Postcards from Paris: {A Sweet lil' Something}

After reading my friend Irene's story on her macaron quest, and already having my constant craving for macarons anyway, I went with a friend to rue Bonaparte to participate in a tastbud critique. Now I have had quite a lot of varying types of macarons to compare to, therefore I felt like a pretty fair judge.
As we waited in line, our mouths salivated in response to what our eyes were seeing. Beautiful, intricate pastries.
I woman in front of us, seemed just an enthusiatic about our first time there as we did. She offered her suggestion, to make certain we try the milk chocolate-passion fruit macaron. She was so convincing, that we decided to get two for us both to try. The other flavors, based on what our tastebuds could detect, seemed to be rose-cream, apricot, and dark chocolate with cassis. I have to admit, they were all so wonderful, nearly the best. LaDuree, however, has such a beautiful ambience where one could sit and pretend that they are wealthy, which really is a nice feeling to have while enjoying a sweet lil' something.

Do any of you have a favorite flavor? Please share!
For more on macarons, take a listen to this NPR story, pitched around Valentine's.


Postcards from Paris: {Sουs Ιes tοits de Ρaris}

My favorite thing about my bedroom, other than the location, is my little attached balcony. I can step out and know without a doubt that I am in Paris. My view doesn't look out at the Eiffel tower, the Notre Dame, or the Sacre Coeur, rather I see a sea of rooftops. I love the Parisian rooftops. I love their different shades of grays creating a pixelated skyline. And the little embellishments of terra cotta red from the chimneys that add a warm element to the cool-tones.

I was continuing with my french lessons, (watching french films) and with my decision already made to mention the rooftops I came across this clip completely at random.
Another exceptional attribute to these roofs, are the people and their stories, who live under them.


Postcards from Paris: { des fleurs pour les femmes.}

**All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse,
Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.

It's true.
My feminine, girly instincts shown through as I stopped in front of a lovely little fleuriste a few blocks away from the Bastille. I just happened to have on a floral printed dress with a floral printed scarf around my neck as I peered over to sniff all of the flowers. Rotating positions of smelling and photographing, I may as well have been wearing a sign reading: "Je ne peux pas attendre le printemps!" but my wardrobe and actions scream this.
There was an older gentleman leaving the fleuriste with a bundle of pink tulips. He wore a tweed hat, carried a worned leather briefcase, and had a sharp looking pair of black-rimmed glasses. Dapper fellow he was. I conjured up a story in my mind that he was on his way home for lunch, where his wife was waiting for him with a homemade bowl of soupe a l'oignon. He wasn't planning on buying flowers that day, but he could not resist because the flowers smelled so wonderful and fresh on this particular day. She would be happily surprised. They would eat the soup. And have tarte tatin for dessert.
Yes, I am certain something similar occurred.

**(excerpt taken from The Flowers by Robert Louis Stevenson)

Postcards from Paris: {A dose of Protein, Iron, & full of Tradition}

When walking through Le Marais during the day hours, I find myself people-watching more than window shopping. Being that this particular neighborhood, is the "fashion" scene for the well-dressed, it is an easy thing to be distracted by.
So, for the past two nights or so, I have gone out after the sun has set. It was a weeknight, not so many people out and about to watch. The boutiques closing up, with their windows still illuminated, and I get some window-shopping accomplished.
And then I came across this:
A window illuminated with Protein, Iron, and and overall sense of appreciation for Tradition.
My American friends and I have been having a continuing conversation regarding the French's great appreciation for tradition. They seem to like things with a story behind them. They like things done in specific ways. They drink their wines from a specific region with a specific meat. They eat seasonally, and seem to be content while waiting for things to come to pass. These traditions don't occur overnight, rather time is required for the best of all things.
I was so amused by the sense of old-world charm in this little boucherie; sausages of all types hanging on hooks overhead, gold-tinted cans of foie gras coming in different sizes, protein, iron, and full of tradition.
It made me wish I had a larger kitchen. or a cellar.



