Postcards from Paris: {Le Bon Marche}

Though Le Bon Marche makes it's marks during the Christmas season, I can't find any reason not to go to one of Paris' finest department stores for a bit of affordable browsing amongst the unaffordable merchandise. Under the white lights of this historic building everything takes on a sense of clean, understated elegance. 
It's a shame that time has to cut in on these sorts of visits. With so many departments to lose oneself in, Le Bon Marche can be compared to Le Louvre in that regard. But I suppose one could say, classic Art remains the same and will continue to do so, yet fashion is fleeting. So I better make another trip to the left bank before Le Bon Marche restocks.

Accessorizing Paris Market Style

Earthy Bling Bling
We just redid our jewelry cases terrarium style and we've got some great pieces.
Just thought I'd share with y'all!

By the way, I was cruising through Elle and Vogue of late and I noticed a few similarities...
Just saying....

Kelly Wearstler necklace to the left; awesome translucent quartz and silver ring we have on the right.

Givenchy pendant on left, Paris Market owlbie pendant on right.

Wilfredo Rosado on the left, our free flying bird on the right.

See what I'm saying? 


Memorial Day

photos and writings of Lamar Partée
My husband’s grandfather, Lamar Partée was a tail gunner in WWII. 
At the outset, Lamar was told that once he had completed a certain amount of missions, he could go home. So he signed himself up for mission after mission, going out again and again, trying to reach that number as quickly as possible. When he reached the quota, they told him that he had completed them too quickly and that he still owed them more time.  So he went out on yet more missions. He never went down.
My husband’s mother recently showed us the small diary that Lamar had kept during the war. A few early entries were about him being scared, and not wanting to do it. Later, how rough the fighting was getting, the heavy amount of action, and that he was ready to go home. There were notes about dates and locations and the people who had died that day.

In the pages, there were photos; photos of young men’s faces with a name or initials on the back that read “went down over ____” or simply “died, 5/43” or a picture of plane that flipped to read “Jimmy’s plane, went down over ____ died 1943…” And just like that, their young lives disappeared. I can catch a glimpse of those lives and more intimately feel the weight of their sacrifice only because Lamar Partée took a moment to remember them.
In 1944, Lamar Partée was awarded the purple heart for his service. On his way back home to Georgia he accidentally left it at the airport. He didn’t go back for it.
 Lamar Partée; on reverse: This is me cleaning the guns


Postcards from Paris: {Musee de la Vie Romantique}

This Sunday is Fete des Meres, Mother's Day in France. So with that, I consider my mother. When I was younger and living in Southern California, my mother's number one spot to be found in was her garden. It was her refuge, and it was certainly a place to be proud of. I remember her telling me the names of the new roses she had planted, and describing the specific colors these roses would take on. For the remainder of the time we lived in that house, I had always remembered their names. These days the names have blurred, but the impression of sitting in her garden can be recalled, and I feel at ease whenever there is an occasion to sit amongst roses. 
Such impression surfaced while having the opportunity to sit in the garden at la Musee de la Vie Romantique. Though it was an off and on grey day, and some of the clouds looked voluptuously filled with a Spring rain, nothing fell from the sky, with an exception to a poorly-aimed bird. He didn't spoiled the afternoon because Chopin's Nocturnes were playing from the Museum, the tarte citron was delicious, and the roses were in bloom.

Out & About: Pics from Stationary Show

<<< National Stationary Show at the Javits Center, NYC >>>
So the word on the stationary show was that some of it was AWESOME and some of it NOT SO AWESOME. In the AWESOME Category:



and later that evening...

Manolo Blahnik Update

When you're rollin' with Manolo, the photos don't always come in right away.
-these just over the wire this morning:

Do these kids look great or what?

Taras and Paula Danyluk with Manolo Blahnik at the SCAD Student Fashion Show
 for more on Mr. Blahnik, check out our post here: Manolo Blahnik Comes to Town

another shot of the stunning couple:


Etiquette s'il vous plait

Saying Thank You (and Saying You're Sorry)

Etiquette in this country is in a chronic state of disrepair. This, we know.
Here to remind of us the right way to do things is Cindy Edwards – and we are so glad she is keeping us up on good traditions with the charm of the south. I caught her blogpost on the importance of thank-you notes earlier this week. Good sound advice, and thank-you notes and hand written notes in general are not about being stuffy, they’re about enjoying being human and taking time to appreciate the good people that come your way. It brings the good things in life back up to the surface and adds a bit of joy to sender and receiver alike. Someone said, “We write to taste life twice.” Also, Ms. Edwards, thank you for reminding me that its about time I get some nice stationary paper. That’s one thing I’m missing.

