img_4246                      Being American means being an immigrant, unless you are a Native American, and they as well must come from somewhere else.

I understand that as soon as people live together rules are needed to make sure everyone live “happily ever after” with the best chances of success  and peacefully.

Mankind is not perfect, we see it today everywhere, and history made it clear, and that is why we need people to govern our “countries” and help us organize a better community life, help us keep justice and more.

I like to live by the principle set by the Enlightenment philosophers, who in the 18th Century  helped the world to make its necessary changes. When Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu, argued and showed that “no man should be treated less than an other” ” all men are equal”, that the freedom of one should be complete subject to the respect of someone else freedom and to the Society they are living in, for a peaceful community life.

“La liberté consiste à pouvoir faire tout ce qui ne nuit pas à autrui.” (Déclaration des droits de l’homme de 1789) 

In the same period in America, nourished by the same idea, same movement : the declaration of Independence (1776) and the US Constitution and their amendments were born from the same thirst and same core values

“US Constitution Article [I] (Amendment 1 – Freedom of expression and religion) 13

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It is just “Bon sens” almost evidence to us that have been born Free. It is a chance that we have to protect. It is a given fact to us, but could fly away.

Our countries have been built on the declaration of Human’s right, on Constitutional rights written thanks of to these men and women who made their voices heard, understood and respected, for the good of all.

Fear is the word that comes to my mind when I try to describe what is happening in the US, and in Europe. There are tones of thoughts that are dashing through my mind, and they are so fast and so loud that no words can’t reach my mouth, as it would make the loudest sounds or a complete silence.

But how can I remain silent. How can I formulate what is laying upon my heart, upon my countries, upon each and every one of us.

(As you may know I am French and I am American, I grew up in Paris from an American father and a French mother. My world has always been both sides of the ocean, and I have been raised open to the world. Truth is that I have been raised in France with the values of Freedom Equality and fraternity. I have been raised on the French soil, with the american dream and values in my heart. My eyes welcoming the light and endless possibilities, my heart always  respecting the democracy values, that are deeply grounded in both countries.

I lived in Paris where the “mini” statue of Liberty reminded me everyday of the big one  in New York City (gifted by the French to the American, and vis and versa).

I have been lucky to move from one very cosmopolitan city to another, from Paris to Luxembourg to New York City. I say lucky because I am born in Paris in a very international family. I am lucky as my parents meeting each other was made possible by the fact that we live in an open world.  But It is a choice I made to continue living in such environment as it my choices that brought me to these places. I also added another international component to  my life marrying a Dutch man. In fact I do not even think about it, it is who I am and how I have been raised, open to the world around me. Not naïve. But optimist and trying to bring as much positivism as possible to this world, starting with a SMILE

A smile is already one step to a better day as I said it many time in my posts.

A baby doesn’t learn to walk in one time, but step by step with the help of others, often his loving family.)

I hear and I see millions of people trying to protects our rights, who recently marched peacefully to protect our equality, our freedom.

I see and I feel the strength of the Native American who have sacrificed their comfort to prevent our water and our earth to be damaged by pollution, I stand with Standing Rock and my heart bleeds knowing our “now” “President” denies reality to Climate change, and decided to move on with the construction of the Pipeline.

I’m in total disbelief in front of the ban made on 27 January 2017 by D. Trump. Anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp “Auschwitz-Birkenau”! 12th birthday of our daughter. What is happening to the world?

For me it is all about Fear. Yes we need action in front of terrorism. But we should not act upon fear and forget who we are as a nation and what are our values. The core of our nation.

We need to protect ourselves and our values, but we cannot compromises them for our safety!

Is living in cage with no light better than dying? (trust me I don’t want to die not death to be part of the plan) What are we allowing in the name of Fear? Why do we allow our freedom to be swept a little more everyday because we are attacked and under the threat of ‘une poignée‘ a “handful” of tyrannic terrorist ? Because we are afraid not to have enough work and food for everyone? ( Really ? with all the wastefulness we are making we can’t come up with better actions and solutions ?)

I am stunned to see what we have allowed in the past decade. I am in disbelief in front of the election of François Holland our french president, very sad day it was for me. Worst to acknowledge the poor choices that were brought to us. Horrified by the choices we are having for the next elections….but it s not only France, it is also here in America, I am still in disbelief of what have happened the past 9 months. And Brexit, the rise of nationalism in England! and everywhere else in Europe.

It is the time to wake up, find solution, positive ones.

Keep the smile inside out anyhow, we need it… we should not forget our baby steps if we want to keep our values alive.

I apologize for my train of thoughts, it is taking turns and turns to arrive to its destination.

