I hope I am not becoming too redundant in regards to the temperature, but from what I hear, this is quite unusually cold for this time of year in Paris.
Sophie comes home with frozen fingers that look as though they are about to snap off. She tells me that one would expect such weather in January, but we are a season shy from winter, and it isn't even December yet.
The boulangerie next door has become a daily errand in between my French class and work. I like becoming a regular at places like this. The staff seems to be mother and daughter, and a handsome baker who works in the back pulling out the ready treats with a large wooden wand. With steam flowing out like liquid from the oven-fresh baguettes, who could resist the carbs?
I mean if I am just going to be adding on the layers of clothing, will anyone really notice a rounder face or chubbier fingers?
Donnez-moi mon cagoule et mes gants, et que eclair au chocolat, Merci!
at 4:05 PM
The little girl I watch over each afternoon explained to me her letter to Papa Noel, none other than Santa Clause.
Her list was composed of things that little girls of a different generation might ask for:
le maquillage et les poupees
I can imagine, simple enough for the elves in Santa's workshop to manufacture. I wonder with such modern Christmas lists these days, how could could they possibly keep up. I picture some children sending Santa a quick text or an IM of their wishes, and him receiving it via his IPad. And how completely old fashioned it is to get a lump of coal for bad behavior, perhaps technology could make an appearance in some sort of negative form, eh?
With all this modernity, I do say that I appreciate the simple things.
I am loving my strolls along the seasoned streets, and the justification to purchase some roasted chestnuts simply because my hands are cold, and they just smell so incredibly delightful.
I have been taking a daily detour from home to work to walk past the butcher stands on rue Levi just to smell the roasting rotisserie chickens.
And all of the pretty clementines in season, that add that extra citrus scent to one's fingers.
Though it may be difficult to tune into such sensory elements when the air is biting and one's toes are numb, but this season offers so much visually, and the many diverse comforting scents only accentuate the atmosphere.
And the elves seems to be at work, or they make that appearance...
at 5:24 PM
Il Niege. Et au lieu de marcher dans le froid, je rester à l'intérieur près de l'or doré.
And instead of walking through the cold, I stay inside surrounded by gilded gold.
Set right in the middle of Le Marais is a treasured museum, Musee Carnavalet-Histoire de Paris
A new ami francais accompanied me a couple of days ago to see the Louis Vuitton Exhibition; Voyage en Capitale. Although cameras were prohibited, I took advantage of the free-photo range before we entered the temporary exhibit.
at 4:34 PM
We spent the afternoon in the Parc Monceau, buddled up in layers, enjoying our gouter with frozen fingers. I know we are technically still in the Autumn season, but with bare trees and breaths as apparent as chimney smoke, one hopes that winter won't get much worse.
I do love the Parc Monceau. Like many of the designated parks in Paris, it really has a grand stature to it. The gilded gates, ornate statues of Guy de Maupassant, Frédéric Chopin, amongst others, and of course the rotunda only emphasize the overall excellence.
There are pony-rides, swings, and a carousel for the kiddies.
And not to mention, before the cold hits, a delightful english-style garden with chosen flowers growing as they please.
at 3:48 AM
|A Salon of Unique Stature|
We started our morning somewhat early, fellow blogger Amy Merrick, her sister Micha, and I were out to visit a vide-grenier* listed in the 10th arrondisement. After recognizing the unrecognizable, we realized that perhaps the cigarette-rolling man with his mere collection of treasures sprawled out on a couple of fold-out tables were less than we had anticipated for. We tried to keep open minds for possible must-haves, but after a bit we just could not pretend anymore. Headed instead for a stroll along the Canal Saint-Martin, Micha noticed what appeared to be a little antique shop, with slips and lace gloves displayed in the front window. Right as we entered we were greeted by something like the image above. Just the two of them.
We of course exchanged, "Bonjours" and began to politely rummage through the barber's offerings of vintage odds and ends.
We all exchanged friendly conversation, and the Barber opened up a long-sealed cabinet of his prized collection consisting of numerous amounts of antique curling irons for women, and mustache curlers for men.
*vide-grenier: literally means "attic-sale" they are smaller markets, and consist mainly of vendors who are selling things not for a great sum, but merely to clear our their spaces.
at 3:53 PM
details of gold which I appreciate more when I don't have the distraction of a beautiful sky. Lately, some days have been colder than others, and the easier route to take is often to stay inside. With that, I still take note of the little things that pop out just a bit more when the light is grey and solemn.
at 4:03 PM
My mother joined me in Paris about a week ago, and when she expressed a desire to attend Le Louvre one rainy afternoon, I initially opted for an excuse to do something else.
The Louvre is a spectacle. Indeed, I cannot dismiss such an historical architectural element which takes up a grand area of central Paris. Oh, but the crowds and the hassle, and the amount of ground to cover sometimes just seems incredibly overwhelming. After trying to pull off some half-schemed excuses as to why I did not want to go, I remembered all the delicious meals my mom had been paying for, and I then considered the possible ones to come. With that, I swallowed my stress that sometimes surfaces amongst crowds of foreigners with cameras, and we entered the giant glass pyramid.
I am embarrassed to admit of my spoiled-child attitude towards my mother, but I can assure you that after I came face to face with a few portraits I suddenly felt content with where I was. So many moments can be quickly passed just by being absorbed with facial features. A person's face can offer so much, yet still keep an impossible amount of mystery. Even riding the metro from one end of the city to another can be entertained easily, just give me a few faces to look at. Needless to say, my afternoon at The Louvre could hardly be summed up by "looking at art" rather: I made eyes, exchanged smiles, collected mental notes of who's wearing what; the tangent I could go off on with that particular subject can be saved for another occasion, and all the mystery still remains.
at 3:45 PM
As an American, I have grown up accustomed to the belief that the Christmas season should be expressed after we have given our respects to the over-shadowed holiday of Thanksgiving.
I remember the conversations between grown-ups expressing their surprise each year about Christmas beginning earlier and earlier. Some would argue that the season is such a delight; who could possibly complain of it's early arrival. Then I have known of some other type of folk who could not cope with the idea of hearing Christmas tunes until the calender's page has turned onto December.
Whatever one's theory may ultimately be, I just have not been able to resist spending the past few days of mid-November walking alongside the decadent windows of Printemps and Les Galeries Lafayette. There are several, slightly makeshift, stands of freshly roasted chestnuts that give off the warmest scent. While I was making my purchase, I let my hair catch wind of some settle smoke from the roast, just for my own sake of soaking-in the scene.
With Lanvin behind the jaunty marionettes in the dazzled windows, who really could resist?
Especially after capturing the reflected faces of the mesmerized children in the windows. It makes me realize what the season makes us all out to be; mesmerized children, some just taller than others.
at 6:07 PM