Sunday, September 21, 2008


Today is the last day. I'm not terribly sad because I'm going through massive Chubbs withdraw. Paris is full of doodles (Me and Rebecca's term for dogs). Most are cute a shaggy, even more of them are leashed to a drunk twenty year old passed out on the sidewalk outside of the Bastille. Lots of people feel bad for these homeless dogs, but I figure that if worse come to worse, they'll regain their inner animal and just eat their drunken owner. Which come to think of it would be righting two wrongs. On Rebecca and my first walk around Paris, we crossed paths with a handsome Bulldog. Our reaction to him was bigger than ours to any museum, monument or meal here in Paris. Watching this bully swagger across the street made me smile while crying on the inside for the fact that I couldn't just go home and snuggle my little fart machine. Crying because I know that when I pick him up from Ithaca, he'll be mad at me for making him leave. 
All over Paris, the dog owners walk with their dog off leash. Little doodles free to stop and pick up a scrap of food from the ground, then race to catch up to their owners. One afternoon, we watched a dog cross the street, dragging his leash between his legs. His owner stopped, looked down and told him to pick up his leash, which he did dutifully on command. But we've noticed that none of the Bully breeds walk off leash. Even here you can't trust your Bully to follow you. This is his city too and if he wants to take the next left, he's going to take it. See you soon Chubbington. Daddy misses you.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dinner and Death




Last night, the two of us went out for dinner with Craig and Arch. It was the night to splurge. We went to Benoit. That's probably not how you spell it, but the name isn't important. This restaurant was recommended to us by our dear friend Justin who travels to Paris frequently for business. This was our first dinning experience at a place that has received a Michelin Star. Granted that it only received one out of the possible three stars, some chefs have been known to kill themselves over the pressure to maintain their star status.
This was French food at its' close to best. I loved this restaurant because it reminded me of my mom. If she had a restaurant, this is exactly how it would be. Lace curtains, beautiful floral table settings, warm hospitality. Dinning at a fancy place in a language I don't speak gets me pretty nervous, but the staff was very welcoming and made us all feel readily at home. After a nice glass of champagne and some cheese biscuits, I had an amazing crayfish bisque then a classic French cassole' (again, spelling error) followed by a poached pear with hot chocolate and whipped cream. They pretty much had to roll us out the door. Tres Bon!

Death!!!! So I had the morning and afternoon free today, and after spending so much time with others, I thought that it might be nice to do something alone. So I figured that spending an hour below Paris surrounded by dead bodies would be a lovely thing to do. And it was. I kind of thought that the Catacombs would be corny, but I found it pretty amazing. It was a mile long walk through a maze of tunnels that eventually lead in to a bigger maze of skeletons. It kind of weirded me out at first, you could grab a skull and pick it up if you wanted to. The bones were just there, stacked up in neat piles. This would never exist in America. They would be kept out of reach behind plexiglass or something. I love trust. Faith that we'll all respect these remains. Granted that I did smuggle out a femur, this is the kind of thing that makes me not want to come home. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Parisian Tidbits

Here, Arch tries out one of the many doorway / toilets that line the streets of Paris. This is a best bet for the frugal tourist that just won't be bothered by the public coin operated toilets.
Rebecca and I ventured to the Arch de Triumph. For just 10 euros each, we got a beautiful view of Paris, and two sets of gigantic quad muscles thanks to the 235,000,437 stairs to the top.
Neither of us have to dance at the Paris Opera House. Just look at the raked floor in the practice studio. I'd be on my ass in an instant if I had to turn on that floor. Good luck to the rest of the company.
No picture can capture the true beauty of the Opera House. We both knew that it would be gorgeous, but it truly took our breath away. Just the ceiling painted ,by Chagall, in the house is enough to make you cry.
Rebecca was so moved after watching the dress rehearsal for the gala, that she forced Craig and I in to an impromptu pas de troix right outside the front doors of the theatre. Eat your heart out Paris Opera!

Monday, September 15, 2008

FREE DAY #2

Today was devoted to Wine and Relaxation. We took the Metro with some of our friends to the Luxembourg Gardens. I'd imagine that we could have gotten off at a closer station because the walk seemed to take forever. On the way there we all ducked in to the Franprix (a grocery chain) to get the essentials, Red Wine & Nutella. 
The gardens were beautiful. The wine went down fast and smoothly. I don't like Nutella. But I'll eat a plain baguette any time.
Trees in a row.
Later on the group broke off in to two and we went with Arch and Albert to the famous Cafe de Flore. Rebecca is addicted to cafe creme. If you are planning on having her visit you any time soon, I strongly suggest that you stock up now. She's been talking about the in her sleep. Seriously. 
Tonight we didn't really want to eat French food, so after wandering around, we found ourselves back in Jewish Town. We had some nice falafel au poive. Sadly, we have to go back to work tomorrow. But the serious work ends there. 

