2022/05/14

I love Haussmann

Okay, I know this is a bit weird to have all these cross over below :P  but let me explain something:-

I am really obsess to the Haussmann architecture, especially the Attic floor. Well, you may think it's the smallest, least luxurious, most of all, it's usually for the maids... but, it has the best view overall! Don't you think it's quite difference from the concept, like us who live in Hong Kong? Lots of people are willing to pay extra to live in a penthouse of a high rise residential. What a contrary ? 

Of course the reason is quite simple indeed, even thought the highest Haussmann building is only six levels, without an elevator in the good old days, there is no way for the bourgeois to climb so high, no matter how stunning the view is.  In addition, how could they ask their VIP to climb stairs for gathering day & nights!That's why the construction concept behind is to have the best floor on level 2, which did make sense; regarding the stunning view? any where you see in Paris are "stunning" why restricted to the window views of your apartment? 

Back to the modern time, I will be 100% excited to live in a Haussmann building on the 2nd level, but as a tourist, it's also interesting to stay for a while on the Attic floor, which usually has a sloped ceiling, with a small balcony open wide to enjoy your daily sunset... you can find it in some B&B rentals, and I am sure I will go for a try next time. 

Watercolor of Haussmann architecture front elevation in the book of Exquisite
center page in the book of Exquisite

In the mean time, what I can do is to draw a nice picture of her, to share with you in my new book & hope you will like it, too. But this is not the end, see what I've discover...

Sim city game of Paris view in daylight
Ha ha! I am building a virtual Paris in Sim City! in my leisure moment, of course. A game I've found accidentally after returned from the trip, there are a lot to be developed, although it's not 100% real with so many restrictions, the Haussmann building are not bad, what do you think?

Sim city game of Paris view at night
The night scene do imitate some of the mood in reality, I don't know how long will I continue to play for the expansion until a "longer La Seine" can be made, let's see.

Finally, I would like to share with you the photo below, a real scene of my beloved architecture I took viewing from the Center Pompidou. One of my favorite view, neat & decent; not for the bourgeoisie only, but for everyone who love to stay. 

A scene of Haussmann architecture line up under blue sky in Paris


2022/05/07

Exquisite - Book Ten Of Petit Paris


Book cover of Exquisite - Petit Paris
Click to enlarge


This is the most difficult book I’ve written in Petit Paris series, why? It seems there are so many elements that I can use to express “Beauty”, but is it the only thing that I want to say? No, I’m quite sure.

Writing book is always for the public but at the same time also personal I shall say, and this is my own feeling during these few years, that’s why you may love it or not; but beautiful things created by artists, designers, architects, craftspeople …and the final piece are always dominated by commercial, religious or even political reasons in most of the time. Take it or leave it, getting rich or broke, being famous or no one ever knows…now or in the future!

My thought was complicated while writing “Exquisite”, there are tensions between beauty ~long lasting ~preserve ~transform ~handmade ~technology…too many want to incorporate, too little can be captured, cos’ Beauty always has two faces, exterior & interior.

I was a commercial interior designer, I knew the struggle inside to convert “the beautiful thing in your eyes” to the one in “their eyes”. It’s even harder for us to produce & complete them even we may not think it is good enough or even ugly…but it has to be done, no matter how. For the truly beautiful things can be demolished/ vanishing just by a simple decision from some powerful people/unit who knows nothing about beauty at all! Weird but it’s the reality.

I think this is the reason to explain my excitement when seeing beautiful things that were preserved so well in Paris. Which also lead me to think of those behind who created and made them long long time ago. 

It seems the word Craftspeople is a bit old fashion nowadays, for everything takes time to complete may not suit in our new age, less and less youth are willing to take part in this sort of careers but not totally. Japan is a good example which did an excellent job in this field, recently in Hong Kong, there are also some young craftspeople who start to realize handmade items and to preserve rather than replace are valuable; furniture, book, glasses, cheongsam, leather goods, architecture…hopefully there will be a lot more in the future.

It’s quite simple in my theory, whenever people is willing to spend time into a certain thing, to make it nicer, to bring joy to someone, he/she has a kind heart, the beauty inside. 


