dimanche 27 novembre 2011

Hey Charming

I really didn't know what to write but today just couldn't do without a post. Why? some may wonder. Others may already know that our dear friend and faithful reader of this blog, Bu, turned 20 just today. Being as she is an old friend of mine, the one friend that I've known the longest indeed, I thereby feel like I should honour this hell of a friend I'm so lucky to know and have the priviledge to share time and good and not-so-good moments with, but basically good moments since she is the kind of person that knows how to turn lousy moments and draw a smile in other's faces with her particular and odd sense of humour and fine irony.

I'll stop with all the flattering for she's smart enough to know how amazing she is (and way smarter in fact) and I don't want to spoil the experience of getting to know her by oneself to those who don't know her yet. 

So without further ado: HAPPY BIRTHDAY BU!  I hope you enjoy the good life (you know what I mean, well she knows what I mean) and keep working hard in your fashion project and don't get strung up by beating traffic lights!

mercredi 9 novembre 2011

Walking down freedom land!

And finally I found my way to Zuccotti Park at the heart of the Financial District in lower Manhattan, N.Y. I couldn't have picked up a more perfect time to go than this past Sunday sixth of November. It was the day of the Marathon, a sunny one, blue skies, not hot at all but not too cold either.

I did go not only because it was a promise I publicly said I'd fulfill, but for the expectations, the whole curiosity that this new social phenomena had generated in the media and the general public with this thing of Occupying Wall Street.

Occupy has suddenly become one of the most famous words of the planet and for sure is one of the more used in the past couple of months. People now are occupying everything: my life, my heart, my home, my ... you name it, and the proposal has just been made.

I also wanted to go, because of Roberta, who is one of the members of the new book club I recently joined in. She's been in the Park three times already and she kept on telling us how being there was like entering another world... For someone who has lived enough and has presumably traveled a lot, those words had some very different meaning.

And she was right. The minute you arrive you notice change is in the air..

This doesn't seem like reality anymore. It's surrealism in the middle of all the concrete, the skyscrapers, the symbolism of capitalism where these people proclaim themselves they are part of the 99%, defying with bold statements the establishment and demanding at the same time things need to be changed...

                                                                   What a crowd!

For better or worse, idealism is not dead yet. These individuals are there to prove it... they have abandoned the comfort of their houses just to defend moral ideals of how things should be instead of how they are...


You can use the trip to the park anyway you want. It's up to you to decide. You can see it as a picnic where you can get free food, free coffee, free books, a lot of fun, entertaining, music, all forms of art and even free sex advise....

Who said that believing in ideals, fighting for a cause or trying to change the world had to be necessarily boring, insipid or distasteful? Obviously who might have thought that had not been in Zuccotti Park recently and much less had thought about such a strong movement like the one who has shaken New York, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Seattle, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and countless other cities and people around the world....

mardi 1 novembre 2011

Occupy The Bridge

I was supposed to Occupy Wall Street this past weekend. Well, not exactly! I lack the enthusiasm these people seem to have for doing something like that! But I like what they do, and I had decided to write a post for The Bridge about what was really happening there, so close to the financial district in Manhattan, NY.

I even told a couple of friends that I wanted to express my view about what was going on in Zuccotti Park where the occupiers have established their headquarters. I wanted to bring my camera and take photos of everything including this servant, in the park, with the demonstrators. One of the reasons to tell them what my plans were, was to feel myself more committed and engaged with the (cause) task.

One of my friends got inspired and responded very graphically with words of encouragement.

And I let her down. I disappointed her and others, because I didn't go anywhere. I stayed at home instead, watching the weird and early snow, snow and rain, copiously and relentlessly falling from the sky. I also disappointed myself because I promised something that I didn't accomplished. Today, I feel ashamed and guilty because I preferred to stay in shorts at home, cozy and warm, watching movies, drinking tea and coffee while those guys were out there in tents, enduring the cold and rough weather the best they could.

A friend of mine told me the night before the police went with FDNY personnel (fire department) to remove all the generators the protesters were using to power their laptops and fight the cold... Meanwhile I was sleeping in my bed very well cushioned and detached from the discomforts those brave guys were facing, daring to sleep outdoors just to bring awareness of the inequalities that are plaguing our modern world.

