The Art of Experiencing Paris

The Art of Experiencing Paris

I was twelve or thirteen when I returned from my first journey to Paris. I’d gone with my mother and sister, and I can tell you honestly, this is a trip I will never forget – not simply because it was “mon première expérience” in France (of which I had dreamed since I was about six, having listened to stories from various adult family members who I admired) but for a whole other reason entirely. It is something the French call flâner, the concept of actually walking around a city to experience its every true attribute (a very new concept for us Americans). As I walked along le seine, winding its way through the City of Light, the wind catching the colored leaves of the popular trees along the bank, French voices fluttering in from all directions and creative inspiration at every turn with art, architecture and music… My romantic visions of Paris had come to fruition. Stories such as mine have set the bar for a perceived expectation from visitors who journey to Paris. However, much too often visitors, particularly from America, have a hard time finding “la romance de Paris” while they zip around the city in a taxi or underground in le Metro (although le Metro is cheaper and often faster than taking a cab. And there are stations everywhere!).                                                                                              ...
The Song of the Sparrow

The Song of the Sparrow

“La Vie en Rose”, is without a doubt one of the most well-known and timeless French songs of recent history. But who was “the little sparrow”, as she was so nick-named, that first sang this song? Why Édith Piaf, bien sûr! She was for the French the embodiment of their everlasting spirit during WWII. Édith was the phoenix of French culture rising from the ashes left after the Nazi occupation. Art, music, architecture, books, language, food… everything that makes a people unique had been either destroyed, lost or taken. Very few people’s culture remained untarnished in Europe. It is clear, then, why Piaf became immortalized by the people of France and lovers of French culture like me, the ultimate symbol of all that the french hold dear. Interestingly enough, however, during the WWII German occupation of France, Piaf gave several concerts for German servicemen…scandal! However, after the war, Piaf revealed that she had been working for the French Resistance and was instrumental in aiding a number of individuals escape from Nazi persecution. Piaf was so passionate about her music she continued recording up until her death in 1963. Today Piaf continues to be idolized in France and  continues to inspire in other ways… she can be found as  the subject of a great deal of iconic art around the world.       If you would like to see a film about her life watch “La Vie en Rose”. It came out in 2007 so it shouldn’t be hard to track down and I recommend that you do! French actress Marion Cotillard portrayed the characteristically dramatic and passionate Édith...

Events

JOE creates Events that are focused on two things; Cultural Growth and Philanthropic Outcomes. Check out the drop down...