In all honesty, as of last night my suitcase is packed and I could walk out the door right now and get on that plane and go. Finally after thirty eight years I am going on my pilgrimage to France. Marseille and Paris with side trips here and there. Off to photograph and shoot video of the streets that have fueled and inspired many of my lifelong influences. To drink the wine and absinth on the same streets as some of my literary heros. To eat a few classic dishes but also discovering the emerging new wave of Prix Fixe of smaller, more casual places like Frenchie (http://www.frenchie-restaurant.com/) with a special someone who may be more excited then me, but I think its safe to say its a tie.
I have to say for as much as I have waited for this trip, I am more excited about seeing the Paris and Marseille of today. Few items from antiquity are on my things to do list. Besides the Musée d’Orsey and walking by the Eifel Tower, I am not as worried about the thoughts of “I must see this or go there”. I want to absorb and take in the people, the culture, the every day. The sense of what makes Paris, well, Paris and Marseille, Marseille. I am grateful for all the greats that have come and created and left their mark on these cities, but it is up to those there now to cary the torch. To keep the fire of the city alit. I look forward to capturing that and marking my generations mark on Paris, even if as an outsider for now. Isn’t the role of an artist, explorer, traveler to see the new and now with their vision based on past influences and document, and observe as you interact? It is a constant give and take to walk the fine line of observer and creator.To simultaneously take it all in but also create the environment it is all taking place in. I think I am up for the challenge. It is going to be one hell of a trip either way. Stay tuned for more…..
You may or may not know or care, but one of the things I write about is drinking for The Reference Council (http://www.thereferencecouncil.com/). The column is called A Drink A Day and is best summed up by saying we are sharing our wide spectrum of enjoyable liquids through our community of international friends. As Humphrey Bogart once said: “The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.” So we’re doing our bit.
A few months back we were asked by the kick ass folks at Design Bureau to create a summer drink that is influenced by architecture for their July / August issue. A new drink I had been tinkering with came to mind and the rest is history. The drink is called The Olmsted and is inspired by the great architect behind Central Park, Prospect Park, and the landscaping for the 1893 Worlds Fair in Chicago. The issue is out now and ready for you to buy, so please support this great publication. More info here http://wearedesignbureau.com/. Click the images to enlarge and read!
The countdown is at nine days. I have been trying to play it cool. Chilled out and casually excited about my upcoming vacation, even though behind closed doors running around like a school kid durring the last few days of a school year. Now that we are in the single digit days the rush of excitement is almost too much to hold in. If you are unaware, I have waited my whole life to go to France, let alone Paris and Marseille.
In all my travels it is the one place I have longed to just go to relax and soak in. Eat the food, drink the wine, do all the cliche things like sit all day at a few cafes drinking coffee and smoking Gauloises, remembering my first drag of one with Jim Cox in Dayton talking about Godard films. Walking aimlessly at the Musee d”Orsay looking for hidden gems by Poussin. Walking the Seine river with no destination in mind. Finding my way down into some smoke filled dirty and grimy dixie jazz bar dancing and loosing my self in the city of lights.
Then there is Marseille. The first week filled with friends from Germany, France, Sweden, and New Jersey. Relaxing days on the Cote d’Azur sipping wine and eating fresh seafood. Exploring the culture of over two thousand years of maritime life. Loud rock and roll bars such as Le Duke. Day trips to Provence durring the hight of lavender season. Talk of the Fraternity Noir and new projects for the brotherhood. The smell of ancient sea air all around.
To say I have longed for and needed this for quite sometime now is an understatement. I just wish I could take each and everyone of you with me.