But, I promise my friends that I'll try again not one but two, three or more times if necessary to get the job done. In the meantime there's one thing that I can do at the very least and that is: Occupy This Bridge (#OTB).

lundi 10 octobre 2011

San Sebastian Film Festival 2011

59th edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival glamoured, as it always does, the citizens of the small but charming city with amazing films and exclusive events from 16th September to 24th. As some of you, readers, may know I sort of took part in the festival as part of the youth jury, which can be translated as 3 films a day, some of which you may not like or even end up hating, none of your choice. It’s been almost a month already –I know, I'm dreadful, keeping you up to date- and I still haven’t come back to normal, maybe the ‘damage’ is permanent! The lousy part is that everybody is asking me to tell the experience and I really don’t know what else to say, and how else to say it. Hence why it’s taken me so long to write about this amazing experience in The Bridge, I wasn’t really feeling like finding another view to it. But The Bridge is worth the effort.

From all of the films I’ve had to watch I would recommend Take this Waltz, Silver Tongues and Wild Bill. I recommended many more in my blog but I’m not sure if some can be found in English. Anyhow, these 3 are the ones whose flashing lights still haven’t gone out of my head after all this time. In spite of all films being made by new directors, from where I was standing, they were worthy of being compared to the best. A film that I didn’t have the chance to watch was The Artist, but if I were you I would find a way to see it. I surely will.

Even if it is a Film Festival (‘film’ before ‘festival’), the atmosphere on the streets is more about ‘festival ‘ than about ‘films’, with the exception of the cinema lovers, actors, directors, producers,… that walk around the city.

During this intense week celebrity-hunting seems to be the official sport, the prize? Autographs, photos, kisses from celebrities, and the pride of being able to say that one saw this or that celebrity.
Dress code: be up to the red carpet, grown-ups try to wear their best clothes (often ridiculously when it comes to elderly people, especially women who think that some director will offer them a job in Hollywood, and I’m not making it up, true story); on the other hand, youngsters try to develop their “alternative” (don’t forget the quotation marks) look and try to be “original” (quotation marks…) and cool (quotation marks, please! And then there’s me looking like a hobo with all the clothes that my university’s dress code doesn’t allow me to wear).

All in all, it was a terrific experience and I will repeat next year if possible.

vendredi 30 septembre 2011

N Night

I've been looking for ways to express that happy feeling i've got about the long awaited and praised N-Night.

I found the way, but i needed to find a place where that happy feeling would show.

I choose the Bridge to host it, because it is the Bridge that's been suffering the most from my night job. It was only fair that it would be the first witness...

mercredi 28 septembre 2011

The Heavenly Anarchy of Exorcisms

*rubbing her hands in a positively insane way*

I told no one, not a single soul knows that i am (all hail the convenientness of neologisms) bridgifying right now . Nothing has been decided or planned between Grace, Fernando and i, hence it cannot be 'my turn', especially since i am the one who left the last post.
Tonight, i am bursting with the indomitable energy of those who can smell freedom approaching an it is making me very nervous! Nervous enough to put aside every notion of order or Bridge discipline, or anything that could delay or slow down the process of exorcism i am about to go through.

A few minutes ago, i was out of the hotel for a couple of sidewalk lenghts and a sip of tea from my Starbucks thermos, i looked at the building's front door, attempted to hide that mad smile that was speading all over my face and headed back inside to find once more my way through the 'blogger.com/dashboard/new post' routine that has been bringing so much apprehension and joy into both my real and virtual lives until today. What about the Cheshire Cat smile? You will understand

(almost inspiring, is it not??!)

