the photography, music and ramblings of Matt Lipstein


Tailgating before Springsteen at giant's stadium.

France Photos - The Twenty Best Shots

About two summers ago Amanda & I happened upon an article about a person who went walking from village to village in Provence, France eating delicious food and drinking tasty wine. We romanticized about this for ourselves, and when it came time for our first anniversary, we said pour-quoi pas?

Below are the twenty best photos from our journey. Hopefully they'll give you a flavor of what an amazing and romantic experience it was. Click on any image for a larger version.

This shot was taken 20 minutes into our first hike. We were under the impression we would be walking through France, but it became quickly clear that we would be hiking our way through mountains. A subtle but important distinction. See Amanda smiling there? It's before we walked up a straight wall of rock for three hours and accidentally drinking all our water! A tough but educational first day!

The hard work paid off as we saw this view coming down the other side of the Luberon mountain range four hours later. Beyond the fields of lavender, which are ubiquitous in the region, is the Notre Dame Abbey from the 12th century. We stopped for lunch, marveled at the beauty and history and filled up our water bottles.

Our next stop was the village of Gordes. With winding narrow streets perched high on a hill, Gordes affords some stunning and surprising views of the region.It was one of many truly special places we encountered along the way. And we only spent about 20 minutes there!

This is the greatest sandwich of all time. Inside the fresh baguette you'll find slabs of creamy brie cheese, lettuce and cherry tomatoes dressed in a sea of olive oil, Provençal basil, salt & pepper. It doesn't hurt that it was prepared by our sweet hostess of the hotel La Bergerie. She welcomed us with open arms (and a pool) after our first day of hiking, and sent us off with kisses and this sandwich. Damn - that sandwich was tasty.

Here's a photo of me hiking over the Colorado Provençal ochre deposit in Rousillon. Ochre is a sediment which the locals use to make pigment for pottery and homes. Truth is ochre is everywhere and kind of boring. This photo is an illusion. I was actually miles from there, but Amanda is a photo magician.

Amanda enjoying the view from a castle on the top of the town St. Saturnin des Apt. We spent two days in this town to rest up and got a lot out of it.

The sheer volume of lavender we came upon as we walked was staggering. Even more so was how we never tired of finding another field or patch. A local explained to us that you can simply rub it on your hands, and it acts as a natural antiseptic. It doesn't smell too bad either!

Our last day of hiking put is in the village of Saignon. Another windy village, but it was built like a fort to defend itself. Our Inn had another pool and amazing views of the city around us.

Our last dinner on the hike. These towns we traversed through had the most amazing sunlight, especially at dusk. We called it "god light." It makes sense that artists like Cézanne would flock to this area. Things just look richer and more beautiful in Provence. Hopefully you can tell as you look at these two beauties.

And the moment you've all been waiting for. CHEESE. It was delicious! We spotted this fatty in Aix-en-Provence, where we spent three days after our hiking. The markets there were incredible, supplying us with our daily lunches. Look closely and you can see us in the reflection. Arty.

We took a day trip from Aix to the beaches in the south of France on the Mediterranean. I dare you to go on a vacation with Amanda and not wind up in the water at some point. The water there is clear blue and only comes waist high no matter how far you go out.

Hello Paris! On our first day in town we checked out some art. This is the entrance in the Musée Rodin, which consists of this house and a garden containing his works. We loved the framing of different lines and patterns in this room.

While we never went into the Louvre, we spent a good deal of time just walking around the environs. This is the view as pass into the large courtyard in the center. Every inch of these buildings are covered in ornate statues with exquisite detail. It's quite overwhelming and breathtaking.


A very meta-photo as we lied on the grass below the Eiffel Tower. We tried to split our time between seeing the sites of Paris and immersing ourselves in the culture. It didn't help that the whole city seemed to close on Sunday!

Another spiritual experience was had at the Sainte-Chapelle. The stained glass was gorgeous as the morning light poured in. Each small panel would tell a story from the bible.

Momma loves a crepe! Nutella only for us as we walked the streets of Paris.

We finished our French tour on the exact day our first anniversary. After a delicious dinner we watched the Bastille Day fireworks go off with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop. It couldn't have been more perfect.

Back on the Air

If you were to be checking in on Stupidfresh in the past week or two you might have gotten the sense that there's a few things brewing in the life of lil' ol' Lip. Truth is, there's been a TON happening and it's all great stuff. You would have known all the details if it take until TODAY (7/30/08) to get our internet connection up and running from Time Warner. But, patience and perseverence have paid off and we are LIVE again folks.

Things to follow in the deluge:
  • Photos from France (Best Of)
  • Photos from France (Full Set)
  • Lots of pics of the new digs in the BK
  • Ramblings, references and ridiculousness



Spotted in the woodchips while exiting from prospect park.

And hello Brooklyn!

The move went well, although it was hot as heck on Friday. Four hired
movers and nine hours later all of our stuff (including both
turntables and all our wedding gifts) made it into the new place.

We've spent the weekend setting up and enjoyingbal the space and
especially our door.

Here's a shot if amanda from Friday night popping some champagne for
our first moved in toast!

Hope to have everyone over soon!

Move out day

So long east village

Off to France

Riding the rails on the way to l'aeroport!

Au revoir, pour le moment

This is the 189th post on, so let's make it a good one.

You probably know it's been a busy couple of months for the Lip. Amanda and I have been working tirelessly on getting a new place in Brooklyn, and just yesterday we sealed the deal! The apartment is great, and were looking forward to giving it a bit of TLC as we put our own feel into it. It's been a crazy process and we're happy to be moving out of the world of listings, countless phone calls and lawyers and transition into something simpler and more creative like choosing paint colors!

We leave tomorrow night for France where we'll celebrate our one-year anniversary. We'll be walking from town to town in Provence for about a week or so, then kicking it in Aix-en-Provence, and finishing with 3 days in Paris. We were married on Bastille Day, so I guess we'll let the Parisians celebrate with us while we're there!

Simply put - I'm feeling great.

I saw this video online today and it is getting me so excited for my travels. It's a simple idea, but it was executed brilliantly. And while the name on this is Matt, I assure you it isn't me.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Original post from Boingboing:
Matthew Harding spent 14 months visiting 42 countries in order to produce "Where the Hell is Matt?", a four-and-a-half minute video featuring Harding (and anyone else he could rope into it) doing an incredibly silly, high-energy dance in some of the most breathtaking scenery around the world. This may be the best four minutes and twenty-eight seconds of your week.
See you all in a few weeks. Much love - Much lip.

Done deal!

Yesterday, July 1st, we closed on our new apartment in Brooklyn. With
our new excitement we took a bottle of proseco and some glasses to our
new home and had our first (of many) toasts!

We couldnt be happier. Thanks to everyone for your love, advice and
support through the process. Can't wait to have you over soon!

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