newyorker:

The Secret to French Parenting

“Bringing Up Bébé” could have offered a complementary view of the link  between public policy and social norms. But instead Druckerman largely  trails off, providing a series of loose observations that fall somewhere  between snarky (“Moms do get a bit fatter as you get farther from  central Paris”) and Martha Stewart-y (“We have a collection of colorful  melamine plates. But for dinner I use white, which makes the colors of  the food pop”). That’s too bad, as the spirited reception for a book  like “Bébé” attests to a wish for guidance on behalf of American  mothers, and the real need for change in how America handles issues like  maternity leave, daycare, and public education. The lack of support for  mothers in American society, Warner discerns, engenders an entrenched  sense of anxiety and that often leads to “hyper parenting.” Without a cadre,  or frame, for childhood, many American mothers feel like they are  flying blind and solo—resulting in a kind of perfectionist despair.  Fatigued, American parents look overseas for the solution, but just may  discover that no amount of French or Chinese will sufficiently change  anything.

- On our Book Bench blog, Ruth Margalit writes about the latest book to claim child-rearing superiority: “Bringing Up Bébé”: http://nyr.kr/yKfw5P

See also this article from WSJ.
and [somewhat] related:

“I was at dinner last evening, and halfway through the pudding, this  four-year-old child came alone, dragging a little toy cart. And on the  cart was a fresh turd. Her own, I suppose. The parents just shook their  heads and smiled. I’ve made a big investment in you, Peter. Time and  money, and it’s not working. Now, I could just shake my head and smile.  But in my house, when a turd appears, we throw it out. We dispose of it.  We flush it away. We don’t put it on the table and call it caviar.”


~ Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities

newyorker:

The Secret to French Parenting

“Bringing Up Bébé” could have offered a complementary view of the link between public policy and social norms. But instead Druckerman largely trails off, providing a series of loose observations that fall somewhere between snarky (“Moms do get a bit fatter as you get farther from central Paris”) and Martha Stewart-y (“We have a collection of colorful melamine plates. But for dinner I use white, which makes the colors of the food pop”). That’s too bad, as the spirited reception for a book like “Bébé” attests to a wish for guidance on behalf of American mothers, and the real need for change in how America handles issues like maternity leave, daycare, and public education. The lack of support for mothers in American society, Warner discerns, engenders an entrenched sense of anxiety and that often leads to “hyper parenting.” Without a cadre, or frame, for childhood, many American mothers feel like they are flying blind and solo—resulting in a kind of perfectionist despair. Fatigued, American parents look overseas for the solution, but just may discover that no amount of French or Chinese will sufficiently change anything.

- On our Book Bench blog, Ruth Margalit writes about the latest book to claim child-rearing superiority: “Bringing Up Bébé”: http://nyr.kr/yKfw5P

See also this article from WSJ.

and [somewhat] related:

I was at dinner last evening, and halfway through the pudding, this four-year-old child came alone, dragging a little toy cart. And on the cart was a fresh turd. Her own, I suppose. The parents just shook their heads and smiled. I’ve made a big investment in you, Peter. Time and money, and it’s not working. Now, I could just shake my head and smile. But in my house, when a turd appears, we throw it out. We dispose of it. We flush it away. We don’t put it on the table and call it caviar.”

~ Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities

How To Be A Little Bit More French

cityography:

This Thursday is Bastille Day, which I will unreservedly honor. The French Revolution carries none of the rugged glamour that our own does, and the chaos that ensued after the storming of the prison did not end until approximately twenty-six years later with the advent of a small tyrant that the French weirdly adore. In short what began in 1789 was a continual separation of heads from trunks, and bread shortages (which should just never happen in Gaul) and power-hungry powdered wigs who created governments that lasted for weeks and sometimes as briefly as a few days.

The French have been admired, hated, upheld as models of culture and civility, rescued, humiliated, yet somehow they remain and they are still very good at the things they have always been good at and very bad at the things they have always been bad at.

So, in honor of the upcoming holiday, here is how to become a little bit more French:

1. Say ‘NO’. Can I try this on? Can I get a refill? Is there a bathroom nearby? Is this the right train? Is this the way to the Louvre? Do you have any croissants? Does this hotel room have a private bath? Can you stop smoking in my vicinity? Do you speak English? No, no, no, no. The French learned long ago that saying ‘no’ is a form of power that the rest of the world rarely exercises. Why should you help anyone, ever? Why should you suck up to the government? Why shouldn’t you skip work and protest in the streets?

2. Demand more vacation time. My parents were recently telling me that they met a couple, both bankers, who have somehow accumulated ten weeks of paid vacation per year. Ten weeks, also known as a fifth of the year. A fifth of the year the bank pays this couple to do whatever the hell they want. I don’t know about you, but I could definitely get used to that. You could practically take a week off every month. You could work three days a week if you wanted to.

3. Be really into Bill Clinton. WWBCD?

4. Never get drunk in public. If the French get wasted (research has thus far been inconclusive), they definitely don’t do it where people outside of their intimate circle can see them. The bar is a place for intelligent conversation, for the composition of brilliant novels, for the sipping of Perrier, for the watching of sporting events. It is not a place in which to forget yourself.*

5. Keep your windows closed in the summer. There might a draft. Or several drafts. And if that small current of air touches you, your throat will close up and you will die. Or at the very least you’ll be in bed for weeks with some sort of flu. It’s a good thing there’s a pharmacy on every corner. Maybe we should go to the doctor, to see if we can prevent drafts.

6. Wear the same clothes every day. Your shirt is not dirty if you have only worn it once. That’s why we invented perfume. You spill things on your clothes? Then learn how to eat.

7. Be suspicious of everything. Sarkozy? Starbucks? North Africans? The educational system? The bakery you don’t go to? The left? The right? The middle? Americans? People who get drunk in public?

8. Look awesome all the time. White cotton socks, as far as we are concerned, have never existed outside of the gymnasium. Brown and black always go together. There is no shame in carrying a handbag regardless of your gender. Nobody really cares what your hair looks like.

9. Curse attractively. Merde!

10. Be the creator of the Mille-Feuille. In other words, know how to make the only thing on earth that is really worth eating more than once.

* Exceptions: New Year’s Eve, the Festival of Music (June 21).

festival sud de france in nyc, now ‘til june 30

festival sud de france in nyc, now ‘til june 30

Album Art

emmanuelle, pierre bachelet

ArtistPierre Bachelet
TitleEmmanuelle
AlbumEmmanuelle Soundtrack
lilyna:

HAPPY BASTILLE DAY!
Vive la France! 

lilyna:

HAPPY BASTILLE DAY!

Vive la France!