I've been wanting to write this post since The Bridge was born, a post in which i would be depicting an average night at work. More than once, i started taking pictures of every little thing that has been furnishing my nights for the last three years. More than once, i've been downloading from my camera to the computer pictures of piles of towels just cleaned, almost empty ersatzic* coffee cups, rows of frozen mini-croissants freshly baked. Sometimes as well, pictures from leaking bathtub pipes, dead bulbs, broken chairs, dusty and mute air-conditioners, torn hairdryers' cables. A few of the pictures eventually ended up on the internet, Facebook or even here, but most of the time it got up to my throat just how pathetic they were and i would delete them without further ado, ashamed of the terrible truth they were actually revealing: ---> Sweetie, this is your real job. You ARE the official and main night receptionist of a hotel that's falling apart. You hate being ignored by french clients and foreigners alike and yet you are, you hate not being thanked for the constant effort you make not to look exasperated when forced to face a grumpy little person unable to say 'hello' let alone vocalise the digits of a damn room number in an understandable known language, and yet you're not. You hate giving that fake apologetic glance of an innocent and stupid girl unable to change a fuse (and yet you do) when told that the air conditioner is not working, because you have to hide the fact that you and your manager are perfectly aware that the whole system is out of order but still have to give your client hope that everything will be fixed the next morning, knowing too well it wont, and consequently you hate it when you have to say 'i'm sorry i don't know how to fix it' trying to convey 'i'm just a helpless turkey paid to hand over keys, don't ask too much of me, i've only just managed to learn figures from one to ski...sorry: six! you'll have to wait for my strong male colleague to come and rescue you tomorrow morning' and yet you must; and you hate it even more when that tall russian bimbo or the fat italian macho suddenly looks at you with those unbearable understanding eyes you would have loved to discover one second before they turned into meaning 'oh yeah, indeed young turkey-maid, just give me my key then, and off you go' and yet, you let them condescend to you.

...But tonight is a new night, tonight is the night i bring the pictures to the open. And why that?
Because of this:

Tonight is N-2, and N-2 is almost over: it is 3 a.m. and there are four more hours to go before i can overcome that disfiguring smile to shout 'last night was my last Tuesday night at work!'
Soon, there will be no more.

Yes, it is true that soon they will also be no more free tumble dryer, photocopy, milk, mini cheese and cereal packs, tape, printer, san-pellegrino, screwdrivers, bin bags, sheets, paper tissues, compressed powdered bleach, forks, towels and sponge mats, but the long and unexhaustive list of things that i will NOT miss is far more impressive:

- no more night work
- no more exhaustion
- no more late night plumbing
- no more feeling like i might as well be transparent, robotic or dead as long as i provide a room-key
- no more saying 'yes, of course' when i really mean '*quiet but firm rude hand gesture*'
- no more putting on three pounds per night because of mini-babybel, bread, fat yoghurts, powdered hot chocolate, coco pops and microwaved emmental on toast.
- no more smelling like baked croissants

- no more missed week days concerts
- no more feeling like my brain is a dry vegetable forgotten on a sidewalk after a market day
- no more forced multilingual learning of rude words
- no more being the target of the rude words previously mentioned
- no more insinuations that as a french girl behind the front desk i might also be a prostitute or well provided in girl-friends all eager to spend the night with three married men whose wives and kids wait in the room next door
- no more towels to fold

- no more slaughtered English
- no more suspiciously dirty towels that i have to accompany to the washing machine.
- no more believing that a night at work could be used for a drawing or writing a text
- no more forgetting every day how uninspiring and encline to procrastination the whole place is
- no more nutters to endure, no more hearing them knocking, banging, scratching, kicking on the glass sliding locked doors, before eventually realising that 'oh dear! there's a doorbell!'

can it really be missed? mh?

- ...well you got my point: no more hotel.

The energy is slowly vanishing as i am gradually remembering that The Bridge was not at all designed for exorcisms. My part of The Bridge is initially about sharing the beauties of Paris, of France, about cheese and wine, about concerts, exhibitions and cafés.
But we might see this the other way round: from my angle, i decide to make it look like i, from now on, will have much more time to enjoy Paris by night and share it with you...

...and now i feel better.

How extremely...funny would it be that N-1 or N Night could bring a nostalgy tour in their trail...

mercredi 21 septembre 2011

Un café à trois : A lazy girl's diary

Thursday, September 22nd

Today's contribution to The Bridge will be a mess, not in its contents (at least i hope so), but in its shape, because i started filling my Moleskine a few days before my turn and kept writing in it until today, getting more scared with every line by the amount of typing that would be waiting for me in the end. I would have been capable of going on that lazy way, unable to take the bull by the horns, had i not decided this morning to promise a post for tonight.
Here it is.