FREE DAY #1

First stop, Jewish Town. I'm not sure if that's what the Parisians call it, but they should.
After stopping for at least three more cafe cremes, we walked over to Notre Dame. In true Christian spirit, we cut in line and royally screwed at least 300 people waiting in line for days. My idea was to just walk through the exit backwards, but Rebecca's idea worked perfectly...for us.
We both were moved by Notre Dames glorious plasma screen televisions. They truly radiated the Gospel of the lord.
The Pope's mass was rockin'!
I don't know who this headless guy is, but the angel on his right has a smirk on her face that makes me wonder if she's maybe responsible for it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jealous?

This is the cute little ghost that greats us at the stage door.
I had a day off and walked aimlessly towards Notre Dame, never expecting to reach it by foot...
but somehow I found it. The Pope is there this weekend, but since this couple consists of an agnostic and a Jew, we don't care that much. He's just the reason that we can't get over to the west bank like we'd like to.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Last night was opening night and I don't think anyone could have done better. Knowing that dancers from the Paris Opera were in the audience was making everyone a little nervous but it clearly made everyone dance great. Rebecca had a debut in the waltz from Suite Three. She was absolutely stunning. I would give anything to be her partner. It's an overly dramatic role, dancing with her hair down looking for her love. Her and Jared are a great pairing and I can really enjoy watching her knowing that she is being partnered by one of the greatest partners ever.
Tonight is my night to dance. It will be in Symphony in Three, the same role I danced in my SAB workshop. I'm extremely excited to get on the stage here. The audiences are pretty much sold out and are very enthusiastic. We had a dress rehearsal in hair and make-up on Monday night for the French media and apparently I was on TV the other day. I didn't get to see it but I'll just tell myself that I looked amazing.
So as I said before, I totally love this city. I have never been here, nor ever felt a desire to visit. It just never seemed like a place that would appeal to me. It's always portrayed as a city of romance and snobs. I see neither. Which is good. I don't need my romance to come from a city and don't want to constantly suppress the urge to stab people. In the past few years I have grown to hate NYC. It doesn't provide me with what I think I need. But I have been so relaxed ever since I've gotten here. There aren't as many people here as I expected, and I don't feel the continual forces of people around me dictating the pace of which I set my course on. In New York I always feel that something else is in control. As if the city is in charge and I have to use all of my strength  to chart my own course. I've grown tired of that feeling and being here is a welcome change. 
I'm not quite sure what makes people say that Paris is romantic, and I feel that maybe I should be embarrassed that I don't. I do consider myself to be romantic on occasion so what's my problem? As for the look of Paris, It doesn't seem to be at odds with the other small European city's that I've been to. Yes every street and alley are beautiful, and some of the women on their bikes will make you turn your head. But so far the only hands that I have seen holding one another are located between Rebecca and I. Maybe I think everything is romantic, and I just can't recognize a new situation. I guess I can blame this on Rebecca. I think eating a Grey's Papaya hotdog with her on a Monday afternoon is romantic. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Paris so far

This is our tiny little hotel room. When we arrived in the lobby, we were greeted by stark minimalist decor. Lots of dark purple velvet and mirrors. The hotel rooms are spread out amongst several smaller buildings(we are in the Eiffel Building)that are all connected by a charming Parisian courtyard. Once we opened our room door however, we realized that the decor exists ONLY IN THE LOBBY. Our room kind of reminds us of our house in Saratoga. But somehow it doesn't bother me. Nothing is bothering me. I love this city.
Our theatre is fucking enormous! Sorry, there is no other way to put it. It literally could contain all of Lincoln Center. Not just State Theatre, all of it! On our first day exploring, we stopped by it to look around and were stunned by just the size of our poster out front.
Day 1: French Laundry
This is doesn't show 1/100th of the size of the backstage area. Just like the Met, you could have multiple full size stage sets set up to be moved on stage in one piece. It is incredible.
We are located in sort of the Hell's Kitchen of Paris. Every one's young and hip and there's a lot of punks hanging around the theatre. I keep seeing these posters and love them. It's one of the few things that I've seen written in English which I find quite telling.

