Saturday, December 3, 2011

Partager départ ...

There comes a time to départ Paris for  a while ...
Mr. T will be waiting for my return ...
So, Happy Holidays to all and See you in the New Year!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Partager the Day at Jardin du Luxembourg

Whenever I need a stroll, I find myself on Bus 82 , heading for the Jardin du Luxembourg.  I find it to be one of the most entertaining, restores my soul, and great photo ops - type of place.  Sunning, strolling, eating, and just plain day-dreaming is what you can enjoy here.  The fountain at the heart of the park is surrounded by those lovely green metal chairs, perfect for watching the clouds go by ... or catching the latest fashions saunter by ... lovers walking arm in arm.  The elegant formal gardens allow you to feel a bit like royalty during your stay.  
I highly recommend the canelle, citron, or chestnut spread crepes ... there are many stands and cafés that you will find on your walk through the garden, while witnessing the serious chess tournaments or bridge games, pony rides, tai-chi, ... just to to name a few activities that are always available for viewing ...    

The bandstand, on the east side of the park, near the large café, usually has music and dancing that I’m often tempted to join in the dancing or the singing ... if I only knew the words, the dancing I could make up ... oh , and I almost forgot ... 
Paris’ oldest museum, The Musee du Luxembourg, is hidden away in a corner of the park.  The museum where I fell deep in love with Lalique.

There is plenty to do for young and old alike, summer or winter, so here’s some of the highlights of the park, not to be missed!
The Medicis Fountain
The Orangerie which houses temporary exhibits
Pony rides and Puppet theaters
Tennis courts
Chess and bridge tournaments 
Location: Place Edmond Rostand, 6th arrondissement
Metro: Odeon or Cluny La Sorbonne (Lines 4, 10)RER: Luxembourg (Line B)Bus: Lines 27, 38, 82, 83, 85, 89

"Place tout ton bonheur dans l'instant"
André Gide

Friday, November 18, 2011

Partager Paris Shopping ...

When Alex was here, we did our share of wandering around Paris, and always managing to find new shopping grounds.  If you are in need of some nice tennis shoes, very colorful, and more for fashion than sport, this is the place for you to visit, and maybe find the perfect color combination for you.  There are plenty to chose from!  

Take a look at the "Legion of Nao" ... 

Happy Shopping!

"la vie, c'est ici et maintenant, et non pas là-bas, et plus tard" 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lêche Vitrine

window licking in the 5th arrondissement

Much of my free time, I spend wandering around ... Léche vitrine, or licking windows ... as the french say  so appropriately.  The windows of the small stores in the 5th arrondissement are works of art, sculptures of merchandise, continually changing, vitrine in cours, visions of inspiration ... I could go on ... this vitrine had that special something that caught my eye ... how much is that kitty in the window?

While in Paris, remember to take some time to wander and appreciate the quiet surprises waiting for you.

Aujourd'hui, un nouveau soleil se lève pour moi ; tout, semble-t-il, me parle de ma passion, tout m'invite à la chérir ...
Anne de Lenclos
(just for you Michael)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Partager La Canal de L'Ourcq

A day by the canal ... In Paris, you run into surprises all the time.  I think it should be called the city of Surprises, along  with the City of Lights...thank you Jim Morrison.

The day was to start with some fellow photogs; a tour alongside the canal to visit some photo expositions that had been organized by fellow photographers more industrious than me.  They were staggered alongside the canal of  La Villette, also known as the Canal de L'Ourcq.

Before we could make it to the first exposition, we were surrounded by music and lots of Pink ... yes, for a good cause, these lovely guys were playing their hearts out.  Pulling ourselves away from the tunes, we tromped en masse to the first of many expositions just off the canal, weaving ourselves around these little streets, following the leader's baton, passing by the old and new buildings, married side-by-side,  a 5-block, at least!, brocante/vide-greniers (Parisien style garage sales), then after enjoying, observing, listening to the inspiration leading to these expositions, we circled our way back to the canal.  

Now here is the surprise! Near the end of our tour, we found a festival of the regions of France celebrating their specialities.   The stands, end to end, with many tables, family-style, covered the whole end of the pavement, along with a huge smiling (and chewing happily) crowd.   Each of us rambled off to our favorite region, tasting several along the way ... guess which regions I visited?  Yes, the champagne and chocolate regions were first!! 

