Month: June 2010

Posted in Photos Cross Cultural Comments France Paris Paris Favoritz

one sign, good intentions

The sign seems simple enough to understand:

On the right, the big (buses) and the small (bicycles) must proceed forward through the intersection.

On the left, everything else turns right. Is this what has happened to French politics?

and …

the reality :

Fortunately, it wasn’t raining. Like that, I could take these 2 pix  through the windshield.

Isn’t there a proverb that says … something about roads paved with good intentions ?

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Posted in Newsletters Cross Cultural Comments Savannah Favoritz

Newsletter : June 30, 2010

My father used to say “A word to the wise is sufficient.”

And the French word “prévenant” came to mind. It’s a caring word which means thinking about others. I don’t know to what extent it applies to the animal world but it certainly does apply to humans.

It is one of those universal concepts which requires heart and mind and action selflessly. Maybe in that order. It’s neither altogether altruistic nor idealist. It can be practical as it can be simply an expression of tenderness or care.

It can be individual and it can be social. In some cases, it has to do with protection from potential harm. In others, it can be understanding and acting as an act of consideration, certainly of respect for others.

It is welcoming. More than good manners, it is … unexpected.

It is thoughtful. It’s imagining ourselves in the place of someone else. Without anyone’s asking for anything. Being thoughtful, it requires time, maybe maturity, maybe soul.

it is hospitality.

A beautiful idea: être prévenant(e).

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Posted in Newsletters Cross Cultural Comments Savannah Favoritz

Newsletter: 28 June 2010

I’ve recorded today’s newsletter … so if you’d care to listen to it … here it is:


If you’d care to read it …


If you happen to take advantage of the fact that the Museé des Beaux Arts in Rouen is showing a rare collection of Impressionist paintings, you will undoubtedly also be pleasantly surprised by the staff at the Museum. 

They are refreshingly kind, relaxed, welcoming and knowledgeable. An example of how things ought to be. I’d be surprised if we hear of a strike up there.

The subject matter of the exhibit itself centers around the place it is held in: the thriving city of Rouen as it was in the 1890s. Monet, Pissaro, Gauguin (as well as other less well-known) show the boats, long or wide … or both… the big sails, the quays, the workers, the sailors … all against a newly industrialized background where morning fog and smoke from the smokestacks color the sky. Impressions. Outdoor painting. St. Catherine’s Hill. Looking down onto Rouen, there where Saint Joan was burned at the stake on the 30th of May, 1431.

The bridges. The two main bridges crossing the Seine are shown in morning light, morning fog, under the rain, under the snow. In one, small painting, we we the sun behind the clouds, through the clouds, its light then reflected from the Seine under the bridge of Boieldieu.

The Cathedral. Under the different lights of day as Monet observed it.

There’s something else to be said for all of this: Both the painters and today’s staff were artists.

The staff and the Museum offering us … their hospitality, the artists … their visions, their works.

As you walk through Rouen … you might pass the vast City Hall. Bullet and shell pockmarks of all sizes show on the stone walls. Those happened after these paintings were painted, after these painters had ceased to see but before the staff at the Museum of Fine Arts were born.

Just a reminder.

Thanks for reading The Paris Savannah Connection.


PS. Another sort of Reminder: At the end of the month, I’ll have updated the mailing list of the Paris Savannah Connection to only include those who let me know they want to continue receiving it. So … if you haven’t already sent me a message to let me know … well, let me know: Thanks.

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Posted in Cross Cultural Comments France Video

At the Musée des Beaux Arts, Rouen


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Posted in Notes on English Cross Cultural Comments French/English Reading

Le Livre de l’Hospitalité

Je me suis aperçu, ensuite, que dans sa vulnérabilité, l’étranger ne pouvait tabler que sur l’hospitalité dont ferait preuve, à son égard, autrui.

Tout comme les mots bénéficient de l’hospitalité de la page blanche et l’oiseau, de celle, inconditionnelle, du ciel.

Et c’est l’objet de ce livre.

Mais qu’est-ce que l’hospitalité?

Edmund Jabès.

Le Livre de l’Hospitalité éditions Gallimard, 1991

I later realized that, in his vulnerability, the foreigner could only rely on the hospitality that others would care to show him.

Like words that profit from the hospitality of the blank page, and the bird,  from the unconditional (hospitality) of the sky.

And that is the reason for this book.

But what is hospitality?

(translation Mark Levinson)

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Posted in Notes on English Cross Cultural Comments Fluency Reading Writing spelling

Eats shoots and leaves



A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.’Why?’ asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

‘Well, I’m a panda,’ he says, at the door. ‘Look it up.’

The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the dictionary and, sure enough, finds an explanation. ‘Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots, and leaves.’

By Lynne Truss. Masterpiece. The best there is on punctuation.

This is the cover of the Illustrated Edition

Order your copy now right here! 

Amazon – Abe – Momox or buy one at your favorite bookseller’s!! 

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Posted in Photos Cross Cultural Comments Paris

19 June 1987 – 19 June 2010

23 years ago, two of the most exclusive streets in the Western World decided to become sisters!

Avenue Montaigne in Paris and Madison Avenue in New York.

Happy anniversary!

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Posted in Photos Cross Cultural Comments USA Off the Beaten Track

Sapelo Island

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Posted in Cross Cultural Comments France Paris Paris Favoritz

Tao … not Zen

There is an impressive exhibit at the Grand Palais entitled “La Voie du Tao” which draws a very contemplative, respectful and rather silent public. No crowds, no noise. As though the exhibit itself was what we imagine as Zen.

The entrance ticket. Tao?

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Posted in Photos Cross Cultural Comments

numbers – even and odd, round, magic.

On one side of the street, there are … numbers like these …

even numbers … but also round numbers:

or 1700 a little further down the street

and … 1607 on the other side

1900 … (nineteen hundred!)

another odd one, too:

Unlike the Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris …which has many addresses, including that lucky seven,

this park on Mount Curve didn’t have a number posted anywhere.

Is it because it belongs to everyone ?


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