Tag: Paris

Anti-Asian racism

It’s this weird thing that my thoroughly continental childhood had a slight Asian flavor to it, although it’s not something I generally discuss. This influence is due to the fact that my grandparents lived in Manila and Macau during part of my childhood and sent

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Maria looking 60s glam

I do enjoy pulling the celebrity-style vintage photos from my family vault to share with you guys. These are from a photo shoot my mother did in Paris for the opera in the late 1960s. Aren’t they just the most? The living end? But with

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Boys & genetic destiny

I grew up in a talented family that holds the idea that talent runs in a family as a form of destiny. My grandfather, Roger, was a cold person. He didn’t like children and as a mechanical engineer he wasn’t expected to be good with

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The Merry Widow

One of my fellow opera nerds made a joke by saying, “Meet you at Maxim’s” and I was transported to Art Nouveau Paris. Only, I could hear my mother sing Vilja. It’s funny how these things live inside us.   I thought I’d share in

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Great Grandfather Gustave Arents

My paternal great-grandfather was a rakish fellow from near Brussels, Belgium. The bit of family lore we do know about him is that he was good with the ladies and he was a champion billiards player. This was, in fact, his profession. Rumor has it

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Early 1900s – photos around France

The paternal grandfather and his family owned a factory outside of Paris and he and his siblings traveled the world selling their products — glue. I have access to a series of their travel photos taken around France in 1911-1917. Most of the locations have

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French carousel

Governor’s Island, New York City hosted a vintage French carnival this summer. I rode a  Vélocipèdes and took in the sights and sounds whilst considering that these rides existed in 1900s Paris and may have well played host to my grandfather and his siblings. Did

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Great aunt Marthe

Great aunt Marthe and the thoroughly modern controversy As part of the research for my memoir I’ve been in contact with family members who are helping me piece together the family tree. At one point in 2001, my sisters and I spoke with our paternal

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