Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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Jewish Childhood Blog

"This blog carries the voice of my memoir, past and present, into the future. Feel free to fill out the form with a question or comment. I look forward to a dialog with you."

  —L'chaim, to life, Jeanne

Jour 17 A Los Angeles Childhood - Fete de Fiertes, and New York Review of Books Part I
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 19:01

What a day I have planned. The usual morning ritual of French Press, Cornflakes, bananas and milk with a touch of yogurt, writing, taking a shower and then out to the street. I wait at the 38 bus-stop on Boulevard St. Michel in the hopes that the Fete de Fiertes, or what we all know as Gay Pride will pass right before my eyes, a good seat in the bus rest.

All of a sudden, across the street, right in front of Luxembourg Gardens, I see people beginning to transform, pulling out festive clothing right in front of all of Paris. I rush across the street when traffic abates. There is a band concert in the Gardens. I keep expecting hundreds of men in drag to burst down the boulevard.

The parade began about an hour ago down on Place du 18 Juin 1940 near the Montparnesse-Bienvenue Metro stop and will end at the Bastille with a massive party scheduled to begin at 5PM.

Then, the sound of another band, and a bevy of motorcycles comes closer and closer followed by banners and floats. The parade has begun. I take so many photos that I have exhausted my memory card in my camera by the end of the first hour of the parade. I escape to the ice cream stand by the Gardens, get some strawberry glace, venture in and find a park bench on which to sit, eat my ice cream and delete 50 pictures which I feel at the moment don't deserve to be stored in my memory. Out of sight, and so forth.

There is much more to share with you from this day's adventures. Return tomorrow for the details as another day unfolds in Paris.

Thank you for reading Not-Just-a-Jewish-Book BLOG!

A Los Angeles Childhood – Pastels, The Red Wheelbarrow and Dorothy’s Gallery - Oooh La La! Part II
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 18:16

I get on the 69 bus to the Bastille, on my way to my friend, Dorothy Polley’s gallery, called, what else, Dorothy’s Gallery, on Rue Keller, a 7 block walk from the Bastille. ( The current exhibit is called American Summer, painting, photography, film & music.

The front room features the Polaroid photos of Maurizio Galimberti, with a documentary to watch, which I do. He and his assistant go out to photograph, for instance the Flatiron Building in New York, or Lady Gaga, taking pictures, up close, in order and placing them out just as taken. This is a bit hard to explain. You can probably Google him and see what I mean. He talks about mathematics, geometry, rhythm and movement. He speaks of his shadow or a building’s shadow, an object and how it is something that is always with you or the thing. It’s worth checking out.

Jour 16 – A Los Angeles Childhood – Pastels, The Red Wheelbarrow and Dorothy’s Gallery - Oooh La La! Part I
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 14:29

What a wonderful, magical day it is! Pastels in the Gardens—I’m catching on to the medium, the 21 to the 96 bus and off at rue St. Paul. I ask a friendly wine shop the way to the actual street. Many times you get dropped off in the vicinity and have to find your way.  A la droite, to the right, at the corner to #22. The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore looked just like it did on the net. It was smaller than Shakespeare and Company and even more intimate. The bookshelves looked a little like mine at home. The owner, Penelope Fletcher, originally from Cambridge, England was most interested in the memoir. She began reading immediately, starting at the back and working her way forward. She told me about another woman who wrote a book where she ended up in Los Angeles after escaping the camps, and coming with her father and mother, both psychoanalysts, to my home city, and the story continues on. Why am I telling you all of this? I’m just so excited to have a few more of my books in a store in Paris. The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore,, and the other, Shakespeare and Company, makes two bookstores carrying my books for sale. Although more people know about this bookstore from the history and most recently MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, if you find yourself looking for a good book in English when in Paris, this right bank Marais bookstore is very dear. Tell Penelope that I sent you. Penelope will guide you to the right book.

With that mission accomplished, and a bit of hunger, I stop, where else, at a sushi restaurant, and order California roll to which they have added a bit of fresh mint. C’est delicious.

Check back tomorrow for a view of an American Summer when I visit Dorothy's Gallery.

Thank you for reading Not-Just-a-Jewish-Book BLOG!

Jour 15 – A Los Angeles Childhood – Centre Georges Pompidou – Paris-Delhi-Bombay
Sunday, 26 June 2011 21:41

I start with breakfast at home. I do some research, read emails, and post a Blog. I find out that one of my statues, (am I beginning to seem possessive?) St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, though once buried in an abbey, had a wonderful structure designed for her bones to be buried. This structure was designed by Jacques Germain Soufflot and was completed in 1790. Another identified woman buried there is Marie Curie.  Other women there are anonymous, called “Righteous Among the Nations,” and are in a mass burial for the Parisians exterminated in the War Camps.  

