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/

If you lingered through my post, you might have crossed pictures of women with unique styles!

Unique, as it is part of their personality.

Strong as they stand up for who they are.

A pleasure for me, I’m always trilled to cross a woman that takes care of herself, and “wears it” naturally, making it seems effortless (even if it requires a certain dexterity and une coquetterie (coquetry) that doesn t exist without evident effort ( unless if your name is Cinderella and you have a magic god mother).

So for the little story: entering Bergdorf Goodman (5ft AV NYC) and heading to the 7th floor for the first time. 

As I pass and look around, I make a sudden stop and step back. 

My first thoughts: “this mannequin looks so real”, then I continue forward, but couldn’t stop stepping back again.

Popping my head, through a vintage section of the 7th floor, I stand and say “hi”.

Not a mannequin but a real lady, smiles and reply by a gentle Hi.

I couldn’t resist and asked for the permission to take a photograph and share with you.

A great thank you, and a big Bravo, for deciding to be who you are. 

Lucky us, it always brighten once day to pass by people who are themself with a touch of coquetry and fantasy to make our world a nicer place to be.

   
 
For more :

Wordless Friday: NY, a beautiful girl with a great style  – so parislux !https://soparislux.com/2015/12/05/wordless-friday-ny-a-beautiful-girl-with-a-great-style/

   
   

  

 

  Never forget, the victims of November in Paris, of Beyrouth, Israel, world wide… To  many….

 
    
 
Mode/fashion /art/ innovation :

A special bravo to Jennijane  as she has lanches her e-shop on November 8, 2015. More than a clutch, she has created a piece of atmosphere and “une pièce à avoir Dans sa grade-robe” a  accessory to have ! High end, limited edition…

A perfect mix between Paris/LA…

I have mine !

More on http://www.jennijane.com 

Thanks :

A special thanks to Nicole Z. For her pictures of the Eiffel tour and of the “chambre de commerce”.

To Loue-Anne,  Lucile-Mei and Guillemette  for their beautiful Bleu heart’ s cake!

Food :

Chaiwali Harlem

274 Malcolm X Blvd

New York, NY 10027

United States

http://www.chaiwali.com/
Art:

The Fuller building holds many art galleries,

Special discovery : The Delhi Art Gallery, Dagmodern to discover modern Indian art “sous in nouveau jour” (under a niew light).

  
My heart goes to the victims and their families and friends….

They are all part of us.

We should stand as one and keep them in our memory!

Facing these horrible images, words, much to hard to understand, my 5 Years old asked me what to Do with these mean people. I explained my 5 /8 and 10 years old tonight that we needed as a reaction to have a good heart and be the best person we could be, and above all to enjoy life, while being attentive.

What happened tonight is not scary! What happened tonight in Paris, is discusting! 

My 10 Years old add: “but it s sad”, and I add yes  beyond sad.

Unfair and abominable!

Same for a Beyrouth yesterday, and all other places before.

We should not be afraid ! Careful yes, as always! 

Action should be taken to be able to say : NEVER AGAIN

The memory of the lost ones should survive, and help us to continue.

I am beyond sadness, I am horrified! 

We have values, and we should stick to them!

We should be proud of what our modern society have become, in a sense of humanity and democracy! Our ancestors fought for freedom, freedom of rights, freedom of religion, for man to be treated as equal regardless of their color, gender, preferences and religion.

For access to Education, Health and security.

I keep a place in my heart for all these unfair victims, and call out for the respect of our values now more than ever.

To Paris, my birth Town, the one That saw me growing, I send you light so you can shine despite the sad darkness you have been placed into!

To the persons who suffered losses, I wish courage and strength. I am so sorry we have been placed In this immense sadness.
Traduction en français :

 Mon cœur va aux victimes, leurs familles et amis…

Ils font désormais partie de Nous.

En leur mémoire nous devrions nous unir et ne faire qu’un.

Face à des images et des mots trop durs à percevoir, mon enfant de 5 ans m a demandé comment arrêter ces méchants, j ai ainsi expliqué à mes enfants âgés de 5, 8 et 10 ans que nous devions en retour avoir le meilleur cœur possible et être la meilleure personne que nous puissions être, et qu il fallait plus que tout profiter de la vie, tout En restant vigilant!

Ce qui s est passé ce soir à Paris ne fait pas peur! Ce qui s’est passé ce soir à Paris est écoeurant!

Comme rajoute ma grande de 10 ans : “mais c est triste”, et je rajouterai: cela va bien au delà.

Injuste et abominable!

De même qu’à Beyrouth hier, et que dans tous les autres endroits auparavant. 

Nous ne devrions pas céder à la peur! Attentif et prudent, oui toujours!

Des actions doivent être prises afin de pouvoir un jour prochain dire : PLUS JAMAIS.

La mémoire des êtres chers disparus doit vivre et survivre, et nous aider à avancer!

J ai dépassé la tristesse, je suis horrifiée!

Nous avons des valeurs et nous devons nous y tenir!

Nous devons être fiers de nos sociétés modernes, de nos démocraties!

