forget the "greige".  We're talking silvered timbers.  Misty mornings.  Barnacles and lichens.  Pussy willows.  Dried sage leaves.

these two paintings and torn paper collage above, via Sophie's' Seed Capsules tumblr

This is like a modern take on a J.M.W. Turner - a London sunset through the fog and the soot.  But see the equal parts orange and grey?  That means you got some big old fight goin' on here.  Yeah ok.  London's burning?

Something about a tidy grey with clean crisp edges makes you seem very snappy and on top of it all.  Even if you're just a painting.  (Model take note.)

Whispers of grey?

And who doesn't like the look and feel of slab floors and zinc counters?  That's what grey evokes.  There's something solid and timeless about it.  It's cool and warm at the same time.  

And then I got to this picture, of course I just said "to hell with kitchens - let's go on vacation"!

Which I did not.  But this pic comes close, don't it?  BIG.  SIGH.