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Montgolfiere Weekly

An exploration of culture in its many forms

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by Amy Rees

Schweine Museum

By Amy Flora

Walking up the road in the 30-degree heat I wondered, “How will I know exactly where the museum is?” Fortunately, an enormous pink pig–themed school bus appeared on the horizon: the first of many surprises. Continue reading “Schweine Museum”

Carrie Fisher

By Amy Flora

I don’t doubt there will be a proliferation of these stories. I’m sure, across this galaxy near and far, far, away, there will many women who yearn to tell their Carrie Fisher story.

Many moons ago, I watched The Blues Brothers with my father. When Carrie appears as the jilted woman, I remember my father turning to me and saying, “that’s princess Leia.” Much like the appearance of Aretha Franklin in that film, it took me years to appreciate the full force of her presence, her limited screen time near irrelevant in the face of the full force of her personality. Continue reading “Carrie Fisher”

A place and time

By Amy Flora

Place: Scout Lodge, Hackney

Time: May 14, 2016

What was happening: I have always found the best use of a Saturday is to go stomping about. Living in large cities has afforded me the opportunity to explore near endlessly. This particular day took me through Hackney, a part of London that is very close to my heart. Exploring on foot is such a unique way to see side streets and tiny shops, but, more important, to stumble upon second-hand book sales. Browsing second-hand books is such an emotional experience, where you evaluate books on so much more than subject matter. The tactile experience is often the most important one, seeing how a book has been preserved and loved by another. Continue reading “A place and time”

Listening in the dark

by Amy Flora

I am an adult who is afraid of the dark. This has previously been a source of embarrassment for me, but I have since accepted who I am and will proudly use my nightlight. So, with this in mind, I was very nervous about “seeing” a production of Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall at Wilton’s Music Hall in London. Continue reading “Listening in the dark”

Graphic novels and Goethe

by Amy Flora

On Thursday, March 3rd, the Goethe Institute in London hosted a talk with Barbara Yelin and Reinhard Kleist about their respective graphic novels that have just been published in English. The moderated talk gave both authors the opportunity to discuss their books and writing process, and provided an inside look into the development of their artistic style. Continue reading “Graphic novels and Goethe”

Miniature bottles in Oslo

by Amy Flora

While in Oslo a few weekends ago, between shockingly expensive pints and looking at beautiful architecture, I visited the Mini Bottle Gallery. The Mini Bottle Gallery was surprising and a total delight. Open only for a few hours on the weekend, the gallery is a little slice of kitschy heaven. It really is just the largest collection of miniature bottles. Continue reading “Miniature bottles in Oslo”

Ada Lovelace: adventures in dystopia

by Amy Flora

Last week I had the good fortune of attending the Ada Lovelace Symposium held at the University of Oxford in celebration of Ada’s 200th birthday. There was a series of brief lectures on Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, covering a broad series of topics: the “analytical engine”, Charles’s notorious grumpiness, Ada’s alleged drug addiction, etc. Unlike the now internationally celebrated “Ada Lovelace Day,” held on the second Tuesday of October, the symposium took a more critical view of Ada Lovelace and her legacy. Continue reading “Ada Lovelace: adventures in dystopia”

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