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They Love Paris in the Quarantine



Four years ago, Jamie Beck was a photographer living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She was on a plane and had an anxiety attack and was convinced she would die. “The first thing I thought was, ‘I will never know what it’s like to live in France,’” she said. “I swore if the plane landed, I will move to France.” It did. And she did.

Ms. Beck, 37, was following in the footsteps of so many before her into French expatriate life: Ernest Hemingway, Peter Mayle, “Emily in Paris.” She moved to Provence, where she documents the sunflowers and vineyards and castles and croissants that she encounters, all the while clad in a seemingly endless series of flouncy white dresses. Her apartment in the town of Apt has previously been rented for honeymoons. It’s all very idyllic, and her 317,000 Instagram followers seem to agree.

During “le confinement” — what the French call their coronavirus lockdown — Ms. Beck lost all her commercial work. “The only thing I could control was what I did with my time, so I decided to make a piece of art every single day,” she said. She tagged her posts #isolationcreation and soon realized she was gaining about 1,000 new followers per day.

Ms. Beck is not the only American in France with an online following who has noticed a big increase in engagement during the pandemic. With American tourists banned from Europe, Frenchfluencers (and their counterparts in other charming, scenic countries) are as close to a vacation abroad as many got this year.

“I definitely saw a spike in June and July for Instagram and YouTube,” said Tiffanie Davis, 30, who moved to Paris in 2017 to get her master’s degree in business administration. In 2019 Ms. Davis started to post videos about expat life on YouTube around topics like the cost of living (189,000 views), dating in France (which was explored in a two-part series), and Black hair salons.

“I have been getting a ton of DMs from people interested in my story and saying, ‘I’m living through your experiences and want to make the move abroad.’” Ms. Davis has made a worksheet on moving abroad downloadable from her personal website.

“Paris sells. A lot of the clichés are true,” said Elaine Sciolino, a frequent contributor to The New York Times and the author of “The Seine: The River that Made Paris.” “But there are two different Parises: There is the museum Paris, with the slim, beautifully dressed young woman who walks her dog across the Seine with no dirt anywhere. You can have that seduction, but you’re not going to have sex on the Seine because there are rats, it’s dirty, there’s petty crime, you can get harassed. But who’s going to feel sorry for you if you live in Paris? Nobody.”

Paris and the rest of France is struggling with the pandemic, violence and protests, but so much of what outsiders see is still the beautiful parts. “I get frustrated with the one-trick-pony approach where the only thing to show is some old looking doors and a rosy view of the Seine for the millionth time and, like, ‘Oh sometimes I have to pinch myself that this is my backdrop,” said Lindsey Tramuta, 35, who has lived in France for 15 years and is the author of “The New Parisienne: The Women and Ideas Shaping Paris.” “I’ve picked the camp of ‘let’s not treat it like a postcard.’”

Molly Wilkinson, 33, who lives in Versailles (“Thirty minutes from the Eiffel Tower to our apartment by train”), said: “I think my audience is more interested in the pastries, walking down the street, looking at antiques. I like being that little escape for people, and I’m a positive person, too.”

Ms. Wilkinson moved to France in 2013 to study pastry at the Cordon Bleu; before the pandemic, she taught cooking classes in person. She now leads online workshops about how to make macarons (her most popular class) and tarte Tatin. They were all selling out, she said, so she has increased them to 50 students from 30, for 25 euros each.

She posted many photos to Instagram from a trip to the Loire Valley in September. “It was incredible, the engagement,” she said. “They wanted to experience everything and daydream where they could go. Whenever something is banned, you want it more.”

Still, Ms. Wilkinson thinks that some have an overly rosy view of life abroad. She mentioned the 100 pages of documents she had to amass for a recent visa application and frequent chats with her sister, an emergency-room nurse in Texas.

Amid the ripened cheese and warm baguettes, some are trying to show the pros and cons of life abroad. “I don’t want it to appear like, ‘oh I’m here and you’re stuck there,’” said Jane Bertch, 44, whose business, La Cuisine Paris, also offers cooking classes.

“I talk about getting kicked out of my apartment, that real life is not the dream,” Ms. Davis said of her YouTube videos. “I also wanted to show people that Black people are here, that there is a more diverse population than a lot of people make it out to be.”