Nos ancêtres se sont battus pour la liberté, pour nos droits, pour la liberté de religion, afin que l être humain soit traité d’égal à égal peut importe sa couleur, son genre, ses préférences, et sa religion!

Pour l accès à l’éducation, à la santé, la sécurité.

Je garde une place dans nos cœurs pour toutes ces injustes victimes, et appel au respect de nos valeurs, maintenant et plus que jamais.

À Paris, la ville où je suis née, où j ai grandi, je t envoi de la  lumiére afin que tu puisses continuer à briller malgré la triste pénombre dans laquelle on t a plongé!
Aux personnes endeuillées, je souhaite courage et force. Je suis tellement désolée de nous voir plongés dans ce flot de tristesse. 

   

   

  
  

I was Looking for my way, when I found her !

What a gift! Of happiness and Love ! 

Thank you Shoko

You Can follow her and discover her at 

http://www.k-shoko.org/

On twitter Facebook YouTube Google +

   

 

   

 

What a nice surprise on the road today,

France on Sunday or special holidays, is quite “dead” and “dull”.
You generally have to think ahead and only count on yourself to eat, drink or any kind of groceries.
Unless you leave in one of the main cities and in booming neighborhood, you are likely to find everything closed on 1st of January, even in Paris!

So imagine Ste-Menehould! A small city in the north east of France, 1 st of January 4.30 pm, the light is almost gone, the streets are empties, some rare pedestrians are daring their ways in the cold.

We decide anyway to exit the highway and meet friends mid-way toward both our destination!

Seeking place to drink a warm coffee and share a happy moment all together around a table, we brave the cold opening our car’s window questioning a pedestrian passing by.

Hum hum, I guess nothing is likely to be open today in here!

After 10 mn, we decide to enjoy a nice chat in our car… How nice…. After 30 mn of discussion our stomachs are grounding.

Everybody knows that 1 st of January is often “late breakfast” and very late lunch!
Yes indeed 5.30 pm would be a great timing for such a lunch!

But where?

Here’s the miracle of The day:

YOLLO PIZza !

A take-away pizza with some table to seat!

Not only the pizza were amazingly good, but the owners were warm, nice, welcoming, happy to be working, happy to be there for us!

This take away pizza holds 2 tables for 4 and 2 tables of 2, plus one outside!

Qu à cela ne Tienne ( meaning: let s go even if it doesn’t look obvious!that doesn’t hold it back from Being doable and great).

What a relief to find in France such a service, so much kindness, so much enthusiasm!

They set tables for us 4 adults 5 kids !

Yes it is still possible in France! Finding people happy to be working when others are resting, being the place we were looking for! Modest and kind, extremely souple and understanding, fulfilling our kids request:
A crust only: yes one of our kids only like pizza crust, find they made it for us,

One wanted a half tomato sauce have tomato and cheese: No problem !

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Amazing! And all That With a smile!

I do not Know Who to thank them enough!

So here’s a post to do so!

And if you are driving in the highway a4, in France and passing by Ste-Menehould, just don t hesitate : just exit, and you ll be delighted!

We were even more spoil than that as they offered coffee for adults and lolly pops for kids !

I would say “YOLLO pizza” what else!!!!!

So welcoming they even printed their menus in Chinese, Russian, German, Spanish, English and of course French

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At this moment, today I was proud to be french, and to see some people still have it all!

The courage, the energy, the love and passion of their work, the kindness and simplicity.

They know who they are what they want and how to live and bite into it…

In the meantime we regained energy, biting in their pizza s and tartiflette, nourishing ourselves of their kindness, welcomeness !

So thank you and happy new year to you all,

Hope to find more people like them in France and elsewhere!!!!

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Past days were so busy I neglected you as I neglected my blog. But I though about you all. And about my follower “number” 150 that I intended to introduce in one of my post: to thank her, as I wish this number to bring her luck. I by the way thank you all for following me….

Here she is:
Musings of a FlutterbyBear | Life, step by step.
http://musingsofaflutterbybear.wordpress.com/

So getting back to this challenge, I’ll give you hint on one of the reasons of my absence:

Put the pieces of my mind together, and it will lead you to the object I m sharing with you:</em>

-Our first daughter turned 9 years old….

-It was birthday preparation’s time and pyjama party planning, also meaning my 2 Japanese friends made me a great gift of time and knowledge, teaching me to make sushi and maki.

-One thing I m missing the most for the past days / weeks : my bed ! Or a good night sleep.

-One thing I try to teach my kids and live by is to believe in your dream, to try to reach the stars, to create opportunities, and to fly away, but keep values and still feet on the ground, at least a bit!

-No wonder my favorite children story is ” Peter Pan ” !

So here’s my ” object”, just saw it through a shop’s window :

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More of this challenge:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object | The Daily Post
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/photo-challenge-object/

OBJECT: OUT OF PLACE
http://bluebrightly.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/object-out-of-place/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object (Public Transport Terminal Roofconstruction)
http://chrisbreebaart.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/weekly-photo-challenge-object-public-transport-terminal-roofconstruction/