During my last stay in France I took a sweet little walk in a neighborhood I had yet to discover. The neighborhood is called Tivoli and hosts the most exquisite spectrum of traditional French homes combined with timbered architecture Alsace is known for. The entire neighborhood was built at the break of the 20th century and used to be back then residence of German military administration.
Preserving its treasured historical heritage is one thread today's residents have in common. Everything was flawlessly tended and cared for. This little slice of wonderland is only a bike ride from the center of the city of Strasbourg if you ever dare to venture outside the touristic paths.
I was in for a treat this afternoon. It was the day after Christmas, there wasn't a soul in sight and the air was holding the most noble scent of burning fir.
It was the first time in almost 17 years that I experienced snow in France again. I am freshly returning form a joyous time with family in Strasbourg where my sister lives. It was just perfect.
Nowadays it only snows on rare occasions in this part of the country but this year I was in luck. All the childhood memories were rushing back to me. The anticipated spectacle of powder-sugar covered streets in the morning after it snowed all night and the blissful sound of silence everywhere. I feel so privileged to have been there at this special time of year.
In my book, gathering home to cook and relax with your loved ones after a day out in the snow is one of those precious moments in life to call perfection. I wish we could all relate to this experience in some sort of ways in a place we call home, wherever we are from.
Although I am not the type of person that wants to live a life of accumulating and obsessive buying, I can always appreciate the gift season when it comes to beautifying your living space. Anzu online store allows you to achieve this. Pretty and functionnal things can be found there to help you make better choices when it comes to gifting. I was pleased to be the one chosen to shoot few images for their timely Holiday shop update.
Since we are on the topic, I highly recommend this read to my francophone readers: L'art de la Simplicitéde Dominique Loreau. I couldn't find an English publication of it yet unfortunately. The book is a beautiful tribute to learning how to live a more balanced, simple and essential life. Would make a lovely gift as well and can be purchased here.
It's been a while since I have last met you here dear readers. Sorry for this hiatus! Sometimes in life, you do things your heart doesn't necessarily align with, but you have to in order to get to your next goal, as futile as this goal might be. The past two months were all about going against my true nature and I am happy to come out of it. I did shed some feathers in the process. But it gave me great clarity of mind. The clarity that hat I want to keep perusing what makes me happy most as a person, and that is to create images. I actually never doubted that fact, but life doesn't allow me to ONLY do this unfortunately.
Being quite out of the loop, I was so delighted to find out Julia Hetta was behind some of the new Toast campaign this fall (below, indoor pictures). The other images created for Toast this season (the outdoor ones) are by Nicholas James Seaton which I am equally delighted by. What a stunning lineup of talents for this campaign.
This past weekend I went upstate New York for my dear friend Isabella's wedding. There is something so special about seeing a long time friend in such happy times, when things finally settle into the place you always wished her they would. It was a stunning backdrop for a late summer outdoor wedding. Fresh mountain air and lush meadows, everything the doctor prescribed!
Congratulations to Isabella & Tanguy! And thank you for making me part of it.
I am grateful for our friendship and all the ones that accompanied me on this trip ♡
I hit this time of year when I start thinking about change. Every time I spend time away from NYC, I wonder upon my return why I insist on living here. Of course the exhilarating culture, variety in people and open-mindness, the sense of freedom in being a creative and the opportunities to meet the ones that could possibly lead to what you define success. All that plays a big role in my decision to be and stay here. But it is tainted by lots of "could" and "one day" and "maybe" and for all I know, that gold rush is starting to wear off of me as I head further into the years. I wake up and fall asleep way too often with the fear of not being able to keep sustaining a living here. Maybe it's just me? I do not know how to manoeuvre this hell of a city to my advantage anymore. So I retreat, in my mind and my unproductive daydreaming. Things have got to change or this is not going to make me happy anymore.
But of course changing your life around is not an overnight affair, it takes courage, determination, sacrifices and a certain dose of fearlessness which I can't grant myself in the state of things right now.
As I write this post, a couple is arguing down the street words that I can't not even comprehend. Insults, shouting and spitting are involved, until someone finally intervenes. It's 11 in the morning. Really? Could it be that I find balance in all of this chaos? If you have found it, please share your experience with me. I think of myself as someone pretty strong and grounded, but lately, I am at loss.
The other day, I took the camera and walked around a bit. I could still see beauty around me, concealing the unapologetic filth and poverty that New York throws at you on a daily basis.
I heart you, I hate you. I want to give you a chance but I don't know if I still can.
You might remember the wonderful home of Veronica and Pablo featured on Petits Papiers few years ago. Back then, they were already running a successful environmentally conscious company called Dr Cow providing artfully crafted innovative artisan foods.
Their success has now grown into the cutest storefront that opened last month in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn and I couldn't resist introducing it on the blog. Everything in the store is a welcoming piece of healthy living. I am personally completely sold on their cheeses made from 100% raw, organic nuts. Yes, even me, the hardcore cheese-loving french bred, I am a convert! Their products are incredible; Cashew milk drinks and deserts, vegan cookies and granola, jams and spreads etc... all crafted to delight your taste buds and give you energy at the same time as no processed ingredients or animal by-products are used. Sort of a super-food mini revolution in the neighborhood! I highly recommend you try them if you happen to be in Williamsburg.
When I was shooting, Veronica was swamped with inquiring customers with whom she patiently shares her process and recommendations while Pablo was handling production in the back Atelier. To me, they are the perfect example of what a sustainable lifestyle in a city like New York and a society like ours today can be, it is tangible. It takes passion and discipline but it is not as difficult as we think. I have so much respect for their craft.
Some extras from my personal series "The Order of Chaos" that studies the scale of humans in the urban scape. They were shot on the same day in Redhook area of Brooklyn along side the East River undergoing transformations.