Cynthia Coutu, 54, hosts workshops (now online) called Delectabulles for women about champagne, usually to devoted Francophiles who dream of retiring in their beloved country. “At the beginning of each webinar, I talk about restaurants closing and the trials and tribulations of life in Paris,” she said. “I don’t idealize life here.”

David Lebovitz, the author of nine cookbooks and the memoirs “The Sweet Life in Paris” and “L’Appart” (which are being adapted into television shows), has lived in Paris since 2003. During the pandemic, he has started to experiment with Instagram Live from his apartment in the 11th arrondissement, often unpacking what he bought at the local markets or sharing cocktail recipes.

But Mr. Lebovitz, 61, also shares with his 258,000 followers videos of overly loud scooters and trash on the street. “My life is the opposite of Emily’s of ‘Emily in Paris,’” he said. “That Paris is running through the Place Vendôme with Natalie Portman.”

As a divided America headed to the polls, Ms. Beck was keeping her sumptuous aesthetic but with a note of cynicism about the world. “I will still try to make a beautiful image,” she said. “But recently I took a photo of me with my baby and wrote a caption saying, ‘Let’s talk about health care.’”

By: Marisa Meltzer
Title: They Love Paris in the Quarantine
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Published Date: Thu, 05 Nov 2020 08:00:07 +0000

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What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?




People have always liked to drink on board flights, especially people from Australia. Therefore, it should be no surprise to anyone that there was an inflight bar offering in the 1970s.

Ansett Airlines were a major player in the Australian domestic market up until their demise in September 2001. For many years, there were two domestic airlines, Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) and Ansett.

Ansett’s Inflight Bar

At the time, Ansett operated Boeing 727s, Douglas DC-9s and Fokker F27 Friendships on domestic routes in the country. Airline tickets were quite expensive, with tariffs agreed upon by both airlines thanks to Australia’s weird two-airline policy at the time.

While tickets were expensive and food complimentary, you still had to pay for a drink at the bar. Here is an inflight bar menu from the era, showing the drinks available and their prices.

Clearly the pricing is astounding by today’s standards – 30 cents for a beer? I’ll have thirty-three please! I like how Australian gin is 35c while the imported gin is just 5c more. Which would you choose?

You can tell it is from another era as you can buy cigarettes on board. These price up at 45c, a far cry from the extortionate prices people in the west pay these days for a smoke!

Overall Thoughts

The on board offering is pretty comprehensive for internal flights, and I imagine you’d be hard pressed not to find something you might like. In those times, all payments would have been by cash as well, which would have meant a lot of coinage being handled on board.

Of course, things haven’t changed too much over the years. On many airlines you pay for your drinks just as they did back in the 1970s. Shame the prices aren’t the same of course!

Did you ever buy drinks on board flights from the inflight bar back in the day? Do you still? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Daniel Tanner on via Wikimedia Commons.
Menu image by Ikara on Australian Frequent Flyer.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?
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Published Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2020 15:03:14 +0000

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These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?




The shrimp stop swimming at dusk and gather near the river’s edge. After sunset, they begin to climb out of the water. Then they march. All night long, the inch-long crustaceans parade along the rocks.

The parading shrimp of northeastern Thailand have inspired legends, dances and even a statue. (Locals also eat them.) During the rainy season, between late August and early October, tourists crowd the riverbanks with flashlights to watch the shrimp walk.

Watcharapong Hongjamrassilp first learned about the parading shrimp, and the hundred thousand or more tourists who come each year to see them, about 20 years ago. When he started studying biology, he returned to the topic. “I realized that we know nothing about this,” he said: What species are they? Why and how do they leave the safety of the water to walk upstream on dry land? Where are they going?

Mr. Hongjamrassilp, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, decided to answer those questions himself. His findings appeared this month in the Journal of Zoology.

Working with wildlife center staff members, Mr. Hongjamrassilp staked out nine sites along a river in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province. They found shrimp parading at two of the sites — a stretch of rapids, and a low dam.

The videos they recorded revealed that the shrimp paraded from sundown to sunup. They traveled up to 65 feet upstream. Some individual shrimp stayed out of the water for 10 minutes or more.

“I was so surprised,” Mr. Hongjamrassilp said, “because I never thought that a shrimp can walk that long.” Staying in the river’s splash zone may help them keep their gills wet, so they can keep taking in oxygen. He also observed that the shells of the shrimp seem to trap a little water around their gills, like a reverse dive helmet.

