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Friends only...

My Journal is friends only, however if you ask nicely I will add you onto my friends list :)

If you are interesting, or willing to put up with my ramblings, my creative writing, and general everyday life and you are not a judgemental individual please comment.

Another cut

I have this tendency to go wild and friend a ton of people on here, I don't regret it since I have made some excellent friends on here with people I wouldn't have met in real life but there are others who don't post, don't read my journal or I just feel I don't have that much in common with them. I'm extremely open on here and I feel that maybe it's time to cut down my friends list. If I either know you in real life or you know I comment often on your journal because if think you have a lot of interesting things to say you will stay or if I know you like reading mine you can stay. I cut you off and you don't want to be then comment and I'll put you back on. This is more to get rid of the names on my flist whom I look at and think "who?".

Gonna do a cut

I just looked at my friends list on here and realised half of the people don't ever post here any more and a few of them I have forgotten who they are. If you tend to post often, comment here and I comment on you then don't worry I wont be deleting you. I am only going to delete people who I don't know in real life and don't post any more. If you are one of my real life friends who only has an account to read posts you wont be deleted. I need to tidy up on people and communities.

Yeah this is probably redundant because if you are reading this you are probably not someone who will be cut, but if you see me de-friend you by accident then pm me and I will friend you again.


I am working on a new blog which I want to turn into a kind of online magazine or something similar. I am currently looking for contributors for this.

The blog is http://bohemianmadrid.blogspot.com/

A bit about the blog and what I want to do with it:

I want to expand it into something like an online magazine type of thing for both the Madrid locals and tourists, and anyone who is interested.

To summarise the aim of the articles I would like to have on this site are:

-Reviews of exhibitions, concerts (classical, alternative, jazz etc), operas, theatre
-Highlight up and coming events in the month
-Reviews and anecdotes from interesting bars, unusual clubs
-Articles on alternative lifestyles in Madrid
-Interviews with people of interest
-Show casing art, poetry and literature of Madrid artists
-Articles on places of interest or anecdotes of Madrid experiences

So if you live in Madrid and want to contribute let me know... if you don't live in Madrid I hope you enjoy it ;-)


Paris - Wednesday morning: The Louvre

This was my main day to do things. I was only in Paris for really one and a half days and then leaving earlish yesterday. This was my second trip to Paris. I went when I was 16 with my A-level French class and we did all the tourist traps: Went up the Eiffel tower, went to the Champes Elyseés etc. I wanted to do some different things this time. The last time I was in Paris I went to the Museé D'Orsay as my gallery. I love this gallery, and if I had another day in Paris I would have gone. However I had never been to the Louvre, so that was my plan this time.

I was nervous about queues and the amount of people going, so I got up early and went there first thing. I arrived by metro so followed the signs pointing to the Louvre entrance. On the way I see a tabac with a sign saying in English "Buy tickets for the Louvre here". There are 2 people in the queue so I do that. This makes my life easier, so if you ever go - go to the tabac in the underground! I continue to follow the signs and I come to a huge chamber where the old medieval walls of the old palace are seen, they are tall walls and spectacular! In front of my I see the inverted glass pyramid (as seen in the movie for the Da Vinci code :-p ). Its huge and spectacular to see! This is where the entrance is. I put my bag through and x-ray and then enter the main courtyard of the Louvre under the pyramid! The light floods into the chamber from the pyramid and the sun is shining perfect outside so it gives it a cheerful demeanour. I go to the cloak room and put my coat in for free and then look for breakfast.

I go to the Cafe de Louvre in this courtyard and have a nice French breakfast of Croissant, coffee and orange juice. It was not much more expensive than anywhere in Paris. I took my free plan of the Louvre out and started to plan out my morning there.

I decided to do the Mona Lisa first. It was still early, and the crowds were not too bad yet. She was easy to find as there were clear signs pointing to the Mona Lisa. I came up by lift from the underground area to the floor of the fine paintings and I arrive in an amazingly ornate gallery of French paintings with the decor in true baroque grandiour. I look out the window and I can see the pyramid from above. I turn into the chamber where the Mona Lisa is, and it is already pretty crowded. There is a lone wall dedicated to her, and she sits cordened off and behind bullet proof glass. I manage to get to the front of the crowd to admire her enigmatic smile for a few minutes next to the flourey of Japanese and American tourists photographing her like paparazzi.