2022/04/27

Forgotten Chap - 01

INSANE

The land of mine…

no one knows why

they were there

long long time ago

arrogant of a human nature

who dare 


The people of mine…

no one knows why

not from your womb

not being tied

nonsense of a human nature 

like you


Creation of God

that is the truth

the master who own

you, too

 

 

Oiseau Distrait
24 April 2022

2022/04/17

Geisha - 超市中的藝伎

在短短數年間,香港的咖啡文化已經發展得很不錯,如果不是疫情限聚的關係,差不多任何時段,總會見到坐在小咖啡店的客人,悠閒地享受與朋友、或一杯咖啡的獨處時刻。

對於我來説,在這些文青感十足的咖啡店,或是在大街小巷老式茶餐㕔,甚至是一些港式"仿古"茶餐㕔內喝咖啡,感覺大不同。除了是豆的品種,混合及冲煮方式的分別之外,環境氣氛當然也有一定程度的影響。這些年間,每天早上在家中以一柸熱騰騰的即磨咖啡來展開新的一天,也是人生幸福的一大樂事。


Geisha - 超市中的藝伎
有機"藝伎種"咖啡豆, 淺至中度烘培, 日曬乾燥

還記得幾年前參加一個咖啡活動時認識了Geisha 這個品種,當年的我完全不懂欣賞,也喝不出任何特色所在. 而且當年這個品種剛流入香港,由於產量少, 是有特色的衣索比亞 (Ethiopia)原生種, 售價相對較高,並要在特定的咖啡供應商才能買到。我從來認為生活享受,應該是任何人可以輕鬆享用的,所以也就把這件事放下了。

大部分時間,我還是會在周邊的超市內購買咖啡豆,今年意外地也見到Geisha,於是便買回來一試。以下是一個十分業餘人的試飲報告😅


粗研磨
由於Geisha 屬於單品咖啡,所以打算用手冲方式,即使未磨,豆香已撲鼻:淡淡花香是特色之一,混雜著蜜糖般的甜、果實的香,在研磨之後仍然散發著,甚至有少少酒香。








萃取開始                  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

用了98度,17.6g 冲泡,約兩分鐘內完成。
冲泡後的Geisha 仍能保留淡雅的茉莉花香,士多啤梨的果實
及蜜糖般的甜味。柔滑而且平𧗾,輕輕的回甘…不知是否屬於帶果漿日曬?(因為包裝只説明是日曬)這樣才能製造出這般自然的甜味,真的頗特別,跟耶卡雪夫(Ethiopia Yirgacheffe) 那種橘子花香不同,有另外一番風味。
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
就這樣,輕鬆地享受了一柸假期咖啡,當你下次在超市遇見時,不妨一試!

2022/04/16

Spring Shower - Point Zéro



Spring Shower - Point Zéro for Petit Paris by Oiseau Distrait
click to enlarge

 

Hi, hi! 

Spring is coming...already came? how about having a Spring Shower to read a free copy of Point Zéro , just for a limited period of time 15 to 22/4/2022. 

Simply go to my Oiseau Distrait page & grab from the book link, feel free to leave a comment or star, if you like it :D

Happy reading in Happy Easter!








2022/02/26

Happy rainy days

Watercolor of walking in rainy day - La Rue of Petit Paris

Unexpectedly shower is the norm in Paris, locals told me “never leave home without an umbrella” and it’s absolutely true. They said the weather here may drive you nuts sometimes, the extreme cold & wet days in Winters continue for a whole week, it makes them feeling emotionally sad. That’s why whenever the sun comes out, everyone gather in the park, along the Seine & café . I did experience a few times here, a great hug by the warmth of the sun was wonderful, relaxing joy & laughter’s around the place, so enjoyable.
 
And if you know this norm, to explore under the rain on street is interesting, too. Unlike Hong Kong, due to the lower Haussmann building skyline here, I will always feeling there are more spacious even walking on a street or alley; if you are not in the busy office hours, the momentum is much slower, people rarely in their rush mode, except in metro station. So, I can enjoy the water color like scenery in rain…j’adore !
 
That’s why I choose to record this moment in my book, although the painting is not good enough as I think, I start to enjoy painting rainy day for its neon like color way , hopefully I can practice more & more to finally create my perfect rainy day.
 
In the meantime, wish you can walk with me with lots of imagination! :D

2022/02/19

自由~ 我的…他的…他們的?

我想:除非我身處荒島, 否則我的言行決定, 總有機會影響到別人,

"我的自由,我的權利"也包括在其中; 昨天晚上反覆思想以下兩種地球人的反應 :


地球人 A


我怕沒有廁紙供應, 我怕沒有新鮮蔬菜吃, 我怕沒有必理痛應急, 所以我去搶購囤積

⋯ 我有資金, 我有自由運用, 我有權保障自已及家人的供應.


我怕疫苗有不良副作用, 我不信藥廠數據, 我不信政府, 反正打了疫苗也會被感染

⋯ 我沒有不適合接種疫苗的因素, 但我有自由決定自已健康的權利, 

我有資金可以買補健品排毒強身, 所以我決定不接種疫苗.

