Posts Tagged ‘Abraxas’

The Light

July 21, 2018

Today was magic.

The light all day long.

Extraordinaire.

I was blown away by all the different kinds of it.

The light on the Seine.

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And in the sky above the Eiffel Tower as I crossed Pont Alma, a “pont” is a bridge, on my way to the American Church to see some friends this evening.

The light was also amazing coming through the church windows, but well, I don’t take pictures in churches, at least not most of the time.

I was happy to traipse through the light tonight after leaving the church to head to the Metro to go to the 11th Arrondisment to, yes, another place filled with light.

L’Atelier des Lumieres.

Oh my God.

It was extraordinary.

I mean.

I cannot quite put words to it, but there were often tears on my face as I sat in the dark listening to the beautiful music they scored the works of Klimt to as the light and color and shapes melted and merged and coalesced into all these beautiful paintings that I am so very, very fond of.

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Klimt is one of my favorite artists.

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So when I stumbled upon this show a few weeks back I made a mental note to myself that I would go.

And I went.

And I went after a fairly packed day of stuff previous to it, but it was perfect to go, it was actually a nice thing to do after my full day, as I sat still for close to an hour watching the show.

Previous to the show I had been at the aforementioned church way across town.

Before that a visit to Marche aux Enfant Rouge for a roasted chicken, cherries, apricots and a beautiful nectarine.

Before that shopping in the Marais.

I scored a dress!

I can’t believe I scored a dress in Paris.

It’s not always the easiest place for me to shop.

I was very, very, very happy to get the dress.

Before the shopping?

Art.

Lots and lots and lots of art.

I went to the Musee Pompidou.

They had a great exhibition from the 1930s on architecture and furniture and then I gamboled through the permanent galleries and stumbled quiet without knowing it, unto the most beautiful art film I think I may have ever seen.

It was called “The Silence of Ani,” by Francis Alys.

It was stunning and I can’t even do it justice, but it was like watching a poem unwind.

Here’s a Vimeo of it, it’s about thirteen minutes long and well worth it.

Imagine seeing it in the middle of Paris, in the afternoon with no one else in the theater with you.

Superb does not do it justice.

And before the museum?

Yes I did.

I got a tattoo.

heh.

At Abraxas, where I have gotten all my Paris tattoos, on Rue St. Merrie in the Marais.

Speaking of all the light, here’s a shot of the tattoo after my long day of running around the city, just as the sun was setting in the kitchen window of the fifth floor walk up.

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And though there are probably a lot more things I can say about today.

I am also light-headed with the tiredness.

I think I will call it a night and let myself rest for a while and nibble on some of those delicious cherries I got from the market today.

Bisous!

 

No More Tattoos

February 20, 2017

There.

I mean.

I don’t know that I can say no more tattoos, tattoos I think will continue to happen, but.

No more tattoos there.

Specifically on my collar-bone.

Whoooee getting my touch up today was not intolerable, but I had some dread going back in, which is fairly unusual for me in getting work done.

Especially with something so small, but the location and the thinness of the skin over the collar-bone, really was, well not excruciating, but challenging for sure.

I have an idea for a tattoo I’d like to get next year but aside from that I have no other tattoo plans in sight.

In fact.

I was thinking that the one I get next year may be it for a good while.

Then again.

A lady can change her mind.

It’s just that I am not feeling the need for more ink.

Granted.

I’ll probably get to Paris in May and go to Abraxas and want a tattoo.

I do like me a tattoo as a souvenir of my travels.

I have two from Paris and one I got in New York.

The rest of my work has been gotten here in San Francisco.

I have had one primary artist.

Barnaby Williams.

He is currently at Tiger’s Blood in Alameda.

I first went to Barnaby when he was the owner of Mom’s in the Haight.

I had made an appointment to get a dragon tattoo from Barnaby.

I walked into the shop into a huge bear hug from the man and big mournful eyes.

“Hey,” he said quietly, “how ya doin’?”

I teared up.

“I’m ok, but um, I don’t want to do the dragon tattoo anymore,” I said, eyes blurred and starting to sniffle, “I want to get a memorial instead.”

He nodded.

Sat down and drew out the tattoo for me.

Two white French Tulips.

(Shadrach’s favorite flowers)

And the last line of the elegy that Dylan Thomas wrote for his father.

Until I die/He will not leave my side.

It was written in beautiful calligraphic script.

The flowers he outlined and used white ink on, white does not traditionally stick very well, but it seems to have weathered the test of time.

I have had the tattoo for 9.5 years and it still looks bright and fresh.

It was the biggest piece I had gotten up until that point.

The other two were small, a cover up on my left shoulder of my name in flames, a cover up that Barnaby later covered  up with a dragon, classic little known tattoo–the cover up of the cover up.

In the end, so far.

Barnaby has done two dragons on me, both left arm and right arm, and a beautiful pink Jackalope surrounded by French Marguerite daisies, my favorite flowers.

I have had work done as well.

By Ross K. Jones out of Idle Hand on Haight Street.