But she didn’t mention the apology note! I know about this one!
In 3rd grade, I very much disliked one of our substitute teachers, Ms. Rosen, along with everyone else in the class. She could be grouchy and demanding and was consistently disappointed in our performance as pupils.

I was with two other buddies in the coat room before class, saying not so very nice things about Ms. Rosen, when I renamed her "Ms. Rotten Flowers" To this day its funny. She walked in at just the right moment to witness my comic genius and yelled, “I heard that!" She pointed a furious finger at me, “I want an apology note from you, you, and oh yeah…you!” My poor buddies were in trouble just for laughing, but no punishment? just a note! What luck!

Because my mother had already schooled me on the art of the thank you note, the apology note was a breeze. I whipped it out in 2 seconds, skipped it up to her desk and dropped it off. She questioned my remorse, but I was done. The prospect of writing a fancy note was probably so exciting to me that it totally obliterated any feelings of guilt. My poor little friends shot me imploring looks of 'please help' and whispered, “you’re done already? What did you write?” So here is my guide for when you step in it. Or when you get caught, anyway.

Step 1. Greeting.
Step 2. Say you are sorry without reminding them of what you actually said/did.
Step 2a. Say that it will never happen again. (optional)
Step 3. If your really sorry, you can say what you will do for penance / where you will take them / what you will buy them, etc.
Step 4. Say you’re sorry again.
Step 5. Close.
Step 6. Leave them alone for a few days.

Ms. Rosen, if you're still alive, can you send me that note? I'd like it for my personal collection.


Fleur D'oeuvres

Cooking with Class
The All Hors D'oeuvres Menu
photos by Lily Lewin
Ms. Susie Brown, The Paris Market Barista extraordinaire is also a Chef extraordinaire. Did you know? Yep, she used to cook on yachts!
So when she mentioned she had cooking class, I immediately signed myself up. Plus, I'm not so skilled in the kitchen-not a good room for me. I usually just hurt myself.  Last Sunday I had the pleasure of attending one of her cooking parties, with a bunch of other friendly food lovers, to happily prepare a full course of hors d-oeuvres. Eight in total. I know. Susie Brown does not mess around. But an all hors d-oeuvres menu is just up my alley. Tapas junior. Parfait!

I started off my night with a glass of white, and quickly snacked on olives and cashews before I was put to work cutting rounds out of Challah bread with a biscuit cutter for the crab and mango stack-ups. (see just below) I think I did pretty well, cutting those circles. 

Everything came out great! Steak and potato bites were flavorful and substantial and the fontina risotto balls were a real hit. And everyone was very impressed with the tuna tartare served in endive and cucumber slices. My two favorites though, were the gazpacho sips served in sawed off cucumbers. (so cute!) and the crab and mango stack ups. They were such sweet little chomps!

And then we ate it all.


Postcards from Paris: {Osteology: the study of bones}

From the time I can remember, even before I worked there, The Paris Market always had some sort of bone collection, or osteology element. From animal skulls on wooden plaques to the beautiful decoupage skeleton-set by John Derian to our old x-ray machine in the basement that became a monumental fixture. Now I assure you, the store never took on a look of Les Catacombs, but I must admit that in itself would be something which would interest me to no-end. I love the feeling of being completely surrounded by all things "old." So as promised, I share more charms and intrigues from Le Jardin des Plantes. I was even more pleased to discover this addition to the park. The very moment I walked through the doors I knew I would be willing the pay whatever admission was required of me. To heighten my excitement, it was free for me. The ivory-toned bones all reflected the light shining through the ceiling-high windows. The entire color-scheme of the interior is the exact palette I relate to most. Variations of a golden-brown in the parquet floor that creeked when walked across and the calmest shade of blue-grey to compliment against the wood and cream-toned bones. To be honest, I was very much reminded of the store itself, with an exception to our little coffee-bar, there were many elements that I thought would transition well had they been transported across the sea, and found themselves on Broughton street in Savannah. In a non-eerie sense, being there gave me a comfort as if I were back at The Paris Market. Aside from that, each corner had a curiosity to behold: brains and other organs in tall glass jars, diaphragms of animals' anatomy, fossils, whale teeth, and Dinosaur skulls.
Il était chouette!