 


地球人 B


我知可能廁紙蔬菜會短缺, 或有需要用到必理痛應急, 即使我有資金, 我也只買所需份量, 讓他們也買到所需.並小心衡量, 不散播傳文, 以免不經意地製造了恐慌, 令物資分配不均, 更見短缺.


我知道疫苗也許會有未可預知的副作用, 但此刻我沒有不適合接種疫苗的因素.
我知接種後因感染重症而要佔用醫療資源的機會較低,
也知可以減低傳播機會(包括有機會在接受治療期間傳播給醫護),
更知可以為保護因身體有病或年齡限制, 願意卻不能接種的他們;
能為沒有資金可為自已作其他保障之餘更要每天為維持地球村生活日常的基層,
倘若這是我所能付出一點點我想, 這也是所為的公民責任, 所以我決定接種疫苗.



我在思想, 除了為維持生計的其中一個原因之外, 他們可有自由?

他們可曾行使自己的權利而拒絕工作?


檢測人員~

必需日以繼夜運作, 接觸及追蹤可能已確診者, 因為他們要與疫情擴散的時間競賽.

 

醫護~必需無休止地拯救生命, 因為人人平等, 也基於愛.

 

清潔員工~必需維持公共衞生日常, 否則可以衍生更多疫症.


我們可以視自已的自由權利為首, 正所謂"不自由無寧死"這也是民主精神之一, 

自由非自私.

我們可以仍然視疫情為傷風感冒, 但事實已把他們拖跨.

我們可以不接受所謂的"動態稱零",但不能否認所有地球人也應該盡公民責任.


在我們的"自由國度"之內, 如果可以把目光由"我"轉移向"他、他們",

此刻我應該要明白自由不是一個單獨的個體, 它必需與平等、博愛共存, 

亦即是用盡一己之力使他人也可享有他們的自由和權利, 

包括免被壓力拖跨、免被感染、和生存的權利 ⋯ 這才是我認為值得持守價值!

 

 





來來去去 / To & From...where


Book cover of La Rue - Petit Paris by Oiseau Distrait
click to enlarge


我想,今次La Rue 的網誌,應該先用中文寫,因為這本書所涉及的內容,在今天,對身處香港的我們尤其切身。

兩年前去旅行的時候,完全沒有想過香港又再次出現移民潮(上次是1997年);如果你有看第六本書Hear Me, 也許會記得當我回來的時候,心繫巴黎的其中一件事,便是繁華背後,瑟縮在街頭巷尾的一班移民;其實我所眼見的也只是冰山一角,在不遠的市外,流浪著幾十萬的非法移民~這是昔日法國為着補充勞動人口而大開中門的後果。過多的移民突然衝擊着整個社會的結構,包括文化、經濟、生活配套、民生等等;但是,為什麼即使法國處於這個局面,仍有人離開故土而遷到這裏呢?

為着更好的生活、下一代有更多發展的可能、更自由的空氣、逃離窮困無望的家鄉…?!任何想像得到的原因,同樣適用於歷世歷代全球的移民潮中,今天,香港也不例外…是無奈?又或只是基本人類求生的慾望?

今年隨著親人及身邊的朋友也相繼預備離開,姑勿論基於任何原因,絕對不是一個容易的決定,特別是對於一群進入收成期在港生活了幾十年的中年人。也許近日也會從不同媒體聽到他們移民前後的際遇,但既然作了決定,無論離開或留下,還是應該積極去面對未來,一步一步地和家人去共同解決前面的問題。身為香港人的我,仍然很熟悉及相信我們的適應能力,更何況有不少是為着下一代而決定的,深信無論在任何地方,你們還是可以生存下來的。

對於決定留下的人,香港仍是我們心繫的故土,仍然很想努力"耕耘",是基於一份信念,更是對神作為一切主權的信心!

 

An Asian lady on the street in Paris



A local lady on the street of Paris

I think it’s better for me to write this blog post for La Rue in bilingual, because what this book addresses is emigration, a direct impact to us in Hong Kong even under the haunting of Covid since 2019. 

There was no clue for me to imagine the emigration wave appear once again in HK (last time was in 1997 & 2014) when I was returned from Paris, I did plan to include this topic in one of my book but simply for the scenario I saw in Paris, i.e.: of those who struggle to survive there…the uncontrollable result for the government of France to bear due to the drawn in of required working power…influx as a result which crashing the vulnerable society.

