cerebral museum


Posted in Uncategorized by Cassandra on June 2, 2010

Here are more shots of my time in Paris… still more to come later on.

Had to put up another shot of this building.. those sculptures up top are just too good.

View from the top of the Pompidou (Modern art museum). The light here is something else. Here are a few favorite works from inside:

yves klein

Joan Miró

and the Kandinsky... not really my style but had to take this one for Mama.

And a crazy fruit stand that lured us in with ease:

Ciao for now


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Paris and the Volcano

Posted in Uncategorized by Cassandra on June 2, 2010

In April, Lisa and I planned a 6 day trip to Belgium to visit some friends of hers and I decided to go on to Paris from there for another week. Belgium was amazing and our friends Geert and Regine were the most welcome hosts… more on that later when I get the photos formatted correctly for the site (and some developed… I’ve been shooting film again).

Anyway– Paris. Chance would have it that my dear friend Laura also was going to be there at the same time (she’s a fellow Californian but a committed Frrancophile, and thus lives in the South of France in Aix-en-Provence). Haven’t seen her in a long time, and we had fun remembering cutting each other’s hair with razor blades when we were 13 and feeling punky. She brought Miranda along with her and we had a little CA reunion in the middle of France. Way cool. Also Laura knows the ins and outs of the city pretty well, and it was beyond appreciated to have a tour guide of sorts for the first 4 days. Miranda and Laura are awesome… we had  a great time running around together.

About 2/3 of my photos are in the wrong format for this website and I’m having technical problems with my laptop, so am going to have to wait until I get back to SF to convert them correctly. Until then, here’s some of what I shot on film, and I’m going to give the Pere Lachaise cemetary a post all to itself (that’s up next, along with a bonus story about an astrophysicist I met).

building with incredible sculptures on top. can't remember it's name but it's near the Pompidou.

at the Musèe d'Orsay

If I lived in Paris, I’d definitely have a membership to both the d’Orsay and the Pompidou. There’s a reason they call Paris the art capital of the world.

café in the d'Orsay. (!) no big deal.

Little tiny fancy cars all over the place. Also saw a lot of nice motorcycles, most notably some beautiful Triumphs. If I lived here, you know I’d be on two wheels, motorized or otherwise. No mini cars for me!

Sorry about the rotation there… can’t seem to get it right, but it’s worth it to see even if you have to look sideways at it. That there is a sculpture by a Belgian artist named Wim Delvoye. This guy knows how to make some beautiful, thought-provoking and insanely intricate art. Makes sense that he’s got a temporary exhibit (click for link) at the Rodin Museum right now. I spent a quiet afternoon there and loved this piece situated in the center of the main garden. It’s about 15 feet tall, made of laser-cut Corten steel. It’s slowly being allowed to rust, and the effect can’t really be captured on film. The museum itself was stunning as well… so so much work. Rodin must have never stopped creating. There was a really cool display on how he creates and casts his works… whenever I get my digital photos worked out I’ll post a photo of it.

inside the museum


Me in Montmarte. Stayed there, had a blast. Paris was such a good experience… definitely need to spend more time in this place someday. A lot more, if I can manage it. Also need to learn French. But the Frenchards can stick to their broken English– I love it too much.

A bientot for now… more photos later.

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Père Lachaise and savior astrophysicists

Posted in Uncategorized by Cassandra on June 2, 2010

(note: this is out of order. I went to Belgium before this, and have a ton more photos of Paris, but wasn’t able to format them correctly yet… so look out for those posts in the coming weeks)

Had to leave Paris early due to the Icelandic volcano canceling my flight. I wasn’t happy to cut my trip short but unfortunately couldn’t miss class meetings, so I ended up taking an unplanned 18 hour bus ride along the Western coast of France, down through Basque country, and on to Madrid. The bus station was apocalyptic and completely jammed with bodies waiting, rushing, sleeping, running in circles like chickens with their heads cut off. I was exhausted just surveying the scene from the floor above.

(warning: amateur/gratuitous science-y paragraph ahead)

The ride was hellish.. the seats really aren’t made for anyone over 5’9″ and I’m a good 6’1″. On the bright side, however, I sat next to an astrophysicist from DC the whole way. Met him in line, the guy had a really soothing voice which was weird in the middle of the mayhem happening in the bus station. I was alone at this point, and thankful to have some conversation. After we settled into the bus, trying to nap and failing, we got to talking and he schooled me on NASA’s current politics. Way interesting. Basically manned space missions are unnecessary other than for PR, but take up ten times the budget of other far more necessary and innovative projects. He is a researcher from New Mexico and tried to speak in layman’s terms when explaining what exactly he does, but I think I got the gist and it’s so interesting. Basically, this guy is one of a few heading a project to launch into space a new system of data collection, based on three distantly spaced satellites which, with the slight gravitational pull from hundreds of different sources that pulls them each very slightly, transmit information on the ripples of space-time in the fabric of the universe. Intense. He talked for hours about it, and I finally came to understand it as different from other, now-used forms of info gathering in that, with photos of all different wavelengths you can see information in different ways, but with the primordial gravitational waves, you can hear them. Like putting an ear to the ground of the history of the universe. So his team gathers all of this data and has to de-code it in order to make sense of the patterns, which takes a lot of effort, but can yield incredibly exact and new types of information about merging black-holes, collapsing stars, and new galaxies. Also,I learned that  this project that he’s helping to lead could be funded for ten years with the budget of just ONE manned mission! GNARLY. This dude was so awesome… I kept thinking about how lucky I was to have sat next to him. Made the waking hours of those 18 hours go by much more quickly.

(regurgitation of beyond my mind capacity science lesson over)

Anyway, I was trying to say that I didn’t have time to get in everything I wanted to (though, truthfully, this would take months, if not years, in a city like that), but was able to squeeze a cemetery visit in on my last morning. So stoked I made the decision to get up early and see it, and was especially glad when I got to the hellhole of a bus station/7hour wait in line to get on a bus (though I already had bought/printed my ticket) later in the afternoon.

Might as well have spent the morning wandering in a peaceful respite in the beyond beautiful Père Lachaise.

Jimmy M. legendary, to say the least.


more spring

After a couple of hours, and feeling decidedly alive, I rounded the corner to the metro station and came across this, which rounded out my last morning in France nicely.

Au revoir, Pareee!

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