Manolo Blahnik Comes To Town

a true gentleman. a true artist.
One of the things I really like about SCAD is that they offer a lot of free events for the average resident (like myself) who doesn’t attend SCAD. And although the Fashion show was sold out last Saturday, I was able to watch a live broadcast on my iPad for free. You can also download the lookbook here . Sometimes I feel like I’m in school again without having to pay the tuition. I walked over to the Lucas Theatre last Saturday to see Manolo Blahnik, famed shoe designer and André Leon Talley, contributing editor of Vogue, interviewed by fashion reporter, Eric Wilson, of the New York Times. Again, for free. See what I mean? Not too shabby.
Mr. Manolo Blahnik with Mr. André Leon Talley
First off, Mr. Manolo Blahnik can really work a bow-tie. And it’s just especially charming on him. Like most Europeans, there was a lot of energetic gesticulating involved in his storytelling and some of his pearls were lost since the microphone kept dancing away from his face, but eventually his hands quieted down a bit and we all leaned in.

André Leon Talley described his first meeting with Mr. Blahnik as impressive: He was in a Cerulean blue Rive Gauche suit from YSL. I could barely afford one, and he had about five. He was impeccably dressed – a true gentleman, a true artist. It was fun to imagine these two meeting for the first time, completely overdressed but fabulous on Fire Island. With parasols.

But now about the shoes…
“Even if it’s very high it has to feel secure, Mr. Blahnik said, “and that’s a question of balance. The shoes have to be comfortable of course. Of course.” This is so true, you can wear a very high heel comfortably if the heel is placed in just the right place – squarely under the heel, not too far forward or back.  I wish more designers would take responsibility for this and not have this Marie Antoinette viewpoint of “let them eat cake” / “let them suffer” when it comes to wearing a great shoe and walking successfully. He bemoaned that the trend for shoes these days had footware looking more like furniture than functional adornement/jewelry for the feet.
He likes to keep a small scale production, and likes to be involved with the factories –its about community he says. Community is important. Mr. Blahnik remarked that “a conglomerate is a kind of hell.” Large organizations seem to be the bane of creative thinkers everywhere, there’s a real need to keep it on the small side. I think even Charles Shultz groaned about “the big eastern syndicate” from time to time.

Mr. Blahnik summed up his life and work like this: “It’s my joy – this is what I wasn’t to do, the way I want to do it.”  And had this to impart as well. “if you believe in what your doing, you’ll get anywhere.”
Mr. Blahnik signing his work
Check out the Gutstein Gallery to see his shoes and sketches firsthand. (201 E. Broughton)



Au Pair de Vishnu

preserver of the universe
perception, imagination, forms and molds
We get a lot of unique things into the store, but sometimes certain things jump out at you and you just know they would be perfect for a specific place in your house, or they speak to you on some level of your personality and you feel like you “know” them. This is one such piece for me:
It’s a vintage glove mold, but I see the hands of Vishnu – you know, the blue Hindu God who dreams up the universe. In Hinduism he is a supreme soul: the all-pervading essence of all beings, the one who supports, sustains and governs the Universe and originates and develops all elements within; the 'Preserver of the Universe'.  It may be a big jump, but to me the glove mold looks like Vishnu’s divine blue hands reaching upward.

another shot of Vishnu: 
If you're intrigued, this is the guy to check out: Joseph Campbell and his wiki link.
For now, I leave you with his famous phrase:  "Follow your Bliss"

Postcards from Paris: {Le Jardin des Plantes}

Upon my recent arrival through the gates to Le Jardin des Plantes I realized I had been there once before, but during an entirely different state. I recall at that time, it was still in a state of frigid Winter. Even though there was still a sense of lushness due to the abundance of evergreens, the park seemed quite different. Now in the midst of warmer weather the Jardin des Plantes has taken on new scents, new light, and new vegetation to it's grounds. The fallen pine needles that lie in the sunlight give off a scent that reminds me of childhood camping experiences.  With the sunshine so bright and reflecting of everything I was thankful to have sunglasses.
Though lately, I have been taking advantage of this season for freckling. When my little friend asks why I don't bother finding a place to sit in the shade I tell her that I am collecting freckles, then she runs off, mostly playing under well-leafed trees that provide just what it is she wants. I didn't know before, but Le Jardin des Plantes is perfect for children. We kept noticing different groups of school children, each group seperated by either different colored t-shirts or ball-caps, but each group of children seemed just as interested as the other with the thought of running through and cooling down in the sprinklers that drizzled over all of the little plants and their little identification tags.
Another charm, the little identification tags. Many of the plants that lead up to the palace are labeled. Some with handwritten labels, others with a more formal font. I am inspired to create a little garden in my tiny apartment, with little labels reminding me who is who. Though I hope that idea doesn't become a fleeting one, I am quite content knowing that Le Jardin des Plantes is only a mere bus-ride away. This visit has not been the only thing to spark such an interest, but rumor has it that there are wonderful new gardening supplies found at The Paris Market. Is anyone starting a garden? Please share!
More of Le Jardin des Plantes to come as well as some other gardens in Paris. In the meantime:
Happy Gardening!