Saturday, September 10th, 12 a.m.

- This sudden craving for a Bridge moment deserves to be crowned by the creation of a new word.
I name thee, Bridge urge, a Process of Bridgification. Starting from this very instant, it will become possible to Bridgify (the act of Bridgifying), to Bridgify (turn a moment or a location into a Bridge topic), to be Bridgified, to be caught Bridgifying. -

It feels good, now. Even if it is not my turn, i have decided not to wait any longer to have this café à 3 alone. It is funny, how the process of writing works, because if i wanted to be precise and use tenses cleverly, i would rather say that i am deciding it right now. Anyway. Grammar carefully left on the side, i switch back to the main course.

You can say it is 'the place' you want to bridgify when you find 'it' randomly and instantly think that you would have to come back here when you'll be alone, have some time to lose and be equipped with your Moleskine in a pocket. But as it usually ends up in quickly writing the address on a piece of paper torn from a table mat, tuck it in a pocket and let the washing machine take care of its destiny, it tends to bring nothing, no post at all.
But today, i happen to be fortunate enough to be in possession of both Time and Moleskine and decide to turn the latter into an ink-witness for the progression of the first.

All is well that starts well, and the best way to start is almost always a description of the surroundings.

On the ceiling, separating alveolar areas thouroughly vented by hyperactive fans, ranges of fake red wine bottles are held on suspended shelves, each and every of them labelled with the same '2o1o Bouquet!' mention. Instead of red, it is fake white wine that is filling every twentieth bottle, lit from underneath (or behind, it is hard to say from where i am) by powerful bulbs. This particular uncommon way to gloomily lighten the room would have been sufficient to bring me here, but what i spotted first and which decided me to sit in this brasserie and nowhere else was the display of the tables, round, large and comfortable-looking leather couches around them, and on top of everything, the old-fashioned articulated desk lamps scattered throughout the place.
The view of these lamps suddenly reminds me why i was looking for a seat in a café in the first place: i came here to start sketching the dozen illustrations i promised to my sister-in-law for her new website. So much for the drawings: frantic Bridgifying cannot wait nor be held inside.

At the table right next to me, a woman has the neck bent low on a book filled with crosswords grids that she has been solving without the shortest break for the past twenty minutes, maybe even more. I realise that i have been watching her for more than five minutes as intensely as if she had been manufacturing a very fine piece of jewelry. The velocity of her ball-point pen is beyond human writing skills and she seems to be as absorbed by her activity as i am. I risk taking a picture because she will doubtlessly not notice me (and indeed, no the slightest sign of a reaction, despite the loud 'hey!-i'm-taking-a-picture-of-you-look-look!' click of my camera). The waiter on the other hand is looking at me, amused by the scene. I throw him an apologetic half-smile and resume with my writing after a long sip of my 'Coca Zero'. I would love to shake the woman's shoulder, not as much to disturb her as to check whether she is human or if she is the last prototype of a crossword-bot.

3 p.m.
Surprise surprise! (Or no surprise at all, as i was actually waiting for her) i was joined by Elodie for lunch, which allows me to add a second location to this post, as i moved to another drinkwell, th Pick-Clops, an american-retro-looking bar located in the 4th Arrondissement where they manufacture dream bagels. I did not come here for the bagels though, i came here because i was hot, thirsty, and because i knew i would find there what i was craving for: a nice squeezed lemon and a clean table on which to keep writing (and eventually start drawing). I actually found more that i was praying for: a dark haired woman, sitting in front of me accross the bar, using her left hand to write in a black notebook and drinking a squeezed lemon. I could swear that she is the 'through-the-looking-glass' version of me. There is no doubt about the fact that, had i the opportunity to spy on the contents of her notebook, i would discover her through-the-looking-glass version of The Bridge, linking South-America, Sweden and France, (-logically, but not ideo-, based simply on the fact that she is in France right now and not on the chauvinist thought that good Bridges can only be partly set on a French shore). The sight of her, or rather the knowledge of her presence over the looking-glass, as i don't directly look at her but try to focus on my own writings, will keep my mind busy for a while. The pair of us in a place like this on a sunny Saturday afternoon, in the most animated area of the city, in the glorious company of four sqeezed lemons in each glass and a notebook, this is priceless!

