The Pope in Paris

Sent today, another hot scoop and visual feast from our intrepid and inspired Parisienne:

We were waiting for the Pope for two days, no cars parked in the street, so many cops around, no shops opened around rue de Poissy …

And suddenly this morning, after canceling an appointment with a printer, and explaining to him that he could never make it to me because of traffic jams and the metro stations being closed, I decided just to live the event : “the pope’s visit”.

I paid a visit to my friends who own the hotel Familia rue des Ecoles just in front of the rue de Poissy. They feel so fine since the grand opening of the College des bernardins; the musicians playing there are staying at the hotel along with many visitors too. They invited me to come to room 53 and photograph.

(click on photos to enlarge)

In the adjoining rooms, my neighbors were also interested in the pope:

Marvelous Sylvie who, with her husband, owns the Familia and Minerva hotels:

The pope arrives but he is so far away. We feel so disappointed.

I went down to street level. If I could just find a little place along the Quai from the college des bernardins to Notre Dame, I imagined it might be my only chance to see the pope.

What a thrill!

Of course, I was new in the crowd and was surprised when everyone began screaming in rhythm “Benedetto…Benedetto!” as they call Benoit XVI. It was a very happy time anyway.

Pope to visit the Collège des Bernardins in Paris

(received yesterday from BB:)

Another great day in the 5th arrondissement. Benoit XVI is going to visit the brand new and restored Collège des Bernardins which just reopened last Thursday on the rue des Bernardins.  The Cistercian college was built in 1245, was a famous place of research, diverted during  the revolution,   became a fire station in the 19è century, and now is returned to research, lectures …

All the cars had to move off the surrounding streets and the shops will be closed. The poor Pope couldn’t bring back “little souvenirs” to his family from the dead 5th arrondissement.

Here are a few photos of the opening, many priests, sponsors and a few catholic ladies, impressive and cold.

(click to see full photos)

Cousins from Aveyron

A little hello from cousin goats from Aveyron; sweet, curious, they answer to their name and come to say hello, cut the grass, give delicious milk for cheese, and also if they are curly like the white angora one on the left, they give wool.  
Do you know the story of “La chèvre de Monsieur Seguin”? Monsieur Seguin’s goat behaves courageously and fights a wolf all night long because she wants to live free.
For this story and more, read “Les lettres de mon moulin” (“Letters from my Mill”) by Alphonse Daudet – delicious tales from Provence.


Howard Lev called me last week after having driven past a patch of downtown greenery filled with goats. I ran down and snapped a few shots of these delightful creatures. 

Chatted with Tammy of Rent-A-Ruminant, who asserted this was a cutting edge example of green business sense. The goats gently munch away brush, then poop, and leave.

Mostly, they’re just sweet and pettable and the opposite of camera-shy.

These bright curious animals approached me eagerly, virtually nuzzling my lens. More ham than goat, it seemed to me.


From left to right: Bob Connell, B. Bhartik and partner, Jun Akutsu, Cathy Tuttle, Kathleenn Cromp, Michael Kucher, Treb Connell, Christina O’Leary, Michael Courtney

This coming Saturday, Sept 13, from 10 to noon the “ring of illuminated concern” called Sustainable Wallingford – and I’m a member – will meet almost at the Mosaic Community Coffeehouse at 4401 2nd Ave. NE.  That is the landmark.  The meeting itself will be just around the corner in the First Church of the Nazarene fellowship hall.  You enter on 2nd.

Early last month, August 9th, an afternoon squall ran through Seattle scattering picnics to the nearest shelters.  The picnics that Saturday included one for Sustainable Wallingford at the Good Shepherd campus.  The attached group portrait shows a few members illuminated in the reflected glow of an afternoon sun that followed the storm.  They are perched, of course, in the park’s pergola.

Why investigate this circle of concerned Wallingford citizens?  One reason is that they are also meeting in Wallingford United Kingdom.   Here follows parts of Sustainable Wallingford leader Cathy Tuttle’s latest correspondence to members.  It begins with a request you may wish to take time to examine and respond to.

Please take a survey, What Do You Really Think About Climate Change? We will only be collecting survey data until October 25th, so please try to answer soon! Our friends in Sustainable Wallingford UK contacted us last month at Sustainable Wallingford US, to see if we could ask our townspeople the same questions at the same time. We want to see if we have similar interests, knowledge, and concerns in both countries. Wallingford, UK is a small town of about 10,000 people, located 47 miles (75 km) west of London. Wallingford, USA is a neighborhood of around 20,000 people, located 4 miles (6 km) north of Seattle. Please pass along this survey to your friends! We will publish survey results on our website, and in local newspapers. Thank you!

The remainder of Cathy’s bulleted correspondence includes other clues on why one might want to show up this coming weekend or visit the group’s site.

