Celebrate the Season: Germany

This year, we decided to decorate in the spirit of the season around the world, highlighting a few different countries and taking our inspiration from them.
Christmas in Germany
Traditionally, the day of gift giving in Germany is the 6th of December - St Nikolaus day. The night before, children leave their slippers or shoes out by their door or window and in the morning they are full of candy, fruit and small gifts. St. Nikolaus, who wears a bishop’s hat and red velvet robe is followed around by a dark sidekick. In some areas of Germany it is "Knecht Ruprecht", a man dressed in dark robes and a dark beard who carries around braches to beat children who have been bad! An even scarier version is "Krampus" a devil like character who fills the same role.

  illustration by Kelsey Garrity-Riley
Advent is a very big part of the Christmas celebration. Advent wreathes (Adventskranz) are very common- made out of pine branches, berries and ribbon with four candles, one candle gets lit each Sunday up until Christmas to mark the waiting for Christ's birth. Advent celebrations are also common in villages - at night booths are set up in the main square, and logs are stood around and lit on fire. Everyone drinks warm spiced wine, eats bratwurst and the children stick dough on the end of long sticks to cook over the firelogs.
In general, the aesthetic of the holiday is a very natural and nostalgic one- famous German ornaments are made out of shiny glass or carved wood, and houses and towns are decorated with fresh trees and berries and branches.

The Christmas tree itself is of German origin (called Tannenbaum). They are typically set up on Christmas Eve and decorated with lighted candles, tinsel, and candy etc. The song "Oh Christmas Tree" is of German origin as is the popular Silent Night.

Enjoy the Season!


Cozy up your computers

We have some really fabulous bags to put under your tree this year. Felt and leather totes, laptop covers, ipad pouches and little phone cozies. They feel beautiful and these covers are an instant classic in their simplicity. Choose from these bright cheerful colors, or go with a sophisticated neutral. These will be a big hit this year I can tell. After all they do for us, don't our little machines deserve something cute and cozy?


Our Christmas Windows are Up

...and the Holiday Season is officially here!

Windows by artist/illustrator Kelsey Garrity-Riley

Stop on by and take a look!


Black Friday Bounty

Okay, so there was no "midnight madness", but we definitely have Black Friday Bounty going on. It's been a busy and festive morning. I still have to get a shot of the new windows to show y'all - they look great by the way - (early next week I promise) but for now, here's some shots of The Paris Market on Black Friday Morning!
En route the The Paris Market:

Sure honey, If you don't make me shop, I will happily watch your bags:

Just happy to be here:

One cute couple:
Serious shopper checking out our insect books, with Lemonade the Dog looking on:
Our magnificent elf dancing over the coffee bar!

One happy girl finds a treasure:

Santa's helpers on soda break:
Happy Holiday Weekend. Enjoy your time together!


Take a seat at the Table

Happy Thanksgiving! 
Safe Travels, Good Cheer and Many Blessings to All.
(And don't forget to be nice to your family!)


Weekend Adventures

This book could not have come out at a better time. So many times you have just a few days in a place (like during Thanksgiving travels) and you want to get to the good stuff right away, or at least have a jumping off point; it's also great for when you fly in somewhere for a weekend wedding and just have no idea where to start. Taken the from the popular "36 Hours" column in the Travel Section of the New York Times, this books offers up ideas, practical itineraries and and advice for 150 Weekends in the USA and Canada in you guessed it, roughly 36 hours. They break it down into days, with maps and photos to whet your tastebuds. You can easily construct a weekend getaway or simply thumb through it to get ideas exposed yourself to places you never even thought about going to.

Ahh, Such is the beauty of travel, you go for one thing and you find so much more. You just need that one little seed to get you started. When I did my little stint through Europe, I bought a Lets Go Europe book and while I was aware that Botticelli's Birth of Venus was in the Uffizi, I had no idea I could also go see the Michelangelo's original "David" across the way at the Accademia Gallery. Also, that book let me in on the fact that I could get my tickets to the Uffizi online ahead of time, thereby passing the horrendous line of people with a 2 hour wait. Travel books are totally worth it. And when I went on my honeymoon, (we had longer than 36 hours) I was only thinking about going to see the giant redwoods in California, and upon further poking around with research and maps we found that Joshua Tree might also be worth the drive since we were already in California and had all our camping stuff with us. What started out as a trip to The Great Sequoias turned into a full on road trip hitting up Palm Springs, splurging for dinner at St. James, and continuing on to Desert Hot Springs where we drank mineral water you could really describe as "delicious" We camped out two nights at Joshua Tree where we saw the sugary Milky Way take on dimension and heard the coyotes yipping by our tent just shy of being visible in the campfire.  It was totally worth it and equally amazing. So if I've learned anything, it's READ BEFORE YOU GO!

Here's some of what you'll get in 36 Hours
  • Practical recommendations for over 600 restaurants and 450 hotels
  • Color-coded tabs and ribbons bookmark your favorite cities in each region
  • Nearly 1,000 photos, most of them from The New York Times archive
  • Small enough to throw in your suitcase, big enough to enjoy from your favorite reading chair
  • All stories have been updated and adapted for this volume by Barbara Ireland, a veteran Times travel editor
  • New illustrations by Times illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli of Milan, Italy
  • Easy-to-reference indexes
  • Detailed city-by-city maps pinpoint every stop on your itinerary

Happy Traveling!