The idea is I am an immigrant, my family comes from everywhere and I should not be ashamed of it or worried about it, I should always be proud of it.

The idea is: let’s protect us against villains but let’s continue being ourselves, let’s not compromise ourselves in the name of frights. Isn’t it what we read everyday to our kids : fairy tales and diverse moralistic’s stories to build up their values, their courage, their compassion… We try to give them a sense of honor dignity respect courage, let us keep theses values alive even if we passed the 2 digits.

We should not accept that others are treated in a way we could not accept to be treated ourselves, out of fear.

My family comes from Europe, and for my father’s side is in America since the 18th century or before. The other side of my family is still in Europe or Israel. Anyhow my family has immigrated all around the world. It is lucky but it is not easy. Even for us as a family of 5, moving from Luxembourg to New York which holds my familial roots is great but not easy. We chose to move as we are FREE to, and it is a chance that we have to treasure. But it is not easy to be far away from our family, our friends, the system we know better, to learn everything almost from scratch. Imagine for those who immigrated out of tyrannies, war, who immigrated and immigrates to save their lives, who don’t have another choice to secure their lives. I wish the people who are afraid of immigration to think while deciding out of fear, sitting comfortably in their homes, accumulating useless material goods or fitting to live comfortably. The ‘immigrants’ are not trying to take their jobs or place bombs, (immigrants are not terrorists, terrorists are terrorists) and yes immigration  means adaptations. But who are we to close the borders that way ? Are we such a weak nation that it is the last option left to protect ourselves? Can’t we find a better way? There are so many things that can bring back work and harmony, so many ways to improve the economy on joy rather than fear!

I thank all the courageous people who keep smiling, all who keep defending our core values. I wish us all success and hope for the best anyhow…..

Immigration is humanity, we just need to remember who we are and who to handle the challenges that comes with Freedom.

I need to mention a discussion I had with one of my dear friend Mirela, (Romanian Lawyer) when I was a lawyer. We were both attending a training at the European commission on freedom of movement and its impact on labour law etc…  We were debating between the 2 of us, on whether Freedom or Health was the most important?                                                         I was saying that “Health was more important” as we can’t do anything without being healthy?  She was arguing that “Freedom was the most important” as : what good is it to be healthy and not free?

I truly hope that we won’t have to fight for our freedom again ? But as  I am seeing things, we are compromising everyday our freedom and should react before it is too late.

Everyone action counts and as a result it becomes stronger as a sum.  The balance of ones actions is now troubled by fear and we see the rise of nationalism. People think about their own worries and forget to see further, which incidentally will bounce back on them as a result. But we still can create positive energy and a shift with our everyday actions……..

Thank you for reading this post, and sorry again for letting my thoughts go in all directions….

I wish you all a good week-end

 

Other posts related:

https://soparislux.com/2013/12/14/weekly-photo-challenge-community-the-immigrant-courage-sacrifice-family/

https://soparislux.com/2014/04/27/letters-vector-of-emotions/

img_7150Long time Not on my blog, but busy on Instagram and on the streets…

 December  pointed his pretty nose at our doorstep…

Wishing you all Only happy thoughts and happy news.

My side :

I have launched my E-shop:

So if you are In the mood to #travel to #NYC #Paris #Amsterdam #Luxembourg

https://squareup.com/store/jessdv?t=merchant-tw

#Promocode DECIDE 15% OFF

Sharing images you love is always a gift…so gift and share.

Have a great week

Xoxoxo

HopeJe

I am happy … 3 years  have passed since I started this adventure, sharing places, ideas, images, and keeping memories through these blog’s pages.

Thank you for following me and my adventures…. see you soon for more ….à bientôt….

Bisous ! ( kisses )

Jessica

 

Just for you:

My top 3 posts in 2016:

Incredible : My favorite addresses in Amsterdam have recorded more than 1500 views and is my top viewed post every years since it has been posted:

https://soparislux.com/amsterdam-une-de-mes-villes-favorites/amsterdam-one-of-my-favorite-city/

Number 2 is the one on my favorite addresses in Luxembourg:

https://soparislux.com/my-favorite-places-to-have-a-bite-lunch-dine-or-have-a-drink-in-luxembourg-grand-duche-de-luxembourg-part-1/

Number 3 is the one on this beautiful artist: Jurga Martin and her “Maison d’hôte in Bourgogne, France:

https://soparislux.com/2014/01/11/beaune-france-la-terre-dor-and-jurga-martins/

In 2015:

Still the post on Amsterdam and Luxembourg then this one on Paris and its gardens:

soparislux.com/2013/05/13/jardin-du-ranelagh-ou-parc-de-la-muette/

In 2014:

