Chevreuse, France All Dressed Up For Christmas


The Christmas decorations are out in Chevreuse, a small town near Paris.

The baker has some of the grandest Christmas decorations around!

The baker has some of the grandest Christmas decorations around!

Even their window display screams festivity

Even their window display screams festivity

Can't remember where this is, but I like

Can’t remember where this is, but I like

And this.... Is the funeral store: caskets, funeral services, etc.

And this…. Is the funeral store: caskets, funeral services, etc.

Check out these hens at the butcher's!

Check out these hens at the butcher’s!

And Santa Clause is scrambling up not 1, but 2 windows.

And Santa Clause is scrambling up not 1, but 2 windows.

Santa seems to have a real thing for windows now.

Santa seems to have a real thing for windows now.

How cute is this?!

How cute is this?!

'tis the season for wreaths!

’tis the season for wreaths!

I’ll try to snap a few shots of the decorations in Versailles before I head out 😉

Strolling Paris: The Champs Elysees Christmas Market & Jardins Des Tuileries


Here’s the 2nd set of photos from my stroll around Paris Friday. I wandered the Christmas Market at the Champs Elysees and then lounged the Seine until I found the Jardins des Tuileries.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

And another, just because it was so picturesque.

And another, just because it was so picturesque.

For New Year's, some of the bigger boats on the Seine throw huge parties!

For New Year’s, some of the bigger boats on the Seine throw huge parties!

Paris' Grande Roue, seen from the Seine

Paris’ Grande Roue, seen from the Seine

So I took a lot of photos of the Eiffel Tower...

So I took a lot of photos of the Eiffel Tower…

The Jardins des Tuileries, favorite summer hang out of Parisiens.

The Jardins des Tuileries, favorite summer hang out of Parisiens.

Now let's add the Grande Roue and Eiffel Tower!

Now let’s add the Grande Roue and Eiffel Tower!

The Louvre Pyramid - we took a nice, long stroll!

The Louvre Pyramid – we took a nice, long stroll!

A church we found right around the corner from the Louvre, and our last stop for the day.

A church we found right around the corner from the Louvre, and our last stop for the day.

Stay tuned for more photos of France, coming soon!

Little Trip Down to SLO


I took a quaint little last minute trip to SLO for a concert Thanksgiving weekend and got to try out my new camera 😀 (oh, Black Friday… so many great deals!) So here are my first shots with the Alpha 6000 (excepting the MANY shots of Phelps the cat).

We stayed at the famous and adorable Apple Farm Inn.

The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

Christmas decorations at The Apple Farm Inn

And look what I discovered the next day!

La Fromagerie Sophie

La Fromagerie Sophie

La Fromagerie Sophie

I got some delicious cheese from there 🙂

Hmmm

Took a pit stop from Thanksgiving traffic to take some photos of road-side llamas for Anthony and Davide.

Llamas!

Llamas!

And that’s all for now, folks!

Beautiful Jewelry and Happy Pictures


Isadora’s got it all figured out. An architect from Latin America, she now lives in Paris where she creates beautiful jewelry and photographs friends and acquaintances for some cheerful publicity.

Isadora and her booth the day we met

Isn't her jewelry beautiful?

She has a cheerful personality and, just as importantly, a very real sincerity. We met in front of the Palais Brongniart. I was waiting for a friend and she approached me, told me she found me beautiful (in her sweet way =]) and told me about her jewelry, her photography… I was charmed by her thoughtfulness and sincerity.

After spending a few hours chatting and taking pictures I’m even more convinced of this: she is one of the rare people who truly focus on what is important in life and evoke an impressive integrity.

Here’s a sneak peek of the pictures we took Monday. The rest are on her blog. And don’t forget to check out the rest of her jewelry ;D

——————————————————————————————————————–Project Happy: It was an absolute pleasure discovering Isadora’s pictures =] I can’t wait for her to send me the rest ^^

Photo Exhibit of Modern China Social Critic


There’s currently an exhibit of photographer, sculptor and architect Ai Wei Wei’s photographs of New York and Beijing at Jeu de Paume, a cool, young, hipsterish art gallery.

Looks like there are some pictures of Paris thrown in the mix too!

As a social critic, he took pictures meant to  display China’s current urban and social reality. His goal is to show the world the things the Chinese people are going through in the name of progress and to impact China’s evolution.

Le Monde (widely-read French newspaper) published an article about Ai Wei Wei describing him as a revolutionary artist and reminding readers that they also named him person of the year for 2011! A few interesting facts from the article:

  • Ai Wei Wei was imprisoned 81 days last spring/summer for “economic crimes”
  • He also had an exhibit about Zodiac heads in LA up until 2 weeks ago (sorry about the late notice!)
  • The Chinese government’s most famous dissident, he has been banished from Chinese media

I think it looks very interesting! Who wants to go with me? =]

PS: there are some other cool exhibits there right now such as this Jimmy Robert one.

Jimmy Robert's exhibit at Jeu de paume in Paris

On Great Contest Ideas


I have to invite her, but where?

I stumbled upon something awesome today! Ben & Fakto (French startup I wrote about in my first Mash Up post) is giving away 3 bags of Deexies condoms for Valentine’s Day. Deexies is a social business that gives away a free condom to an NGO for each condom bought. With problems such as HIV and other STDs infecting millions in developing countries each year, what better way to enjoy some naughty fun than by having a clear conscience?

To help them in their selfless endeavor, Ben & Fakto will give away 3 10-count bags on Valentine’s Day to whoever posts the best photos. Here’s the deal: Fakto fell in love with a girl but has gotten trapped in the undesirable friend zone. Ben, loyal friend that he is, decided to help and is reaching out to all of you. He’s asking you to think up a romantic location where Fakto could reveal his affection to his beloved and snap a picture. Upload your picture here and get voting! The photographers who took the 3 most popular pictures will receive a cute bag of 10 Deexies condoms.

You can like Deexies on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.