Good bye Copenhagen, Bonjour Paris.


My writings have been limited because my work load has been filled. However, we have arrived in Paris and needless to say, my "Petite Krohn" is quite taken with this city. We may never leave. And if what I hear about John McCain rising in the polls is correct, maybe you all should come and join us. Our hotel has a internet charge of 30 euros. I refuse to pay this, so my post will be rather spread out but I'll do my best to find some free wifi zones around the area. We miss you all. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

This is the candy stand right outside of our stage door. Any one who knows about my sweet tooth will realize that I will be returning home with a lovely case of diabetes.
The little China village in Tivoli that we walk through every morning.

Sorry I've haven't written in a few days, but I did post a video, so that must count for something. We both have been busy little bees recently so I haven't been around this hotel room that much to write. Things are going well. Rebecca is almost over her cold and I'm sure the house keeping staff is happy to be picking up fewer tissues from her bedside table. All of our performances have been great for the most part. We're both feeling pretty jet-lagged but a few extra naps here and there are getting us through the day. I promise some more pictures of the city as soon as I get some free time to see it. 

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tivoli Welcome Wagon

video

Free Day

"Optional" company class
Rebecca at lunch
A street...
A building...

Today is our free day. Although they added another "optional" class for us today, the rest of the day is ours. After having a large group dinner last night we opted to take today for ourselves. We pretty much just strolled around with no destination and enjoyed our surroundings. Copenhagen seems to run as smoothly as any city I've ever been to. I think that there's a lot to be said for a culture that refuses to J-Walk. I think when everyone is doing as they should, not much will go wrong and then you can just enjoy where you are at the moment instead of stressing about the next. All cities need to become much more bike friendly. NYC is about as unwelcoming to a bicyclist as one could get. Here, all of the streets have large bike lanes and separate street signs. There are even free bikes for tourists that have maps on the handlebars. Aside from looking like a tourist, you feel like a native.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

First Day in Copenhagen

We arrived at JFK around 1pm for a 4:30 flight. That's a lot of time to kill, and a lot of airport food to eat. Our flights were  pretty smooth aside from Rebecca manifesting the cold from hell. I think she's just allergic to flying since I think I remember her getting sick on the way to London. I got the "jimmy-legs" on the flight to Paris, but with a free seat next to me for the second leg of the journey, I could finally spread out and get some sleep.
Tivoli Gardens it the amusement park that we perform at here. There is a band of cute little soldier boys that would usually always meet us at the airport to welcome us with a song. Sadly they were missing this year, and as disappointed as we all were, we figured it must be because we were split in to three flights. But then as we pulled up to the front of our hotel, there they were, drums out and fifes wailing. It kind of makes you feel like a celebrity and that really doesn't feel that bad.
Since we arrived so early none of our rooms were ready for us. But the hotel provided us with a breakfast buffet while we waited a few hours. I needed some fresh air after all of that time couped up on a plane, so Rebecca and I went out for a little stroll in to town. I love this city. I feel so at home. It helps to have been here a few times before, but I have loved this place since my first trip. I'll tell you why later.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Our Favorite Place





For years Rebecca and I have been routinely going down to Anguilla during our layoffs for some sun and sand. Anguilla is paradise. On our first vacation years ago, we realized that we are perfectly matched in our expectations for a vacation. Neither of us want to stay in a big resort with other Americans. We definitely don't want to be around children. And we like things to be a little on the rustic side. Anguilla was a perfect fit. 
She's a tiny island two hundred miles southeast of Puerto Rico. She boast some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world. The locals are  wonderful people. They work at a pace that would drive many New Yorkers crazy, but Rebecca and I just sit back, sip our rum punches and go with their flow. 
We love so much about this island, that to try to write about it would only trivialize it and come up short. To understand its power you must go.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

We're gonna stay one extra night

Believe it or not, but I just made the decision to spend an extra night here. We are in the eye of one crazy storm, and I can't risk getting hurt on the way home. As I just wrote that sentence, the power went out. Tonight before the ballet started, two people were struck by lightning and rushed to the hospital. We still danced. But I'm glad we're just going to bunker down tonight and enjoy the light show, I don't have to work tomorrow, no stress for A.J. Thank god this is done.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

SPAC is Wack part Deux

Everything that our company travels with is shipped in crates. This includes costumes, sets, props and a few fat dancers.
This crate contained three swords and two fat dancers.