Happy New Year

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming woo hoo, what a ride!’

I don’t know who to give credit for the above quote, but in the spirit of the Paris Market, we highly recommend your favorite spirit and the above words of wisdom to welcome in the New Year. So turn off the TV, put down that newspaper, resist the daily doom and gloom and celebrate with style. Go out with a bang, the gym membership can wait one more week.


Spread Happiness

It’s official; happiness is contagious. A remarkable study published by the British Medical Journal last month, concluded “people’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected.” It further stated that happiness, like health, should be viewed as a collective phenomenon.

How wonderful is that? Finally a contagion that is actually good to spread around.
In the coming winter months, let’s all go out and get infected. Become totally sick with happiness, and then spread it to all our family and friends, so they to can become ill with this delightful infliction.

Seek happiness, embrace happiness, and finally, spread happiness. We wish you a wonderful holiday and a happy and safe New Year. Remember to check us out next year. A whole new look is coming to the Paris Market and Brocante.


Just A Few Of Our Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things.

Now that we have you in the spirit, here are a few more of our favorite things for your favorite person.

1. Low Country Luxe Savannah Candle
2. Chapon Chocolatier Crème de Praline
3. Absinthe Decanter with perfect sugar cubes
4. Heather Moore Charm
5. Aesop Primrose Hydrating Masque
6. Santa Maria Novella Pomegranate Bath Soaps
7. John Derian Paperweight
8. Moustache Bomber Chair
9. Denise Disharoon geometric silver necklace
10. Elliot Erwitt coffee table book.

(Photo taken 11/25/08 by JAY W. FILTER of Milwaukee, WI)



The leaves are changing to a burnt orange and reddish brown, the sun hangs lower in the sky, the air is fresh and crisp on the nose, and one can begin to sense the holiday spirit in the air. This time of year the home seems to become more of a nest. The urge to curl up in a thick blanket with a cup of steaming hot cocoa is stronger than ever.

Nothing beats the doom and gloom of the daily news more than pulling out the old family heirloom decorations, adding some new treasures, and sprucing up the home with joyful warmth. Our goal this season is to bring both delight and contentment. We want to enhance your happiness quotient. Our store is brimming with the latest must-have products, holiday gifts, and decorating ideas. Already exhausted from the hectic pace? Visit our patisserie, rest your weary feet and try our newest indulgence Les Confitures a l'Ancienne Powdered Hot Chocolate while taking in the spectacle and listening to holiday classics.

Be thankful this season. Call your friends, call your family, kiss your spouse, hug your pets, smile, do something good anonymously, be humble, and give to the less fortunate. We only have one life and one world, make it wonderful.


It takes a village

After another incredibly busy quarter, my husband and I have finally had a chance to sit down, reflect and regroup. Fall in Savannah is chock full of social events, parties, and festivals. Friends and relatives tag-team visits to take advantage of the perfect weather. By the end of the season, we usually slump exhausted on the couch and discuss our upcoming holiday plans.

As retailers, the holiday season usually begins sometime in October and stretches through January. A four month riotous extravaganza of frenetic, intense hyperactivity. Needless to say, this is most often preceded by feelings of trepidation, excitement and contempt all rolled into a joyful angst.

This year, things have not felt as chaotic. For some reason the path seems easier. After some further reflection we both arrived at the same conclusion. Our staff. From our initial embryo of a store with our first employee, now to our constantly overwhelming business with 13, we couldn’t do without them. Our staff has grown and evolved into a cohesive team, facilitating every aspect of the business. From coffee bar to website, from warehouse to window display, our orchestra now plays a symphony.

So, thank you everybody, we love and appreciate our little village. Let us all have a great holiday season.


Caldrea: Luxury Cleaning at last!

You always need the right tool for the job, and with Caldrea Cleaning Tools now you have them. Whether you are looking for the perfect caddy to keep your cleaning supplies organized, or a brush to help you dust your book collection, we carry a variety of specialized cleaning tools to help you care for your home – luxuriously.

Caldrea creates luxurious, exclusive fragrances for cleaning your entire home. They use only the finest plant-derived ingredients and essential oils to provide natural freshness and natural cleaning potency. All of the products are earth friendly and are not tested on animals. Stop by the store to get yours or visit us online at the Paris Market in the kitchen section.


Shop til you drop

New York has perhaps the best shopping in the world. From the Upper East Side to Tribeca, this city has it all. The latest couture, one-off’s, knock-off’s, and more litter the main streets and side streets in an orgy of fashion, furnishings, and fillers. I can’t understand how all these stores survive, but as the weakest perish, new ones blossom into the light.

So, we can begin with the fabulous trifecta: Bergdorf’s, Barney’s, and Bendel’s. With no preset spending limit these three will handily defeat your budget and keep you wanting more. Find your latest and greatest here and then descend the streets of 5th Ave to peak your pleasure center to exhaustion.

Once you have trolled the usual suspects, South Manhattan beckons. Chelsea and the meatpacking district (smelly, but ultrachic), Greenwich Village (don’t forget the west and east), Soho, Noho, Nolita, the Bowery and Tribeca. The names like Prince, Spring, and Canal are emblazoned into our subconscious. Overload, overload, so much shopping, so little time.

Anyway, here is a list, in no particular order, of some of our favorite New York shops.
De Vera
ABC Carpet and Home
John Derian
Fish’s Eddy
Urban Archeology
Pearl River Market
Dean and Deluca
Freeman’s Sporting Club
Paula Rubenstein’s
Old Good Things


The New York Diet

The title is a misnomer. Dieting is probably the dumbest thing to do in New York unless you were suddenly considering stopping shopping. My husband and I have sometimes planned a whole vacation around a series of restaurant openings. Sure, we love the Vegas-on-the-Hudson offerings of Battali, Colicchio, Robuchon, and the like, but what we really like are the more hidden neighborhood offerings scattered profusely around the city. A blog about the great restaurants of New York could go on forever, so here is a brief compilation of some of our favorites.

First, our perennial favorites Balthazar and Pastis: The perfect brunch or dinner in the coziest atmosphere possible (Dorothy, am I in Paris?). Then almost any Danny Meyer restaurant (don’t miss Gramercy Tavern or the Modern). For the food orgy of your life try Per Se (Thomas Keller’s French Laundry for the Big City) – bring your American express and wait as your taste buds explode in happiness. Feeling hip and on your game then try the Waverly Inn. Need to call on your best contacts for this place, but the mac and cheese and chicken pot pie really are that good. My husband likes a shave at the Sporting Club followed by dinner at Freeman’s Alley. He says in a town geared to the exultation of everything woman, it is nice to find a small corner in the Bowery for men to be men.

Feeling the need for a great steak – head to Quality Meats (wins for best interior). Hate to chase the mainstream media, but Chef Gordon Ramsey’s London is exquisite.
Gabrielle Hamilton (Anthony Bourdain’s favorite) still continues to amaze at Prune. For a perfect taste of Korea nothing beats the Momofuku trio (Ssam Bar, Noodle Bar, and Ko).

Anyway, now I’m hungry. So bring your appetite, don’t just order a salad, always try at least one desert and never go home hungry


Zen in New York

After the frenetic first few days of New York market week, we have discovered our own private Shibumi. Trevanian would be proud. We have therefore decided, after spending numerous hours reliving other people’s best of New York lists (and usually being sorely disappointed), we would prescibe a few of our own favorite old and new haunts to the greatest American city.

First the rest, rejuvenation, and solace of the perfect nights sleep. One can go for the soaring classical neo-metropolis of the Four Seasons (Cary Grant should be your bar mate), the picture perfect Central Park-side Ritz-Carlton (would you like a carriage ride with your croissant?), Gramercy Park’s dark lux glam (a private key to the park, for your pleasure), ultra-mod gravity defying Mandarin Oriental (coolest thing in the world swimming a mile up in the sky), or the brooding hypercool of the Bowery (remember to step over the derelict bum, while sidestepping the paparazzi).
Our current residence is the Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca. Thus to the zen of the title. Built of reclaimed lumber, handmade brick and furnished like your favorite apartment, this hotel could truly be called your home away from home. Even the pool is housed in a painstakingly hand wrought ancient Japanese barn – no nails to be seen. Floating on water in this lantern lit room is as close to heaven as I wish to venture.

Too expensive you say? Ah, but this is New York, still a steal compared to the other great worldly cities like Paris, London, Moscow, and Rome. So next time, pull out the plastic, rack up some frequent flyer miles and plop yourself into a little slice of the big apple.


Argentina: A Few Of Our Favorite Things

Well, it’s been a week back in reality. We leave you with a selection of our favorites.

New world hip latin cool with classic old world European elegance.
Steaming hot empanadas (San Juanino).
Tender pampas-fed beef (La Cabana).
The best meal ever (La Bourgogne).
Exquisite cheap malbec (Catena).
Magnificent awe-inspiring Iguazu falls.
Alvear Palace’s grand hotel and graciously accommodating staff.
Shopping antiques (Defensa street, San Telmo).
Shopping cool (Honduras street, Palermo Soho).
Hand stitched Polo and leather goods (Arandu).
One site not to miss: Recoleta Cemetery.


Let’s Talk Food and Drink

Argentines love eating. Similar to Parisians a great deal of their social and political life involves a table with conversation. The selection is endless, but the main staples arise from the culinary best of Spain and Italy. A couple of our favorites include:

1. Parrillada (mixed grill): nothing like a sizzling asado (barbeque grill) at the entrance of a restaurant to rev up your appetite. As we stated before, the steak is superb (free-range and fabulous). This is not a country of vegetarians.
2. Empanada: a tasty turnover filled with ground beef, ham and cheese, chicken or just about anything else. Comes either baked (al horno), the best way, or fried (frito).
3. Pizza and ice cream (helado): are particularly good secondary to the Italian influence.

Now drink is another story. Mendoza is the premier wine region and Malbec the definitive Argentine wine. Given the current devalued Peso a great bottle can be had for 10 – 20 dollars. For an even greater experience try one from Bodega Catena Zapata, Achaval-Ferrer, or Cheval des Andes which are among the worlds best. San Juan is famous for its Syrah and the area around Cafayate for its white (torrontés).

Coffee lovers have a place to die and call heaven. Even the little hole in the wall places on the side streets have an excellent espresso machine. An espresso with a drop of milk is café cortado – the best in my opinion. Starbucks has invaded Argentina, but if you want a more local similar experience try Havanna. Nothing like an alfajores (cookie-type sandwich) with dulce de leche (creamy caramel) filling while people watching around the square.

This would not be complete without a discussion of mate (pronounced mah-tay). More that a simple drink, mate is a social ritual. Yerbe mate is the dried, chopped leaf of Ilex paraguayensis, a relative of the common holly. The cebador (server) fills the mate gourd with yerba, then hot, not boiling, water from a pava (kettle). You then sip it through a bombilla, a silver straw with a bulbous filter at its lower end that prevents the yerba leaves from entering the tube. And the taste…like wet hay, I guess it’s an acquired thing.


The Mission

We flew an hour and a half up to the Argentine/Brazilian border today to the most magical setting: Iguazu falls. The magnificent falls stretch through the rain forest engulfing the sky with a perpetual mist, birthing rainbow upon rainbow with the glint of the sun.

Myth has it that an Indian warrior named Caroba infuriated the forest god by escaping with a young maiden named Naipur with whom the god had become infatuated. Enraged, the god caused the riverbed to collapse producing a line of precipitous falls over which the lovers fell. Naipur turned into a rock at the base, Caroba survived as a tree overlooking his fallen lover. The thunderous torrent is quite breathtaking with walkways both over and under the cascades. Most famous is Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) – remember that great opening scene with the priest tied to a cross going over the falls in “The Mission”?

Well, the sun is setting, time for some Malbec, tomorrow its back to the city and more last minute shopping.

The Flea market

The Sunday San Telmo market marked the start of our buying extravaganza. Chandeliers, glassware, and silver were the hot items of this mart. Reminded us a bit of the Porte de Vanve market in Paris. Small stalls one after another sparkled in the morning winter sun (although winter here the last few days is a quite pleasant 65 – 75 degrees). Bric-a-brac heaven! Surrounding the square are numerous higher end and much more expensive antique shops – great stuff, just too pricey.

Today we toured the more northern cities of upscale San Isidro and tranquil Tigre. This was historically the summer playground of the portenos (local BA natives). Nestled overlooking the Rio de la Plata this kind of resembles a Spanish Hamptons. Inland this area also houses the furniture factories and wholesalers – more difficult to do business, but definitely worth the effort. Take your own guide or translator to facilitate the deals. After a leisurely river-cruise (island deltas and river houses could have been from backwoods Louisiana) we headed back to the city to do some tourist shopping along Florida Street (imagine Times Square as a mile-long pedestrian street). Tonight it’s early to bed, got to get up at 5am tomorrow for our flight to Iguazu. More on that next time .


Argentina third world…my empanada!!

After two days of traversing uber-wide boulevards, strolling quaint cobblestone byways, and eating way too much steak (pampas-fed beats hormone-infused any day) we have decided that Buenos Aires is an amalgam of the best of France, Spain, and Italy. Where else can you view an exquisite chateau, while eating a taco, having just downed an espresso?

Food in Argentina is great and cheap. You can eat and drink yourself sick at an excellent restaurant for about twenty dollars. I’m talking steak and a bottle of top shelf Malbec.

Too much to tell you in one short blog. I think I will leave you with a magical image that is now burned in my brain forever. We have always had a thing for cemeteries. Living previously in New Orleans, the cemetery was always a mysterious venue of crypts, sarcophagi, and mausoleums. Bonaventure cemetery in Savannah is a place of majesty and mystery, a combination of oaks, palms, and tributes to the dead. Nothing compares to Recoleta Cemetery. This morning’s thick fog dusted the entryway, a cool breeze rustled the Patagonia pine fronds, the banyan tree limbs thrust almost horizontal eerily creaked while the staccato rasp of pigeons filled our ears. This place is amazing. Imagine row after row of exquisite monuments and statuary – all clearly expensive, some probably priceless. Within each lies a noble family’s tribute to its heritage, truly amazing. Eva Peron was finally laid to rest in this cemetery after an apparently prolonged and bizarre journey after her death.

Okay, enough for now. Tomorrow we will fill you in on our amazing finds at the flea market of San Telmo. Stay tuned.


Next stop......Argentina

Argentina, our next fantastic adventure begins today. The land of wonders (Iguazu Falls, Tierra del Fuego), wine (seductive Mendoza), food (world’s best steak), shopping (San Telmo), and the intoxicating, gyrating, insomniac Buenos Aires is in our crosshairs. Just a short ten-hour plane ride to the new “next” great place.

Over the next week, we plan to shop, trek, eat and drink our way across the landscape and invite you to come with us – this time at least in the blog-sense. With the only world currency worse than ours, the Peso is the new dollar. So wake up your travel bug , pour yourself a glass of something sinful, cozy up to your computer and follow our journey.


My Dinner with André

Fabulously fashionable, fiercely fantastical, fanciful, formidable, yet always sweet as key lime pie.


The Cisco Brothers are Coming! The Cisco Brothers are Coming!

Hold your horses gunslingers, this isn’t the famous outlaw with his sidekick Pancho. The Paris Market is proud to welcome our newest furniture and upholstery line – Cisco Brothers.

Based in Los Angeles, Francisco Panedo is widely regarded as the best in the business. Cisco developed his furniture with superior craftsmanship, cutting-edge style, and unparalleled value. The closely-knit family atmosphere of the company nurtures uncommon client loyalty.

In 2006, Cisco developed the Inside Green method of construction and became the first designer to create 100% FSC Pure sustainable upholstered furniture. The company moved exclusively to FSC Pure certified woods on upholstered furniture, using reclaimed hardwoods for a collection of stunning case goods and the use of water based glues and environmentally friendly detergents to wash all fabrics. The result is furniture that looks, feels, and even smells fantastic. Naturally antibacterial, this stuff is even good for your health.

Today Cisco Home has six retail showrooms including a gallery at ABC Home Furnishings in NYC, the acclaimed LA Design Center in Los Angeles and soon The Paris Market and Brocante in Savannah.


The Spider, the Oyster, and the Twig

No this is not the beginning of some strange joke, rather these are just a few of the names swirled into wonderful, natural, and organic creations from our own lighting guru. Sometimes simple and discrete, sometimes riveting, complex and over-the-top, yet always enthralling, these unique masterpieces are available only at The Paris Market and Brocante.

The tidal marshes serve as a fantastic palette of inspiration for this aspiring artist. Gently working metals and incorporating natural materials, the finished products are individual, unique, one-of-a-kind designs sure to strike up conversation (in fact some of his creations have already appeared on various designer blogs – love it!).

Below are just a few examples of pure genius. All items can come in almost any size and shape, some just dictated by the constraints of nature. Have a rough idea of what you want? Send us a sketch, and before you know it, your idea will come to light – pun intended!


She sells seashells by the seashore

Ahh, Savannah in the spring. The almost schizophrenic color of azaleas, dogwoods, redbud's, and cherry trees has climaxed, the majestic oaks have erupted with new leaves, and the intoxicating scent of jasmine and honeysuckle is everywhere. The green of spring is unlike any other green in the color spectrum. My beloved, but not-too-smart dove family, has again setup a nest in the palm tree outside my back porch – perfectly situated at eye level – and the chimney sweeps have taken roost in our fireplace. We are currently enjoying the month before the oppressive humidity and bloodthirsty gnats turn outdoors into a drippy, slappy, feeding frenzy.

As spring turns to summer, Savannah heads to the beach. Tybee Island starts to hum – the redneck Riviera beckons. One can walk for miles along the wide sandy beach picking up odds and ends. For some reason, I have always been fascinated with specimens of nature. A simple walk in the sand turns into a treasure hunt for artifacts ranging from sand dollars, shells, and starfish, to shark’s teeth and the occasional boney remains of anonymous sea life.

I have sand and surf remnants from the various beaches of our travels, collected and hand labeled like priceless finds from archaeological digs. These glass canisters serve to remind me of the cool surf and even cooler locals (Hayman, Alexandria, Mumbai, Cannes, Seaside, etc).

I have searched far and wide for unique sources of sea-life. In the constant effort to maintain “green” values, the sources must comply with strict environmental guidelines. This year I think I have outdone myself. The beauty of nature cannot be replicated; the intricacy is confounding, yet the simplicity is astounding. These artifacts will establish a degree of elegance to any home.

It is also my pleasure to introduce the fantastic works of a local artist. Combining original statuary with shell remnants, a fantastical, organic masterpiece is created. Stop by the store or visit us online – I want you to share to experience.



After almost a century of its absence: Absinthe.

About 20 years ago, in a little corner bar on the east end of Bourbon Street, I had my first taste of the illegal distillate. Part liquor, part herb, part performance theater, absinthe proved intoxicating, both figuratively and literally. After being ushered to an aged table, an elegant dispensing apparatus appeared out of the back shadows. Tall, thick, ancient appearing glasses were placed under each spout, each topped with an equally ancient perforated spoon and capped with an assymetric sugar cube. An anonymous hand then placed the illicit bottle on the table. I started having second thoughts the moment the label became visible with the flicker of the candle. A morphing green fairy with a sardonic grin stared back at me as if daring me to proceed. I hesitated. My husband, then only my on again, off again boyfriend – and not one with a lot of common sense – said “cool”, grabbed the bottle and started pouring.

A pale green fluid pooled in the bottom of each glass. The absinthe fountain, which looked like an elegantly bizarre fondue pot, was filled with ice and water. The lever was turned, and a slow drip of iced water permeated the sugar cube and glided into the liquor. With each drip, an opalescent cloud formed as the herbal essence was released. One could almost envision the fairy emerging from the swirling brew. The cocktail complete, I ventured forth. A pleasingly crisp, slightly sweetened licorice flavored my palate. Not bad, actually quite good.

A few hours later we left the bar. No hallucinations, just a little intoxicated. Absinthe proved an enjoyable liquor with a storied tradition.

Now a few facts:
Absinthe is now legal for purchase in the United States. Absinthe does not cause hallucinations. This was a misconception promoted by the French wine consortium who deemed Absinthe’s afford ability and popularity a detriment to wine sales. Absinthe’s green color is a result of natural ingredients; no coloring is added. The bottles are dark to prevent exposure to light, which would destroy the natural color. Grande wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is the key ingredient in genuine Absinthe. The active ingredient thujone is strictly regulated. It has been noted that even the original manufacturers of Absinthe did not have significant amounts of thujone which could has caused hallucinations. The hallucinations historically alluded to with the myth of absinthe can probably be attributed to the concurrent popularity of cocaine and opium.

The Paris Market & Brocante carries Absinthe accessories for sale both in the store and on our website at http://theparismarket.com/Gallery.asp?secondary=12&catid=9


Taxidermy, A Solar System, and 109 Noses

My wife decided not to get up for an early morning shopping spree. She’s not a morning person; she actually thinks brunch is the first meal of the day. We had this great opportunity to select shop a vintage European wholesaler, but the first come first served mentality was to prevail. Perhaps a few too many bourbons the night before, I woke up ready, reeling, but ready. My wife, alas, still in deep hibernation, was not to be aroused. After a quick caffeine infusion it was off to the hunt.

I arrived in the dark to join the other hungry retailers at the gate. Felt like the kennel at feeding time. Each new arrival was sized up and subsequently discarded to the back of the line by the pack leader. The wholesaler finally sauntered up to the gate and herded us inside.

Ah, like the Vikings of old, we pillaged our way through the warehouse. Everything had a price, and I had to have everything. Stickers flew about, hopes won, dreams dashed.

A couple of hours later, an American express card much lighter, I return to the hotel. My wife, still in the same place I left her, although with a half empty cup of coffee in her hand and some croissant fragments on her robe, asked how it went. I proudly pulled out the receipt and revealed my treasure;

Antique taxidermy baby deer, baby goat, fox, and badger
French model solar system (Which sold quick!)
109 terra cotta theatre nose molds (early 1900's)

My wife now accompanies me on all buying outings. I believe she has finally realized the magnitude of my genius.

*all items available at the Paris Market and Brocante store or website. Noses available individually or as a lot. Priced from $140-170 individually.


Why Aesop??

Eleven years ago my husband and I traveled to Australia – furthest place we could go with all our saved up frequent flyer miles – to elope to the perfect paradise of Hayman Island. He was finishing residency, I was working three jobs, and doing research on the side – we had no money, but we had love and thus we were invincible (or is that irrational?). What a trip. I highly recommend foregoing the typical overdone wedding in favor of splurging the entire fortune on you and your honey! We called our parents the day of the wedding, went shopping for a cheap dress, shoes and suit, and bought a pair of silver rings (my husband called them training rings – he was so scared he would lose his).
We had to fly in a magistrate from a neighboring island, wrote our own vows, had hotel staff (our new best friends) for witnesses, and had a fantastically humble wedding on the beach,

Why am I telling you all this? Well, we were so worn out (and incredibly sunburned) from our impromtu island wedding that when we returned to Melbourne we needed some major revitalization. On the way to Australia, I think I read every magazine in the world. Nothing like traveling fourteen hours jam packed in coach. I came across this article in an Australian fashion magazine about the best product for that time (and in my opinion for all times) - Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream -the high priestess of hydrating creams as Aesop likes to call it. Apparently all the Australian films stars were enamored with this product line (including the perfect Nicole Kidman). This product was unknown to us so I dragged my husband high and low through Melbourne on the hunt. We finally found it. Aesop was green before green was a concept. Aesop does not subscribe to mainstream cosmetic practices and claims of anti-aging, promises of youth and distorted ideals of beauty. Aesop believes that external beauty is ultimately the result of a healthy attitude, diet, and moderate exercise and consistent physical attention to, and protection of, the skin. I bought a couple of products. My husband, the doctor, and thus always the naysayer of any cosmetic claim, was apparently satisfied by the package insert, and decided to participate in my beauty night (he’s my best girlfriend). Actually, I think he was just so sunburned that he was willing to try anything..

So here we are, eleven years later and I finally had the opportunity to bring Aesop to Savannah. This company has evolved into something even better over the years. Start the New Year right. Our new in-store apothecary has a multitude of lines to improve your appearance, but Aesop certainly is our finest coup.