Saturday, July 25, 2009


Natalie Dessay - Lakmé - Bell song


One of my best and emotional experience at the opera, I truly believe, will ever stay the Leo Delibes’ Lakmé which took place at the Opéra Comique in paris in 1995. The interpretation of Natalie Dessay this evening was so pure, her voice could make you fly anywhere and brings you so many emotions only with the ton of her voice you can’t believe, The Bell song is probably one of the difficult aria ever, I imagine, but she shows no difficulties at all compared to other singers. The public was so moved that we all cried and in the end of the interpretation of the song, the orchestra could not restart to play because we could not stop applauding screaming “Bravo”. I guess this happens only in a lifetime and I will remember this one.


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Café Jacques

Maybe happiness is something easy and simple. I was last evening at a restaurant I wanted to go for a very long time and because the weather was nice, we decided to give it a try. We booked the table outside at the café Jacques, Maybachufer 8. There is no website. On this street, you are very close to the river. The street is also famous because twice a week, you can find there the big Turkish market where everything is so fresh and tasty. We started by the welcoming of the waitress who asked what we wanted to drink. We knew we would have meat so we chose a red wine but not to heavy because of the heat. The waitress came with a bottle of Portuguese and made us taste and It was a good choice. After half the bottle as aperitif, we went outside, the menu stays on the wall, handwritten on a blackboard: It’s kind of funny because while you ‘re looking what you would like to order, you’re not alone doing the same so there is a kind of communication, exchanging information. Once you made your choice, tell the waitress nearby and go back to your place and start drinking again. I had the sun in my face so the evening started very well. The small number of tables were quickly taken but if you come too late and none are free, we can find some available from the inside that we bring on the street, so don’t be afraid. I ordered the duck because It is a meat I don’t easily neither find nor cook. I enjoy it “à l’orange” of course and I was not disappointed at all. Prices are very attractive too and that is why, having finished the bottle of wine, we decided to join our expresso with a fabulous chocolate mousse that we shared. The night was out but still warm and the traffic was low. Because we waited a bit too long for the dessert, the waitress offered us as we asked for the bill, some digestive that we accepted and took Mirabelle which was not too strong. Then we had the idea to reach a place we wanted to try but we decided to keep it for another time as It started to be late and don#t forget we had to work the day after. We went just to finish the evening in a good way to reach the nearby “Raumfahrer” where I like to go anytime I am in the area. Then drive back on the bike along the canal. A very nice evening indeed.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Michael Jackson "Maria"


After having found at the beginning of the year the bar near my place where I like to go not everyday but almost, I maybe have found as well the wine shop I was expected to. It looks like I am definitely putting my feet in the city and the area I’m living in. It is called very simply Weinladen. It is not a big place but you don’t need to have a big one to have taste and put in it good quality. The owner has a mix of most of the countries and sometimes surprises that can put your mouth in ecstasy. I remember having brought to a grill party this bottle form south-west of France that I didn’t even had time to taste because the guests found it so good that the liquid disappeared in few minutes. I remember as well that I was not convinced by the choice of the owner who asked me to try its German red wine "Spät Burgerder" and It was again a success, though very light but a good start. Since then I bought other bottles and was never disappointed. So definitely a place to remember to go if you feel thirsty.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Flight of the Conchords - Foux Da Fa Fa with context


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French behaviour

As I did last year, I looked in the paper to see if the French are better tourists this year than last one. The answer is No. For the third consecutive year, the French people keep their title. Not necessary to put out flags for that, because they were once again appointed " the worse tourists in the world ". Main causes ? The French people are grousing, niggardly and impolite. And as if it was not enough, always according to the study, they make no effort to speak foreign languages. The professionals questioned explained the difficulties for the French tourists to express themselves in English and their custom to insert here and there words in French to be understood. The French people would not either be in the habit of leaving tips but would not hesitate to complain for whatever reason. And to bring a last touch to the portrait of this terrible tourist, the questioned hotelkeepers assert that "the French-style courtesy lived, and that the French people have no more savoir-vivre " … Only consolation, the French tourists are classified at the head list as regarding their discretion. The Japanese, the English people and the Canadians are on the other hand the most pleasant tourists. The travelers of the land of the rising sun stay, for the third consecutive year, on the first place. But they arrive last for the language ability of the host country. The English people are very appreciated for their generosity : they pass of the 30th on the 2nd place between 2008 and 2009. As for the Canadians, congratulated on their politeness, their hygiene and their peace, they take the place of the Germans in the classification. Besides, the study reveals that the south-European tourists are most badly seen by the professionals, after the French arrive the Spanish and the Greek. I would like nevertheless to add my comment for this survey. Critic is easy and non relevant. If the French gives no tip, It’s because It is unknown in his country because service is included on the invoice. So if no one tells him that It is another way outside his country, he will not know. Maybe he will be keen on understanding. If the English are appreciated for their generosity, It’s because they leave such a mess everywhere they go that It is their only way to apologize. Regarding the south European people, I completely disagree because, as from my experience, they are the only people to travel to find cold and rain when they live in beautiful countries, they adapt themselves staying in hostels and not in tourists chains and they speak at least a few words when Japanese only stay in groups and will never move from it. So you see, in the end, It’s easy to reverse tendency with your own experience.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