Actually what I had seen as mentioned in the book of “Hear Me” was only the tip of the iceberg, millions of immigrants are still scattered outside the boundary of Paris without any support behind a “hidden barrier”. But why people keep on leaving their homeland to somewhere which might not be their real “heaven”!

A chance for future of their own & the next generation, freedom, better living standard, to survive, escape from the mess of their own countries? all these could be the reasons to emigrants around the whole world, as well as in Hong Kong today; is it barely resigned or just a basic instinct of survival !

There is for sure more & more of my friends are going to leave in 2022, a huge decision they have to  make,  especially for those who are in their middle age ~ time of their harvesting period but now has to be started all over again somewhere. It’s hard but it has to keep moving forward by all means, I am pretty sure they will make it because they are “Hong Kongers”, the toughest to survive - a genetic code that we all have.

 


 

 

2022/01/08

Drawing the Magic Moment

Magic Moment watercolor drawing in the book City Of Light

Twilight time is always my favor moment wherever I am, the mysterious blue is stunning and attractive, it's the perfect time to enjoy before dark.

During the trip, I rarely took photos at night. There are some reasons behind such as Tired - after walking a whole day long, sometimes without eating enough (to save time especially during visiting museums :P); it will killing me to bring along with a tri-pot for shooting night scene. Well, I can increase the ISO of course as an alternative, but I have to confess I am stubborn, I don't like the noise resulted of high speed. How about to use my light weight titanium tri-pot? it’s a bit small for my D300…the one that fits, my Manfrotto, sooooooo….heavy! I quit :P

Temperature - it’s quite cold at night, usually in single digit or even 1-2 degree only, it takes time to explore stunning scene, not knowing for how long to discover one, because my target are definitely not the tourist spots; so, the cozy and warm hotel room always win.

Safety - I should be pretty safe at night in the tourist zone such as 1er of where I stayed, and most others zones up to 8er. But photo shooting is not “safe” sometimes, the desire of chasing a perfect scene makes me lost of my way, it happens often in Hong Kong (but it’s never a problem because H.K. is small & familiar to me). 

An exhausted normal height Asian with a camera getting lost in the dark alley of an unfamiliar city…I guess I could be… or, if I am safe by luck, return late night by metro is not a good idea either; unless by taxi or…

Drawing the Magic Moment watercolor with photo reference
Am I having too many concerns? I think so. When I was writing this book, I did regret of not taking more night scene photos, I have to assist by recap of my memories with the help of online reference – not a perfect experience, feeling there are something missing… 

The watercolor drawing as well as the book cover are really my wishes to “be there at that moment”, not only in twilight time, but also at night on the roof top; hopefully someday, I shall return to Paris … together with my proper gear for a midnight walk.


 

2022/01/01

Happiness is...

early morning scene outdoor in Paris

I spent most of the day time to explore Paris on foot usually began at 0800, although sometimes I woke up earlier at 0400 or 0600, I would stay in my room for a bit longer until I saw a faint sun ray appeared above the roof top outside my window. Because early in the morning and after mid night, the temperature would drop to a few degree Celsius, it was not wise to stay outdoor without having a full breakfast or in an exhausted body after a long walk.

Hazy grey sky

As I've told you earlier in my post, the weather in 
Paris within a day was unstable but interesting, even though there was no sun light above the roof, I would begin my journey of the day, by walking on the street in a slightly freezing air, there were so many times I did experience the magic moment of the transaction from haze grey sky into transparent blue; or whenever I thought the cloud seems turning thicker and thicker, raining? May be, but suddenly the sky wide open for a golden sun ray to burst…so beautiful, I saw HOPE of a new day.

Bright sun ray shine to a balcony in Paris

I did remember on a few similar mornings when I was walking along, not many people on the street, so it was a bit quiet and “dull” overall, there were always something drawn my attention simply a balcony, a window, a café chair, or an architectural moulding at the exterior of a building…which were highlighted by the beam of sun ray, every time, yes, every time I felt  amazing, so joyful to meet “Ray”, it was a symbolic of a fresh start, I loved that feeling, the aroma of the warmth.

 Tower Eiffel in the dark

Well, of course, there would be on the contrary, a sunny day turns into cloudy suddenly when I just picked up my camera facing Tower Eiffel, so I made a choice to adjust the exposure for this shot instead, I’m sure it could be identified no matter what, right? :D

May be it’s no big deal of what I’ve seen compare to the mysterious Aurora of the Arctic, sunrise in Africa, sunset at the Grand Canyon, moonlight of…you name it. What I think is not where you are but what you want. To me, I definitely want the enlightenment of the age, the pursuit of happiness, how about you?