Le Pick Clops is the dreamland of those who fancy the smell of fresh pop-corn as much as the thought to have slipped into another time zone. The classic 'mojito' and other standards on the menu are a bit of a give-away that it really is the twenty-first century in Paris, but apart from that, bright-coloured tables and chairs, pink neon tubes on the walls, turquoise blue bathroom and mosaic pilars, iron-clad high stools around the counter, retro movie posters, almost everything is made to plunge the customer into the Grand American Sixties. Doughnuts would make the perfect picture but (and it is a mystery) they have not been adopted yet.
And it is with the quite touching vanishing mental picture of a plump cinnamon doughnut with dark chocolate icing that i decide, out of sheer frustration, to stop the contemplation of the bar and pull my drawing sketchbook out of my cotton bag.

Sunday 18th

Sunday, gloomy Sunday.

Heaven knows why i want to write about today. Possibly because of that suspicious habit of mine to be very serious about a certain dark topic, maybe because i have had a very unpleasant revelation about the very same topic that shook an entire part of my education, of my culture and of my sensibility. No matter the reason, i feel like it should be Bridgified, because it is directly linked to the History of Paris and after all, The Bridge is also about History.

Today, Elodie and i answered to Erwann's invitation to accompany him to work (n.b.: he's a journalist) in Drancy, for the commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of the internment camp that stood in this small town of the suburban crown.

To quickly summarise the thing, the camp of Drancy is known for having been the most active internment platform of occupied France, through which transited thousands of prisoners from the whole country (including a large amount of small children) before they were sent 'to the East' under Nazi authority - but by French hands.

No need to give that many more details about the afternoon to explain why i got out of it a bit shaken. What is interesting on the contrary is the explanation i came up with after a few hours of deep reflexion and which proved to be far more disturbing.
I've been reading about deportation and concentration camps since i was a child, novels, documents and testimonies, i've visited Dachau and the Struthof-Natzweiler camp, i've been talking to eye witnesses and survivors, i've had nightmares, i've been watching documentary films and fictions for years (almost two decades) and despite all this i found myself almost cold when the mayor of Drancy gave his speech, in his thick and simple man-next-door's voice. No emotion, no feeling but one of puzzleness, as if all of a sudden, the tragedy of extermination camps had turned vulgar, as if i had been caught in a violent state of misanthropy.
The square was very windy (but not in that poetical way i worship so much). Everyone was here rabbi, police officers, choir girls, grandchildren of victims, but they were all blank, talking about another time, another world they knew nothing about, or at least it felt like that. It felt like they were on a stage and their words, prayers and songs were empty, factice, meanwhile i was listening to them only thinking how boring and dull the whole human race was. Shameful misanthropic thought, very unusual in my head.

But something odd happened then:
I was shivering and shaking under the assaults of both the wind and the global nonsense of the scene, when a man put his palm on my shoulder. I turned to face him. He was wearing a long tan coat on which was pinned a label claiming that he belonged to the Jewish community of survivor's children. He looked at me and, designating his own collar, simply asked if i wanted him to lend me his coat. Out of the whole freezing assembly, i, the only tall, blond and blue-eyed girl, i was the one who got offered a coat by the most anachronic man i had ever met. For a moment i thought i was facing the ghost of a man from the forties. Simply looking at him made the dimmer of the afternoon switch to another setting. The speech was now touching, normal random people surrounding me were no longer random at all but unique and precious, the way they looked at each other was that specific vernacular way of those who have a common fabric, and the offer from that man was highly symbolic and moving. I declined politely, but i was shaken.

All this to say that after thinking back a while, i started to feel uneasy and the feeling has not left me since. I feel uneasy because i suspect myself of having a fictionalized vision of the second world war's deportations and of being unable to link it to reality, to the human lives it directly concerned, to the tangible human flesh and to the most precious daily existence of these victims, which would make me almost as dangerous as those who believe that all this belongs to the past and has to be forgotten to move on.