Something for the Hostess - the envelope please.

So the gatherings are upon us and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Are you ready? All this talk of comings and goings, travel destinations and who's hosting who reminded me of a funny story. 
I had a reclusive and paranoid great uncle Jay who normally only drove out of the Bronx to come to our house for holiday dinners. He never celebrated with anyone else and he was kind of a character. He was a good uncle though, he always gave my sister, my brother and I envelopes with money in them whenever he came. He was also vegetarian which drove my mom nuts. One Thanksgiving he was particularly generous and we each found a 50 dollar bill in our envelope. "Wow, holy cow." I exclaimed, "Mom, look at this! Uncle Jay gave us a 50!" Then my mom called out of the kitchen, "Hey Uncle Jay, is there an envelope in there for me?!"  He answered in a sort of Bronx Arthur Fonzerelli tone. "Heyyyy, now Mary, that's just for kids. No envelope for you!" And then he started laughing. It didn't occur to me until that moment that Uncle Jay had never given my mom anything when he came to dinner. I mean aside from a few tubs of Carvel ice cream for dessert that she quickly chucked into the freezer. So you know, its nice to bring a little something for your hostess. Don't piss her off! Here are a few ideas:
1. Regal Evergreen Candle, 2. Kashmiri Floral Ornment, 3. Lip Sugar in Passion, 4&5. Caldrea Handsoap and Lotion in Crimson Pear Ginger, 6. Rosette Serving Papers, 7. Kusmi Tea, (nice to add to the table and for the host to enjoy afterwards)  8. John Derian Decoupage Tray "Unchanging Friendship"

or you could just get an envelope and stick some money in it! A lot of moms would be totally fine with that.


Les Femmes de Paris Market

because women make the world go round.

                                                                                  gorgeous photos by Lily Lewin


Something For the Road -to Lacoste!

Congratulations to The Paris Market & Brocante Scholarship Recipient:
Joshua Callandret

Every year, a deserving SCAD student continuing their studies at the Lacoste campus in France gets a little extra cash ($1000) to help them out with their expenses. If anyone deserves a boost its this guy! He's a writing major with two minors; one in creative writing and the other in printmaking.  He writes for the SCAD student publication District, works as an RA and is also an employee at Five Guys. He has also worked for SCAD radio as a training director. Phew. I can just imagine him jetting around town, but he has this to say: "I have been refreshed by learning to slow down, take time for myself and defy the hustle and bustle of typical American life. It's quite difficult to do, but I'm starting to  learn how imperative it is to have down time and to take a day of rest." Bravo Mr. Callandret! and Congratulations!
A peek at the SCAD experience in Lacoste:

I wanna go!!!


Secrets with Nothing Left Out: The Photography of Lily Lewin

Every once and awhile you come across some truly evocative images that take you somewhere you've never been, or somewhere you've been, but haven't quite been able get back to. In Lily Lewin's photographs we view the world through a lens of childlike innocence and curiosity, but a viewpoint cognizant of all the raw power and beauty alive in the natural world, In short, her photographs evoke a secrecy where nothing is left out. I invite you to check out Ojobox, for a state of being that hangs on the tip of your tongue.

 "the glassblower's whisper"

 "the cross of Caravaca"

Ojobox is the blog of photographer and writer Lily Lewin. In her own words:
"This is a project I've been working on, a compilation of photographs taken of all the flora and fauna in our courtyard and presented like an old catalogue buried away in the bottom of a sea chest.  It's a sort of homage to Edward Gorey and Victorian taxidermy through the scratched lens of early photography- solemn and slightly menacing and naive all at once.  A kind of sampler the illegitimate love child of Beatrix Potter and Jack the Ripper would do while hidden away from the world in a cottage."
And Ms. Lewin tells me that lovechild's name would be Agatha (!!)
Perfect, right? I know. Can't get enough.


Chic et Classique: a snug little home for your iPhone

A while back I did a post on these great leather tablet folios that reconciled the new tech with the luddite tech and included a pad of paper as well as a spot for your iPad. Which is really nice. Sometimes its so much easier to scribble stuff down then to open up your electronic notes, find the section, yaddy, yaddy. Anyways, I neglected to mention that we have a similar zippered cases for phones! (also accompanied with a nice pad of paper.) This is like the super updated version of the old telephone table! Way cooler of course. You can also feel better about just tossing your phone in your bag when its nicely protected like this. And we have it in black, white and gold. The gold is my favorite.


Veterans Day down Broughton

 Taken at 10:58, 11 November 1918, just before the Armistice went into effect; men of the 353d Infantry, near the church at Stenay, Meuse, wait for the end of hostilities.
In 1918, bells worldwide were rung on the 11th month, the 11th day, at 11 a.m. to celebrate and recognize the ending of WWI, "the war to end all wars." To commemorate that peaceful pledge, bells were rung around the world on November 11 for over 35 years. The U.S. Congress declared November 11 a holiday in 1938, "...a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." By 1953, World War II and the Korean War had created millions of war veterans in addition to those of the First World War and on June 1, 1954, President Eisenhower signed the 83rd Congress' Amendment to the Act of 1938 by deleting the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans"

Thank you Veterans!