Postcards from Paris: {My kind of Girl}

Referring to a couple of posts back, instead or wearing the same winter coats. I have been "practicing my French" with Jean-Luc Godard film clips, and becoming intrigued with his much used muse, Anna Karina. Her sweet little expressions, her quirky-toned singing pitch, her spectacular dances moves. Spending time every evening to sit in front of my computer to watch clip after clip seems completely justified because I am actually learning phrases like: "Je suis Loopy le Lup, le loup bien" and "Je n'ai jamais été en amour avec tu"
My favorite scene from Une Femme est Une Femme:
Angela: Would you rather have fish or meat for dinner?
Angela: Emile!
Émile Récamier: Fish.
Angela: What would you have preferred if you were having meat?
Émile Récamier: I don't know. Veal.
Angela: And if you were to have beef rather than veal, would you prefer a steak or a roast?
Émile Récamier: A steak.
Angela: And had you answered roast, would you prefer it rare or well-done?
Émile Récamier: Rare.
Angela: [jump-cut to Angela returning with the well-done roast] Well, honey, you're out of luck. My roast beef's a little overdone.

And here is proof to some of her swell dance moves........

Oh and how wonderful old, black&white images are.
It makes me wish I was at the store digging through it's new arrival; boxes of old photographs!
If one is in Savannah, be sure to take a look for yourself.



Postcards from Paris: {Hermione's Hangings}

My living situation has been one of mystery. I don't really know or understand Hermione. She only speaks French, and I only speak English. So we have this barrier that at times it seems impossible to get across. The other day, something clicked and we attempted a conversation that lasted more than 5 minutes. She showed me her drawings. She explained that these were her French grandparents, and they she had hardly known her other grandparents because they were Hungarian. From what I could gather, they never came to France. It was a broken conversation, but I was able to show her some of my work as well. There may even have been a few sentences that I understood as if it were spoken in my native tongue.
Other than the significance of these portraits to her, I myself was lured in by them. The expression on their faces are vague, but their postures seem to create a sense of character. During occasions like that I think to myself, now this is something to blog about.



Postcards from Paris: {La vie sur la Seine}

I found myself lost in my imagination of being in Paris when Spring comes, living on a little boat like one of these. Soaking up warmth from the light of the sun. The trees lining the river all full of leaves, all green. Fishing just for the sport of it. Picnics on red and white checkered table-cloths with fresh baguettes and strawberry jam. Reading Hemingway. And Berthillion's ice cream just a small walk away on the Ile-Saint-Louis. Sandals and sun-bleached hair.
I must admit, I have been staying indoors lately, and missing the unknown of what a day out and about would bring to pass. It's just been a bit too nippy, for a bit too long. I have grown just a bit too tired of wearing the same heavy winter coats, and I embrace the words of a French man who told me that a drastic winter will bring us a beautiful spring. His words are music to my ears and sunrays to my skin.



Postcards from Paris: {poupée de l'atelier de réparation}

We went walking this evening, and we found ourselves distracted by the illuminated night windows. There I was taking pictures like a madman of these dolls' heads in the window. We briefly read about the man of the shop, who does the repair work for broken doll faces. It is charming to think of this old man, wearing wire-rimmed glasses, with white hair, and an apron working in his shop, surrounded by the faces of dolls. I like to think that he can make his living just by repairing dolls. Him, fixing two faces; the sad face of a little girl along with the face of her broken little doll's, it brings a smile to mine.
And a nice concept; if something breaks, fix it instead of replacing it.



Postcards from Paris: {Gilded Gold}

The sun is as fickle as can be. One day it shows itself, let's be honest, the sun was flaunting itself: out and about while I was stuck indoors at my internship. Then the next day; today, when I am free to roam the exteriors of Paris, the sun hides behind a thick mask of grey clouds, all-day long. I kept waiting for it's debut, but no flaunting, not even a mere ray shown through.
On an optimistic note; cloudy days, afterall, offer high-saturated tones. The gilded gold accents during my walk from St. Michel through the Tuileries were beaming.



Postcards from Paris: {Chinese New Year/Saint Valentin's Parade}

We had ourselves a celebration yesterday.
The street was filled with people. Children with balloons. Face paint. Drums. Jugglers. Brass Instruments. Puppets on stilts. Glitter. Confetti.
The crepes stands were as potent as ever.
And the cotton candy was as fluffy as could be.
Chinese New Year's and Valentine's Day combined, equals some fantastic parade.