Although when I got tattooed by Ross he was out of a warehouse space in the SOMA before warehouse spaces in the SOMA were at a premium.

Ross tattooed my first set of stars.

Seven stars for seven years of sobriety.

To this day I can say that Ross has one of the gentlest approaches and best bedside manner of any tattoo artist I have had.

I have one tattoo from a guest Chinese tattoo artist at Abraxas in Paris when I was there last year at Christmas, his name was Bin and we “talked” via Google translator.

He did the Reve (pop a circumflex over the “e” in reve and you get “dream” in French) piece on my chest plate.

Despite the area being a thinner place of skin, he was fast, smooth, efficient, gentle, it was quite a bit less painful than I thought it was going to be.

Barnaby has done one star as well–he did number 10, which was a bit bigger than my other ones and I had him do an homage to Van Gough’s Starry Night painting, but I asked him to use yellow and pink in the tattoo (thereby balancing the pink of the other stars that I had and complementing the sky blue ones I have as well).

Danny Boy Smith, at Let it Bleed on Polk Street, has done two of my stars.

Number 11, which I had him do as a black star to homage David Bowie’s passing last year and also my 11th year in recovery.

And.

This current new star, star number 12.

Which is a soft pastel blue with black outline.

I like my tattoos.

They tell me a story.

They are beautiful art pieces.

I am connected to each in memorable ways and each has meaning to me.

They needn’t tell anyone’s story but my own.

I often forget I have them and will be startled occasionally when someone references them.

In Paris it was challenging, albeit not so much the last time I was there since it was winter, when I have shown off a lot of tattoos.

There are plenty of shops and plenty of people with tattoos in Paris, it’s become quite a bit more acceptable, but I have gotten some stares, tell you what.

Especially at the swimming pool or just walking the streets or going through the Metro stations.

I forget about them too, living in San Francisco.

It seems like everyone has one.

But some, well, some are better than others and I can tell the jail tats from the gang tats from the home-made gun tats and the sleeves of suddenly wealthy dot-com kids who made it big in the 90s to the hipster tattoos and throw back retro vintage Sailor Jerry tattoo art that is so popular today with the Millennials.

I was getting tattooed and pierced long before it was popular.

I don’t care about the time line on it, it’s just an observation.

I am grateful though, that I have had such great artists in my tattoo history.

I am proud of my ink.

Sometimes it is a mask to hide behind.

Sometimes it is a shield.

You cannot hurt me I have done the hurting already.

Sometimes it is art.

It is beauty.

The narrative of my recovery and the sheltering sky storms brewed up in my psyche.

Just another indelible way I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’m serious.

Courtesy of Mat Moreno out of Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn.

I have a heart tattoo with cherry blossoms on my left inner arm.

Heh.

 

 

Do It Anyway

September 29, 2016

Afraid?

Do it anyway.

Not sure how it’s going to play out?

Do it anyway.

Freaked out by the possibility of upsetting a boss you don’t even know?

Do it anyway.

Guess what?

I FUCKING DID IT!

I bought a ticket to Paris for May.

OMG.

I am going back to Paris, my heart is so full and so happy and yeah, all that stuff.

Happy! Happy!

Joy! Joy!

Oh wait, excuse me while I go put on some French music.

Giggles gleefully.

And I get to be there with my friend, my dear, darling, amazing, awesome French friend.

Who I will not actually spend every day with and every minute with, she has to study for her exams.

But when she needs a break, I’ll be there.

Walking through the streets of Paris in the May sunshine.

I adore Paris in Spring.

It is so pretty.

It’s a bit disgusting.

Heh.

When my friend approached me this past weekend at school about going over I knew to say yes, and here it is just a few days later and walking through some fear, and I booked the ticket.

I will be leaving here Thursday evening May 11th and flying back Sunday morning May 21st at 10:40am.  What with time change I will get into SFO in the early afternoon.

I will have all day Sunday to recuperate before going back to work.

Bahahaha.

I don’t have a job for May.

But.

I do have faith and when my faith is a little wobbly, I call my people and talk it out.

It wasn’t so much the money, but the thought of having to negotiate with an imaginary boss about the trip.

I called a friend who made plans to go to India when she was in the middle of a job hunt.

I remember how I encouraged her, I had absolutely no qualms about it, she should go, the job would happen, it would be just fine.  And it was, she got the ticket and got a job soon thereafter that had no problems with her scheduled trip.

I knew I could do the leap, I just had to have a little bolstering to get me to jump.

But jump I did.

Originally I was going to just go for a week, but my friend convinced me to do ten days, that way we could pop over to Provence if the weather in Paris wasn’t great–sometimes May can still be cold and a bit rainy.

Or to a spot on Ile de Rey.

Yeah.

That’s right.

Just an island off the West coast of France.

Oh my freaking God.

I’m going where?

Ok, yes please.

I was terrified though, for a bit of the day, anxious, overwrought, trying to figure out the work deal and I was just like, this is nuts.  

Also I had a found a super cheap ticket but the travel time there and back was crazy making, like 29 hours there and 33 the way back.

Huge lay overs in Istanbul.