After completing my research, I go to have sushi for lunch. The sky is blue, the clouds white with just a teaser of gray. Yesterday the summer sales began in Paris. What I thought was a museum on the Champs Elysees, was actually queuing up for a sale at Abercrombie and Fitch. Unless I bump into something astounding, I will avoid these bargains. Instead I hop on the 38 Bus and head for the Pompidou.

Jour 14 – A Los Angeles Childhood – Right Bank Galleries and A Puppet Show With A Touch of Pastels
Saturday, 25 June 2011 21:59

I find myself leaving the apartment about my usual time 1130 AM or so. I am on my way to meet my friend Linda for lunch. She has a gallery with her husband Daniel, LG Expertise, To get there I walk by the Elysee Palace where the president of France lives. After a lovely lunch at the bistro next to the gallery, I walk down Avenue Matignon to see the wonderful art galleries. I stop in at Gallerie Jerome de Noirmont to see an exhibit of Grafitti New York 80’s, there I see two artists I recognize: Jean-Michel Basquait, and Keith Haring. Haring’s piece cut right off of a wall on a New York Street sells for 120,000 Euros which translates to $170,514.04. I’m sure an authenticated bargain in some circles.

I see some wonderful drawings by Jean Cocteau, and just browse a little more until I come to one block from the Champs Elysees. There I happen upon a puppet show in the park. It is Theatre Vrai Gvignolet which has continued since 1818. There were 11 children and three of us adults. I count myself in the second group only because of my age, not for the level at which I enjoyed the show. There is something about the Punch and Judy puppet shows that resonates with me. If you are the same way, Google it and there are a couple of videos to help you share that enjoyment.

Jour 13 – A Los Angeles Childhood – Summer Solstice – Fete De Musique Part II
Friday, 24 June 2011 20:12

Now it is time for the concerts to officially begin. At 230 it starts with Te Hina O Motu Haku, Polynesian songs and chants Mergesa Islands, French Oceana, the first of the French speaking groups. The music was intensely powerful with warriors and maidens. Extremely emotional, the crowd goes wild, people rushing up to the stage to snap photos or take videos. Having just learned how to do this with my camera, I devote a minute to this myself.

The next group, Gospel Forever begins, and the audience again explodes.

Jour 13 – A Los Angeles Childhood – Summer Solstice – Fete De Musique Part I
Friday, 24 June 2011 09:14

In Paris on the first day of summer, there is music everywhere and the best part, for free. Concerts were in parks, on street corners, at cafes, everywhere.

Right now I am at 29, rue Francisque at HD (Happy Days) Diner. I just came from Shakespeare and Company in the 5th arr. Originally, founded by Sylvia Beach in the 1920s, best known as the gathering place for the writers of the “lost generation”. Writers such as Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Burroughs, James Joyce, Hemingway, Ezra Pound and Ford Maddex Ford. The shop is featured in you guessed it, Midnight In Paris.

Jour 12 – A Los Angeles Childhood – Jeanne Sees Lightning Bolts
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 20:06

It’s the second sketch and this one is, one might say, impressionistic. Jeanne, Queen of Navarre surrounded by lightning bolts, just feelings, nothing monumental, who needs more than that. I try to think, what will bring her to life. A man sits next to me, long beard, reading a book. He says two words, “bon jour,” to which I reply the same. I have dragged two chairs over across from Jeanne, the queen. One chair is for me, and one for the pastels. It seems like a dream but, my dears, it is really real. What if the queens will not talk to me? My mission to interview them, starting with Jeanne, will fail.

How can I fail in Paris?

Jour 11 – A Los Angeles Childhood – Pastels, Le Premier Fois
Tuesday, 21 June 2011 19:50

It’s a day on the cusp of summer. I breathe in the fresh air, a taste of rain, a few drops come down as I walk over to Luxembourg Gardens. This is day one of the pastels for me. I open the box of Sennelier, turn the notebook to the first page of its spiral 40 pages and begin. Grass, dried leaves, dirt/pebble path, three trees, a patch of blue sky, rain clouds, two pigeons, and one statue, all fit in with some forms, an essence. When I finish, I realize I have tried to fit it all in…everything. A cacophony of fighting images and upper right a statue, just white with gray marble base. Pigeons. Too much, but at least I have begun. A way to go before I am happy with my image, but I must say, I am happy to begin.

Jour 10 – A Los Angeles Childhood – Charlotte Perriand – A Wonderful Surprise
Monday, 20 June 2011 20:12

A leisurely morning and then off to Petit Palais, the museum of beaux arts. How long does it take me to get on the wrong bus, get off, lost and then found? It was about one hour and a lot of walking.

I am now inside the Petit Palais. Charlotte Perriand, de la photographie au design. Photographs, organic materials, villiagers, people who work with their hands, hone wood and make furniture, and she gives them a revolutionary sleek style to replace what they have been building for centuries. The chrome, steel, and anodized aluminum, are totally revolutionary. This is the 1920s and she is found by Le Corbusier and engaged by him at his studio on Rue Jacob. She continues designing furniture, buildings, refuges for high mountains, her version of our small cabins.

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