Valentine's Day

Ahh, a day of exuberant warmth in the midst of winter. Nothing like a crackling fire, a cup of steaming hot cocoa and a tiny light blue box to steal your heart. Now Venus really has something to be jealous about!


Postcards from Paris: {Marché à Montmartre}

I had planned to sleep-in; all the way in, until I couldn't sleep-in any further. But as it turned out, with the sun pouring into my bedroom window my plans of laying in bed late were quickly diminished, as were any sign of rain or snow.
I went to my boulangerie, bought my favorite type of freshed baked bread.
Admittingly, along with my sleeping-in plans and any clouds of rain/snow; my loaf of bread was also diminshing. To put a stop to such indulgence I decided that I would jump on the metro. I sometimes find it difficult to eat on the metro because people like to watch you do so, and this put an end to my possible over-indulgence.
I then remembered that in Montmartre, there is a market on each Friday. Located off the Anvers stop along the Place d'Anvers where stands line up with vendors selling their enticements.


Postcards from Paris: {PremiereVision}

Yesterday I spent my afternoon with my internship at the much-ado about textile convention in Paris, Premiere Vision. My internship is unpaid, so I was certain to soak up as much as I possibly could from this experience, including:
*people-watching the stylish and fabulous as they pulled, draped, and scrutinized fabric swatches.
*pulling, draping, and scrutinizing all of the fabric swatches for myself.
*looking at all of the new trends predicted for Spring/Summer 2011.
*collecting a bag-full of freebies. Including samples of little candies.
*lunch consisting of a salmon and spinach quiche, finished up with a hot chocolate. and a tarte au citron.
With all of this, courtesy of ma stage plus a head for of inspiration. I didn't mind one bit being an intern.



Postcards from Paris: {Jules et Jim}

The sense of quirk and unconventionality that echos throughout this film by Francois Truffant is so curious and refreshing. A feeling similar to the freezing, winter breeze coming in from my balcony window, which is slightly ajar. I have my space heater close by, and I am watching Jules et Jim clips, via YouTube. It feels like driving during the winter with the windows down, the heat blasting, and good music in the background.


Postcards from Paris: {Giving My Metro Card a Face}

Funny story: It happened while my friend Sam was visiting me. I didn't want to admit it then, but I was slightly lost in Montmartre, and I wanted to avoid going through Pigalle. I had an idea of how to get to our destination, but only by the means of the metro. So we found the nearest station to try and hop on to continue with our itinerary. I slid my metro card over the scanner, and what seemed as if it were scolding me, was the sound of a pessimistic buzzer and a red "X" denying me access. I tried again, resulting in another scolding. Then I figured "third time's the charm" but really it ended up being yet another red "X". I tried to explain to the man behind the glass that my card would not work. He took the pass underneath the window onto his side of the barrier. For some reason, which I hadn't understood, he asked for identification. I handed over my Georgia license. He looked at it, said something in French, then grabbed a large pair of scissors. It seemed like the whole ordeal was being played in slow motion. All that I could recognize was in one hand he had those scissors, and in the other hand, my license. My initial reaction was, "no, no, no, no!" and luckily the two words sound the same in both languages. He hadn't helped at all, but just created more frustration. All because my metro card didn't have a face. In the event that I happen to return to that particular station, and if it just so happens that I come into contact with that particular worker, I think I will keep an extra little photo of myself, just for his safe keepings.
* Isabelle, je porte ces lunettes pour tu.*


Postcards from Paris: {Ma Petite Chambre}

My personal space has always been a contributing factor to my overall creativity. Throughout my years in school, and even at a job, being surrounded by an aesthetically pleasing environment evokes influence and inspiration, and keeps the mind thinking and creating. It is essential for me to create a space I can call my own.

With the cold front here, I decided to spend the day bundled up in my new "old" sweater from my newly discovered little thrift store just a few metro stops away. There is some wonderful sense of comfort by staying indoors on a cold, brisk, winter day; being bundled up, and drinking continuous amounts of warm beverages.
So as the snow fell diagonal; first from left to right, then from right to left, and then in all different directions throughout today, I felt inspired just by being in my little bedroom listening to Django Reinhardt (a wonderful new discovery, suggested from my co-worker, Clemence) in a space I can call my own.