french is beautiful

louvre-pyramid

 

Il y a eu une modernité pour chaque peintre ancien. | Every ancient painter was once modern.

Charles Baudelaire

c

One of the things I love most about Paris is it’s history. However, I’m constantly in awe at how beautifully ultra-modern elements are married + juxtaposed with classical architecture. The best example I can think of is the Louvre…with the original structure (not including the original fortress) dating to the 16th century, and the 1989 addition of the glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei. While originally very controversial, it is now one of the most recognizable modern landmarks in Paris. I feel this is very representative of French, and any language, really. You must have an understanding and respect for the proper (formal) verbiage, but be able to weave in modern day elements. There have been numerous times when I’ve used “textbook” French, and suddenly, it’s as if I have an arrow sign above my head blinking “AMERICAN” in neon lights. For example, instead of using the classic je voudrais for “I would like”…using je vais prendre gives it a modern, casual update. Another example – instead of using nous for “we”, a more common (modern) usage is the word on. I’m learning that these seemingly small tweaks can make the difference between sounding like you just left high school and sounding like a pro. Merci mille fois, Carrie Anne James.

* french is beautiful is a regular series – browse the archives here *

proust q + a – c’est christine

christine-amorose

 

I’ve been eager to revive the Proust Q + A after a two-year hiatus, and Christine Amorose of C’est Christine is the perfect person to kick things off! While her blog name offers a hint of her Francophilia, don’t let that fool you – she is a seasoned world traveler. Thus far, she has managed to celebrate every birthday in her twenties in a new country!  A California girl at heart, she lives + works (quite happily) in NYC – Brooklyn to be exact. When she isn’t managing brand partnerships for Vimeo, she’s practicing or teaching yoga, exploring New York City, or planning her next getaway. In addition to instigating severe wanderlust, Christine has a charming way with words (as her header so aptly states), and her insightful and mature outlook on life inspire me. Her blog is one that I make time for on a regular basis, and highly recommend you do, too. A huge MERCI to Christine (and her energetic, beautiful self) for breathing new life into this series!

 

Your favourite virtue.

Kindness. It’s such a little thing that can make such a big difference. One of my favorite concepts is that kindness is a muscle, not a fixed trait: it’s something that can get stronger the more than you practice it!

Your idea of happiness.

A good book, a good coffee and a sunny day. I always think of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when I think about happiness: “People always think that happiness is a faraway thing,” thought Francie, “something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains – a cup of strong hot coffee when you’re blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you’re alone – just to be with someone you love. Those things make happiness.”

Your favourite colour and flower.

Bold turquoise, and tulips in any color.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. I can never resist something grand that I can’t do anywhere else in the world, like a hot air balloon ride at sunrise over the otherworldly landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey or wakeboarding next to and rockclimbing on the ethereal limestone cliffs of Halong Bay in Vietnam or paragliding over Neuschwanstein Caslte in the Bavarian Alps.

Your biggest flaw.

Stressing out over things I can’t control, and letting that stress negatively affect the people around me.

Where would you like to live?

In a sunny house on the beach, or a restored brownstone in Brooklyn.

What is it that you most dislike?

Hypocrites.

How would you like to die?

Quickly and painlessly with no regrets, before I get too old to be a burden.

Your favourite qualities in friends.

A sense of humor, a love of adventure and, most importantly, a commitment to the act of friendship.

Your favourite motto.

Do the best you can, and then to hell with it.

 

christine’s links… instagram | twitterpinterest | facebook

**the proust q + a is a regular feature…check out the archives here**

foto rx

foto-rx

 

I will forever be grateful to social media for connecting me with so many amazing + talented people, many of whom have become close friends. Tristan of Besotted Brand is one of them, and though we’ve never met in person (a west coast trip is long overdue), I feel as if we have. I’m a frequent customer of her gorgeous shop, but I’m currently obsessed with her latest offering, so pardon me while I gush. Created by Tristan + Michelle, Foto Rx is a collection of Photoshop actions to assist with photo editing, saving time + taking your images to the next level! My Photoshop skills are fairly basic, but I do all of my photo editing there. I was worried this would be over my head or more than I needed, but was pleasantly surprised at how easy the actions were to download + begin using. With a few simple clicks, your images are transformed, and there is an action/cure for seemingly any issue you might encounter! Check out their YouTube channel for examples and tutorials…the actions are available for purchase on Etsy. You can also find an amazing collection of product photography resources on the Besotted blog. I cannot wait to dig into my archives and find more photos to fix!

my french playlist

susan-hutchinson-paris

 

I can’t believe I’ll be back in France in less than 30 days!! As you can see in this image captured by Ashley Ludaescher last year, I’m pretty happy there (and Paris makes everyone feel sexier). I recently had a Madeleine moment thanks to one of my favorite French songs, and it made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve written a music post. La Noyée, by Yann Tiersen, transports me back to my first trip to France, circa 2001. Amélie had just been released, and being the hopelessly romantic Francophile that I am, the soundtrack was on repeat during my flight. I pressed play as we made our descent into Paris, and…no exaggeration – just as the music rose to it’s beautiful crescendo, we emerged from the clouds, with the Eiffel Tower in view. Seeing it for the first time took my breath away–I’ll never forget that moment. On that note, I thought it might be nice to share a few of my favorite French songs with you – it’s so hard for me to narrow it down…I’ll share more soon. Do you have any French favorites, and/or what songs bring back specific memories for you?

 

françoise hardy // le temps de l’amour

paris combo // aquarium

édith piaf // non, je ne regrette rien

les nubians // demain

serge gainsbourg // bonnie and clyde

amylie // espace

juliette gréco // sous le ciel de paris

mc solaar // le belle et le bad boy

jacques dutronc // et moi et moi et moi

coralie clément  // samba de mon coeur qui bat