January 27, 2008

Recommended Churches of Paris

Yesterday was my all-day lecture/seminar on Paris. There was a great audience--all very knowledgeable and very enthusiastic. Alas, in all my preparation I forgot to add my list of recommended churches--some famous, some less. Anyway, le voilà:
  • Sainte-Chapelle, 1st
  • Sacré Coeur (inside!), 18th
  • Church of La Madeleine, 8th
  • Notre Dame de La Lorette, 9th
  • Saint-Sulpice, 6th
  • St Eustache, 1st
  • St. Leu St. Gilles, 3rd
  • St. Merri, 4th
  • Saint-Paul Saint-Louis, rue St. Antoine, 4th
  • St. Eugène and Ste. Cécile, 6 Rue St. Cecile, 9th
  • Saint Severin, 6th
Of all of these, I must confess that the two churches I was most excited to see on this last trip were: St. Leu St. Gilles and Ste. Eugène and Ste. Cécile.

To those of you in attendance, thanks so much for coming and participating!

January 18, 2008

Paris Talk

Getting ready for next week's upcoming talk, The Insider's Tour of Paris, to be presented at The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery on Saturday, January 26th. I'm having a great time researching and reading all about Paris. Don't know if I qualify as an insider, but am glad for the opportunity to talk all day long about a city that I love. I'll be doing a series of four lectures, each about one hour long. As I'm writing my talks, I've been secretly plotting my next trip. See you there-AE

January 11, 2008

Field Trip to New York City

Went to Manhattan for my talk and book signing of Iceland. I love New York City, even in small, powerful doses like this most recent one-night stay. Thanks to the Icelandic Consul Magnus Gustavsson and everyone else who helped out! I sold out my books and have a few extra orders to fill.

Even better, I was welcomed into the secret hideout headquarters of Gawker Media down in Soho, where I met my fine editor Chris, and the dedicated associates of Gridskipper, Amanda and Hunter. Best of all, not unlike a Make-A-Wish Foundation dream come true, I got to meet and SHAKE HANDS with the epic Gawker commenter extraordinaire LOLCait. I did hope that some of his glittery wit would pass from his magic fingers into mine, but we shall find out in the coming weeks.

I took this picture as I was walking through Times Square and the sun was shining in my eyes so I had to keep looking down in the street. Walking through Times Square and being forced to look down was weird. Anyway, a week after New Year's and the gutter's still filled with big, easy-to-see-on-TV color confetti.

Despite all my meetings and big city business, I did manage 45 minutes of ME time in which I visited the NY public library and the Jack Kerouac exhibit and set eyes upon the ORIGINAL scroll manuscript of On the Road. My heart is still gathering it all in and stowing it away into meaningful memories, but it was all touching and emotional for me. To read Ti-Jean's little notebooks and feel like he would have been my best friend, if only we had crossed generations. I did notice one of his journal entries, where he writes, in pencil, "I hereby renounce all hipsters." I'll second that.

January 8, 2008

Happy 2008 and so on . . .

Back from Honduras and my, what a country. So much and so colorful. The sunshine did me a world of good. And the parrots, which I adore, were the best. Perhaps best of all is that for Christmas, my mother gave me a robotic parrot--a Blue Macaw that's Made in China and does my bidding, including singing, dancing, and repeating everything I say. Glad to be home really, with so much to do this year. Hopefully I'll include a few more highlights from this last trip, but for now, here's a list of things that bit/stung me: mosquitoes, horseflies, chiggers, jellyfish, little fish with teeth, an orange-fronted parrot and a Scarlet Macaw. A trip is only as memorable as the wounds it gives you, right?