Wilde Tomb

I was in Paris for five days last week – mostly work, little play – but did make the time to finally visit Père Lachaise, the cemetery where Frederic Chopin, Gertrude Stein, Jim Morrison, among other luminaries, are buried. The most interesting tomb is that of Oscar Wilde, whose fans really know how to pay their respects. Here’s a quick slide show I pieced together of the Wilde Tomb.

Dig it! Paris Considering ban on SUVs


An idea that needs to spread throughout Europe. Although given Slovenia’s collective car fetish, I can’t imagine anyone in Ljubljana with the cojones to propose it.

Via Inhabitat and Autoblog Green:

Denis Baupin, an environmental official in the mayor’s office, told RTL Radio that if you’re a Parisian with a gas guzzler, you should “sell it and buy a vehicle that’s compatible with city life. I’m sorry, but having a sport utility vehicle in a city makes no sense.”

You don’t have to own a really big brain to realize that most European cities weren’t made with big cars in mind.

Details are still pretty sketchy, but the ban could go into effect by late this year or early in 2012.

From Montmartre, originally uploaded by pirano.

Magnum Gallery Opens in Saint Germain des Prés

Via Artdaily:

On Friday, Magnum, the legendary photo collective founded by Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Capa and others, will opened a gallery in the heart of Saint Germain des Prés, in the former exhibition spaces of Robert Delpire, one of France’s most distinguished publishers and photography connoisseurs. The opening exhibition, “Demain/Hier” (tomorrow/yesterday) will be curated by Robert Delpire himself and will focus on the ‘new generation’ of Magnum photographers, set against the backdrop of those who founded the photographers’ collective decennia ago.

‘A Moveable Feast’, menu revised

Sticking with the Paris theme:

Should publishers significantly rework new editions, in this case the ‘restored’ version of the Hemingway classic, A Moveable Feast?

Hell no, says A. E. Hotchner, a friend of Hemingway’s and author of the biography Papa Hemingway, in a piece in yesterday’s NYT.

This new edition, also published by Scribner, has been extensively reworked by a grandson who doesn’t like what the original said about his grandmother, Hemingway’s second wife. The grandson has removed several sections of the book’s final chapter and replaced them with other writing of Hemingway’s that the grandson feels paints his grandma in a more sympathetic light.

Hotcher, who was intimately involved with the manuscript and met several times with publisher Sribner prior to its initial posthumous publication, argues that such liberties dangerously misrepresent the book’s “actual genesis” and raises serious questions about the ethics of publishing.

A great read and interesting background on the book.

From Montmartre, originally uploaded by pirano.

SAS strike in Paris

Stumbled onto this on my way out on Sunday evening (19-Jul) at about 7 pm, striking SAS workers at De Gaulle’s Terminal 1. Day 4. Definitely livened the place up. Those who are down on the French for their language skills will be happy to know that half the signs were in English. The woman working the counter –presumably a Polish ‘strike breaker’?– remained quite cool and friendly.

A quick search of English language sources found no info. Anyone know more about the strike?

Paris 071, originally uploaded by pirano.

Among EU Capitals, Berlin’s Roads the Safest, Ljubljana’s Most Dangerous

Finally, something beyond my anecdotal rants about the maniacs that are on the roads in Slovenia.

According to a study of accident rates in EU capitals released Wednesday by the European Transport Safety Council, Berlin has the safest roads in 2007, with 1.64 deaths per 100,000 residents, just ahead of –oui, c’est vrai!– Paris, with 1.70 per 100,000.

Bottoming out the list was Ljubljana, which tallied 12.98 fatalities per 100,000, edging Vilnius, Lithuania, which scored 12.09 last year.

The safest of the safest? Maltese capital Valletta, which hasn’t seen a death on the road since 2001.

In pure numbers, Athens witnessed the largest number of deaths last year with 226, just ahead of London with 222.

Overall, the number of deaths in the capitals fell from 1,881 in 2006 to 1,560 last year.

Lausanne 027, originally uploaded by pirano.

30 Second Cheap hotel Advisor – Paris

Hotel De La Paix
19, rue du Gros Caillou – 75007 Paris

I liked this place! Located on a pleasant and quiet street in an otherwise fairly lively neighborhood –a couple minute walk from the Parc du Champs de Mars, and perhaps 10 to the Eiffel Tower– it’s about as off-the-beaten-path as you can find in Paris.

Rooms are cozy, free wifi throughout, and an extremely pleasant owner and staff. There are plenty of bars/cafes in the vicinity that won’t break the bank, along with a few wines shops that will. Nearest metro is Ecole Militaire, and you can order a shuttle to De Gaulle Airport at the front desk (17 EUR, about 40 mins).

The hotel’s website is here; for Paris I generally book through venere.com.

I think I’ll definitely return.

Hotel De la Paix – Paris, originally uploaded by pirano.