Paris: What to See and Do?

If Chanel gave liberty to women,

Yves Saint Laurent gave them power.

Fondation Pierre Berge-Yves St. Laurent

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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.

xoxox

Hot In The Kitchen

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well,

if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

I envy people who love cooking, people who create magic in their kitchen with gourmet meals and  homemade desserts–sure magnets of warm conversation, laughter and conviviality.  When such a cook looks like the Goddess in this photo series, you can triple my envy.    I used to be torn between thoughts like ” I want a mother like that!” and “I want to be a mother like that!”  until I surrendered to the fact that my talents lie elsewhere–like eating the amazing food they make! 😉

When in the company of passionate gourmands, may we savor everything their table offers and skip talk of our latest diet.   Geneen Roth, author of  “Women, Food and God” and “Lost and Found” wrote in “When Food is Love:”

A diet is similar to an oppressive, authoritarian parent who tells you what to do and when to do it.  Diets perpetuate the child in each of us who was treated with mistrust and restrictions.  Diets keep us focused outside ourselves–on what we are allowed to eat, when we are allowed to eat it, and how much of it we are allowed to have at one sitting.  Diets keeps us dependent on a source outside ourselves for our sense of well-being and self-worth.  With a diet, the anger and humiliation stay forever self-directed, we spend our lives punishing ourselves for not being good enough.

In breaking free from diets and the ensuing self-punishment, we make a choice to stop being a victim.  It creates an awareness of how our culture encourages us to define our self-worth according to externals–what we look like, how much we weigh, how much money we make.  In paying attention to what our body wants instead of imposed rules, we learn that our body is our ally, our instincts are wise, we have many choices, and we can rely on our wisdom to live compassionately with ourselves.

Add what you think, share on Facebook, tweetie please!

© 2011 Sharon Birke

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

The Self Portrait



As in every endeavor in life, begin where you are.

In creating meaningful portraits, begin with what you know. 

 Sharon Birke

In planning a portrait session, take a blank piece of paper and block 15 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time away from people and technology.  In the middle of the blank page, write “I LOVE…”   Fill the rest of the page with random words, phrases or sentences that pop up.   No judgment!


Who are you at home?  At work?  When no one is looking?

What do you really like to do?

What are your favorite things?

 What makes you smile, cry, angry?

What do you love about your body?

What do you love about your personality?

What do you like about yourself?

What do you dream of?  Desire?


Post this page where you can see it often.   Allow your ideas to simmer and write notes on images inspired by your random list. Think about how you can shoot these images in a variety of candid or posed shots.

Can you vary your placement in the frame and

distance from the camera?

What do you want the background to say about you?

How can you make a portrait

without including your body in the picture?

Do you want to include other people or objects in the image?

What do you want the viewer to know about you

from what you don’t include in your image?



Here are more of my self portraits  to give you

ideas for planning your portrait session:


© 2011 Sharon Birke

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC


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