2014: A Year in Review from France and Beyond

31 December 2014

Two years away from American soil is a long time; long enough to spark a flurry of incongruous feelings when faced with an impending visit – nervous anticipation, excitement and of course the disruptive concern that the people and places I know and love have changed irrevocably, either because I’ve become too detached or because environment truly does alter perception. Fortunately, my homecoming has been delightful, without too many heartbreaking changes and full of down time to indulge in some end-of-the-year woolgathering while lounging in front of the sparkling Christmas tree. I still haven’t figured out how to condense a roller-coaster year into one neatly polished synopsis or conclusion but I can say that I had to white-knuckle my way through it; asking myself uncomfortable life questions along the way all while attempting to pursue my goals and keep the online curtain drawn to the disorder.While the rewards were legion – from co-authoring my first book to contributing to the WSJ – they were punctuated by what I can only call an emotional pummeling. For more than half of 2014, I was convinced that something – an ineffable something – needed radical change. I was listless and pessimistic which only […]…

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The Future of the Paris Waterfront

8 June 2010

Future footbridge Debilly-Palais de Tokyo, rive droite Everyone says that change is positive and I tend to agree. Recently I did a post expressing my disappointment rather emphatically about the transformations this city will likely undergo in the coming months/years. Then, this weekend I read that Sarkozy has given Russia permission to erect an orthodox cathedral next to the Eiffel Tower in what seems to me to be a way to strike a political and economic agreement with Russia than for religious reasons. So far, no design mock-ups of the cathedral have been published but I can foresee it being ostentatious.  Left: Today, Right: Near Hôtel de Ville, widened roads to improve traffic  In a more positive read, however, I read that plans to reconstruct the banks of the Seine river are moving forward and should begin to take shape during the summer of 2012. As it is now, the quay is open to motorists and is often very congested, only car-free for runners, strollers and bikers on Sundays and holidays.  The project is therefore to create a veritable waterfront with activities, green spaces, cafés, restaurants, concert venues, mini islands with with lounge chairs and parasols, sports grounds, and paths […]…

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