It’s been rainy and cool and grey here (not that I’m complaining based on what the news is telling me about the weather you folks back home are getting in the U.S!)
Apparently Niagara Falls, near where I grew up, froze? I know it must be really cold, but the pictures are beautiful!
With the cool grey rainy weather, I took the bus into Montpellier for a yarn run (jade green and color fade to knit/crochet long dragony fingerless gloves; and cappuccino white thick yarn because it just was sexy and amazing) and to pick up some new drawing paper, (huge, thick textured pale blue grey watercolor paper that is just luminous) and for a stop at the big, gorgeous downtown library.
I’ve written about it before…they have a beautiful window-filled sunny room full of English books, pillows on the floor, tons of music, rotating exhibits (this time a naturalist exhibit with scientific drawings, skulls, and faded pressed flowers on sepia tinged parchment labelled with spidery French handwriting.
I got distracted on the way though, by the art and design section, and wound up spending the afternoon pouring through books on glassmaking. I found a contemporary glass center in Marseilles called the CENTRE INTERNATIONAL DE RECHERCHE SUR LE VERRE ET LES ARTS PLASTIQUES (International Research Center for Glass and the Plastic Arts, or CIRVA) that sponsors artist residencies and experimental art exhibits focusing on the material of glass, and this book was SO COOL. Most of the glass I’ve seen here has been low-craft quality and not terribly cutting edge or contemporary, so to see that France actually has a center focusing on the material of glass is pretty exciting to me. We’re planning a trip to go check it out in the next few weeks, and I will report back on what I find!
The other cool, totally engrossing this I found was a huge compilation of French language New Yorker cartoons going all the way back to pre-World War I. They were totally amazing and funny and corny and dated and wonderful; a lot dealt with ridiculous French stereotypes (and American or touristic stereotypes and language as well!) I’ve attached a bunch of them to this post; I’ve added translations where needed. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!
“Actually, we’re American.”
“How very French!”
“I was sure you were French when I saw your scarf.”
“Look at how French he seems!”
“It’s not anti-Americanism, madame, this is how I speak to everyone.”
“We’ve increased our production.”
“Cette” means “this”. This is how everyone orders in France when they don’t speak French. 🙂
“Not a single word in English from now on, ok?”
“Sortie” means “exit”.
“We are the imperialist Americans, and we’d like something to drink.”
“Déjà vu” means “already seen”; but déjà bu means “Already drunk” and déjà lu means “Already read”.