Like little stars.
You may not know this, but garden gnomes are all the rage in Paris. The
colorful, gaudy gnomes, which some find cute and others find repulsive, were
invented in eastern Germany in the 1870s and have become something of a
status symbol in French gardens.
Last month, Paris’ chic Bagatelle gardens opened the country’s first
exhibit dedicated to the gnomes. The exhibit featured 2,000 of the elfin
figures, carefully placed amid the peonies and lilac bushes.
And then the Garden Gnome Liberation Front struck.
According to a Reuters report, 20 of the gnomes were stolen during a
nighttime raid. The Garden Gnome Liberation Front
claimed responsibility, and said it would strike again unless the
exhibit was closed and all of the gnomes released. “We demand,” the group’s
statement said, “that garden gnomes are no longer ridiculed and that they be
released into their natural habitat.”
Organizers of the exhibit have said they will not bow to the front’s
demands, but the front is not a group to be trifled with. In 1997, it was
fined for the disappearance of some 150 gnomes. And in 1998, a “mass
suicide” of gnomes in the city of Briey in eastern France was attributed to the group.
The 11 gnomes were discovered hanging by their necks under a bridge,
their little bodies swaying in the wind. A letter found nearby explained,
“When you read these few words we will no longer be part of your selfish
world, where we serve merely as pretty decoration.”
J.A. Getzlaff's Daily Planet appears every weekday. Do you have a tip or tale for J.A.? Send it to DailyPlanet@salon.com.More J.A. Getzlaff.
Like little stars.
World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.
So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).
My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.
High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.
Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.
New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.
Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.
Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.
Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.
Really does taste like pineapple.