Archive for the ‘parks and gardens’ Category

First Known Selfie

Friday, April 18th, 2014
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The Greek Actor by Charles Arthur Bourgeois

The First Known Selfie by Charles Arthur Bourgeois
Photograph by DiscoverParis

A bronze sculpture representing a man posing for a selfie with what appears to be a prototype iPhone stands in the Luxembourg Garden. Cast in 1868, the statue is the earliest representation of what many have, up until now, believed to be a modern phenomenon.

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Photoshoot at the Luxembourg Garden

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
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Photoshoot of Monique in the Luxembourg Garden

Photoshoot of Monique in the Luxembourg Garden
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

When a freelance journalist working for the Ohio State Alumni Magazine wanted to photograph our own Monique Y. Wells for the article that he is preparing about her, we took him to the Luxembourg Garden for the beautiful backdrop that it provides.

Click here to learn about our tour entitled Black History in and Around the Luxembourg Garden: http://discoverparis.net/entree-to-black-paris-most-popular-walking-tours

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Healing the Earth

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013
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Aymeric in the Luxembourg Garden

Aymeric in the Luxembourg Garden
Photograph by www.Discoverparis.net

On Friday evening I encountered Aymeric near the Luxembourg Garden where I saw him walking along the sidewalk sprinkling water on trees and shrubs that grow along the walkway. He told me that he was applying a “Maria Thun preparation” to the soil. We entered the garden and he proceeded to dip his brush into the bucket that he was carrying and, with a flipping motion of the wrist, flick a few drops of the solution onto the plants and grass. He said that a homeopathic dose was all that was necessary.

Paris-born Aymeric recently completed an 18-month course in biodynamics in London and hopes to get a job on a farm in Australia. According to information that I gleaned from the Web site address for Le Mouvement de l’Agriculture Bio-Dynamique that he gave me, biodynamics is based on the concept that plants have life forces that must be respected in order for them to grow and flourish.

I wrote about French filmmaker Guillaume Bodin’s documentary on biodynamic wine in the August 2012 edition of Paris Insights newsletter.

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The French Like to Read

Thursday, May 30th, 2013
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Man Reading in Park

Man Reading in Park
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Shortly after a light rain, this man came to the Jardin des Plantes to read. Finding the benches too wet to sit on, he simply leaned against a tree to enjoy his book!

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The Luxembourg Garden – My Personal View
By Monique Y. Wells

Saturday, April 6th, 2013
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Des Coulam and Monique Y. Wells

Des Coulam and Monique Y. Wells
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

I am honored to have been asked to participate in a very special series of interviews called Paris – A Personal View. Des Coulam, whose passion is to record the sounds of Paris, is the creative genius behind the series. He recorded my observations of the Luxembourg Garden—my favorite place in Paris—as we took a leisurely walk through it.

I took Des to several of my preferred spots in the garden. We began outside the gate, where there is currently a photo exposition on the Tour de France. There are a few photos of “vintage” races in the 1920s and 50s, but the majority of them are from competitions that have taken place in the last twenty years. The images are stunning!

We then walked to the eastern terrace near the boat basin, where I showed Des an image of Loïs Mailou Jones’ 1948 painting of the Luxembourg Palace and the towers of Saint-Sulpice beyond. There has been virtually no change in the landscape since she painted it 64 years ago!

I stopped briefly at the southernmost point of the parterre to talk about Gaston Monnerville, brilliant legal mind and President of the French Senate—a sculpture of him stands just outside the garden. Then we headed over to the statue of Marie de Medicis, the women whom we need to thank for having built the palace and garden. Thank goodness she pined for the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens of her native Florence so much that she tried to have them recreated in Paris!

We next stopped to admire the Zadkine sculpture Le Poète ou l’Hommage à Paul Eluard. This is my favorite piece of art in the garden. I love Zadkine’s story and his works, many of which you can find on the streets of Paris as well as in his studio-turned-museum near the garden.

From Zadkine, the conversation turned to fruits, bees, and the Chartreuse monks when we strolled to the southwest corner of the garden. This is where the espaliered orchard produces fruits for the French Senate, beekeeping courses are taught, and honey from the garden’s apiary is sold in the fall.

To finish our tour, we visited the Statue of Liberty, strode past the Orangerie, stopped to admire the view of the Pantheon at the far end of rue Soufflot, and talked briefly about the Medicis Fountain. I shared some final thoughts about the garden as we walked by the crocuses (a sure sign that spring has arrived) that grow near the exit that faces the Odéon Theater.

I hope you enjoy this audio tour and the beautiful photos that accompany it!

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