LISTEN: The Living Room, story from Radiolab NPR
LOOK: Out My Window, photo series by Gail Albert-Halaban
Gail Albert-Halaban,explores the tension between public and private life, what is seen by all, and what is hidden. The series Out My Window is a collection of images taken through and into windows in New York City, she acknowledges unspoken voyeurism and exhibitionism, tells us to admit we all do it, and then pushes us to confront the hope, isolation and other emotions that lie behind the gaze.
The pictures seem intrusive, but are nearly all posed. The residents are collaborators and their apartments are lit specifically to make these pictures, which explore a defining urban experience: becoming secretly familiar with the neighbors’ most intimate moments.
READ: “Look at Me, I’m Crying” by Melissa Febos , New York Times
“If you live in New York, you’re bound to end up crying in public eventually; there just aren’t enough private places. Just the other day I saw someone doing it on West 12th Street. A tall woman in a beret, with a curtain of reddish hair, she had tears streaming down her cheeks. She wasn’t on the phone, wasn’t accompanied by a man, or a mom or even a dog. She wasn’t beautiful, the way a lot of people in New York are, but I couldn’t look away.”
“Although NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has taken many breathtaking images of the universe, one snapshot stands out from the rest: the iconic view of the so-called “Pillars of Creation.” The jaw-dropping photo, taken in 1995, revealed never-before-seen details of three giant columns of cold gas bathed in the scorching ultraviolet light from a cluster of young, massive stars in a small region of the Eagle Nebula, or M16.
Though such butte-like features are common in star-forming regions, the M16 structures are by far the most photogenic and evocative. The Hubble image is so popular that it has appeared in movies and television shows, on T-shirts and pillows, and even on a postage stamp.
And now, in celebration of its upcoming 25th anniversary in April, Hubble has revisited the famous pillars [pictured above], providing astronomers with a sharper and wider view. As a bonus, the pillars have been photographed in near-infrared light, as well as visible light. The infrared view transforms the pillars into eerie, wispy silhouettes seen against a background of myriad stars. That’s because the infrared light penetrates much of the gas and dust, except for the densest regions of the pillars. Newborn stars can be seen hidden away inside the pillars. The new images are being unveiled at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle.”
“If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I bet they’d live a lot differently.”
“Well, when you look into infinity, you realize that there are more important things than what people do all day.”
Bonjour Paris! I started the day with a quick walk along Rue de Pyrénées, one of the main streets in Flora’s neighborhood. There are several small food markets along this street. I stopped at the boulangerie et fromagerie, the bakery and cheese shop, but there’s also a few butchers, a fish place, many fruit/vegetable stands, and a store that seems to only sell honey!
I had ordered a joint ticket for the Musee d’Orsey et Musee Rodin online. If there’s any advice I have for someone visiting Paris it’s to order your tickets for large attractions online. You can wait on line for tickets for hours, literally, but if you already have one the line doesn’t exist at all. It’s like being VIP, but all you need is internet access and a touch of forethought. I navigated to Forum des Halles to retrieve my ticket. I didn’t expect it, but it’s a huge underground mall! I had purchased my ticket through FNAC, and retrieved them easily at a machine in a store that bore a striking resemblance to Best Buy. Anyway, somewhere near the exit there was a large exposition called Quelle Connerie la Guerre, What Bullshit the War:
The quote below reads, “The first World War killed one civilian for every 10 soldiers. In the second World War, one civilian for each soldier. The Vietnam war killed 100 civilians for each soldier. In the next war, the soldiers will be the only survivors. Get involved!”
I also liked this classic quote, also on display: “Toutes les guerres sont civiles, car c’est toujours l’homme contre l’homme qui répand son proper sang.” – Francois Fenelon. Translated: “All wars are civil wars, because it’s always man against man who spills his own blood.”
Just outside Les Halles, there’s a garden dedicated to Nelson Mandella, and this beautiful round building below, the Bourse de Commerce.
I walked to La Seine,
I crossed another bridge laden with even more love locks:
This bride had so many locks that the bridge’s fence-work was failing in places, and they had installed plywood to prevent people from adding locks. You can see some locks had fallen into the river below.
There were locks attached to other locks, forming long chains, and even some locks attached to the garbage cans on the bridge!
Enter the Musée d’Orsay!
View from he inside of the grand clock.
The statue in the photo below is called “war dance,” or something like that.
They were set up for an orchestra performance. There were tables and chairs set up all along the main hall, inbetween the statues. I can’t imagine how magnificent a performance in that setting would be! Almost as awesome as Terrible Spaceship at the Planetarium, I bet! (I went there to see them perform the day before I left for my trip.)
I walked over to the Rodin Museum.
The first statue I saw was Le Penseur, which was magnificent in person. It’s larger-than-life (I use that figure of speech literally), and mounted up high so you have to look up to him. In the background, you can see Les Invalides, (not pictured), which adds to the majesty of this scene.
I hugged a tree, overwhelmed with emotion.
And proceeded through the gardens. Below is a statue of Eve:
I peeked through the window of Hôtel Biron, where Rodin worked during the last several years of his eyes. The sculpture below is The Kiss; I like how it seems like I’m peeking through the window into a private moment between lovers.
After, I met Flora and her friends Cecile and Marie for crepes. I ordered the Paysanne, a classic choice with ham, egg, and caramelized onions. We shared hard cider, which is a typical accompaniment for crepes, and enjoyed crepes for dessert too! What a treat!
Joel: man, is it just me, or does this deck of play cards make u wanna ****?
Joel: lol that sugar packet would catch my eye
dude, i love you
this conversation makes my heart swell
Joel: hahaha like ur blog!
You know how you meet someone and immediately fall in love? They brighten your day and fit perfectly in your life. And it’s even better than you expected! But for some reason, it just doesn’t work out. You try to move on and see what else is out there, but nothing measures up. You compare every new person to the one you can’t have….
I’m having that problem with fabric right now.
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