A new book, “The Art of Wandering the Streets of Paris” by Federico Castigliano trails my own Paris wanderings in the 1980’s as a student at The Eurocentre de Paris. The courses focused on the French language, and we spoke and read as much as we could every day. We dealt with daily newspapers, music, expeditions, haircuts, cinemas, theatres, city bus routes, searching for antique photographs, visiting museums, Metro transit, exchanging ideas, spelling en français etc. Most important for me was exploring the City of Paris, and the book is perfect. Federico Castigliano followed the same routes I followed in person almost every day. Indeed I became a Flâneur myself and best of all I got to live in the Hotel Parisiana for three months, near the Gare de l’Est with hot water running (rare for many students) and the Eurocentre was within walking distance, not far from Pont Neuf. A few months later I returned to Paris and was living with a friend of a friend in a small room. Not quite the same but a fine neighbourhood – Montparnasse – and I exchanged ideas with the German lady who rented the room and gave me some instructions on what to see in the city. She handed me a detailed city bus book. Some of those routes revealed Paris’ outstanding features without any cost. <Below – the cover of ‘Flaneur’, which I can tell you now is well-worth reading. I read it every day until it was finished. You only have to find it.>
Both KYIV (legally mandated by the Ukrainian government in 1995,) and KIEV (this new name only started a few years ago when the Ukrainian government mounted secure international approval for its capital). Either name appears to be for a fine city. Unfortunately either one may also be headquarters for the biggest urban battle in over 80 years. KYIV covers 325 square miles and is divided by a broad river. It has about 500,000 structures – factories, ornate churches and high-rise apartments – many on narrow, winding streets. Roughly 2-million people remain after extensive evacuations of women and children. KYIV is backed by columns of tanks, armored vehicles and artillery. It remains the biggest prize of all for the Russian military. Negotiations over a cease-fire are continuing, and a long, heated battle is not inevitable. The fight for KIEV looms as a long, fierce conflict. <By Andrew E. Kramer, New York Sunday Times.>
From DEAN LISK – Special to The Star – Learn about traditional French-Canadian and Indigenous cultures while Wheels takes a road trip through the province learning more about the people, culture and history of Ontario’s eastern neighbour. We’re leaving for the provincial capital, where you can stand in a place that hasn’t changed in hundreds of years. As you see below this capital can spread like any other major Canadian city. So, what to do in Quebec City and the Eastern Townships? – #1) Breakfast at the Grand Hotel Sherbrooke. Follow the Chemins des Cantons, the heritage route to the town of Eaton Corner. #2) Head for Lennoxville and Brûlerie Faro for coffee. Then keep driving to Cookshire-Eaton, named after John Cook, a Loyalist who settled the area in 1795, home to the first school built in The Eastern Townships. Afternoon – #3) After lunch follow roads and go for routes 116 and 162 to Autoroute 29 – The Trans-Canada Highway, go northeast to Quebec City, about a 2-hour drive.
Enjoy dinner at The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. It’s a very photographic building, home to Sam Bistro – and the Champlain Restaurant. Next morning in Quebec City – #4) continental style breakfast at des Augustines. Be sure to visit the museum which chronicles the story of the Augustinian Sisters; #5) – In the afternoon go to the lower section of the Old City for lunch at Le Don, fully vegan; take a short walk to where you can take in the Hôtel – Musée Premières Nations (the People of Quebec), with more than 375 artifacts & documents, plus insight into cultures of the province – recounting the history of the Huron-Wendat people. Millions of Canadians and Americans can trace family histories of the early settlers of New France, so they can trace their Family Trees. Vieux-Quebec is a perfect place to begin searching.
First-off you need to know about COVID-19. “Consult the provincial website for most up-to-date information, and contact individual businesses to confirm how they’re currently operating.” From Dean Lisk – Special to the Toronto Star – “Wheels take a road trip through Montreal <and the efficient Metro> learning more about the people, culture and history of Ontario’s eastern neighbour.” This week we’re exploring Montréal. In the morning, grab some bagels from iconic spots like the famous St. Viateur Bagel Shop (since 1957) . <Photo – Sesame the Bagel holds court on the streets of Montreal as the mascot of St. Viateur Bagel.> After Sesame why not head to Mont Royal Park and its iconic Catholic cross. <Photo from The Gazette> Head inside the Biodome in Montréal’s Olympic Park. Walking through the expansive building you’ll encounter plants and animals from North and South America, including a tropical rainforest with penguins from Antarctica, and the Laurentian Forest. In the Afternoon – bread, pastries, cheeses and coffee at one of the city markets such as the Jean Talon Market in Little Italy, or The Atwater close to the Lachine Canal. If you want to learn more about the markets Spade and Palacio offers ‘Beyond the Market Walking Tour’ starting in May, and a 2-hour ‘Mural Art Tour’ including 20 massive works from 2-9 storeys high. In the evening – take one of the climate control gondolas at the Grande Roue de Montréal. (This is a Ferris wheel built at the Old Port of Montreal for festivities on the 375th anniversary of the city.) Located in the Old Port the wheel soars 60-metres high, offering one-of-a-kind views of the city and St. Lawrence River.
From Dean Lisk – Special to The Toronto Star – “In this series Wheels takes a road trip to Quebec learning more about the people, culture and history of Ontario’s “eastern neighbour”. La Belle Province is “Ours’ to Discover” this winter and beyond.” Starting off on the first day – Take Highway #401 , then turn north onto Highway #416. Cross the Ottawa River from the Nation’s Capital to reach Gatineau. In the Afternoon – Head for the Canadian Museum of History which chronicles the story of what we now call CANADA. The lower level is dedicated to Indigenous culture – totem poles, and the Spirit of Haida Gwaii sculpture by Haida artist Bill Reid. The third and fourth floors take you to modern Canada – the formation of ‘New France’, ‘Expo 67’, The October Crisis, and Meech Lake Accord. Leaving Gatineau, drive north along Route #5 to WAKEFIELD.
Jessica Huras is working on a series of daytrips and longer drives highlighting experiences you can have in Ontario, and show you why it’s ‘Our’s to Discover’. Windsor is first on the list. These are ten specials beginning with 1) The Ambassador Bridge; 2) The Windsor Sculpture Park; 3) Armando’s Pizza; 4) The Walkerville District; 5) Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery; 6) The Art Gallery of Windsor; 7) Riverfront Trail; 8) Gladstone Commons; 9) The Anchor Coffee House; and 10) the drive back to Toronto.<The top photo above – The Art Gallery of Windsor features more than 4,000 pieces of contemporary art with a focus on Canadian works.>
The Green Alleys Movement has grown quickly since May 22, 2021. A green alleyway is a people-friendly space created by residents to promote social interaction among neighbours and friends.
This morning, while reading, I found a lengthy story on The Big Orange. It says “Los Angeles County holds 10-million people; contains 80 cities; about 3 times the population of Connecticut; is spread out over 4,000-plus square miles; <Photo – City of Los Angeles, population of the City alone is 3,983,540> ; more cars than people overall; and there’s a whole lot more.
From the Paris Dispatch – ‘Europe’s New Cycling Capital, or a Pedestrian’s Nightmare?’ Politicians (as in Toronto) want to make cycling cities, but the Parisians aren’t following any rules, and street crossings can be risky. <The photo above> “On a recent afternoon, the Rue de Rivoli looked like this: cyclists blowing through red lights in two directions. Delivery bike riders fixating on their cell phones. Electric scooters careening across lanes, Jay walkers and nervous pedestrians scrambling as if in a video game. Paris (population 10-million) now ranks among the world’s top 10 cycling cities.” Copenhagen is the model Paris aspires to.