Joyeuses Fêtes de Paris

IMG_0397IMG_0392 {Christmas at the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte located in Maincy, outside of Paris in the Seine-et-Marne département of France}

Our reporters are off to Europe for the holidays and the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in Maincy, located in southeastern Paris was first on their list of sites. And, what better way to start celebrating than at this French baroque château decorated in a most distinctively Gallic style.

IMG_0399This residence marked the beginning of the Louis XIV influence by combining the architecture of Louis Le Vau, interior design of painter-decorator Charles Le Brun and landscape designs by Andre Le Notre to create an extremely royal estate. Can anyone say Hugo Drax from the James Bond’s thriller Moonraker…”Cute isn’t it”!!!!

image4 image5{Notre-Dame de Paris in the fourth arrondissement}

Next on their list of sites was the Boulevard Saint-Germain with a view of Notre Dame Cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité. A fine example of French Gothic design with the western facade illuminated by joyous decorations and lights.

Happy holidays!!!

Madison Square Park in Wonderland

“Rococo Hut” looks like Marie Antoinette’s farm estate “Petit Trianon” in Versailles.
“Cliff House” is one of three aluminum sculptures placed in Madison Square Park, and looks as if it belongs on the set of an opera!

While in New York last month I had an opportunity to partake in a quaint picnic lunch in Madison Square Park and the chance to see sculptor Rachel Feinstein’s first public exhibition entitled “Folly”, which ends September 7th. Upon entering the park you see the first of three surreal, extremely large structures that were architecturally popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These whimsical pieces have a white powdered coating that appear stark against the lush green backdrop of trees, and look as if they were taken from the set of “Pirates of the Caribbean” or one’s favorite “Fairy-Tale.

“Flying Ship” looks as if it were plucked from the Pirates of the Caribbean set!

These sculptures made of aluminum embrace many venues such as the theater, ballet, history, and yes the arts. Strategically placed so, one has the chance to peruse throughout the grounds feasting their eyes while enjoying lunch.

Note: Rachel Feinstein’s: Folly” runs through Sept. 7 at Madison Square Park, between Fifth and Madison Avenues and 23rd and 26th Streets.

Stay creative!!