That was a very gloomy Sunday indeed and it took me a while to pinpoint that knot.

Thursday, September 22nd

I cannot post this as it is: it looks like a teenager's diary and i am not entirely certain whether The Bridge can be that or should rather not.

Tomorrow, Elodie and i will be spending the day in Disneyland. Maybe i could bring back something that could lighten the post a bit?

Friday, September 23rd

I found what i was looking for:

especially dedicated to those who usually get lost in the maze.

mardi 13 septembre 2011

Un Café à Trois v.San Sebastián

It is really a relief to be alone at last, since it's the first moment I have for myself in the whole day. In fact, I am not alone and don't feel lonely at all, The Bridge is not something we set out for on owr own and I am honoured to set out on this amazing trip with even more amazing people, who are not in flesh and blood here but in some way I came here to be with them.And where is here? one may wonder. Spain. San Sebastian. Molly Malone -irish pub named after the fishmonger-slash-prostitute-slash-irish heroine for passing on syphilis to a considerably big part of the english troops in the ways we all know...-.

It is a new occasion but i must admit that the place is not new for me, but I chose it because the times when I've been here were always before partying, so this place holds for me this feeling of something fun happening afterwards. And I realised that I had never been to this place in the daylight. Hence why at 19:52 I went through the pub's first door into the small hall, deep breath and through the second door into the empty pub with the usual dim light. For a minute there I lost myself, I lost myself, Karma Police by Radiohead is playing at the moment which perfectly fits the dingy and obscure atmosphere.It takes quite long for me to decide where to sit, the place is so damn empty that for an indecisive mind like mine it is really difficult to choose. My final choice seems to have been done pretty much at random but I soon realise that it is just the place a person like me would chose -I'm too obvious-: in a corner, where not many people can notice me, next to the window so that I can see what goes on outside but in a way that the people in the street cannot see me, with my back to everyone else in the pub, writing in a notebook, apparently absorved in my own world -i guess the only thing missing is a banner explicitly saying "don't talk to me"-. I order a coffee because even if Fernando says that we're allowed to cheat in The Bridge, I'm the new one here so I'm playing "the good girl" (at least for the first days).

Molly Malone, San Martín St., SS
It may seem meaningless to the people who are reading this -and it might have been meaningless to me before joining this project- but I guess that Sophie and Fernando understand this sudden flood of excitement that one can get from just a pencil, a notebook and a drink. Right now I feel like a different person inside my own skin, I've got this feeling of agitation -and it's not just from the caffeine- that gives me this impulse of writing non-stop. It is such an odd sensation that I remember this morning as if it were a different day when I was scared as well as excited about this moment, thinking that I wasn't going to be able to come up with something to write about.

Still, while writing this -unfortunately or maybe fortunately I cannot write as fast as I think-, I got thinking about routine and how this is a escape from it, it is a quite regular topic in my thinking, because I find it absolutely necesary and at the same time nonsense. We plan our whole lives to have a future, building day by day what we want our future to be, but we really don't know if there will be a future, a tomorrow, for as far as we know every day could be our last. Anyhow, we can't live every day as if it were the last because we would have to start over every day from nothing. I personally have this odd love and admiration for routine but specially for breaking it: if there were no routine, we wouldn't be able to break it to make fun or relaxing thins, just as going to a pub, grabbing a coffee and writing just whatever that comes to your mind instead of doing the things you would normally be doing on a Monday Evening.

20:55 I should get going... class tomorrow...

A sip of coffee and good company are worth a thousand words

vendredi 9 septembre 2011

Un Café à Trois v. NY

NY, Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First of all let's put ourselves in prospect: What's going on in NY?

Rain, rain and more is coming its way. This has been the norm for the last few days. With almost unrestrained persistence, water is pouring from the skies day and night, night and day soaking our shoes, bones and everything in between. Of course, it's dampening our spirits too.

We haven't had time to forget the strange hurricane that hit us recently. It didn't affect the city too much but flooded entire towns in our State, the state of New Jersey and all across the region. And not long ago we had an even more rare earthquake that had us shaken long after the few seconds it lasted (well, not me, really: but I'm just the compassionate and supportive type of guy looking for the well-being of others).

