Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Different Take on "Swan Lake"!

Be sure to go to full screen to view this rather extraordinary excerpt from the Great Chinese State Circus's version of "Swan Lake":

Friday, November 23, 2012

Out and About in Luxor

Finally! Anait and did a shopping walkabout last Sunday, with a well-deserved stop at The Roof for lemon juice (theirs is the best!), wonderful coffee (the real thing with cardamom) for Anait, and my first shisha of the season (plum). The light everywhere was wonderful, as it tends to be in the mid-to-late afternoon. And of course the views from The Roof are magnificent!
Our resident egret who always seems to hang around near CH:

 On our brief walk through the tourist souk:
Bougainvillea is very opportunistic. Here it's used the trunk of the palm tree to establish itself:
One of the ubiquitous homages to ancient Egyptian influence:

La Traviata Flashmob

I just love these flashmobs!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Les Incontournables Macarons de Noël de Pierre Hermé!

Les Incontournables Macarons de Noël from Pierre Hermé:
Boîte de 12 macarons composée des saveurs suivantes :
PX - Pedro Ximenez et raisins blonds macérés

One of the macarons in the assortment--the PX:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Inbound: Part Four

Just over a month since I arrived in Luxor and I'm finally getting around to my final post about the process of arriving! In April of this year I made a small donation to the fundraising campaign for "Trésors du Caire". The project revolved around restoring two treasures for installation in the new "Arts de l'Islam" department of the Louvre: a mashrabiya and a Mamlouk porch. Here is a video from the Louvre that was produced to encourage donations to the two projects:

Here is a another video from the Louvre which discusses the restoration process for the porch (in French, but you'll catch the drift):
Louvre Museum: In Search of a Mamlouk Porch from ikono tv on Vimeo.
For more videos including this one, all with English subtitles, click on the following links:
The New Islamic Art Department: Behind the Scenes
The New Islamic Art Department:The Collections
The New Islamic Art Department: The New Department
The New Islamic Art Department: Architecture
And in August I received an invitation to visit the Louvre and particularly the new department gratis between it opening date of September 22 and December 15. Well, guess who was going to be in Paris in October and thus able to take advantage of the offer?
Here are the front and back of the invitation:
October 13 was a rainy Paris day, which made it perfect for visiting a museum:
I spent over three hours in the department and I barely scraped the surface of the two levels of extraordinary items. While the layout is a bit confusing, the displays themselves are excellent. And the design of the space really works. Here are just a few examples of both architecture and displays:

And here are photos of the Mamlouk porch which has been installed as a passage between two sections of the display space:

My name on the video display of the list of donors!
Here is the fully restored mashrabiya:
By the end of my visit I was suffering from the MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) effect, but I shall return as often as possible to be able to examine individual items and sections more thoroughly.

On my way out of the museum I caught this interesting juxtaposition:
The old encompassing the modern surrounding the recent--an untitled piece in laser-sculpted stainless steel by Belgian artist Wm. Delvoye. The whole a fitting image of the Louvre itself!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tutankhamun's Tomb to Be Closed to the Public

By Joshdboz (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Have you had a chance to visit the real KV62 in the Valley of the Kings at Luxor? If not, time may be running out. The plan is to close the tomb in the Valley and provide visitors with a faithful facsimile, possibly sited near Howard Carter's House (now a museum) at the entrance to the Valley. The facsimile has been created by a Madrid-based company called Factum Arte. Check out their website to get more detailed information about the project and to read a report prepared for the SCA on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the discovery of the tomb.

Thursday, November 08, 2012


Here's the latest photo of our new kitten Beau. He's resting up to get ready for his day of work as "el bowwab soghiyar" (the little gateman) at the front gate. He's much beloved by the "big" gatemen and they miss him when he's not there.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Inbound: Part Three

After our visit to Chinon, Bette and I stopped in Amboise on our way back to Blois to attend a meeting of Loire Connexion, a international group of people who get together on a monthly basis and speak English. We arrived in Amboise at that wonderful time of day when the light on the buildings and the Loire is rose-gold.

Here's a nice shot of the town from the island where the get-together took place:
And a nice sign to add to my collection:
And finally, a view of the Loire through an arch of the bridge leading back over to Amboise:
Bette was making a presentation on American musicals to the local chapter of an organization called France-États Unis a couple of days before I left to return to Paris. We met at a restaurant on the south bank of the Loire and these photos were taken from an upstairs window looking back at Blois.

The bridge you can see in the foreground behind the hedge in this final photo is the bridge in the photo that won me a blue ribbon at the Yolo County Fair.

UP NEXT: Inbound: Part Four--back in Paris, my visit to the Louvre, specifically the newly-opened Islamic Art Department...