East port festival

Be prepared. The next week-end in Berlin will be very hot and wet. Meaning, this is the super time to go out. The Arena place, together with the Badeschiff, hopotosse, glashaus, club des visionnaires, make together an event during 22 hours, starting Saturday afternoon with a cruise on the river Spree. Make your choice of the boat following the DJ’s you like and you will spend the next 6 hours on the water listening music, maybe dancing, surely drinking. Following the organisator, starts from the harbour in the park in Treptow or in the north of the city. When you will be back around 8:00 p.m., you will have of course the choice to go home (highly NOT recommended) or carry on partying on one of the 9 places you will choose. Looking at the list of the DJ’s, I am impressed. The festival is called Stadtstrandfluss.


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The pâté of apples, potatoes and pork meat in the oregano ". It is necessary: two green apples, four potatoes cooked in dress of fields, four slices of spinal column of pork chopped considered, eight shallots, a glass of white wine, a glass of crème fraiche, a small bouquet of oregano (can be replaced by some dried oregano), some butter, some salt and pepper. Peel and slice thinly shallots. Make them sweat in the butter, add the meat and make it brown by crumbling it. Remove the skin of potatoes, peel apples and cut them in small dices. Add to the meat and slowly cook. Add the white wine, the cream and the oregano and let cook slowly until obtain a compact mass. Pour the set into a terrine or a mould lined by a clingfilm. Close strongly and let cool. Serve in thick slices with a green salad or wild grass.


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It is scientific : the strippers under contraceptive pill receive fewer tips than their other colleagues, who, them, touch varying payments for the simple to the double. In the evenings when these ladies are in period of ovulation, the public distributes them up to 70 dollars each. On the other hand, when, fortnight later, these professionals have their rules, their tips fall of half. "The women loosen a more exciting smell when they ovulate ". This example proves, as the others more suitable, to which point the smells influence us, even dominate us. The sense of smell is nevertheless an underestimated sense. Wrongly. Because "no other sense can influence in so direct way our hormonal production, and thus our behavior", asserts Hanns Hatt, one of the big world specialists of the sense of smell, which publishes in the publishing of the CNRS (NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH) its last works, nicely titled "The chemistry of the love". At 62 years old, the German scientist, the director of a team of 60 persons at the university of Bochum, boasts about some major discoveries. It is him who demonstrated the first one whom our nose was not the only one to smell. Among our 30 000 genes, 350 serve for producing olfactive receivers, they are among all our chromosomes. So, our bowel can smell (it is sensitive to the marine breeze, for example), the prostate has the smell of the violet. So, "we shall soon demonstrate that by sending an opposing smell in the prostate we can slow down the cellular division". That would establish a promising and totally new way to slow down the progress of a cancer" we are there only at the beginning, the works on the sense of smell open great therapeutic opportunities". The professor Hatt elaborates at the moment a smell which, ten times as powerful as Valium, an anxiolytic, could obtain the same curative results. He also asserts that a smell could serve as contraceptive, safe and natural. Because here is another one of his discoveries: sperm cells are talented smellers, they are guided thanks to the smells, these acting as signposts in their movements. Two receivers, situated just below the head, react with a vibrating energy in the smells of the lily of the valley as in those, the fruity. As a result, it is not crazy to dream that by preventing the sperm cells from smelling we would reduce them to the immobility. Impossible then to go to meet the ovule, at the bottom of fallopian tubes. No lily of the valley, no baby. The champion of the sense of smell lives however our nose, "unique organ the perceptions of which are in direct drive with the brain, in particular with the tonsils. It is on these two glands, no bigger than two walnuts, one for every hemisphere of the brain, that concentrate all our feelings, our instincts and our drives. They can react in a flash of lighting when a smell reaches them. "These smells dictate us impulsive behavior, to which it is difficult to resist. Swiss researchers made sniff to women T-shirts worn several days by men. The more the immune system of a man differed from theirs, the more the women found the smell, erotic. As a result, the Swiss researchers at the origin of this experiment asserted that the nose of the women is of use to reproduce, men people whose genetic heritage is the most remote from theirs, "so assuring their offspring a bigger variety of genes". Without thinking even of conceiving an offspring, the women look for instinctively the company of strongly male smells. To prove it, we soaked the seats of a waiting room of androsterone, substance drawn from the male perspiration. And quite specially that of the armpits. Little delicate smell, thus. The women enter the room and are automatically going to sit down on armchairs secretly perfumed. Whatever is the place where they are near the door, under an opened window, etc. or their level of comfort. The researchers renewed the experiment by splashing with androsterone the seats of theater, phone boxes or toilet of a pension for girls. Bingo, the feminine noses rushed there. The sense of smell gives orders to our brain, without that it succeeds in escaping it well. So much that the doctors wonder about the possibilities of waking patients in the coma by making them smell a liked one. When Ariel Sharon, former Israeli Prime Minister, sank into the coma, it was tried to wake him with smells of falafels. Unsuccessfully, however. The smell leads us. And signs us. Each of us secretes the own smell, so unique as its fingerprint. Infalsifiable, and impossible to mask under other artificial steams. We suspected it, but Austrian academics verified it, here is three years, in an alpine valley. 127 inhabitants had been requested not to wash themselves, nor use perfume, drink coffee or food with garlic during twelve days. "The olfactive profile of a particular individual and its sex consists of 373 chemical components, explains Hanns Hatt, even after four weeks the smell of an individual seems unchanged. " A chemical imprint which the East German secret police collected with accuracy. The film "The life of the others" begins with an interrogation. The suspect 227, the hands put under the thighs, answers for forty hours questions on his timetable. His calvary finished, he is evacuated, the policeman Gerd Wiesler removes the gloved hands, the cover of the chair, then place everything in a numbered jar. This tissue, filled with the chemical imprint of the suspect 227, will allow dogs to reveal its passage, or to redraw its routes. "After the fall of the Wall, more than thousand samples of this type were found in isolated sheds in Berlin and Leipzig. These olfactive tracks inspire more democratic governments today. So, when in 2007 is held in Heiligendamm the G8 summit, presumed opponents were called and asked to hold metallic tubes in the hands, to leave it their tracks.