Which could have been super cool, but I know myself well enough that even though I like to save a dollar or two, that kind of length is too much.

My friend said as much when I told her the ticket I had found.

She convinced me pretty quick to buy a different ticket.

I thought about it and said, let me sit on it today and I’ll probably buy when I get home.

I went and called around to my people and I got the much-needed perspective from my friend while I was sitting on a bench at Kid Power Park with the boys.

I realized a few things.

First, I could afford to pay a few extra dollars to get a flight that didn’t have a layover that was so long.

Second, that there will always be a job for me.

I don’t have to know what the job is, but there is a demand for someone with my skills and the right family is going to be just fine with me taking a vacation.

In fact.

I must have vacation time and sick time and paid holidays.

It’s part of the package and it’s to be expected with the level of skill I bring to a job.

I have a huge list of assets and I’m an asshole if I don’t or won’t acknowledge that.

I have a phone interview tomorrow with a potential family and I’m pretty sure they won’t want to pay my costs.

But.

I don’t know that for sure.

And.

Some one will.

I mean.

Hell, the family that I worked for Monday wants me a second day and the mom has people at her kid’s school reaching out to her and I have not even posted to Craigslist or contacted any of the agencies yet.

Suffice to say.

Even should a job say, nope can’t accommodate you.

I can find another job.

I’ve got options.

And.

I’m going to Paris again.

I repeat.

IN SPRING.

The last two times I was there it was winter.

I am so ready for warm weather in France.

I’m going back to France.

I am so over the moon.

And I get to do it with a Parisian.

With a chic, sexy, smart, stunning, big-hearted genuine amazing friend.

I mean.

I could have fun with my friend hanging out in a box.

But.

Oh.

The thought of walking through the Marais with her, going down Rue Temple, hanging out at cafes, walking through Marche des Enfants Rouge, eating out in the warm night air, maybe going to a show, just sitting and talking.

I want to go to Ile des Cygnes and just walk it back and forth.

Then hop up to the Metro and go.

Well.

Anywhere I want.

I want to walk the Left Bank and Rue des Ecoles.

Or.

My favorite books store-Le Merle Moqueur in the 20th arrondisement.

I want to see all the street art.

Oh.

Fuck me.

I will finally get to see the LVMH Foundation which had opened when I was last there, but I did not get to.

It’s the Frank Gehry building in the Bois de Bolougne that Louis Vuitton founded.

It is astounding.

I will make my traditional pilgrimage to The American Cathedral on George V and The American Church on Quai d’Orsay.

I will go to the Jeu de Paume again, I really liked it and would love another visit, loads of really good modern art photography.

And I cannot go to Paris without going to Centre Pompidou–very possibly my favorite museum in the world.

And ahem.

Probably popping into Abraxas for another tattoo.

I mean.

When in Paris.

Am I right?

Mwhaahahahaha.

I’m going back to France baby.

So excited.

Talk about having some incentive to get through the school year!

Luckiest fucking girl in the world.

Seriously.

 

 

 

Quick

December 26, 2015

Fast blog.

I want to go to bed here pretty damn quick.

But.

Oh.

The day I had.

So good.

Such the perfect last day.

Even getting into a fight with my friend when I got lost today was part of the perfection.

When I think about it one small tiff in regards to an entire week of travel with a friend is pretty fucking good.

And we made up pretty quick.

It helps when I admit I was wrong.

I joked that I should get “Lost” or “I’m always wrong” as my tattoo.

Yes.

That is correct.

I got a tattoo on my last day here in Paris.

At Abraxas where my good friend Barnaby Williams used to work when he was living here.

He’ll be back in March, to Paris that is, and the shop remembered me, a couple of the guys remembered the jackalope that Barnaby did for me on my birthday and I was able to get in as a walk in.

And my friend as well, even though at first it was a no when we asked, they were booked up.

But.

It happened and I am so grateful.

I got a beautiful tattoo.

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It means “dream” in French.

Here is my awesome and amazing tattoo artist, Bin.

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He was a doll and did great work, despite speaking no English and the barest French–he’s Chinese.

I had the idea for a different piece, I was thinking “ma vie en rose” but I felt like it would be too squashed where I wanted to place it.

I had the idea to change the tattoo after doing a grand walk about through the Marais from some graffiti art I saw.

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“I think of nothing, I dream of everything.”

I think that’s pretty accurate.

And the Marais did not fail with it’s plethora of great past street art and graffiti.

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Fantastic street art.

And I saw a lot of art today.

I started the day with my friend by hopping on the Metro and getting to the Jeu de Paume as it was opening to see the Phillip Hausman exhibit.

It was fantastic.

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Some great Marilyn’s I had never seen before and also a gorgeous Audrey Hepburn and the sweetest photo of Angelica Houston.

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Oh goodness.

And so many other photographs that I just cannot do it justice here.

Nor.

Truly.

Can I do this blog justice as I just noticed the time and I have to be up in six hours to catch a flight back to San Francisco.

A fourteen hour flight.

So.

Bon soir Paris.

Je t’aime.

As always.

 


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