Friday, August 30, 2013

F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Beautiful and Damned, A Review

What was it like to live in the Jazz Age, in particular 1913-1920? Fitzgerald wrote a story about a young couple that answers that question.

The Beautiful and Damned, F.S. Fitzgerald, PD*-WC

The Beautiful and Damned

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and Damned was published in 1922, soon after This Side of Paradise. Capitalizing on the momentum of his novel about college life, he followed with a book on the social mores and lives of the same social strata. Anthony Patch, grandson of a wealthy and aging tycoon, lives a life of leisure and parties during the Jazz Age.

At the beginning of the story, Anthony is 25 years old. He lives on a grand scale with his allowance, while he courts and marries Gloria, his desired Beauty. He promises her a life of ease, when he receives his inheritance. Anthony, Gloria, and their friends are the elite young adults of New York Café Society.

In Europe, war is brewing. Anthony and Gloria seem unable to function without a supporting cast of friends around them every weekend. Left alone, they have very little to say to each other. Each has their moments of infidelity. Yet, they keep returning to the other. Alcohol is a constant factor.

The first part of the novel takes place prior to Prohibition. War interferes, but Anthony is never deployed. Thirty looms on the horizon, but Anthony is still waiting for his inheritance. What happens next and how he copes forms the rest of the novel. Recommended.


Interesting Notes:

The first edition covers of The Beautiful and Damned are illustrated with characters drawn to resemble F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda.

The Beautiful and Damned was serialized in Metropolitan Magazine in 1921 prior to it being published by Scribner's in 1922. This is the second novel by Fitzgerald.

'Bilphism', a term which was concerned with the 'reincarnation of the human soul' was created by Fitzgerald and used in this novel. It was expressed as a belief and was called 'the science of all religions'.


Other novels by F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby, This Side of ParadiseThe Last Tycoon (second favorite), and Tender is the Night (my favorite). Please check the other Fitzgerald reviews if you would like to know more.


Have you read The Beautiful and Damned by Fitzgerald? Any favorites by the author? Did you know this story was serialized prior to its being published? Please share in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!


References: The Beautiful and Damned, wiki F. Scott Fitzgerald, wiki

*Photo cover of The Beautiful and Damned. (PD-WC)

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. This media file is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923.


Friday, August 16, 2013

PARIS - The Cafe Pages

A peek into four different cafes and four different experiences.

La Pause Beaubourg
Streetside, under the striped awning

La Pause Beaubourg, Paris Cafe by DG Hudson

Leftovers of Love

At Le Pause Beaubourg, we witnessed the emotional aftermath of a romantic breakup when a guy in his twenties had a meltdown right in front of us, live and just across the aisle. He maintained a running one-sided conversation/rant with his sympathetic friend. He, the rejected victim of his love, was besotted with the unfairness in life. His own lack of restraint and the response from the staff at the restaurant rather surprised us. He waved his hands about, put his head in his hands, and he couldn't sit still. He cared little for the other diners. His heart was broken. Understandable.

In most circumstances, or in many cities, the poor lover would have been hustled out. But in this cafe, no one complained and no one was bothered. Instead, a few of the staff patted the 'poor guy' on the shoulders as they went about their work. Perhaps on another day, this 'poor romantic' worked in this cafe.

There must be a story in this scene, somewhere. And a villain. . .

Observation: Love conquers all, but it exacts its cost along the way.


Cafe Louis Phillippe
by the Seine River

Cafe Louis Phillippe, Rainy Night Paris, by DG Hudson


Facing the Ile Saint-Louis, le Cafe Louis-Phillippe sits in the same square as the Hotel de Ville, a space it has occupied since 1810. Like many others walking by the Seine River, we wanted French cafe cooking and shelter from the rain. The golden glow of this restaurant drew us in.

Paris rain found us sitting under a full-sided tent style tarp next to a group of mostly male office workers. 'Undercover' sidewalk eating makes sense in Paris and we stayed dry and cozy. Good service, good wine and helpful, friendly staff. Cafe Louis-Phillippe is situated in an area popular with urbanites as well as tourists. After dessert, the rain had stopped, leaving a smell of fresh streets and dampness.

Observation: The love of good food and good company is universal. Rain doesn't stop that.


Cafe des Arts et Metiers
Latin Quarter

Cafe des Arts et Metiers, Latin Quarter by DG Hudson

What's going on?