*   CoolMom Wallingford meets at Mosaic 4401 2nd Ave NE this Tuesday, Sept 9 at 7 pm with Kerri Cechovic from Washington Environmental Council. More info about CoolMom Wallingford from Anne Marie 206-522-5034

*   Active Sustainable Wallingford member Mike Ruby received $15,000 from the Dept of Neighborhoods Matching Fund to help plan a Wallingford Community Center He invites folks interested in the project to the Good Shepherd Center room 122 this Wednesday, Sept 10 at 7 pm.

*   If you haven’t seen the Sustainable Wallingford wheelbarrow drill team, click.

*   The great Sustainable Ballard Festival on Sept 27-28 has a variety of must-see events including two Wallingford-based Spokespeople rides at noon to sustainable sites — so ride your bikes to the festival!

*   Spokespeople will also link houses on the Wallingford home tour on Oct 5.

*   Click for more info about Sustainable Wallingford or call Cathy at 206-547-9569

My one-of-a-kind Sustainable Wallingford button

In Wallingford

Noel writes:

I’ve made a dancing thing with no arms but two beautiful legs.
It lives inside of me, but I wear it like a coat, keeping me in darkness.
Formless, faceless, stacked and grown over years like so much manure,
A throbbing clot in the arteries of my head and my heart.
It stage whispers that I’m both what matters and unworthy.
I gave it legs to run.

Generous Contributions

While walking Wallingford this week I’ve come upon two examples of what will most likely soon become a great commonplace of public giving.  As we approach the grand opening or first day of the new federal requirement for high definiton TV and this new age of entertainment and education becomes the right and responsibility of every citizen in their pursuit of happiness and verrisimilitude, more non-complying televisions will be given up by citizens who ask no thanks.  The single set shown here (below) was found gently resting on its face in a driveway on Meridian Avenue near the Tully’s parking lot off 45th Street – Wallingford’s “Highway to Ballard.”  The two sets (above) were neatly set at the edge of another parking lot, appropriately that behind the Hollywood Video, also on 45th.  Look for much more of this curbside philanthropy in the weeks ahead.  While one may check set labels for expiration dates, there are none.  Sometimes the once warm boxes do include their year of origin.  The attached label from the Meridian Ave. set – a Sharp Model 19np58 – reveals that it is barely twenty years old and so probably eager to turn on for someone these last few weeks.

Fenêtres de ma cuisine (my kitchen window)

Le théâtre de la vie des Génovéfains a repris depuis le 1er Septembre. On s’ennuyait, les immeubles étaient tristes, et les rideaux des fenêtres étaient immobiles.

(The theatre of the inhabitants of Montagne Sainte Geneviève resumed on the 1st of September.  We had been bored; even the buildings were sad, with motionless window curtains) 

Photo du 4 Août

Hier soir, les fenêtres s’éclairent et j’attends le scoop, (modérément).

(Yesterday evening, the windows lit up, and I waited for the scoop (in moderation)) 

(photo du 1er Septembre)

Depuis trois jours, 4 policiers gardent discrètement l’entrée du 26 rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève, et tout le quartier a repéré le manège, la rumeur laisse entendre que c’est un bandit corse qui est recherché et chacun de fantasmer s’il est meurtrier, voleur, pire…

(For three days, four cops staked out the entrance to 26 rue de la Montagne Sainte Geneviève, but the entire district spotted them. It’s rumored that they’re on the trail of a Corsican villain and everyone imagines he’s a thief, a murderer, or worse.)

Moi, j’ai demandé à l’épicière de me prévenir en cas de “grabuge”, car je ne veux pas rater mon premier scoop.

(As for me, I asked the grocer to alert me if there’s any action, because I didn’t want to miss the scoop.)

La plus frondeuse des voisine s’est adressée à l’un des policiers , car elle avait peur pour ses enfants, et voulait connaître l’ampleur du danger.
La réponse du policier, bien que rassurante, nous a tous déçu : en fait ils s’agirait de deux trafiquants de cartes bleues, ” ceux qui louent au premier étage et ne payent pas leur loyer depuis 6 mois”.

(The most rebellious of my neighbors, concerned for her kids’ safety, spoke with one of the cops, demanding to know if there was real danger. The cop’s response, although comforting, disappointed us all. Evidently, it’s just two ATM card traffickers: “they rented the first floor but haven’t paid for the last six months”.)

Et personne, n’était capable de se souvenir des visages, ni de la silhouettede ces deux petits bandits.

(And no one was able to remember the faces of these two little thieves, nor their allure.)

Aujourd’hui, les policiers sont partis, et moi, j’ai une photo de ma fenêtre de plus.

(Today, the police have gone, and I’ve taken one more photo from my kitchen window.)

– see, “Welcome, Bérangère” below….also, visit BB’s site listed in our blogroll –Jean

Now & Then here and now