I noticed something which pissed me off a lot in the Louvre and I will rant a bit here. People visiting were treating amazing, worldchanging pieces of art like a celebrity. No one actually LOOKED at the Mona Lisa or Venus de Milo. The would photograph them and walk off. This really pissed me off. I think I was the only person there without a camera and the only person who took a minute or two to admire them for their beauty. These works of art are famous for a reason! But people treated them as if they saw Paris Hilton on the street and this made me sad. Anyway...

I walked into the gallery adjacent to the room of the Mona Lisa in the Denon wing and spent some time looking at the Italian masters. I must confess I did the Louvre in a scanning fashion. If something grabbed my attention I would look closer, but I could not take the time to look at everything in detail. Besides I wanted to get an overview and I was happy with what I did. I saw some other works of Da Vinci - the Virgin with child and The Madonna on the Rocks. They were also crowded with "Paparazzi" but not so bad. They were indeed beautiful works of art. The wing of the Louvre was also incredibly stunning in its Palatial grandieur with pink marble columns, large mirrors and gold detail.

After my quick taster of the fine arts section of the Louvre of the Italian, Spanish and French schools I decended the grand stairs beneath the striking statue of the Winged Victory of Samothrace. I entered the rooms of the Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities. The main Hellenic gallery was closed unfortunately but there were enough statues and artifacts to see. I saw the Venus de Milo in all her glory. She is so beautiful and exquisite as a piece of art. There were other wonderful greco-roman sculpture there which took my breath away! This was my favourite part of the Louvre. The decor felt like a Roman bath, I can explain why, but the cool grey marble and stone made me feel like I was in a Roman bath house.

I had already spent a couple of hours in the Louvre and I was already feeling tired and saturated of art so needed a break. I found a cafe in the Mollien wing which had views over the park and then to the Champes Elysées and the Arc de Triomf. It was waiter service and I had to wait to be seated. It was very grand with marble tables and divine views over Paris. I had a wonderful Cafe Creme and some much needed mineral water! I sat here for a while updating my handwritten journal and admiring the view and looking at my plan thinking "what next?"

I did the ground floor Egyptian section next. It started dramatically with a large stone Sphynx in the crypt, it was about the size of a small room. There were lots of interesting things like statues, sarcophegi, pots, tools, jars everything! I could only get the gist of it all. Truly amazing collection. I could not cope doing the upper floor so continued with the Near Eastern antiquities. I was getting more saturated at this point so only really dramatic things interested me but the Mesopotamian gates and the Persian wall façades were indeed large, dramatic and breath taking.

I finished off the Louvre in the Dutch and Northern art school section, but I only really wanted to see the Vermeer's to be honest. So I did that and by 2pm I was exhausted and could not bare any more art!!

Off to Lunch! Much more still to come.
*I dont have a camera so I am going to have to describe everything the best I can. *

On tuesday afternoon I arrived in Gare St. Lazare from Caen. Its an old 19th century station that is charming yet falling down - the only charm you get in Paris from a building that looks like its about to collapse in on you. It has a lot of 19th century iron structures and has developed a rather "grey look to it". It's a station with a history of many people coming and going over the last century. It's the station where Henry Miller and Anais Nin would meet.

I haul my luggage down into the bowels of the metro. The Parisien metro system is primitive and medieval, there are few escalators and the white tiled walls smell of urine; oddly though I cannot see much graffiti. After trekking across the north of Paris underground (and above ground too, the blue line comes out on an iron viaduct after it passes under Sacre Couer), I arrive in Belleville.
I am nervous and concerned about the hotel - do they have my reservation? Is it a cockroach infesteed shithole? I look for my street and scan the area for its atmosphere and possible risk. The neighbourhood is rich with a high ethnic diversity of arabs, africans and chinese. There a shops selling beautiful dresses of exotic silk, in the street the market vendours sell fruit, vegetables, fish, and other things. The shops in the area are signposted more in chinese than french.

I come to rue Atlas and see my hotel close by, I drag my suitcase up the small hill and awkwardly go to the desk and give the woman my printout of my reservation. Alicia calling them earlier had helped as they made a note of my reservation and after checking my printout, the chinese receptionist gives me the key and tells me to look at the room to see if its ok and then pay. I go upstairs, I am only on the first floor, but the broken stairs make me nervous. I am afraid they will collapse under me or I will put my foot through them! I open the door expecting the worst and am pleasantly surprised. It is not beautiful or "nice", it is basic, grotty but clean enough! I have a large window with two doors and a balcony railing looking out onto the street. There is a small sink and everything looks standard. No holes for cockroaches, the bed is clean - I am satisfied. I go downstairs, pay the lady and manage to get my suitcase up the stairs.