Still the post on Amsterdam and Luxembourg then this one on Luxembourg’s night life 🙂

https://soparislux.com/2014/03/08/chez-serge-luxembourg-previously-peche-mignon-or-declic-weekly-photo-challenge-perspective/

In 2013:

This post on Amsterdam is still number one: https://soparislux.com/amsterdam-une-de-mes-villes-favorites/amsterdam-one-of-my-favorite-city/

Oh how I love Ben Mazue’s and Benjamin Clementine’s music, two wonderful artists to be discovered. Together in my post, but not linked in real life:

https://soparislux.com/2013/07/04/ben-mazue-french-singer-and-benjamin-clementine-english-singer/

And this nice weekly challenge:

https://soparislux.com/2013/11/29/weekly-photo-challenge-let-there-be-light/

Let see what 2016 nous réserve ( awaites for us…)…

It has been a little while I wanted to write about our move from Luxembourg to New York !

We are travelers in our souls and until our finger tips, but this goes beyond traveling, even if, in its direct continuity!

If you follow me since the beginning or for a while you know that I am a French American girl brought up in Paris France, married to a Dutch guy, with 3 children born in Luxembourg, and a dog coming from Friesland and extensive traveler as he joined our family. and that I write my blog from my iPhone (at 95%).

For those who joined more recently here you are into the confidence 😉💫.

I take advantage of this post to thank you for following me, and to all passing by, I give you all a great smile!

So moving to NYC was meant to be, and arrived at the right time, NYC was not unknown to us all ( except to Rocky our dog ;-)).

But moving and becoming a habitant of NYC is different from all the visits we did to the big Apple before!

We moved from a very international and cosmopolitan  city  in the middle of the green  with around 107,247 inhabitants to one of the hugest country in the world, in one of the biggest city with around 8,336,697 New Yorkers.

Some of the people we would meet, would barely knew Luxembourg, and joke that the city had as many people as in a NYC block!

Funny how it did not feel like it, but yet the difference was obvious and the energy we found here as inhabitants was what we were looking for.

We were Green as it can be!

But happy, as if we were mounting a rodeo bull, we might have felt a little or let ourselves go with the speed, but soon managed to ride it and remind him of our own pace.

So much to deal with, first and most important for us was finding a good school for the kids, and leave near by Central Park for the sake of us all.

Further to our searches, we chose the apartment.

And off we go! New language for the kids even if they were familiar with English. There is a definite gap between understanding a little and getting fluent in writing and reading.

Sticking to the French ! Our French and European culture bursted even more after we arrived!

As visitor we were found of US food, as resident it was a “no way” for our daily meals, we had to find ways to get the quality of product we were used to! Hard hard hard, as we were very organic in Europe, possible for sure in the USA but so hard! You need to be attentive to everything, in the USA as a lot more is permitted as far as food’s production. In the USA the labels are mandatory to read, I am looking for Meat: hormone free/antibiotic free/ non GMO ! Pasture raised! Same with eggs, same with Dairy! I could write a complete book on that matter! Not mentioning the bread ( no high corn syrup or high fructose or non GMO) or flour ! So complicated not to mention the price of good quality food ! Outrageous! Welcome to the country where 12 eggs “good quality” would cost not less than 6$/13$ if you do not own your own  chicken 😰. To be clear as you cab see in the below pic, you cab find 12 Eggs for 2.79$ even in NYC, but What are They Made Of!!!! Well compliant to the Us regulations is not food to me if That means That the chicken were raised inside in pour conditions, fed with hormones, antibiotics GMO grains ! Further to animal cruelty it seems like not human friendly neither. Really sorry !

 
Some options for good organic good:

No wonder so many American have health issue, it s a sin to let them eat so bad! Not their fault! If you do not have enough money to eat quality product it is very hard, thus I think they might not realize… let’s come back to that an other moment…

The “relocation” story to be continued in Part 2… With some insides in discarding and what led me to reading Marie Kondo book, and meeting her at Barnes and Nobles yesterday at Union square, while she was sharing with her audience her Konmari method….
Feel free to follow and pass on…

A bientôt,

Hopeje

Instagram @hopeje

 

Mix match of my 2015 Instagram pictures !

@hopeje
En avant toute vers 2016, bonne préparation et bon réveillon.
2016 here we come, Happy New years’ eve.
And a big thank you, un grand merci 

For following me, 

And sharing me/ sharing With me…
Bonne année à tous,
Happy New year! 
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

This year’ich (6 June 2014/6August 2015 ) in numbers:

Finally 50 km running ( not much but still!)

3 continents

1 TornM.

3 kids

1 dog

More than 3 285 000 steps and some of them, made carrying or pushing!

