- We’ve decided to go to Paris for Christmas. How awesome is that! While we’re there, I want to go to the Fondation Louis Vuitton to see Icons of Modern Art: The Shchukin Collection, Hermitage Museum– Pushkin Museum. Russian textile merchant Sergei Shchukin curated a collection of over 250 impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces that have not been seen outside of Russia in almost 100 years. Shchukin was a personal friend of Matisse; not only did he buy several of his friend’s works but the artist introduced him to his contemporaries, leading to many more purchases. After the Revolution, Shchukin fled to France and the collection was expropriated and distributed among museums in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Stalin considered the art to be “bourgeois and cosmopolitan.” Indeed. The exhibit just opened and will remain until February 20, 2017.
- Dans la maison (In the House) – This psychological drama headlines Fabrice Luchini and Kristin Scott Thomas, but young Ernst Umhauer steals the movie. Luchini plays the role of a French literature teacher in a rather marginal high school. Every year, he is disappointed by the lack of intellectual promise in his students, but this year is different. One boy writes an ongoing story about a classmate’s family, each assignment concluding with the words à suivre (to be continued). The lives of the teacher, the student, and the family become increasingly intertwined, and you just know that isn’t going to lead anywhere good. I saw it on Netflix, but it is also available to view or purchase on Amazon.
- The Paris Architect, by Charles Belfoure – I thought the plot of this historical novel was quite clever. Parisian architect Lucien Bernard is unable to get work during the Occupation until a wealthy industrialist offers him a generous sum to construct a hiding place for Jews. The real inducement for Bernard to risk his life, however, is the promise that he’ll be able to build an ideal factory – for the Nazis. Each new, clever hiding place leads to another Nazi contract. Bernard walks a bizarre and dangerous line between helping the Resistance and helping the Nazis until he must decide where his loyalties lie.
- @journeyintolavillelumiere – The Instagram account of Paris-based photographer Hana Lê Van has gorgeous pictures of the City of Light. It’s worth a look and a follow.
- Vestiaire Collective – This is a French online consignment site featuring luxury goods. Everything for sale has been vetted for authenticity and for the accuracy of its description. Their selection is really terrific. For instance, I love Hermès enamel bracelets. When I go to the Paris flea markets, I usually only see a couple of these bracelets and the prices are higher than they are on the Vestiaire website. Not a bad place to start your holiday shopping.