Paris: What to See and Do?

If Chanel gave liberty to women,

Yves Saint Laurent gave them power.

Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves St. Laurent


Sunset at Le Pont Alexandre III, my favorite bridge in town

On my return trip to the City of Light., I may not change my mind about the Eiffel Tower being an eyesore, but I am open to being converted into a Francophile. Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to tell me what else to add to my list:

Le Barrio Latino  in the Bastille (Metro Ledru Rollin) for four floors of dancing and dining.

Piano serenade at the Four Season George V Dine or chill with a drink at their cozy lobby bar and restaurant, admire the history of the opulent carpet and tapestries.

002870-11-gallery Crazy Horse (12 Avenue George V  75008) for burlesque in an intimate, old world setting.

Privacy with high tea at the Mariage Freres (13, Rue des Grands Augustins) on a charming, exceedingly quiet Parisian street. When you enter the door, you’re transported to another time with dark wood furniture and tea tinted yellow walls lined with their iconic black and red lacquer tea packaging–beautifully detail oriented and deserving of being voted #1 luxury tea brand by Newsweek.

Musee de Artes Decoratifs (107 rue de Rivoli  75001) because I love objects that are both functional and pretty.  This museum is at the end of one arm of  the Louvre, offering exceptional temporary shows and a fabulous permanent exhibit.  I hear museums are free on the first Sunday of every month, at least for their permanent collections.  I’m thinking of Sunday brunch at their great new outdoor cafe facing the Tuillerie gardens. too.

Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent  (5 avenue Marceau 75116) houses the workshop studio of the great designer and their current exhibit “Kabuki” is dedicated to Japanese costume theatre.   I’m very curious to see emblematic haute couture prototypes and YSL’s design sketches where he used masculine codes to give women security and audacity whilst accentuating their feminity.


The Concrete Jungle

God loved the birds and invented trees.

Man loved the birds and invented cages.

Jacques Deval

How far have we strayed from Adam and Eve’s paradise?  Humorist Art Buchwald wrote:

And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use.  And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried:  “Look at this Godawful mess!”

Because everyday is Earth Day, click on “Leave a Comment” beside the title of this article to share your practical ideas for living green and showing kindness to our planet, not just on April 22nd:

1. Reuse:  Pack a trashless lunch (or picnic) that fills your stomach, not a landfill.  Reuse empty glass bottles to hold water (handy to grab and go for car rides, too,) pack food in washable glass or metal food containers, and use real cutlery wrapped in cloth napkins.

2. Reduce:  Save a tree without buying new equipment with Kindle for your computer…  My indestructible LL Bean canvas totes sat patiently in the trunk of my car for a full year before I actually got into the habit of taking them into the grocery store with me.   My next ambition is to remember to bring my own washable containers for the fishmonger. 😉

3.  Recycle:  Donate women’s business attires to Dress for Success, cellphones/computers/cameras to Recycling for Charities, and packing materials (like styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap) to your local shipping store.  Libraries are happy to get your used books, CDs, DVDs– even their empty cases.  The Lions Club is likely to have a dropbox for used eyeglasses at your post office.

4. Refuse:  Before buying the next new and improved version of the latest and the greatest, take a moment to ask “Do I really need this?”

Thank you for leaving a comment and adding your ideas for creating paradise and mothering our little corner of this earth.


Concrete Jungle by Sharon Birke

Concrete Jungle by Sharon Birke

© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Concrete Jungle by Sharon Birke www.PowerfulGoddess.comxoxox

Send In The Clown


Housework can’t kill you,


why take a chance?

Phyllis Diller


Joan Rivers’ live standup show was packed to overflowing last week.  It was my very first time to witness her firecracker mouth other than the few times I’ve seen her blast the hapless who walk down the Oscar’s red carpet on her watch.  I laughed in hysterical disbelief– How does she get away saying what she does?!

Having grown up in Asia and having given up TV since my kids started rolling in, I’ve only been recently “introduced” to two trailblazing comediennes through their film biographies:  Joan Rivers in “A Piece of Work” and Phyllis Diller in “Goodnight, We Love You.”  Their humanity and vulnerability impress me beyond their courage to say it like it is, holding no one and nothing sacred.  Like Phyllis, I want a life full of laughs and I want to be remembered for my kindness.  At the very least, I’ll settle for their high energy on high heels when I’m 80.

This series is dedicated to the clowns who dare say and do what we don’t.   May we always laugh out loud and be so bold!


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© Sharon Birke

Managing Member, DoubleSmart LLC

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman







The Guest House

This being human is a guesthouse

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

The Guest House poem and photo blog by Sharon Birke

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you

out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

 as a guide from beyond.


Click on “Leave a Comment” above left to share your thoughts.


© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

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