June 26, 2011
After 37 years, I am back in Paris. It feels as if I had just left about a month ago. The streets come back easily, the language not quite so easily, but easier than I had imagined. The crowds are greater, not just because it is June, but because the world is smaller. More people travel more often. A multi-generational family from Brazil rode on the train with us yesterday from the Gare St. Lazare to Giverny to see Monet's house and garden. The last time I was here, neither house nor garden was open daily to the public.
June 13, 2011
As a European filmmaker, Woody Allen has worked in England, Spain and now France, where his new movie, "Midnight in Paris," serves as a love letter to that city. Next up on his cinematic map will be Rome. Allen is a long way from the overly familiar sidewalk cafes of New York, which helps explain why his career has experienced some much-needed rejuvenation. Although his characters and thematic obsessions haven't changed all that much, the change in photogenic backdrop has been a decided plus.
April 8, 2011
If you want to spend April in Paris but can't afford it, a short hop to Philadelphia may at least give you that French feeling. After nearly three years of planning, the city kicks off the first Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts this weekend, featuring 1,500 artists and 135 exhibits, performances, lectures and films, all paying homage to Paris. The theme of the festival at the city's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts focuses on Paris from 1910 to 1920, celebrating a time when great artists, including Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Ernest Hemmingway, were gravitating to the French city.
March 31, 2011
Ever since a friend snagged a $200 round-trip ticket to Paris, including taxes and the like, I've been decidedly unexcited by the typical airline promotional deals. (I've also been green with envy.) But yesterday when Travelzoo sent info about a British Airways sale offering $150 off the lowest published fare for flights anywhere in the world, I felt a little tingle in my leg. The 96-hour sale - for travel April 15-June 11 - boasted flights from Baltimore starting at $226 each way, after the discount.
February 6, 2011
Paula Callou, countess de la Motte-Thierry, a longtime Baltimore resident and an award-winning dancer who taught dance worldwide, died Jan. 31 at the Avow Hospice in Naples, Fla., from complications related to a series of strokes. She was 89. Ms. Callou, whose birth name was Paulette Suzanne Calloustian, was born in Paris, the second-oldest of five sisters. She began studying ballet at age 6, entering the Paris Opera Ballet at 9 years old as a "petit rat de l'Opera," a distinguished title for young ballet students, according to her son, Marc Wienert.
November 18, 2010
Oh please! Please tell me that Baltimore's version of the Eiffel Tower is just a post-Halloween trick ("Baltimore's own Eiffel Tower? Nov. 18). It will not do for the city "what the Arch does in St. Louis," as the developer stated. The Arch is a graceful, dignified welcoming point to the West. This proposed sculpture, on the other hand calls to mind crossed swords, and broken ones at that. I cannot see it comparing favorably with Paris and St. Louis. The Male-Female monstrosity at Penn Station, maybe.
June 26, 2010
Swimming Phelps tuning up in Paris for U.S. nationals in August Michael Phelps will swim in four events at the Paris Open this weekend as part of his preparations for the U.S. championships in August. The 14-time Olympic champion from Baltimore will compete in the 100-meter freestyle and 200-meter butterfly today and in the 200-meter freestyle and 200-meter individual medley on Sunday. "Being able to swim four events in two days at the level we're swimming here is really going to test what kind of shape I am in," Phelps said Friday.
May 21, 2010
The long and arduous journey toward the 2012 Olympics in London is starting to take shape for swimmer Michael Phelps. After competing in the Charlotte (N.C.) UltraSwim last week, Phelps has decided to enter the Paris Open on June26-27, marking the first time he has competed in France in nearly a decade. Organizers confirmed on their website that the 14-time Olympic gold medalist from Baltimore has entered the meet, which will also include two-time world champion Cesar Cielo of Brazil and Olympic 100-meter champion Alain Bernard of France.