7 transatlantic flights (both Ways always)

3 continental flights 

1 transcontinental flights 

In total 22 flights

4 trains ways 

7 car rentals

2 burial ( lost my 2 grandma) 

1 marriage (3 end of August and September)

Finaly met 4 babies recently born (Turned 1 and 2 this year) Still 4 Babies to meet One in Normandy, (who just Turned 2) two in Breda under a year, One in Paris (Charenton more précisly) ( under 2 months). 

10 Sleep over visit at home. 

4 languages ( mainly used)

15 cities! (Mainly Paris Luxembourg woodstock, Albany, New York, L.A., Amsterdam,Miami, Bordeaux, Dublin and Tel Aviv).

4  countries ( mainly) but really 6! 

3 continents 

1korean scrub ! Worth mentioning!

Started 30 days of yoga with Adriene, only completed 9 out of 16 so far. But I love it.

http://yogawithadriene.com/30-days-yoga-day-19/

Hard to say if My feets are on the grownd!

This year Has Been the craziest so far! One ???? Felt Like longer and shorter at the same Time.

Exhausted ! Energised ! A bit lost in translation! Seriously running after Time! So much more to be done! A serious price to pay ! Interesting versus dull! But craving for slow paced….

   
    
    
    
    
    
   
   
    
 

Just showing my blog on request of my 7 years old daughter !
And while looking, just felt on (tomber sur) this post, made one year ago:

We were in Amsterdam and I just feel in love with this coat. Turned out I did not dare to buy it… It was in a fairy shop next to the Daam and the Krasnapolsky !
No regret, just good memory!

Wordless Wednesday 2014.02.19 | so parislux !
https://soparislux.com/2014/02/19/wordless-wednesday-2014-02-19/

Then I though let’s look what I posted around same day 2 years ago!
Turned out I only started my blog less than 2 years ago.

The closest to then was March 2013

Why Paris Lux | so parislux !
https://soparislux.com/2013/03/11/why-paris-lux/

What has changed! A lot an not much!
Family grew as we welcomed a dog! Middle size ! 43 pounds! Around 19kg same weight as our second daughter ! You saw him on some of my post !
Wordless Wednesday! Once upon a dog! | so parislux !
https://soparislux.com/

Crazy as we travel so much! It s our life, I guess!
Our dog did not come on all our travels but most of them, south of France, Italy, Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Miami, Luxembourg of course! Woodstock !

Once, I was discussing with a friend of mine saying it was quite crazy! How our pupie friese stabij came from a farm in frieseland holland, and became a world traveller! She answered! Your dog is so lucky! I would rather be at the place of your dog to have such a life! we had such a laugh, right after! Especially coming from another globetrotter !

What else, we made the big jump over the pound*! As my cousins from Florida always say! (* pound is the Atlantic Ocean )
Splitting our life over the continents!

I can’t stay mute regarding the terrible world actuality ! We have to stand up straight! Keep our value high! Believe in democracy and its values, respect one an other! Stand as one against terror, not taking excuses for more atrocities!
For once miss world, universe or any pageant of any kinds favorite quote is adequate : “I wish for a world peace”!
Let’s act for it! The efforts of each of us added together may help!

I very recently lost my “french” grand-ma, it left me speechless ! My reasons to reach out to Europe are for the moment getting thinner and thinner! For now!
I do think she lives through the memories we have of her and for all she gave to all that had the chance to meet her! She was a passionate woman that gave herself completely to the one she loved! I was lucky to be one of them as all the member of our family! She adopted my husband as her own grandson and was present for all our children. She was Grand-Maman and Nona, she was a mam too and a woman!

A woman who taught and passed her passion of learning to at least 4 generations!

She would taught all she knew to whom ever needed it, or wanted it!
Once I came to her in Paris, rang the bell, she opened the door, her cleaning lady was sitting in front of the piano! She had decided to taught her how to play!
No she was not a piano teacher !
I miss her every day, even if I do know it is better that way, as she needed to reach the other side!
I guess, love and loss have no age, no reason! It is just how it is!
Deep inside I don’t want to speak about her at past tense ! I want to include her in my everyday !
I realize I am very lucky to have had her by my side until my 36th birthday !
She had a true and beautiful smile and sparkling eyes!

Let’s all celebrate life and gift it brings along!

I still want to share atmosphere, glimpses of life through my eyes, from me to you! From you to me!

In draft :
Among others
addresses and “rencontre” ( meetings) in Woodstock !
Tips and addresses in New York and Miami!

In the meantime let me share with you some sneak pick on the coming post… Pictures…glimpses, and I send you all lots of kisses!

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