Take some time to visit the canal at La Villette when you are here; there is always something going on... Its another one of those secret places of Paris, that is definitely off the tourist paths.   A great place to spend the day with your camera.

There is a lovely large restaurant called La Rotonde de la Villette, old customs office, that could be a good place to end the day ... enjoy the view of the bassin de la Villette, or if you catch it just right, the perfect place to catch la coucher de soleil, sunset, with  a very chilled glass of champagne...

 Another  lovely end to a lovely day in Paris.
And thanks to all the motivated photographers of Paris who share their "vues" of this beautiful city.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Partager Paris - Vendanges des Montmarte

A celebration that has been held every year since 1934 to celebrate the harvesting of the grapes at the foot of Montmarte.
Our Photo Meet-up group courageously cheered the parade along as it wound its way around the petits rues of Montmarte.  Although it was a bit cloudy and rain visited us a few times, the day was kept bright and shiny with the help of the Island dancers, drummers, and the sips of delicious wine along the way!
It is held every year, usually the first weekend of October, so make you plans now!  Keep a check on next year’s agenda and come and join in the fun! 


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Partager Jardin des Plantes's Secret Spots .....

The Jardin des Plantes, also known as the Medicinal Garden of the King, located in the 5th arrondissement,  is a well-known place, well trod by the gens who live nearby.  It is the main botanical garden in France, covering 24 hectares, 235,000 square meters, or easier for some of us to grasp ... 69 acres.  In 1626, Louis XIII was confronted by botanist and king’s doctor Jean Hérouard, for the need of a garden for medicines and research.  It was then open to the public in 1640.  

Les Grandes Serres

I have been there many times, but it wasn’t until mon amie asked if I had ever visited the Alpine Garden and other “secret” corners of this famous place ...  that I realized I had only skimmed the surface of flowers to admire and the caché places to be found here.  

Our visit was to begin with the newly reopended Les Grandes Serres, or HotHouses (more to come ...), we headed in their direction.  After circling the gardens for the entrance to the green houses, we find they are closed on Tuesdays!   A quick decision was made to continue our day there, visiting the "hidden" areas of the garden that mon amie had promised me. We headed in search of the  Alpine Jardin.  What a wonderful surprise of over 3,000 different species of world-wide mountain plantes and flowers (from the Alpes, Pyrénées, Corsica, Balkans, Maroc, and Himolayans) hidden between the zoo and greenhouses ...  AND, Personne, no one, was there!  just us!  The gardens have small paths which circle aound, up and down, just like you are doing a bit of mountain hiking in the middle of Paris!  I felt like yodeling just a little, but I was afraid I would scare the deers seen peaking thru the fence ...
The Alpin Garden can be visited every day, but a TIP ... if you go during the week you can enter free of charge!  If you happen to visit on the weekend, look for the ticket booth for the Hothouses.  You can buy your tickets there.

The Alpine Garden will be closed at the end of October,so take some time to visit now!
One of the secret places in Paris!  

More secret places to come ....  PPxx

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Partager Life

ELEGIAC :   Relating to the mourning or remembering of the dead, expressing sorrow.

I’m pretty sure that everyone remembers where they were on September 11, 2001.

The moment is sealed into your memory,  into a place that can be recalled in a single heartbeat.  I can still feel, see and smell the moment.  I was in Hull, England, whiling the day away.   Turning the corner, a bright light caught my eye as I  passed an electronics store on one of the small streets,  witnessing the blast and then the Towers going down.  Smoke.... Smoke, the flurry of all that were near.   Surely this is the latest movie trailer, I thought ... but the coverage was too real for that; my fears were mounting.   After several minutes of staring, watching the same scene over and over ... I realized this has happened, this HAS really happened.  No movie, no wild, sick imagination from some Hollywood somebody trying to top the latest disaster film.  C’est absolument vrai.  

So far in my life, I have been fortunate to have never felt the lag of time that occurs when disaster envelopes you.  I was suspended in that repeated scene, not knowing what to do.  I was far from home, and seeing disaster around every corner.   I blanked as to my next move.  