In the Cafe des Arts et Metiers, one young waiter with a friendly attitude, kept spilling things on a young couple a few tables away from us. Their backpacks made them appear to be students. They seemed to be talking earnestly or arguing. . .was this sensitivity to a moment, or did the waiter not like what the young man was saying to the young girl? The spill seemed to be more on the guy's side of the table when it happened. . . Interesting to note that the waiter had impeccable touch when he waited our table, but I later saw him observing the couple at the table.

Observation: In Paris, never underestimate the value of having the waiter on 'your side'.


Le Voltaire Restaurant

Le Voltaire Restaurant, Paris, by DG Hudson

Resistance is Futile

As we sat waiting, we watched Madame Hostess establish her claim on the cafe turf. She nodded to us and seated us in a table perfect for observation and facing the door. In came a young woman, likely a tourist by her abrupt insistence that she be served only wine, no food. The hostess or proprietor told her in no uncertain terms that this was a Restaurant! Restaurant! and not a place to just drink. She sent her away.

Then a woman-of-a-certain-age came in with her shopping bags, plopped them on a tabletop and sat down. Our efficient hostess watched, then approached, told her to remove her bags and wait to be seated. A bit of feminine huffiness ensued. After an apology by said customer, Madame Hostess let her stay.

Now, Madame came to our table to take our order. We ordered the German beer that she recommended, and a quiche. She liked our choices, even smiled at us, as we ordered in our basic French. Guess we passed muster. The 'old French bistro' style decor survives in this cafe and adds to its attraction.

Observation: In an area with high tourist traffic, there may be more sensitivity to tourists' behavior. Be aware.


These 'Cafe Pages' are based on true events observed in Paris. Interesting people do catch my attention.

Are you an observer? Do you try to be aware of your surroundings? Sometimes these events or scenes unfold in front of us like a play. I'm referring to those incidents which are not life-threatening. Have you had a similar experience?

Please share in the comments. Thanks for stopping by! 



Check the Paris Posts tab at the top of the blog for more Paris photos and Paris - Bistros and Sidewalk Cafés of Interest for more information on the bistros.

Update: Oct.2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Vancouver - The Sylvia Hotel and English Bay

In a hotel room overlooking English Bay. . .

From the Seawall, English Bay, Vancouver by DG Hudson

There is a 100-year old hotel. . .The Sylvia

Meet me at the Sylvia . . . they used to say. It was an ideal place for coffee, lunch or romantic trysts, situated on the edge of downtown facing English Bay near Stanley Park.

The Sylvia Hotel, Vancouver, by DG Hudson

The Sylvia Hotel was built in 1912 and now has heritage status. It began as an apartment block, named after the owner's daughter, Sylvia Goldstein. In its early years, this hotel boasted a top floor higher than other buildings in the West End of Vancouver. An early restaurant advertisement slogan, 'Dining in the Sky', no longer applied after the 1960s downtown building boom.

The Errol Flynn Connection

Errol Flynn, a former film star and the best Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest that ever was, drank here and at the Hotel Georgia when he happened to be in town.

A Vancouver urban legend says Errol Flynn died in the penthouse at the Sylvia Hotel in the arms of his teenage girlfriend. But it's not true. Like most legends, there is a grain of truth in the story. Errol died of a heart attack in a West End apartment of a friend, with his young lover nearby. He was 50 years old.

An excellent and informative article on the Sylvia Hotel can be found in the following reference: (Newspaper article-Vancouver Sun, Saturday, May 25, 2013 Weekend Review, Breaking News: Sylvia's Century (John Mackie, Vancouver Sun);


Virginia creeper (the green vegetation) decorates the exterior of the Sylvia Hotel

The Sylvia Hotel, Vancouver, by DG Hudson

Located at 1154 Gilford Street facing English Bay, the location of The Sylvia is convenient to walking/biking paths, a downtown beach, and benches for people-watching. Nearby Denman Street which leads directly to English Bay has many cafes and interesting shops.


A street view from Beach Avenue

The Sylvia Hotel, English Bay, Vancouver, by DG Hudson


At the right place, at the right time

On July 25th, we were at English Bay to photograph the Sylvia Hotel. Afterwards, daughter #1 spotted Justin Trudeau, a young Canadian politician and son of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. By checking his Twitter feed, we had confirmation, he was in town and at English Bay. Just a beach stroll . . .

Vancouver Seawall at English Bay, by DG Hudson


Ever been to a hotel like The Sylvia? Do you like a city beach? Are there any in your area?

Have you ever walked, biked or ran the Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver?
Please share in the comments and thanks for stopping by.

References: English Bay, Vancouver Errol Flynn Vancouver Archives and Errol Flynn The Sylvia Hotel