Welcome to Love von Beauty von Love!

Standard

In the beginning there was … Love & Beauty & Life & Light & Spark  & Prosperity & Style & Soul & Bliss & Happiness & Wonder & Joy & Courage & Vision & Solidarity & Childhood & Freedom & Dream & Faith.

And then their step-brothers and step-sisters – hatred, lust, death, darkness, poverty, plague, immorality, scandal, despair, expectation, sorrow, envy, blindness, ego, greed,  cynicism, grievance, hunger, terror, fear, bullies –  made room and started messing things up … all for a reason, a very basic reason: to make our life more worth treasuring, every single day, every single moment.

I started this blog from a purely egocentric need: a need to remind myself of beauty and love.

In the beginning there was … Love & Beauty & …whatever we wish for!

Advertisements

Thank you Bucharest

Standard
Thank you Bucharest

for the funniest pilot on my flights so far: “Ladies and gentlemen, in a few moments we will land in Bucharest. The weather is not as nice as in Frankfurt. Yet, as they say “A nice drink a day, keeps the bad weather away”. Ask my co-pilot for tips on bars in Bucharest. He knows quite a few”. Laughter erupted.

for the glimpse of sun on a cloudy day from my hotel room window. Just make sure you’ll deliver on the promise I made to the lady visiting from Los Angeles. She longed to still meet the sunny you.

for new and renewed partnerships with committed professionals

for your urban garden and very nice time spent in a gorgeous company

your lively street art, which cohabitates with formal art places

an ephemeral ode to bearded men

Lido Hotel’s eclectic deco

the politest and fastest waiter at 5 in the morning in an airport cafe

and last but not least, for my third excellent lady taxi driver, after similar experiences in Paris and Vilnius. “So, there are ladies driving taxis in other countries as well” she was curious to know. She shared in return her experience with a passenger who dared to touch her shoulder and knee. “I was 5 seconds close to test my electroshock device on him and dump him in the forest. In 5 years I am driving, nothing of this sort happened to me. And he seemed a respectable foreigner and interested to know if I am married and have kids!”

That was appalling. I asked her if she can notify the dispatching centers when things like this happen. She should not deal alone with such a situation. “Yes, I can.” she confirmed. Would the passenger have done it if the driver was a male? Highly unlikely.

Upon arrival at the destination, it was gratifying to see her face lit up with unfettered enthusiasm and passion for her work.

Merci Hoerdt

Standard

for your Celebration of Asparagus

150 years ago a priest had the idea of celebrating the plant.

Since then, each year farmers open their farm gates to visitors in May in the Alsatian village of Hoerdt, north of Strasbourg.

Local cafes and restaurants offer all sorts of dishes inspired by asparagus. We tried asparagus velouté, quiche and salads at Cafe Creme, a family- run and family-welcoming business.

The celebration culminated with a procession headed by Miss and Mister Asparagus, the villagers elect the night before.

Hoerdt is a charming village to spend an afternoon, when touring Alsace and the region.

“Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee

Standard

My brain seems to be interested lately in women’s stories from all over the globe. Or maybe it is my heart. The heart of a girl’s mom.

“Pachinko” belongs to the type of the book I look forward to opening at the bed time reading. I absorbed the 400 something pages in no time.

The story spans through generations of a family who survived war, hunger, separation, discrimination and exile. The story starts in Korea and then moves to Japan. Above all, it is about soul-search and staying true to what truly matters no matter what.

The characters are authentic and their struggles and aspirations are so real you can feel it on your skin. The author did well her homework research. The book is a tribute to all silent victims of discrimination of those times on that place.

I cannot ignore the attention given to the role of women society expects from them, as described in this book and couple of others I recently read. “Women’s lot is to suffer” is reiterated couple of times in the book. That is saddening, to say the least. In fairness, the author does justice to feminine characters by endowing them with such strength of mind and spirit that it challenges the socially acceptable behavioural model for women.

Inspired by this, I bought for my daughter “Little Leaders: Visionary Women from around the World” by Vashti Harrison (more on the book in my next post).

Thank you, Vilnius

Standard

for a sunny and warm summer-like weather

your shades of blue

your hidden architectural jewels

for the promotion of local designers

Ruta chocolate for my kid’s taste and my taste of dark chocolate

new and renewed partnerships sealed over a good traditional meal of the Lithuanian cuisine, where I am told pork is the default meat. I still managed to find a few vegetarian options for my lent week before Orthodox Easter, and for that I am double grateful.

“Like water for chocolate” by Laura Esquivel

Standard

I love books with stories around the kitchen, where events and Mxican dishes recipes are intertwined with flavours. Reading recipes and cooking steps also makes me hungry, but that’s another story.

The story lone is built around Tita, who is given a multitude of roles throughout the book: she is a daughter, a cook, a lover, a sister, a nurse. The character has to fight for her right to decide how to live an authoritarian mother and a series of circumstances she finds herself in.

The writing style is impregnated with tenderness and a bitter-sweet taste of life in all its magnificence. It has magic, it has love. What else do you need?

I absorbed the book in no time and recommend to enjoy it with a cup of hot chocolate.

Monaco’s open-air art

Standard

What I love about discovering Monaco is that it offers more than meets the eye. The art on street and in public spaces is not scarce in a place of exclusivity. I also love the art in the open on trips with my kid, when patience to visit museums is at its low. And you can continue to enjoy that ice-cream 🙂

Here is a selection of only a few art items on display in Monaco:

Sky mirror, by Anish Kapoor, a British artist

The sculpture “bring” the heaven on earth due to its special lenses. It was a gift by Lily Safra to the Principality. You can find it in front of Monte Carlo Casino.

Adam and Eve, by Fernando Botero, Columbian artist

Botero is known for mixing harmoniously naive primitivism, grotesque, kitch, folklore, Italian renaissance and colonial Barocco. “Adam and Eve” is a 900 kg, 3 meters high sculpture, placed behind the Casino.

Woman smoking a cigarette is another of Botero’s sculptures you can find in The Roses Garden of Fontveille.

Woman snake, by Mateo Mormar, Croatian artist

Mormar is a world renown sculpture who lives and Monaco. This sculpture depicts harmony between humans and animals through difference (mind the contrast of lines). The sculpture was created in 2010 and it took 2 years of work.

Hexa Grace, by Vasarely Foundation

It symbolises the sky, sea and land and was installed on the roof of Fairmont in 1979, to delight the visitors eyes.

Last but not least of my favourites, is the Jean-Baptiste le Monégasque bronze sculpture by Rachid Khimoune, French sculptor. You can find it behind the Gremaldi forum. img_1560

 

« Less » by Andrew Sean Greer

Standard

“You will sob little tears of joy” said one review.

The book by Greer, a winner of the Pulitzer prize for fiction, is a story of a writer – Arthur Less, who seeking love almost lost it, just to find it, after he run away to travel around the world. The author gives us a Less at first – from a 70s American bohemian period – to a Less Mexican, Italian, German, French, Moroccan, Indian to Less at Last.

I admired the writing style and the author’s sense of humour, so touching yet unforgiving in some places. Like this lines: “She was ostensibly German speaking, just as seventeen-year-old Less was ostensibly gay. Both had the fantasy; neither had carried it out.”