Focus on the widening of your horizons through culture and travel

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Welcome to France.  I’m in the center of Paris, staying in the Latin Quarter, a healthy/desirable distance from most landmarks and attractions.  This marks the first of the only two required architectural pilgrimages on the Branner Traveling Fellowship.  Fellows must visit France and Italy at some point during the year of travel.  I originally proposed looking at new developments in Parisian suburbs, but more interesting opportunities have presented themselves.  Musée de la Cité/Cité de l’Architecture is exhibiting Sarkozy’s competition plans for urban redevelopment (will include the work of 10 interdisciplinary firms) .  The New York Times has been writing about the potential of this new legacy for months.

I’m excited to catch up with long-time mentor, Mireille Roddier.  Originally from France, she spends the summers here.  She was my first studio instructor at Michigan in 2001 and is one of my favorite designers today (MRH).  She was the person who opened my eyes to the world of architecture, helped us see beauty in the study models on our desks and in the masterpieces at Cranbrook Academy.

Also, the new transit hub city near Lille, Eurolille, is still on the itinerary.  It might be a pit-stop on the journey to Amsterdam.

I’m at McDonalds for the first time in a long while because there is free wireless internet.  High-speed food and connection rates.  Point for France.  This is a public service announcement, know your individual vs. collective freedoms:

#3. The user is aware being in a public space. The user commits himself not to use its computer hardware (laptop, PDA…) or WiFi service for illegal, unlawful, illicit purposes, or in disagreement with the « Net Etiquette ». The user acknowledges not adopting comportment in opposition with public order.

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