Lost Hope

by Lena

elena levon photography paris-1

“Paris was where the 20th Century was” – Gertrude Stein


Paris! Paris, Paris…

I was in love with you, even though my heels never knew your streets, they yearned to kiss your every cobblestone.

In love with the freedom, the beauty, history, the uninhibited, elegant, feminine and ageless women.

Style and Art.

Fell in love with your sexual revolution, artists, music, champagne coup glasses, pencil skirts, gloves and pearls.

~ Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité ~

In love with your Joie De Vivre inside of your Je Ne Sais Quoi.

I was yours, I was in love…

elena levon photography Paris

“French people lost hope in tomorrow” were the words of Alain ~ wonderful Frenchman who was born in Paris. He sat next to Mr. Bond and I at La Coupole, one of the most favorite joints of Hemingway.

elena levon paris france la coupole private club Cercle de l'Union Interalliée bar 228 george v hotel eiffel tower closed strike lost hope what happened to france  - 02Alain was sitting right next to our table alone. I usually sense people well. He had this very heavy air, also noticed incredible sadness in his eyes. Decided to start a conversation with him. He was visiting Paris for his grandson’s Birthday. Alain said that he was forced to move, now spends time between South of France and Spain.

It was my first night in Paris and couldn’t understand why he said those words. I will never forget the sadness. He was in mourning. Every day after that night, I kept bringing myself back to that table, our conversation and his eyes.

As a woman who doesn’t even own a pair of jeans, wears sneakers in gym only, loves to dress herself in revealing outfits and is very comfortable with her sexuality… I had a hard time in Paris. That’s right ladies! My corset-like top, which wasn’t revealing at all, was met with whispers and shaking of the heads… (Men’s heads were quite happy though)

I’m sorry, ladies, but isn’t this a city where sex kittens like Brigitte Bardot made history with her… eyes, of course?

“Oh, I can see your nipples in that top” one of my girlfriend’s response was when she saw what I wore for this New Years Eve in New York…

“Darling, that’s what they’re there for. And until my tits are up to my knees, I’m allowed to wear tops like that.”

You know, I do actually own a bra (surprise!) , but as it turns out I’m more French than French women… I still believe in Liberte.. Liberte of my soul. My whole life has been all about Liberte, especially when it comes to my tits. (Mr. Bond, thank you for not pressuring me to wear one… and you’re welcome, honey! … I’ve saved a lot of bucks for you over the years) Who needs a wonder-bra, when you can wander without one!…

elena levon paris france la coupole private club Cercle de l'Union Interalliée bar 228 george v hotel eiffel tower closed strike lost hope what happened to france  - 01

France is no longer full of carefree, sexual and confident women. Women don’t walk or swim topless even in South of France. They got replaced by full on military men, (I’m sorry, are we in Iraq?) thieves and beggars.

Was a witness to a full on robbery.. a bunch of bags were stolen from Japanese tourists. Liberte also got replaced by incredible amounts of women in full on burkas. Don’t get me wrong, I love that culture, have many close friends who are Muslimand always covered in a Muslim country… always! You will always see tan lines. But to be walking in a corset in Paris, of all places, amongst women who are covered from head to toe, made me very uncomfortable. Sexy outfits and risqué attitudes, are replaced with oppression. I deeply respect Muslim culture, but could not help feeling oppressed by the energy that hangs so thick above Paris and other French cities. Well, once upon a time, France occupied Moroccokarma is a bitch… C’est la vie…

Women’s faces were not the only faces that were covered. As it turned out, the face of Paris – Eiffel Tower was also “covered” for several days – workers were all on strike and I never got the chance to go up…

When it rained, I didn’t get to see a “Midnight in Paris” like moment – when the couple is falling in love on the bridge and walking under the rain..and I believe the actress was bra-less. For someone who has Hyperhidrosis dancing / running under the rain is a true Liberte! As a matter of fact, I think Mr. Bond and I counted about 2 couples who were in love, happy, kissing and holding hands. (Probably tourists)

Versailles, R.I.P….

wow. Fountains don’t work, construction everywhere you look, run down gardens, weird modern art pieces everywhere (I’m sorry, are we at MOMA?) They made a Disney show “Fantasia” out of fountains and room of mirrors, that they sell for 40 euros and up. Ladies and Gents, you don’t have to go to Disneyland now… you can buy a ticket to a “music fountains” show in Versailles…. what a shame.

Dear Versailles, you should take a lesson or two from Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg – its fountains and gardens are incredible and actually do work during the opening hours. Peterhof kicks your ass on so many levels. No wonder, Napoleon came with his small croissant to Mother Russia

Thankfully, Mr. Bond is a member of one of the private clubs in Los Angeles and we are able to visit “sister clubs” around the world. One of those clubs in Paris, takes your breath away. It’s members are politicians and members of royal families. Gardens here are considered to be the most beautiful gardens in all of Paris. This place is what Versailles used to be… Plus, we got sit on the furniture and sip on Daiquiri’s. This place actually was an absolute highlight of my days in Paris.

Madame et Monsieu, welcome to Cercle de l’Union Interalliée

Mr. Bond and I did enjoy great food at many of the “it” places of Paris. Unfortunately the feeling of love in the city of love is replaced with desperation. The whole city stank of it pretty bad. Customer service is terrible and Paris makes Uganda wifi connection first class. I also couldn’t help but notice a lot of unhappy, puritan shopaholics with grim faces. I’m not a big fan of that activity so I just posed for one shot by Tiffany’s.

Another place that I liked in Paris was George V Hotel. 

Although, badly dressed, classless Russian/Ukrainian hookers by the bar, made me a bit ashamed for one of my own countries. In Russia, we have this wonderful saying “It’s good in a place where we are not”.


I always thought, that once I visit Paris, I will never leave… Mr. Bond was well aware of that. Would I want to live in today’s Paris? No. Je suis désolé. But I would absolutely want to live in Paris in 1920’s. Remind me to ask Woody Allen where that “midnight staircase” is in Paris…  


Yes, Alain, some other people and this cat at the bar, might have lost hope and are in mourning for France…

elena levon paris france la coupole private club Cercle de l'Union Interalliée bar 228 george v hotel eiffel tower closed strike lost hope what happened to france  - 25

I’m not! I haven’t lost hope or my love for you, France…


La Liberté ou la Mort!


The woman behind the words…