Wednesday, 30 March 2011

New flowers at the Great Apartment

As usual, the flowers come and the flowers go. Despite some unseasonably warm weather, the narcissi that I bought a couple of weeks back refused to flower, going soft and mouldy. Charming. There goes 3 euros.

The tulips have fared a little better. A delicate pink colour, they won't last long, so enjoy them while you can.
And I decided to splash out on a Hydrangea, in the hope that it really does thrive the shade, as I have heard. I used to think these were real old lady plants, but I've warmed to them recently, perhaps because I'm becoming more of an old man myself!

I love the colour, and they give a good structure to the whole window box, so hopefully they will flower for a while. I wonder if my scraggly geraniums will make an effort sometime soon too?
I do try to make an effort with the flowers at the Great Apartment. Hopefully some people notice :-)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen was all over Paris last summer, filming his new movie Midnight in Paris, and the press was all over Woody (mostly because the president's wife Carla Bruni has a cameo). The trailer - with copious amounts of accordeon - is just out, and you can see it below (go fullscreen and 720p for the full ooh-là-là).

The poster is a Photoshop disaster that mixes the banks of the Seine with "The Starry Night" by Van Gogh, a painting that depicts the sky as seen from his window in the town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence... 700 km from the capital.

It's also common knowledge that much negotiation was needed in order to have the film based here, and that new tax credit laws clinched it (the next Sherlock Holmes movie was largely filmed here for the same reason). Conditions include spending a minimum of one million euros, and - in Woody's case - that the film title contain the word "Paris"!

I also note in passing that the official site is rather than, because a certain Michael Borodynko snaffled the domain (just three months ago) before Sony Classics thought of reserving it. Lucky he didn't buy both of them, eh?

Anyway, the film/movie will be out in France on 11th May 2011, a week before the 'States even! Check out the trailer below. Très picture postcard, but intriguing. And Paris looks amazing (which of course it is)!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

An amazing new venue just opened two minutes from the Great Apartment

This is something that I've been waiting for (in a state of excitement) for quite a few years now; a new venue for electronics arts, especially music, has opened just two minutes away from us (here). It's called La Gaîté Lyrique, and it's amazing.

Even the story behind the building - a mix of 19th century baroque and bang-up-to-date modern - is an extraordinary one. Originally a theatre from the late 1800s, over the course of 150 years it became a venue for operettas, then a circus school, was partially demolished in the 1980s to be an indoor amusement park (which closed a few days later), and was left abandoned for over a decade.

It's now a huge building (9,500m²) on seven levels (five of which are open to the public) dedicated to all things electronic, with one small and one large modular space (each panel of the floor can be raised independently), an auditorium with an HD projector and surround sound, a large exhibition space, a ressource centre, a videogames area, a shop (next door), a café, rehearsal spaces... For me, it's the most interesting project that Paris has seen for years.

Upcoming events include a festival with Berlin as its theme, a DJ Spooky weekend, and a host of concerts including Dan Deacon, Architecture in Helsinki and José González performing with the Göteborg String Theory.

Here are a few photos (I especially like the historic foyer that they've kept), and I've written an exhaustive article about the place on the HPRG blog here. Be sure to check it out!
Loads more photos, info and films in my article here.