"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

life is a circus...

"Something about the circus stirs their souls,
and they ache for it when it is absent."
- Erin Morgenstern

The other day I met the subject of my next 'Postcard to Paris' for Belle Inspiration Magazine. Our photo-shoot/interview is in 2 weeks and I can't wait to share my adventure with you. In the meantime, in addition to these photos, here are a few hints: a boy who ran away from home to join the circus, Cava Brut Rose, stone cellar, jazz.

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Rory's 1st Crepe [rue Cler (Autumn,  2009)]

Taxi to rue Cler
Butter Crepe sprinkled with sugar
Sailed on the Seine
- Rory Hills

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!

Mr. Hills and I (2014)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

the shoes. Honey, the shoes!

"Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world."
- Marilyn Monroe

Giving my Diva full and free reign has been a revelatory adventure. Under Jane's patient tutelage (and embracing the maturité that only living can bestow) I have learned to love and showcase my unique assets and camouflage my...problem points ;-} Integral parts of my Diva-tude are being a mother and a professor - I'm always on the run - so my everyday footwear are Chucky T's, ballet flats and funky flat sandals. Stylista-me has clear and definite requirements: fantabuluosity, fierce elegance (with just a touch of trendy) - oui, absolument! fussy/complicated makeup, hair and wardrobe - absolument non

But there's one aspect of the Diva that I absolutely love (always have). It's something I refuse to live without - sky high heels!

Stilettos & Rose Petals

"You put high heels on and you change." - Manolo Blanik

Yes, sky-high heels are impractical - but when did the Diva give a hoot about practicality? Sky-high heels elongate the leg (to truly epic proportions), tantilizingly lift the bust and beautifully push the booty up and out - generating a saucy/sensual sway to said booty in the process.  And yes, sky-high heels were painful...until the glorious invention of 'the platform' and the 'cork wedge. 4+ inches magically transformed into a comfortable 3'! Have your Diva cake and eat it too!

"Lady Peep - Nude" Christian Louboutin

Yes, platform sky-highs are extremely comfortable

"Patent Banded Wedge" - Boston Proper

Granted even though, in my humble opinion, platform sky-highs are superior to any other form of high heel, there is an art of survival to/for wearing them an entire night in comfort: 1. Only wear them to a place where you know you'll be able to sit at will (and, yes, I have no problem in making sure of that when I arrive - remember, diva). 2. Once your feet are under the table (out of sight), take your shoes off and rest your feet for the strut (survival points 1 & 2 don't apply for wedges - they're that comfortable ;-} Summer is just around the corner and I can't wait. 

Wear those heels honey!

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


that time of the year, again...

Even at my daughter's Tennis class, 
a professor's work is never done...

"But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep."
- Robert Frost

Bonjour mes lovelies,

I'm nearing the end of another semester - filled with term paper reading, correcting, and final grade tabulating. It leaves me no time for blogging. Thank goodness you are understanding and forgiving. Unfortunately, the prospects for professors in the States continue to become increasingly dire. Tenure is officially a relic of the past. Salaries, benefits - even an office space - are, I suspect, now and forever out of reach. Thus, I have decided to only teach one class per semester, while continuing to hammer out a new more promising, and infinitely more satisfying, career. You may ask: 'Temple why do you stay at all'? It's a question I often ask myself until nights like tonight, when I read term papers so good, they inspire me to hop into my T.A.R.D.I.S....

Did you know that the hymn Amazing Grace is an anti-slavery song written by an enslaver turned abolitionist? Or that Mexico was a silent member of the Allied Forces of WWII? Or that nearly 2.5 million Mexicans (and Puerto Ricans) immigrated to the U.S. specifically to join our Air Force, Army an work in agriculture at the behest of President Roosevelt? Yeah, I didn't either. Another of my students wrote a history of the Holocaust using no dates, battles, or treaties as rubrics, only the first hand accounts of survivors - and it's freaking amazing! Do you have any idea how hard that is to do? I just finished reading a student's bio of Voltaire that is so fresh and innovative, so excellently researched and written, I'm going to use it as a directed reading for future classes.

My kids are finding their voices and it's a wonderful thing to experience. My only regret is that this semester will be over in two weeks :-{ We didn't have enough time. We needed more time. But most of them have enrolled in my 'Part Two' of this class next fall and I can't wait. It's at moments like this I'm reminded why I love teaching so, in spite of it all.

But the soon approaching end of my 'professor-semester' also means that, in a few days, I'll have the rest of Spring and the entire Summer to 100% focus on you and my other soul replenishing/soul satisfying pursuits. 

