New Antiques
Wednesday May 31st 2006, 5:14 am
Filed under: advertising & marketing

When I see retrolicious plastic chairs, they DO seem like antiques to me, but I come from the fairly newish North America. This is the kind of shop that would fit perfectly on Queen Street West in Toronto I think.

When you see the word, “Antiquités” in France, that usually means antiques. I mean, REAL antiques that are hundreds of years old. Furniture that old is the reason antique dealers in the U.S. come to Europe; Europe’s where you’ll find mega old stuff! Maybe “antiques” in the typical sense of the word in France is now totally passé. Tired. The new hot in the world of antiques à la française, particularly at this one shop, is vintage 60s & 70s. Will French people start sporting large lapels and shagtastic Austin Powersesque 8-button orange shirts? Or will they just want to try to get his teeth down to a T? Ouais, bébé!



Footie Fans in France
Tuesday May 30th 2006, 7:15 am
Filed under: people,sports,tv and movies

French television is digging deep into its archives looking for all things football (soccer to us Yanks), gearing up for the Coupe du Monde (World Cup), so there’s been a lot of soccer-related programs and movies lately. A few days ago, they showed a fascinating documentary about the trials and tribulations of the Palestinian team, actually made up of players from all over the world; there was a guy from New York and several footballers from as far away as Chile, all representing the Palestinian National team. Though living in other countries, all had roots planted firmly in Palestine. The Palestinian players living in the West Bank and Gaza strip had problems of their own and were delayed a few weeks from getting to their training in Egypt because Israeli forces only randomly opens the border allowing people to leave as well as enter. After several attempts, they finally got through but only 10 days before their qualifying match in Qatar against Uzbekistan. Anyway, they suffered several problems due to language issues, place of residency (and difficult governments and regulations) and general logistics mishaps. Most teams never have to deal with half of these problems because they are not from countries under occupation. [See a trailer here]

On a lighter note, they showed Shaolin Soccer on Arte TV, which is a must-see, hilariously clever feel-good football movie. I can’t help but wonder how much I missed because I had to watch it in dubbed French. I don’t understand much Mandarin but I’m sure it was even better in its original language. Still, I loved it.

Speaking of Arte TV and Football, there’s a 5-part documentary that started yesterday (and continues over the next 4 days) called, L’Académie du Foot (Football Academy) that follows the lives of 4 young players (Pacho, Vincent, Fréjus and Dimitri) in their last year of training at the largest football school in France, FC Nantes, where less than 10 percent of the players will actually get to sign professional contracts at the end of their training. The doc includes commentary from four of the French World Cup champions ’98: Zinedine Zidane, Lilian Thuram, Didier Deschamps and Marcel Desailly.
stamps soccer france
Well. I’d originally planned to make this post about these new soccer stamps but I guess I got distracted along the way. These stamps from the French Post Office have just been released. [Read more about them and/or buy them online] (in French).

Related: Computer Football Game

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Lulu Lundi* Memorial Day
Monday May 29th 2006, 8:05 am
Filed under: events,lulu/dogs/cats

cemetary and lulu
Today’s Memorial Day, a day to remember the sacrifices of American veterans. Btw, the French Memorial/Veterans/Armistice Days are May 8 (for WWII), and November 11 (for WWI).

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Cheese Festival Rocamadour, France
Monday May 29th 2006, 7:42 am
Filed under: events,food and drinks,travel and places

Every year, the village of Rocamadour hosts the largest cheese festival in the south of France. Rocamadour is located in the southwest, just north of the city of Toulouse.

The festival will feature cheeses made by 40 producers from 15 regions in the south (15 producers of goat cheese, 15 producers of cheese made with sheep milk and 10 producers that make cheese from cow milk) and you’ll be able to sample and purchase pungent (ok, smelly, gooey, runny) cheeses from the open market (Saturday from 3pm to 7pm and Sunday from 10am to7pm). Just kidding, not all French cheeses stink – or run.

The festival is a step back in time to more basic French traditions, and a perfect getaway from city chaos and polllution. In addition to the cheese market, there’ll be a cheese competition, bbq, music and a dinner and dance with a “band” called Les Milandes. They say dinner is a, Menu Querçynois, which means regional fare from Le Quercy, and that smells like beans, probably in the form of cassoulet. (I’m not sure about this, however.) Actually, the dinner thing sounds like it’s for the older (much older) local crowd but if you’re adventurous, knock yourself out. It could be fun. Dinner begins at 8:30pm and costs 23 € (8 € for under 12 years); local wine (vin de Cahors) and coffee is included in the price.

Between 4pm and 5pm on Saturday, a herd of goats will be moved from the valley to Causse, so that might be Little House on the Prairie moment with lots of photo ops. This particular area’s regional specialities include goat cheeses, fois gras, pâtés truffés (truffle pâté), confits et magrets of duck and goose, roquefort cheese and lamb. Visit the local farms to grab some regional food while exploring the surrounding countryside because most of the farms sell directly to the public.

While you’re in Rocamadour, you might want to check out their famous grottes (caves). [Click here for more information on the caves of Rocamadour]

XVIIème Fête des Fromages / 17th Festival of the Cheeses
46500 Rocamadour, France
June 3 & 4, 2006 Pentecôte (Pentecost weekend)
Admission: Free
Telephone: 05 65 33 67 81 ou 06 83 42 38 46 (for dinner reservations)

For more information: Rocamadour (in French)



The French Tooth Fairy Mouse
Saturday May 27th 2006, 7:57 am
Filed under: cultural differences,daily life,tv and movies

In the U.S. there’s the Tooth Fairy, the magical elfin philanthropist that comes late at night to give some ka-ching to little kids in exchange for a tooth left under a pillow.

In France: same principle, different character. The French version is “La petite souris” (the little mouse), which comes to take your dents de lait (baby teeth) and slips you a euro or so.

This 3-minute video is a beautiful 3D-animated short called, “Opération Quenotte” (Operation Tooth) featuring the French Tooth Fairy, an adorable mouse on a tooth mission. En route, he runs into some inconveniences… (click on the photo to watch the video)

Dir: P.G. Stehr; Story Writer: E.Pisler; 3D Artists: D.Arnould, P.Billion, J.Bonnard, J.Delchiappo, D.Gautron, Y.Giaume, P.L.Hamon, A.Heboyan, M.Leffad, E.Letourneur, N.Lorvo, Y.Pelladeaud; Music: Barth; Editor: R.Hyder

[via bibi's box]

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