Archive for November, 2012

The Pillow Project

David Barnes of Spoken Word Paris reading while a member of the Pillow Project riffs

Hello friends,

Here’s your helping of a random (art) happening around town.

This past Tuesday The Pillow Project paid a visit to Shakespeare & Co. The Pittsburgh-based troupe plays “freejazz,” an improvisational form they describe as “using the body as the instrument playing visual notes.”

The experimental group is starting to forge deeper ties to Paris. On hand for this week’s event were members of the city’s active spoken word scene.

For non-French speakers, there’s a lot of blood and torture in the text!

Continue reading ‘The Pillow Project’

Gratitude List and the Giving of Thanks

Hot on the heels of Halloween is another holiday American expats have to improvise over here. I like this celebrating of traditions in new ways.

I’ll be heading to a Thanksgiving “apero” on Friday (hey, it’s a cultural melange!), but in the meantime, here is an abbreviated gratitude list. I’ve been incorporating this practice of recognizing life’s bounty into my regular routine anyway; the holiday is just a more formalized chance to say thanks!

I’m thankful that my close friend came through his heart procedure successfully today. I’m thankful for my own open heart.

I’m thankful I can sit with uncertainty, though it can feel scary and hard.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do,” artist Georgia O’Keeffe once said.

I’m thankful for inspiring quotes. Inspring stories. Inspiring people and lives.

I’m thankful for the proverbs on each sachet of Yogi tea.

I’m thankful for silly status updates from friends far and wide – though I really shouldn’t spend quite so much time online.

Continue reading ‘Gratitude List and the Giving of Thanks’

Paris vs New York (Short Video)

By now, many of you know the blog Paris vs New York that was then turned into a book of the same name. A visual comparison of two leading cities – what’s not to love?

While I seem to be welcoming more cities into my favorites category (Istanbul, Barcelona), we’ve still got the classics here. Enjoy the short comparison!

Also: New York has been on my mind so strongly as the city still struggles to get back on its feet after Hurricane Sandy. There’s an amazing fundraiser going on to help those affected if you’re interested. Humans of New York is a photographic census of New York, one street portrait at a time. The photos and accompanying stories have become a major highlight for me each day.

The photographer, Brandon, is doing a great job documenting the stories of Sandy’s wake and has teamed up with Tumblr to fundraise (he reached his goal of 100 K in less than 24 hours!) If you’re interested in participating, here’s the link to the fundraiser page.

All proceeds go directly to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a highly respected, family-run charity.

Otherwise, the website is worth a peek simply for the beauty. Each photograph captures the diversity and resiliency of both a vibrant city and the human spirit.

Guest Post on Hunger Mountain

Phew!

I am so relieved we’re not embroiled in some dramatic recount right now; it was one of my fears about the US presidential election.

But nope, the numbers were clear and told a good (in my opinion) story.

That being said, it’s not always healthy to track numbers obsessively. I learned that this past year as I was sending query letters to literary agents. I put on a brave face, but the process did get me down.

But I’m back up!

I have a guest post over on “Another Loose Sally,” the blog of the journal Hunger Mountain. In “Nixing the Numbers” I talk about losing then regaining sight of what’s really important in the world of writing. (Hint: it involves actually writing!)

If you’re interested in taking a peek, head on over here.

Enjoy!

A Quiet Birthday

Pere Lachaise

Pere Lachaise on a sunny day

The sound of rain woke me before the light had come, but the day gave way to sunshine by afternoon. I stayed in bed late, then read, then rose. It was a tranquil beginning to my quietest birthday yet.

I usually plan a celebration of some sort – I love my birthday! – but this year I didn’t feel that’s what I wanted for some reason. It might have had something to do with the storm – seeing the damage it wrought across much of the Eastern seaboard, but most personally, of course to my beloved New York.

Maybe it had to do with my anxiety over the impending election, too. (Please vote!)

But today there was no sadness. I was happy to face the day on my own terms.

After my languid start, I went to the library to work for a few hours, as has become my habit. Some would say, rest! Don’t work on your birthday! But slowly getting back into a committed writing routine is the gift I’m giving myself.

Continue reading ‘A Quiet Birthday’


paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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