However, all that was not sufficient to stop us from choosing a moment to share with our friends. You heard it well, even though I'm in the USA and my friend Sophie is in France and our junior member Grace is in Spain our plan is to share a "coffee" between the three of us celebrating the start of the new season. This time around each and everyone will choose when and where would be better to share an instant of his/her time, and the results will be posted here.

Weird, right? Crazy perhaps! Yes, we're weird people. We like rituals and we believe we prolong our existence not only when we're conscious of ourselves but when we're in the conscience and in the mind of others, other people, dear people like these friends, the ones who are with us day after day, or those who provide us with their company in any possible way, specially those who had become our readers.

But we're not more weird than those who believe in God or The Saints or dead people walking around / in the middle of the living ones. They have never seen, heard him. Nor spoken / chat by any means to him and still they feel his omnipresence. Well, at least we have more than enough proof that can validate the existence of Mademoiselle Sophie and la señorita Grace.

Here, I can't help but become a little philosophical. I wonder, if we exist only when we are in front of people and there's an exchange of glances, there's eye contact between the parts involved or if we could acknowledge the existence of others by other means than the physical ones. Do I exist only on myself or could I exist at the same time in other people's minds and thoughts? I certainly believe that all these possibilities are perfectly valid and coexist and they do not necessarily exclude each other. Just knowing or presuming that a friend have me in his/her thoughts is very comforting and seen posted here is indeed very fulfilling.

So I had the opportunity to start first and I picked today's day, Wednesday the 7th of September. The time? Well, nature is not working with me and I have to wait for the rain to stop. Waiting didn't help and to help create the mood it was not an option to stay home...It's 6:00 in the afternoon (18:00 local time) and I have to decide real quick what I'm going to do because time is running out. After a quick shower (you have to be presentable for your friends even if they're not in blood and flesh with you), I'm craving some Tequila and suddenly there's a bartender who is a friend of mine and works in Agave Azul, a Mexican bar and restaurant in an area of Washington Heights (Upper Manhattan) that is 10 minutes from where I live. That area is mainly populated by Russians, Jews and Dominicans.

Luck is not on my side and the place have been closed. Looks like they're renovating and is going to open with a different name... Rapidly and under the rain I have to revise my options: there's a Japanese restaurant, a Starbucks two blocks on my way back and there's a new place that I haven't seen/been there before. Looks nice from the outside and it's not very crowded. So this is going to be: Saggio, my friends, ...let's drink Tequila in an Italian restaurant!!!. Why not? That's an option they already have in their full bar as a very helpful bartender tells me; she's so attentive, in her high boots, black attire...huh, so tight..She moves, maybe she glides with gracefulness exerting total control of her territory..owning the space is more appropriate. Ahhh!

                                                               Saggio with the Sushi Rest. next door

You know that cheating is allowed in The Bridge. Even if I said we were going to share a coffee it doesn't mean literally that we were going to drink coffee. My friend Sonia who I'm exchanging SMS with, warns me that this is an excuse I'm using to go out and have some drinks. I absolutely agree. We need excuses in our lives to do things that look good to ourselves (do our conscience need the reassurance?).

First glass of tequila on the rocks. The first sip takes place at 8:24 PM local time (20:24). Gosh!, I can't take pictures of the inside of Saggio. I feel some shyness that I can't overcome sitting there in the counter. It has an L shape and I sit in the shorter side of the letter. The main door is behind me. Also four or five guys in high chairs with their backs to the glass walls facing the street share their lively conversation and beers in a high and loud pitch. In front of me there's this girl having a glass ... two glasses of white wine..three?. Our eyes never met. Looks like we were trying very hard to ignore each other.