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Purchase capacity at half-mast, fear of the unemployment. French squeeze up the belt and reduce their budget to eat. In the break at lunch, the classic restaurants were the first ones to make expenses with a spectacular fall of the attendance. Too expense, the traditional “today's special” lost customers for the benefit of the sandwich, more economic. This big classic of the catering never was better in France. Having progressed from 5 to 8 % from 2003 till 2007, its sales jumped up to 11 % in 2008 with a sudden push in the second half-year. The market exceeds now the 6 billion euro of turnover. No decline of regime planned in 2009, according to the experts of the fast food. On the contrary, the crisis should again push the consumers towards the meals. With an average price from 3 to 4 euro only, the sandwich still has beautiful days in front of him. It is in France where the growth of the sandwich is by far the most spectacular. While the giants impose almost everywhere in Europe their model of fast food, France is the only country where the ham sandwich makes resistance. The French people consume still 8 times more sandwiches than hamburgers. Would the baguette typical from us be judged healthier and more balanced than its competitor across the Atlantic? It seems that moreover the tastes of the customers remain mainly very traditional : two sandwiches on three consist of cheese and\or cooked pork meats. If the sandwich resists as well, it is at first that we find it at the corner of every street. Besides thousands of traditional bakeries sell it at lunch break, and French-style fast food (Paul, The Affectionate Crumb, Apple of Bread) grew, the last years, like mushrooms. A unique density of selling points in the world. In urban zones, the traditional café lost its monopoly of the snack. Even supermarkets exploit the vein by dedicating shelves to sandwiches. A business so profitable that certain distributors open in the city centers small food stores, as Parisian Daily Monop. We can offer themselves lunch at the work place, included sandwiches. The breakthrough of the mass-market retailing is logical : in most of the cases, we swallow a sandwich on its workplace or outside, in a garden for example. No need of a place where to sit at the table. To replace a traditional lunch by a sandwich break becomes more attractive as the offer diversified itself. The traditional ham sandwich still represents the three-quarters of the sales of sandwiches based on baguette. In the basic “low-cost" were added more sophisticated varieties, surfing on the last food fashions (balance and thinness, exotic flavours, soil, biological). Certain restaurant chains very fashioned thse days, like Cojeans or Of Bert, occupy this crenel of the smart and light successfully. The feminine clientele which did not meet itself in the sausage-butter of the traditional bars applaud. In certain districts, we see opening certain luxury sandwich shops, as Be, created by Alain Ducasse. If the executives of big cities have fewer and fewer time to have lunch, around thirty minute on average, no doubt for them they will not avoid their pleasure.