As soon as everything is dumped in there I put my laptop and moneys inside the suitcase, lock it, lock the room go out and pray my laptop will be ok.

I go to Montmartre. I take the blue line back to Anvers. When I arrive to the surface the area is full of people! I am half tempted to go back down but I see the exquisite art nouveau sign of the metro I realise I am in Paris. Truely here. I look up the hill and I see Sacre Couer shining like a white beacon. I come up by the carousel and it feels surreal, I have been here before but it is strange to see the square in Amelie when she meets with Nino. The only difference is the area is saturated by tourists! I climb up to the Sacre Couer and get a divine view of Paris. I see the different churches, rooftops of the city the ugly black thing of Tour de Montparnasse domininating the skyline! I move towards the west a bit and I see the Eiffel tower in its glory. I walk the streets on the higher part of Montmartre with charming cafes and bistros scattered around and I end up in a random creperie.

The creperie had a different style. It was decorated entirely with old photos and receipts. It was like the book of torn passport photos in Amelie was made into a wall decoration. It was a dark and dingy place but I liked it. It was different. I had a nice crepe au limon.

I then walked away from the tourist crowds and just went walking randomly through the streets in Montmartre. It was very quiet and didnt feel like I was in a big city. I suppose the fact it was a seperate village from Paris in the past added to that atmosphere. I found a charming cafe. It was empty with its owner standing outside the door smoking a gaulois. I saw the coffee was cheap so asked if it was open. He answers with a husky "Oui" and opens the door for me. I go to the back. Its a kind of bar that should have been painted by Toulous Lautrec, it oozed Montmartrean charm yet was neglected by the tourist crowds. I have a coffee and a selzer water while reading and then updating my handwritten diary. Some people come in the bar - they are all french. It is not a tourist place and this pleases me.

I just stroll randomly, I pass the cafe where they filmed Amelie, I pass the Moulin Rouge which looks gaudy! It is bright red and full of lights, it looks decidedly odd during the daylight hours. I walk back up to Abbesses metro to see its full Art Nouveau entrance glory! Its one of the only metro stations with the full original design and worth seeing. I amble back to the bottom of Sacre Couer. I love the fact that the white façade of the church plays with the colour of the changing light, this is why I think I find this building beautiful! I sit on a bench by the carousel and read while I wait for Gricha (a guy from OKC who replied to my journal post about going for a beer in Paris).

A while back when I organised my trip I put journal post on okcupid asking if any Parisiens wanted to go for a drink with me. This guy replied immediately so we were chatting online while I was in Caen. He met me in Montmartre and I could tell he was nervous as he never met anyone off OKC before. In fact I was the first person to reply to him on there. He was a little guy, typical metal head with long hair and a beard and a strong French accent. He told me for cheap drinks we needed to get out of the tourist trap that is Montmartre. We grab the metro down to Chatelet.

As we come out of the metro I see a large incredible gothic tower (the name escapes me and I am too tired and lazy to look it up) and then see Notre Dame in the distance across the Seine as well as an impressive Chateau like structure. I go for Falafel and we eat infront of the Centre de George Pompidou which is an impressive example of modern architecture. It had an industrial feel to it with iron railings, glass and pipes coming out. It sounds 19th century but it looks really modern. Like something out of a sci fi or something alike.

Gricha then took me to an awesome metal/goth bar nearby. The beer was relatively cheap for Paris standards and everyone was in black and metal was played. I had great fun doing people watching and I have to admit Parisien goths are FUCKING HOT! They were all just so pretty, eloquent and elegant. I had to try my best not to perv too much but damn. I need to come back for goth clubbing some point! The bar was fricking awesome and is a must for me to remember! (Black Dog by the way).

Being the cheap lightweight I am I was tipsy on 2 beers. Gricha and I walked up to the Hotel de Ville which is another stunning piece of Architecture with its Baroque façade. Beautiful lit up at night. I think any city is more beautiful at night. I look across the river and I see Notre Dame looking at me, inviting me. I tell Gricha I want to go over so we walk across the bridge. I stop and look up the Seine and can see the Eiffel tower lit and the other bridges and monuments too. It is breathtaking and there is a cool breeze coming up from the river.

We walk up the the front of Notre Dame which is a beautiful stone magnificent giant. Its features highlighted by the lighting making it more spectacular. There are firedancers infront with fire and small firecrackers and fireworks. Perfect. I go back to Chatelet and go home. A wonderful evening.

The Louvre, The Latin Quater, The Pere-Lachaise cemetery and another OKCupid meetup still to come.