Posts in the works: 
- the Adventures of a Personal Concierge (Postcard to Paris)
- Vieux Montreal (Paris Inspired
- Sounds of Summer Soundtrack (Paris Playlist

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


Here I come!
You ready?

Saturday, March 07, 2015

a most worthy cause...

"We worry about what a child will become,
yet we forget that he is someone today."
- Stacia Tauscher

Today Mr. Gorgeous and I made a most special delivery. I am so honored that 3 of my photographs (printed on huge canvasses) are going to be auctioned to raise $ for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates - for children). CASA advocates for the best interests of abused children in courtrooms. 

Two of my canvases are of the iconic clocks in the Musee d'Orsay [created by Victor Laloux - when the musee was a railway station (Gare d'Orsay)]. They will be unveiled and auctioned tomorrow night at CASA's annual Children's Champion Auction & Gala. Bien sur, I will have my camera and reporter's notebook with me and I can't wait to tell (and show) you all about it.

Sprinkling a bit of Paris and raising $ for a most worthy cause = une très bonne journée! Stay tuned...

Vivre! Rire! Aimer! 


With Gloria Bunce,
Executive Director for CASA (Kane County).
How we met and became friends?
Well that's a whole other story!

Friday, March 06, 2015

EMPIRE ~ Paris Playlist #20

"Yeah, that's my name. Take a bite!" - Cookie Lyon

I'm not ashamed to admit it, I am completely enthralled by the primetime soap opera Empire - it's a quite delicious and most satisfying guilty pleasure. The best way to describe this show: it's Dynasty meets King Lear - steeped in Black flavor and spice. Empire is about the Lyon family, the hip-hop music company they own and run, and the drama (then some more drama) that ensues as each of them wrestles for control. But the best thing in this show is the family-matriarch - Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson). There are two words that perfectly describe Cookie: Ghetto-Fabulous! She steals the show in every scene she's in - love her! 

Another primary and essential character is the music itself. All of the actors are musically talented and the list of guest musician cameos read like a Who's Who in the music world: Gladys Knight, Courtney Love, Estelle, Rita Ora, Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. Blige - and the season's not yet half over! Timbaland is the show's co-writer and producer. And the music is good, SO good. The show's producers are dribbling out songs from the Season 1 soundtrack (you can find it here) but I'm going to wait 'til I can buy the completed album. 

In the meantime, here's a little taste - a song from Empire's premiere episode: "What is Love," sung by the the amazingly talented, incredibly beautiful, Veronika Bozeman (check out her Facebook page: That Girl V). 

"We were supposed to be an empire."

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Goodbye, Dearheart...

"Be strong. Live honorably and with dignity." - James Fey

My sister and I were blessed to be raised within an incredibly loving and supporting circle of my parents' friends. I was raised and wonderfully influenced by: artists, architects, intellectuals, singers, dancers - of a half dozen ethnicities and/or nationalities, 3 or so different religions, in Chicago. And I've been doubly, triply, blessed to include them in the lives of my children. 

And I absolutely LOVED me some Robert Turner (the devastatingly handsome Ginger in these photos). He was suave, debonair and always dressed like a super cool, bad ass character out of a James Bond movie (the good guy, of course ;-} When I was in grammar school, he'd pick my sister and I up from school in his Saab convertible and take us to The Drake or The Four Seasons for dinner. He always talked to me like I was a smart elegant young lady, not the gawky gangly girl of 12 I really was. He always made me feel special.

After living and designing buildings in India, Asia and all over Europe, Robert settled down in Paris and started his own successful architectural firm. But he always stayed close and after dad died even more so - family. Every time he was in the States, every time we were in Paris we spent as much time together as possible. Robert is an integral part of so many of my most treasured memories of Paris: He was in the audience w/ Mr. G the first time I sang in a Paris jazz club, he took us to dinner in Paris to celebrate my marriage and again after I earned my Ph.D. He adored my children and they adored him. He was my mother's fast friend, they'd been through, seen so much together. I think my favorite memories are of Robert and my mother hunched over a cafe table in Paris, sipping champagne as they shared old stories and laughed.  

15 years ago Mom, Mr. G and I were sitting with Robert at a cafe in Paris when we learned that his  persistent cough was due to lung cancer. Robert beat it for 10+ years. But it came back. He fought it for several more years but passed away the other day - and we are...devastated. Paris' lights will glow a bit dimmer now. And when I again wander the streets of my beloved city, I will look for him and remember with a bittersweet smile. Robert Turner was the epitome of a dignified, honorable gentleman and I will miss him forever.

Goodbye, Dearheart

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