Artist Dan23, room 983, floor 8, #tourparis13

Should (Street) Art Last Forever? Graffiti and the Tour Paris 13 project, October 1 – 31, 2013

October 6, Dublin. On a night photography walk with Dusk2Dawn Tours, we approached the former studio of U2, Windmill Lane.  Said Chris of Amateur Traveler, “The rule of tagging, we learned, is that you’re not supposed to put your tag over someone else’s, unless you know yours will be better.”

October 1, Paris. Upon suggestion of a friend, I’m outside the 5 rue Fulton in the 13ème arrondisement at the Tour Paris 13 project. IMG_2636 This nine-story tower is part of a housing project set to be demolished later this year. Before it’s returned to dust, Itinerrance street art gallerist, Mehdi Ben Cheik, the public housing agency, ICF Habitat La Sablière, and the mayor of the 13th arrondisement, Jérôme Coumet, invited over 100 graffiti artists from 16 countries to use the entire building as their canvas. The artists traveled on their own budget to Paris to participate, working for seven months. Continue reading

Put on Your Reddest Lipstick and Move (On), Musee Rodin, Paris

Or, Seven Ways to Reduce Puffy Eyes.

I sprained my little four-chambered muscle in Paris, not terribly easy to mend in a city that’s all la vie en rose and stripey-teed couples canoodling and a quiet underpinning of jazz always in the air. But these seven steps made moving on bearable: finding the simple pleasures in a new day in Paris. Continue reading

Sheep Lawnmowers in Paris

Named for the palace that no longer exists since succumbing to revolutionary forces of the Paris Commune, the Jardin des Tuileries stretches from the foot of the Louvre to the obelisk of Place de la Concorde and further to the Champs-Elysées.

Cooling my heels on a green park chair, basking in what I thought would be my last days in Paris (I was mistaken, happily), with the Louvre to my right and the carousel from the carnival ahead and the goats munching away. Continue reading

Can’t Travel Without: a Small Notebook and Pen

Indispensable during my travels was my small, purse-sized notebook where I wrote many of my thoughts, phone numbers of new friends and addresses of flats, restaurants and hotels, and still more musings, rants and suppositions. 

The first iteration was a staple-bound, craft paper, unlined beaut’. I picked it up at a street festival in Chicago, the Renegade Craft Fair, where, with two of my girlfriends, we traipsed up and down Division Street that summer weekend. In the notebook, I listed out the business of moving one’s life, chronicling, to use a favorite idiom, where all the bodies are buried. It was a pleasant reminder of home, all that I’d done to get on the road, and it fit right into my vintage leather purse from Detroit. Continue reading