home thoughts from abroad

Home thoughts from abroad is a new series on Travel Words featuring a single photograph(s) that reminds me of a country visited and showing something that uniquely identifies it as being ‘abroad’.

La Pagode

Wandering around the 7th arrondissement of Paris I stumbled across this unusual building partially hidden by bamboos and wisteria.  The director of the department store Bon Marché had it constructed  as a gift for his wife in 1896. La Pagode became a cinema in 1931 and has played a big part in presenting cutting edge French cinema to the public. Jean Cocteau held the premiere of Testament d’Orphée here in 1959 and La Pagode Cinema played an important part in promoting the films of Ingmar Bergman and Sergei Eisenstein in France. Now it shows Art-house, foreign, cult and independent new releases. It is not uncommon for the cinema to hold retrospectives for directors such as Woody Allen and Alfred Hitchcock.

There is a tea house where you can grab a cuppa and chew over the fat in the rather small, but very pretty Japanese garden where you can get a glimpse of La Pagode and the beautiful details of colourful painted flowers,  carved dragons, flowers and birds in jade or ivory and large stained glass windows with geometric panes. It sounds as if it could be quite kitsch, but in reality it is an impressive building. I did not go inside, but apparently it is equally surprising.

I only hope that someone carries out some repairs on this extraordinary building, so that it is not lost.

Located on 57 bis, Rue de Babylon

Thursday’s Special: Mirroring

The Jardin du Palais Royal, Paris, France

mirror

This elegant urban space is fronted by the neoclassical Palais Royal (closed to the public), constructed in 1633 by Cardinal Richelieu but mostly dating to the late 18th century. Louis XIV hung out here in the 1640s; today it is home to the Conseil d’État .

See more mirroring over at Paula’s site

Paris in Springtime

Paula’s black and white Sunday this week is delicate. Now my selected image may not conjure up fine craftsmanship or intricate textures, but I am aiming for a sense of elegance and grace with these lovely trees providing an intimate framework for the pleasures of Parisians enjoying the spring air.

le jardin de plantes b&w

Lovers sitting on a bench, a child playing, families strolling through le Jardin des Plantes, the main botanical garden in France which lies in the 5th arrondissement of Paris on the left bank of the Seine. This photo reminds me of the sort of picture we used to study at school during our French lessons in order to learn the vocabulary and practice speaking. So many details to find.

Contre-jour

Contre-jour

produces backlighting of the subject. This effect usually hides details, causes a stronger contrast between light and dark, creates silhouettes and emphasizes lines and shapes. The sun, or other light source, is often seen as either a bright spot or as a strong glare behind the subject.

Entrance to the Pyramid - Louvre a