Théâtre Laurette, Paris

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So seldom, in my lifetime, have I come across my first name, that when I do, I take note.  I was very surprised to see this theatre in Paris.  I want to attend a program there!

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I found this on the internet:


Notre envie de partager avec les artistes, compagnies, producteurs et toutes professions qui subliment autour du spectacle, est née d’une rencontre exceptionnelle.
Laurette est généreuse, attentive et amoureuse des autres.
C’est tout ce qu’elle nous a communiqué qui fait de cette salle de spectacle, un lieu charmant, intimiste et chaleureux.
C’est dans chacun de vos pas (spectateurs, comédiens, chanteurs, auteurs…) que l’on retrouve Laurette, notre Laurette,
et dans chacun de vos applaudissements que l’on retrouve son sourire.
Merci à tous ceux qui nous aide à exister chaque jour.

En hommage à Laurette, notre amie passionnée de théâtre, cinéma et elle-même actrice…
In English:

Our desire to share with artists, companies, producers and all professions that sublimate around the show, was born from an exceptional meeting.
Laurette is generous, attentive and in love with others.
It’s all that she communicated to us that makes this performance hall a charming, intimate and warm place.
It is in each of your steps (spectators, actors, singers, authors …) that we find Laurette, our Laurette,
and in each of your applause that we find his smile.
Thank you to everyone who helps us exist every day.

In tribute to Laurette, our passionate friend of theater, cinema and herself an actr

Carnevale a Firenze

In ancient times, the Carnevale of Florence was among the most brilliant and noisy on the Italian peninsula.  From the Medici times forward, members of the same noble families wore the same kind of masks and went through the city until all hours, singing and carrying so many torches it was “as if it were full day.”

The carriages courses had not yet been invented, but the revelry and the noise that was made in the streets in those days made Florence the most carefree and gay city in the world.

Carnival goers would go to the Mercato Nuovo (where the silk merchants and drapery shops were located) with flasks, and also to the Mercato Vecchio, between ferrivecchi and pannilani sellers. The young of all the leading families all took part in this gazzarra of the ball, going around disguised in creative ways and playing pranks on the unsuspecting.

More than anything, however, they tried to throw big balls into the shops so that the merchants were forced to close and send their workers out to have fun too. As long as the matter remained within these limits, people enjoyed at it, especially when in the Old Market they were throwing a ball into the workshop of a iron smith, bringing down pans, tripods and jugs, with a deafening noise.

But, over time, the revelry became excessive and caused riots. When the young nobles threw out balloons that had been soaked in mota, they ruined the fabrics and drapes of the merchants, creating great economic damages.

Hence, quarrels arose and the people objected. If the nobles were creating such problems, the plebs wanted to give them a taste of their own medicine. The commoners  used bunches of rags that were drenched in pools and rivulets. These filthy bundles dirtied everything. Violence ensued in retribution.

After hundreds of arrests, the Eight of Guardia and Balìa issued a ban ordering, with the threat of severe penalties, that no one could get out with the ball before 10 pm and before the trumpets of the City had gone on the streets playing the trumpets to warn the merchants.

(Taken from Old Florence by Giuseppe Conti).

This and that in Paris, January 2020; the Folies Bergère

The French start training early for the enjoyment of the outdoor cafe life:




Many of the city’s grocery stores currently have these enticing cases of Little Moons Japanese mochi at the front.  I never did try any.  It is January, after all. Plus, my hands are almost always full. But, I am intrigued, see below the pix:



From the Little Moon website:

Brother and sister, Howard & Vivien Wong, launched Little Moons in 2010 on a mission to bring Japanese mochi with a delicious, modern twist to the masses.

Having grown up eating traditional mochi in their parent’s bakery they knew the potential these little balls had to deliver a moment of total happiness to whoever ate them.

It took them two years to master the mochi making process and perfect the ice cream recipes, working with top chefs and using quality ingredients to create the perfect flavour combinations.

With a Little Moons now eaten every second we felt the time was right to introduce our next bite sized adventure and so in 2019 we launched our Cookie Dough Ice Cream Bites.

Big Flavours, Little Moons.

What is mochi?

Mochi is a rice flour dough that has been steamed and pounded to give it its distinctive soft and chewy texture. We wrap a thin layer of mochi around our ice cream balls to make our Little Moons mochis.

It is so unique that in Asia the distinctive glutinous texture of mochi has its own name and is known as the Q texture.


Ok, back to Paris!

I swoon over the architecture:





The famous Folies Bergère. Art Deco all the way home.







Even the animals were dressed for winter:



You cannot help loving these Metro entrance markers by Hector Guimard, even if most of the (darn) stations were closed during my visit (for the longest strike in French history):



A shop dedicated to cat designs?




The classic French Galette Des Rois is for sale in almost every pâtisserie.



I love the aged patina on this gorgeous door below.




I never made it into the Louvre on this trip (a long story, told here), even though I had tickets for a special exhibition, but I did get to see the Louvre’s ultra modern subway station on the automated Metro Line #1:



Much more to come, probably for another month!

Toulouse-Lautrec at the Grand Palais, January 2020



I first fell in love with the graphic works of Toulouse-Lautrec in college.  Posters of his magnificent advertisements covered my dormitory room walls.  I still love his work.





I also love the Grand Palais. I mean, just look at it! Construction of the building began in 1897 following the demolition of the Palais de l’Industrie  as part of the preparation works for the Universal Exposition of 1900, which also included the creation of the adjacent Petit Palais and Pont Alexandre III. It has been listed since 2000 as a historique monument by the French Ministry of Culture.



Although the Palais appears to be in the style of Beaux-Arts architecture as taught by the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris, and the building reflects the movement’s taste for ornate decoration on its stone facades, its structure, in fact, is made of iron, light steel framing, and reinforced concrete. These were very innovative techniques and materials at the time, and included the glass vault.

















A stained glass design by the artist. I had no idea he had worked in this medium.




The design for the glass:



















Yes, here is the ad for the magazine La revue blanche!  This design has always been a favorite!








The exhibition was excellent.  I am becoming a very lazy art historian. I’m sorry to say that I don’t enjoy muscling my way through exhibitions anymore.  I am spoiled because, once upon a time, I could view these shows privately.  It’s not nice to be just another visitor.  Boo hoo.

Still, the show was magnificent and I’m glad I saw it!

And, because so much of Lautrec’s work was devoted to the entertainments of Montmartre, the curators included this great film clip: