Postcards from Paris: {La semaine de la mode}

The time has come for Fashion week here in Paris. Heels headed to heaven seem to be a must, even though the uneven and slanted sidewalks make a simple stroll a bit of a challenge. When some of my friends who don't comprehend the significance wonder, "why?" I just respond, "mind over matter" and then return my focus to our destination. It really isn't so bad, my posture improves, my neck seems elongated, and I may appear to have that certain concentration or that look of, I-can't-be-bothered, merci beaucoup.
I do love Fashion week. I love the excuse of being just little late to certain things, like French class. But it seemed completely justified when I did show up, and we were learning past-tense. My classmates were sharing what they studied before, and when my turn came around and I responded with; "J'ai étudiée la mode.." My slight tardiness seemed understood. Yes, I am wearing a huge shell necklace with a crazy tassel. Yes, I am wearing men's pants, but I also got on my high-heeled clogs and my sequined vest. It's Fashion week, and those things just make sense.


Postcards from Paris: {Laduree vs. Lenotre}

(Photographs courtesy of Michelle)
My mother can vouch for this, as well as anyone who has ever gone out to eat with me: Every meal is a bit more satisfying with a touch of something sweet at the end. It's something I absolutely agree with and live by. Throughout my years of waiting tables I have urged my very full, tummy-aching customers to end with some sugar. I end my meals with dessert in the United States, and I most definitely finish off with a dessert in France, and I smile realizing this.
So when comparing the two well-known L companies who offer the most loveliest of all sweets, I find myself completely satisfied with both choices; as well as the choices within the choices. Ultimately, the desserts are all delectable, and my simple-satisfying taste-buds are quite content after a small splurge from either company.
Overall, I admit tending to lean towards LaDuree. I think it must be the interior palette. Their settings make one feel like royalty. That light sage green with gold embellishments, so pleasant. Even the packaging feels as though one is actually there in the parlor at one of the locations, and the sweetness seems ever-so encompassing.
I took my friend Michelle to the Madeline location one recent afternoon. We honestly should have eaten a real lunch, but instead we took pleasure in a lunch of sweets with some sugar at the end.
Not a good idea for pleasing the stomach, but I tell you, my taste buds were in bliss.


Postcards from Paris; {Froid, les jours nuageux}

You know those gray transitioning days when the sun is behind a thick layer of rain clouds and all one wants to do is to cuddle up underneath thick layers of covers and watch a good ole' satisfying chick-flick.
For whatever reason, typical American chick-flicks usually hardly ever suffice my cravings. My chick-flick fix usually consists of a good period film with ornate costumes and some sort of settle romance to be sorted out, but I’ve been turned on to a new type of chick-flick...
That is, the French kind. With some light humor along with some little troubles of daily life, LOL (Laughing Out Loud) charmed me completely and dismissed any sense of guilt for not spending the day outdoors. I got my dose of Paris living just from knowing I am here, cuddled up and warm, and watching how other people live it. Try not to judge the movie by the title, and try to watch it on a day like today. It really may satisfy that chick-flick craving.



Postcards from Paris: {Jeux pour Enfant}

My new neighborhood is very child friendly. In the park of Square des Batignolles there resides a cotton-candy and crepe stand, two playgrounds, and a carousel. Along with entertainment; puppet shows and other sorts of colorful performances on the weekend. Spending my afternoons with a three-year old French girl really makes me contemplate growing up. It makes me think of the things I loved when I was young; The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, the color pink, the hotter the better, and glitter.
My French little girl prefers watching old episodes of The Pink Panther, a paler shade of pink, and when I showed her the settle-toned illustrations of Kelsey Garrity-Riley, she was in tuned to every small detail. I don't know if she is more sophisticated than I was, but I do wonder if being raised in an environment of moderation helps fine-tune certain tastes and aesthetics. While I tend to over-indulged in Nutella she seems to know when enough is enough.
Regardless of the differences, it is an overall learning experience. Children, no matter what region of the world they are from, offer the most simplest form of intrigue and fascination.
And for a closer look at Kelsey's illustrations check out her website, here. Or if you happen to be in Savannah, Georgia see what she has up at The Paris Market.
For now, I leave you with today's performance at the Saturday market....


Postcards from Paris: {Autumn Tones}

I may be on a nature-binge, but when it comes to Autumn all I want to talk about are the leaves: the light green ones turning yellow, the yellow ones turning orange, the red ones, and even the rusted-brown leaves that will instantly crumble with the slightest amount of pressure. I love them all.
I had noticed that the park near my apartment in the 17th was taking on some new shades, and with that I dressed accordingly. When I have the time, I like to consider my palettes along with what I am planning for the day. Since I have my afternoons free, and the park is just a few blocks away I take regular advantage of it. I was sitting near the ping-pong tables with a friend, and was greeted by an older woman with wild, curly, gray/white hair. She asked if I would play ping-pong for a few moments because it relaxed her. She would come to the park and play before lunch every now and again.
Her name was Marie-Christine.
She really was a delightful character, and about three times she had me come out from behind the ping-pong table to look at my clothing. "Wow, you blend right in with these leaves." and then something like, "They really are lovely colors, such a complimenting palette."
I really do love this season. I love seeing older women in the park knitting. I brought my needles and some yarn the other day. Some children were watching, and I taught them all how to count to ten in English. One of them mentioned that his grandmere knits, and he taught me the word for scarf: écharpe



Postcards from Paris: { Boating at the Bois de Bologne }

It would be nice to say that I went home to Georgia this August and spent my vacation on my father’s boat. Alas, due to wonderful weddings occurring, and the process of applying for a visa, my feet resided on solid ground.

Back in Paris, after a Sunday picnic with a plentiful amount of cheese, a group of us explored part of the Bois de Bologne by boat. I took full advantage of our male company and enjoyed the ride without lifting a paddle. The day really seemed like a dream; from a French man with a mustache selling drinks and ice cream under a green and white umbrella to a well-behaved French child in a striped sailor shirt looking for fish below the water. Being in a row boat, with it’s sturdy worn wood, surrounded by deep blue water and a happy sky above, emanated a feeling far from the other charms of city living. We were in nature, and that day seemed to cure all the other stresses of settling in.

There is an exhibition here in Paris, at the Musee de la Marine called Tous les Bateaux du Monde. After feeling so content on a little row boat I can just imagine the intrigue that would arise from seeing some of the featured boats that are exhibited. For a look at some of the epic sea-crafts click the link above and imagine being surrounded by the deep blue sea. Perhaps I will make my way over there this afternoon...



Postcards from Paris: { The Entrance Up and a Sense of Settlement }

The entire feel of an apartment can be determined by the initial entry-way of a building. I find that even my wardrobe has been reflecting similar tones from my arrivals and departures of home, or the home that is slowly becoming.

The smallest space I have lived in so far has been hosting old furniture scavenged from the side of the rue, my many suitcases filled with loved-treasures which are bursting to come out, clothing hanging on the walls like photographs from a college girl's dorm room, and a considerable amount of Ikea boxes hosting never-assembled furniture pieces that are waiting for a helpful guy to come around with a power drill.

As I take the time to consider my surroundings, I realize that I am quite content after all. I am where I want to be; on the top floor of a building with a lovely entry-way and a lift to spare me the hike up six floors, in the neighborhood of Batignolles, living in Paris, France. It does not seem too bad at all.



Postcards from Paris: An Brief Salut

I have taken upon myself, like a Parisian, to take off the month of August for holidays. I am back in Paris, twiddling my thumbs waiting for a solid internet connection to come through. Along with the twiddling, I've also been enjoying the lovely new season Paris has to offer. The leaves are beginning to change, and the sweaters are beginning to be worn.
Check back on Friday for some new postcards, thumbs still twiddling and fingers-crossed.


Viva Las Vegas

There’s something about the juxtaposition of jarring bells and whistles, perverse attire, flashing lights, bounding fountains, plastic surgery gone wild, and a baby stroller with a wide-eyed 11 month old. Somehow, in Vegas, everything just works.
A town that raises caricature to an art form while praising lust and desire as noble causes is usually not the place for me. I went along for the ride, however, on my husband’s recent excursion for a business meeting.

The last time I was in Vegas was over 10 years ago. My husband had promised to take me to Italy, but secondary to a series of unforeseen circumstances, we had no more than an extra long weekend to go somewhere. Although not quite the same, we stayed at the Venetian, ate pizza and hand made pasta, and watched the gondoliers while being serenaded to Vivaldi (which sounded pretty good in the mall echo chamber acoustically enhanced by multiple glasses of cheap wine).

This time, my top chef guidebook in hand, I wanted to do the foodie tour. Every chef, of any stature (and probably any willing to sellout for mega-millions) has an eponymous restaurant in Las Vegas. Joél Robuchon, Michael Mina, Wolfgang Puck, Todd English, Thomas Keller, Hubert Keller and more. Priced to blow your recent winnings – yes; fantastic, unfortunately no. You can have “wine angels” deliver your favorite vintage, view the neon-lit strip through floor to ceiling windows, have ocean fresh seafood (odd in the middle of the desert), marvel at the priceless ubiquitous art work, but the pervasive superficiality adds a distinctive aftertaste. I would rather pull up a worn chair, in a tiny dining room in Umbria, watch the crumpled chef maneuvering through a cramped kitchen to finally produce a culinary masterpiece. Las Vegas, all pomp and circumstance, fluff, then ploof – you’re broke and have heartburn.

Don’t get me wrong, Las Vegas is a great place to spend the weekend – a whole week however, is a bit much. So after one too many Cirque du Soleil’s, one too many hedonistic meals, one too many unforgiving slot machines, we headed back to Savannah more fully appreciating our unique serenity.