There's soft rock music in the air... the 80, 90, older? No, you can't hurry love, no no! Perhaps. They mix it very well and this is the second tequila glass. I need extra lemon slices. Salt will always do some good. I hear some voice asking permission for sitting on the chair next to me. I nod with a slight gesture of my head and continue writing in the Moleskine... I hear the guy choosing a glass of Red Wine... a couple came for pasta and just left but two new guys replace them.. Cocktail? Bloody Mary? Who knows and who cares? I realized I've been a little rude with the guy next to me. Probably he came here because he wanted to have some conversation. Maybe I can fix it... Oh yes! His name is Chris. We're having an engaging and intelligent conversation. Now he knows why I am here, oh! he's a painter "on the side". Acrylic is what he does. Interesting, no doubt but more interesting is that after my conversation the two guys having the cocktails started talking to the painter. Unbelievable, they all live in the same building (Mr Chris have an apartment there for eight years) and looks like is the first time they talk to each other...

I was supposed to stop here (It's now past ten) but I ask for a third Tequila....I just got carried away for such a nice company and I'm not talking about Lisa, the bartender, Chris, the painter, the other people inside the bar, or the noisy guys, no no...

vendredi 2 septembre 2011

The show is on!

It's been a while since my last post here. I had almost forgotten the thrilling feelings I got every time I was in the process of writing for the Bridge, feelings that stayed until some kind of entry was finally posted.

Well, not in a state of oblivion anymore! Because right now I'm having these unmistakable sensations that are clear signals of the emotions and feelings my mind and my body are going through. Because as Sophie had already said, we're coming back. Because in fact we're back!

The scenery is prepared and the show is once again on!. Please, close your eyes. No..., no, leave them open, otherwise you're not going to read the words that will come out from myself and my dear partners . Yes, leave them wide open but at the same time close them -figuratively, so you can have a better taste of what is coming... Supposedly we are programmed to enjoy and have a better taste of things with our eyes closed... Who am I to challenge those assumptions?

But instead of food, we are going to taste words, the power that is conferred to them to describe and represent objects, our relationship with those objects and the feelings, the sensations, the emotions that come from experiencing with such things, plus all the other possible combinations that could exist as a result of these interactions.

Here I have to confess something... It was my secret until now that I decided to tell everything (ah! not longer is going to be my secret). The thing is that The Bridge was born to allow extremely shy people (they know who they are) to speak out, to express themselves in a way that could show their incredible writing skills. It would be a sin not to share their craft with the rest of the world (in theory). And I feel less guilty too: sharing is caring! No?

Yes, The Bridge is a platform that gives certain people the spur and the spark for doing what they do best: thinking, writing, entertaining... Also these people (at least one of them) are quite lazy and unless they have some kind of company or project on the horizon they do nothing and go through life just as contemplative living creatures.

But no more doing nothing! The new season promise new adventures, new ideas and renewed energies. That's why we have Grace (she's amazing) with us... right? But I forgot to tell you what is coming... Well, the truth is we don't know yet. The creative team is going to meet one of these days and then you'll see what will come out from that..

So, no more preambles: fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride... (We definitely will!).

mardi 30 août 2011

Getting warmed up

It all feels like a first day at school. You know there will be new friends and the ones with whom you used to play in the park will also be there. There will be some kind of homework, but unlike at school it will be a pretty pleasant task –and unlike at school I am truly determined to do my homework-. It is also said that there will be new things to learn. Hopefully, it is not school where we are heading so no naughty kid will bite your oversized freckled cheek –as if it were a muffin- take your snack from you or laugh at you.

It is this bridge that we are crossing and putting together these bits and pieces that otherwise would not have had the chance to meet. But you, readers, may already know that, because even if it is rather new for me, this bridge has been going on for a year now. It just took a small pause from its activities, as in the greatest theatre plays where the play stops for a while, people get out of the room and after some time it continues to entertain the audience with a new burst of energy.

The bell announces that the intermission is over.

People get back to their seats.

Lights go down.

Curtains up.

Everybody remains quiet to let the show continue and…

jeudi 25 août 2011

The Bridge v.2

New day, new Contributor, new Bridge.
New Ways.

Six steps.

( - Click on the picture, you can either choose to open or save the file it links to.
- )

( - Pray for my voice to be intelligible! - )

( - Listen - )

( - Leave a comment (if you feel like doing so) - )

( - Warmly welcome Grace - )

( - Come back soon to read our new posts! - )