DNA analysis from captured shrimp showed that nearly all belonged to the species Macrobrachium dienbienphuense, part of a genus of shrimp that live mostly or fully in freshwater. Many Macrobrachiumspecies spend part of their lives migrating upstream to their preferred habitats.

Most parading shrimp that Mr. Hongjamrassilp captured were young. Observations and lab experiments showed that these shrimp probably leave the water when the flow becomes too strong for them. Larger adult shrimp can handle a stronger current without washing away, so they’re less likely to leave the water.

Walking on land is dangerous for the little shrimp, even under cover of darkness. Predators including frogs, snakes and large spiders lurk nearby, Mr. Hongjamrassilp says. “Literally, they wait to eat them along the river.”

And the shrimp can survive on land for only so long. If the parading crustaceans lose their way, they may dry out and die before they get back to the river. A few times, Mr. Hongjamrassilp came across groups of lost shrimp dead on the rocks, their once-translucent bodies baked pink.

Yet most navigate upstream successfully, and scientists have spotted other freshwater shrimp around the world performing similar feats, scaling dams and even climbing waterfalls.

Leaving the water when the swimming gets tough may have helped these animals spread to new habitats over their evolutionary history, Mr. Hongjamrassilp said. Today, the number of parading shrimp in Thailand seems to be declining. He thinks tourist activity may be a factor, and learning more about the shrimp might help protect them.

The study’s authors made “some really excellent observations,” said Alan Covich, an ecologist at the University of Georgia who was not involved in the research. But understanding why the Ubon Ratchathani shrimp move upstream, and how far they travel, will require more research, he said.

“The most surprising thing to me was that it attracted so many tourists,” Dr. Covich said. He doesn’t know of any other example of people gathering to appreciate a crustacean in quite the same way.

“We have crayfish festivals, we have all kinds of things,” Dr. Covich said, “but generally it’s people eating them, not watching them move.”

By: Elizabeth Preston
Title: These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?
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Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 17:02:07 +0000

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Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?




There are reports that Aer Lingus have applied for 1,500 slots at Manchester Airport for the Summer 2021 season. This will allow the airline to base four aircraft there and service flights to the United States.

At present, there have been no press releases from the airline stating what is going on. Even so, it probably makes sense for the Irish airline to do this in the current market.

Aer Lingus And Manchester

From what is known, there will be three Airbus A321LRs and an A330 based at Manchester. These will operate non-stop services to New York JFK, Boston, Chicago and Orlando, and the season starts on 28 March 2021.

With Thomas Cook having gone out of business, there is likely space for another competitor. New York and Orlando will see competition from Virgin Atlantic, while the other two routes have no airline flying at the moment.

Aer Lingus has been connecting passengers over Dublin very successfully from the UK regions for a while now. Due to this, they will have visibility on traffic patterns, potential yields and more, making this an informed decision.

I imagine they also hope to cream off some of the connecting traffic that routes through London Heathrow on British Airways and Amsterdam on KLM among others. It would prove to be quite successful.

Transatlantic Joint Venture Approval

The US Department of Transport has tentatively given its approval for Aer Lingus to join the oneworld transatlantic joint business. This is operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.

These airlines coordinate schedules and pricing, share revenues and expenses. For the consumer, it means more choice – those making a booking on British Airways across the Atlantic will also see options on American Airlines on the BA web site as one example.

Theoretically, it would allow people seeking flights on the British Airways web site to automatically be given options to fly non-stop with Aer Lingus, along with the Manchester-London Heathrow-US city connecting itinerary.

Whether Aer Lingus will join the oneworld alliance, even in a oneworld connect capacity remains to be seen. Frequent flyers would welcome it, especially those in Ireland.

Overall Thoughts

No doubt the boffins have been working behind the scenes to see if the business case for transatlantic flights from Manchester stack up. As things have proceeded as far as a slot application, I would guess chances are good that it will go ahead.

Either way, let’s see if this happens and if it does, whether Aer Lingus will stay for the long haul. If they can make more money elsewhere, they’ll up sticks and leave. Regardless, it is an interesting development in European aviation.

What do you think of Aer Lingus starting transatlantic services from Manchester? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

To never miss a post, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
All my flight and lounge reviews are indexed here so check them out!

Featured image by N509FZ via Wikimedia Commons.
Aer Lingus A321neo LR by Pitmanaaron via Wikimedia Commons.
Business class cabin via One Mile At A Time.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?
Sourced From:
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 18:03:48 +0000

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