22 February 2009

Randy's new adventure...

I'm happy to announce that I have decided to combine my passion for photography and my lack of employment into a new Parisian adventure. I am offering photography tours around Paris catered to fellow photographers and tourists.

I've recently built and published my travel website Photo Tours In Paris

I'm now busy trying to market the site to other travel-related sites around Paris, as well as to tour operators located around the world. I'm Googling these sites as fast as I can.

Should you have any marketing ideas, please pass them my way.

Bonne Journee

15 February 2009

Montmartre and Art Are As One

Located in the 18th arrondisement of the Right Bank, the steep butte of Montmartre has been associated with artists for 200 years. Artists from Picasso to Pissaro have spent time on their art in this beautiful section of Paris. Today street painters thrive on a lively tourist trade, as travelers flock to this picturesque district, which in places still preserves the atmosphere of prewar Paris.

12 February 2009

Ho Ho Ho

Thanks to Heesun, my good friend of many, many years, I received a box of Hostess Ho Ho's through interoffice mail. Words cannot adequately describe my elation at opening that box! She was so thoughtful to make the effort to shop for and package those delicious treats for me. We both have an affinity for the unhealthy, chemically-fortified treats. I don't know what motivated her to send them, but it was akin to receiving water in the dessert. Thrilled to receive them, I quickly gobbled down two. Then Randy started sniffing around trying to get one. I forked it over. Now he asks me about them every night. I have five left. They are like gold. I'm not exactly sure what it would take to convince me to part with another. Thank you, Heesun. We are officially friends for life. Want me to send you a box of croissants? They cannot begin to compare with Ho Ho's, but they're all I've got over here.

10 February 2009

Road Warrior Woes

I am sitting in the CDG-Paris airport waiting for a flight. I was here last week doing the same thing. Last week it was a two hour delay. Today it is a six hour delay and counting. I signed up online with British Air for notifications via email and text. No notifications came. Otherwise, I would be sitting at home with good Internet connectivity and a puppy in my lap keeping me warm. And I'd be able to work.

I am in Terminal 2B where there is no seating unless you're in a restaurant buying something or at your gate. They haven't announced the gate yet, so I am in the only restaurant having my third cafe creme and heading toward red wine next.

This is all for an overnight trip to London for a Gartner SAP conference. I hope it's still going on when I eventually get there. I was quite wise this time and remembered my adapter for the UK. I was also quite dumb and forgot my laptop power cord. I have an hour of battery left, and quite possibly two hours of patience remaining. Then what?

07 February 2009

Not Yet WIlliam Wegman Puppies, But Soon

William Wegman is the famous photographer known for capturing his beloved Weimaraners in all sorts of poses and often, with costumes. Randy Harris hasn't reached that aclaim yet, but as he practices new methods of capturing light, he needs subjects. Thus, the two petits chiens who keep him company much of the day while Gina and Delaney are off at work and school have become willing models. Anything for a treat. They may not be as regal as Weimaraners, but they're very sweet, n'est-ce pas?

04 February 2009

A Wonderful Exhibit at the Grand Palais

Today I went to the 6 milliards d’Autres exhibit inside the Grand Palais with fellow photographer, Keith Bernstein .

In a project led by Yann Arthus-Bertrand (‘earth from above’ reknowned photographer), 5,000 video portraits were recorded in 75 countries with all of the participants being asked the same questions about their lives, their hopes and dreams, what makes them cry, laugh, angry, their beliefs, etc. These responses were then edited into a series of themed extracts which are shown in yurt tents – Fears, Dreams, Family, War... All the videos are subtitled in both French and English.

It is extraordinarily thought provoking and moving to watch these people – from all over the world and from all walks of life – reflect on each of these fundamental questions. It is a celebration of human and cultural diversity, but also striking is how many attitudes we all share. Check out the website.

02 February 2009

Chic and Expensive

Life in Paris sounds wonderful, but you have to see it to appreciate it. Gina leaves for work at 7am and arrives home between 7 and 8pm (later when traveling). It's dark when she leaves and dark when she returns. What keeps her going is Saturdays. They are the only day during which she can explore the city, so we leave early and we stay out until well after dark. All the fun must be had on Saturday because on Sundays, Paris is very, very quiet. You can buy flowers and you can buy bread, but that's about it. You can dine out, but we have found the number of restaurants and cafes open is very limited.

So this past Saturday we went on a field trip to the Le Marais, a district in Paris. Traditionally a bourgeois area, it is also well-known historically. It spills from the 3rd into the 4th arrondisements, on the right bank of the Seine. It is populated by a large Jewish community, a Chinese community, and many handsome, well dressed gay men. The Musee Picasso and Musee Shoah are there, along with loads of boutiques. Gina and Delaney went from one to the next to the next while Randy stood outside and watched the many characters walk by on the medieval cobbled streets.

We stopped for Cafe Creme, Chocolat Chaud and croissants at Cafe Charlot on rue de Bretagne. We sat outside and watched the people go by. This cafe is very nice inside with a lovely bathroom (always the test for us!). It's got free WiFi and is popular day and night. We enjoyed our time there.

We strolled through the open market where the fresh fish were displayed in playful ways, as if they were splashing about together in the ice. There were fresh fruits, cheese, bread, meats, everything we've come to expect to see in the many markets throughout the city.

We shifted to Saint Germain des Pres to visit Le Bon Marche for the January sales. We were told to visit the International section downstairs for a delectable variety of foods akin to what you might find in Harrod's. Randy went to check that out while Gina and Delaney were off to look at fashion. What a fun store! We just need more money so we can stay longer next time.