Degas: A New Vision – I’ve never been to Houston, but this Degas exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts could be a good reason for a trip. Two hundred works from public and private collections, including paintings, drawings, photography, prints, and sculpture, show the breadth of a career that covered the last half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. The ballet dancers will be there, alright, along with so much more. This is the only US stop for this comprehensive exhibit. The exhibit will run from October 16, 2016 to January 8, 2017.
- The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George – Jean Perdu runs a floating bookshop, moored on the Seine. He is a literary apothecary who dispenses the perfect book to cure troubled souls – except his own. His name rather unsubtly means John Lost, and when he lost the love of his life twenty years earlier, he became emotionally dead. When a woman comes along who makes him want to live again, Perdu goes on a quest down the rivers of France on his book barge to find the anonymous author of a treasured volume and lay the ghost of his beloved to rest.
- Le fils de l’épicier (The Grocer’s Son)- This 2007 film, starring Nicolas Cazalé and Clotilde Hesme, gives a look at rural France. Rough-edged Cazalé is the son of a village grocer who agrees to help his Mom run the shop while his Dad recovers from a heart attack. The family also has a grocery truck so it can bring the essentials to rural customers. It’s a film about strained family relationships and fulfilling expectations versus satisfying one’s own wishes. It’s available on Amazon for rent or purchase.
- Duolingo Tinycards – I’m a big fan of the Duolingo website and app for learning and reviewing French vocabulary and grammar. Now they have a flashcard app that is colorful and interactive. As a teacher, I’m generally not a fan of flashcards as they tend to be so passive. Students have the impression that they are reviewing when they are actually just spending time. The Duolingo Tinycards are different. Of course, it’s the French cards that interest me the most, but there are plenty of others to pique your interest.
- Le District – My husband and I recently made a rapid trip to New York. While there, we checked out Le District, a collection of French restaurants, cafés, and food emporiums. It is essentially a glorious food court within the upscale Brookfield Place mall, located opposite the new World Trade Center. We hadn’t known what to expect, so we had recently eaten and weren’t hungry enough to take advantage of all the Le District had to offer. Next time, we’ll know better.