The Comic Strip City

Angoulême, a city in Southwestern France, dubbed itself the international comic strip city in the early 2000s. The city is mostly known for its Angoulême International Comics Festival and now its namesake is unmistakable as walls all over the city sport huge comic strip displays.

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Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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La Vie En Rose dans La Ville Rose

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Per Tolosa totjorn mai.
Occitan for  “For Toulouse, always more”

Known as the Ville Rose (Pink City), Toulouse is aptly named for the rose-colored bricks that make up the facades of the city’s oldest buildings, even as l’ancien meets with the new.

For me, it was a city with a certain well-understood charm – a getaway for French natives in the North in search of a pause from a more pretentious Paris perhaps, or a badly needed kickstart to the everyday routine from those in the surrounding sleepier southwestern towns.

Modernity sits side by side with history as you stroll from the busy midtown walkways to duck into tiny pink cobblestoned backstreets leading towards the river. Everyone headed perpetually towards the river. The site of “Toulouse Plage” for the month (sand and beach games brought in for August), the riverside makes for a cool antidote to the August heat. I loved the outdoor markets, the streetside booksellers, the waterfront cafes, and quiet confidence of the folks there. No in-your-face-flash required, they understood well what their city has to offer.

You Have to Move On/ Il Faut Avancer

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Theatre du Chatelet, renowned Paris institution headed by Jean-Luc Choplin, recently presented Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine’s award-winning and heartbreaking SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. Lucky for those of us that weren’t able to hop on a plane to Paris during its run, the production was filmed and broadcast by Mezzo TV. And now, this new version is available to download for free, albeit for a very limited time.

The original Broadway production of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, directed by James Lapine, starring Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters, was similarly filmed and quickly became a staple in the collector’s canon. For those of you who haven’t seen any of the original cast, or for those that could always use a refresher, enjoy the two duetting on “Move On.”


In this number, Dot appears to her great grandson (that of her lover George Seurat), also named George, who is struggling with his art

Look at what you want,
Not at where you are,
Not at what you’ll be-
Look at all the things you’ve done for me

Bite-sized Wisdom: Saint Exupery

Why resist change when it could promise some of the best new moments for you? Here’s to always coming to know ourselves better.

“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.”

– Antoine de Saint Exupery

 

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Travel Expectations Meeting Reality

How much of your travel dreams are made up of the ideas promised from advertisements,  pages ripped from the travel mags and pinned up for another day?

Recently sat down for a chat with the composer of See Rock City to talk travel and our expectations from trips we take: what we search for, hope to experience, and try to cross off of our list. We all are united in our journeys towards destinations, both real and imagined.

Have your travels always lived up to your expectations? Tell your story below.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

World’s A Stage: Spotlight on France

When thinking of Mozart, the notion of early rock-star may not come to mind. A child prodigy, yes. A whiz on the ivories, no doubt. But emo-rock sex symbol? The creative team behind Mozart l’Opera Rock certainly thought so; they re-envisioned his life for the stage and took France by storm.

The musical, a mashup of new pop-rock and traditional Mozart compositions, premiered in late 2009. Though not as critically well-received as some other tuners out of France in the recent years(including Notre Dame de Paris, Le Petit Prince, and Le Roi Soleil) the show’s glittering reimagining of the 18th century composer’s life devloped a large fan following and went on to tour through Europe and the rest of France.  

Take a glance at this cheeky single that became one of the show’s most popular anthems. The song follows Wolfgang as he attempts to distribute his music and find a job in Paris. The lyrics dabble with sexual wordplay (somewhat evident, though undoubtedly less subtle, in the English subtitles available on this version). Enjoy this stroll down anachronism lane with Mr. Mozart himself.

 

How to Live like French Royalty

“Come to Blois…
C’est ca?
Au revoir!”
– French Cardinal, The Glorious Ones

These castle digs were where the very best of French royalty kept house back in the day. The commedia troupe in The Glorious Ones receives an invitation to perform for the King of France in Blois – most likely King Henri Twah.

Ever wonder how you could pull off living like a King?

Welcome Home

Step 1: Make everything about your home, including the stairway in, the most opulent creation anyone has ever seen.

Step 2: Sentence people to death for things like “looking at you the wrong way,” accidently sneezing, or singing off-key. That’ll teach ’em.

Step 3: Never lift a finger. Have an army of servants in charge of keeping the place looking snazzy.

Step 4: Eat large cuts of meat while regarding the stunningly impressive view from your château.

Step 5: Speak a little French now and again. Try angry phrases such as “Qu’on leur coupe la tête!” (off with their head) and “Jamais de la vie…” (never in my life) to keep everyone in line.

Voila! Royalty Status. That wasn’t so hard was it?

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4