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A + for The A-Word: The most authentic look at Autism on screen.

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I worked for several years with a succession of autistic children—which mostly means boys—kids who were mainstreamed in regular education classrooms, with a classroom aide assigned to shadow them. That was me, the shadow. 

We also lived next door to a family who had an autistic son who became one of our son’s closest playmates, until we moved away at the end of elementary school. Chris, with his funny idiosyncrasies is the source of some very sweet memories, as well as moments of high drama. That’s what you get with autism, children who can be deeply involved when their needs and passions are directed and shared but who can sometimes find it frustrating when those needs are brushed aside. 

It’s typical for an autistic child to want to talk about dinosaurs—or whatever the passion is—and be frustrated while the rest of the kids have moved on to another topic. The autistic child is focused on that stegasaurus and exactly how cool it is, just not quite getting that the others don't shar…

Dreaming of France: Trompe l'oeil

photo credit: moi

The trompe l'oeil technique used here works better on a sunny day when the real sky matches the painted blue sky on the building. On the day we visited this spot in the 10th arrondisment, the grey clouds visited the neighborhood too.

Literally, to deceive the eye, the official definition of the French phrase trompe l'oeil is
• visual illusion in art, especially as used to trick the eye into perceiving a painted detail as a three-dimensional object. 
We spotted this one on the Rue du la Faubourg above a storefront near the Gare de l’est. But that’s all I know about it and so far, even my friend Google, has been of little help. I have no idea what he initials ELZA stand for, they don’t seem to be connected with the shop below, one that sells military accoutrements.


photo credit: www.paris-en-photos.fr

I did discover that Paris boasts an abundance of buildings done up in trompe l’oeil to fool the eye. The one above (not my photo) is of a wall next to a fire station. In the 20th arrondisement it depicts firemen saving a cat from what appears to be the Bridge of Sighs in Venice.

To me, hunting for more examples of trompe l’oeil that I can share on Instagram sounds like perfect excuse to plan another trip to Paris ... as if we needed one! 

As usual around this time of the week, I’m hooking up with Paulita Kincer’s weekly Dreaming of France meme. 



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