Then the thoughts of those;  those thousands , millions of people whose lives would never be the same after those few moments .... after this massive intrusion upon US soils, the workplaces, the vie quotidian, the future thoughts, the futures that would never be ...  The sadness, the fury, the disbelief, the nausea that jumped upon us all as New York, the emblem city, had been ravaged by who and why?   How can anyone begin to know how to handle this?
We are required to move on, to make tragedies a new start, yet, all the while, remembering that this did happen, and that our lives should reflect our tragedies as well as our best moments.   May our best moments take hold of our lives.
Today is an elegiac day.   

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Partager La Rentrée

La Rentrée (defined as the reopening, reassembly, reappearance) is happening as I write... the truly french phenomena of everyone returning back to Paris to start the new school year. The rhythm of the city returns.

Time for new resolutions, new decorations,  new shoes!...
It is more like the NEW YEAR than the actual New Year.   The excitement is palpable.  You are ready to join in and up with a clean slate for the next 10 months.  Lives begin anew and  tous le monde are busy organizing their lives, their children’s lives, and even their pets’ lives.  
I have also joined the annual frenzy with my agenda out  .... penciling in the english classes I will be teaching;  trying to compose the perfect french email to begin (once again) the french classes that will make my life so much richer;  making promises to myself about my seriousness to paint on a regular basis and other equally important self-improvement activities; and  I am still in search of that perfect cross of Yoga, stretch and relaxation class.  Does it exist?   ahhh, the promise of good things to come ... 
And all the while, remembering the days of summer ... L’Yonne in the Burgundy region kept us entertained with its Vignobles in Chablis, Auxerre, and Vézelay, the Mohair d'Armançon, Vide Greniers (empty the attic sales), and the rolling green hills dotted with cows ...

Welcome back!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Partager August in Paris

I love Paris in August.  It is calm, it is mostly quiet, and there are many parking spaces.
There are a few drawbacks to this simplicity of life, though ... which are  baguettes are a bit harder to find, many of my favorite restaurants are closed, along with those specialty shops I love to doddle in, and the lines at the Louvre may be long ... ... 
But, the good news is that the fresh markets are always there, as scheduled....
some are open every single day.
A real something to celebrate.
Thanks Rue Cler and all the other markets in Paris (thanks Bonjour Paris) for making our lives so much better and our summer picnics delicious!



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Partager L'Institut Du Monde Arab (aka AWI)

L'Institut Du Monde Arab
Its always nice when one of your friends has a birthday; it is a bit like having a birthday yourself.   So, the other day when one of my buddies had a birthday, I sought her out to celebrate the day with her.  I gave her a few options of things that might be fun, and she chose the L’institut de Monde Arab.  I was great with that, since I hadn’t been there in quite a while, and forgotten most of what was there to explore, besides the gift shop, of course.  
The Institut du Monde Arab, aka Arab World Institute,  is a beautiful, modern building that sits near the river in the 5th arrondisement.  Built in 1980 when 18 Arab countries made an agreement with France to establish somewhere to provide information about the Arab world - its cultural and spiritual values, and also to promote cooperation and cultural exchanges between France and Arab world.

After deciding that lunch should be the first thing on our, whoops, her, birthday agenda, we headed up in the trés modern, and way to fast for my friend, open glass elevator.   You can see all around as you fly up to the 9th floor to the restaurant, Naoura.

The view from this restaurant is really incredible, but unfortunately I will have to say that that was the best part of the dining venture.  I had called and reserved, which I thought was the way to get a bit better treatment, but instead we were given a table in the full sun with no umbrella.  OK, that’s not the worse thing in the world when the sun has been hiding, but it was the only real "warmth" we received while we were there.   The servers were not warm at all ...  but instead, cool, aloof, and rather selfish with their time and food,  and not even a small cookie or chocolate with the after meal café!   But, that was only part of our plan for the day;  and we are not easily dissuaded from enjoying ourselves, so we continued on ... Dejeuner being over, we decided to wander around the museum to see what was there to see in our remaining hours of our visit ... 

The museum usually has several different exhibitions for visiting. We chose the “le Mobile Art,” an architectural adventure, by Zaha Hadid, which was sponsored  in part by Chanel.  This 600 m2 exhibition, already presented in Hong-Kong, Tokyo, and New York, reflects her modern approach with curving, elongated, completely mobile, structures, in and out.  To me, this building represents the future approach to always feeling at home as we become more and more mobile in our lives, yet we still want to have our own belongings with us wherever we go.  Inside this large, airy mobile building, I felt like I was exploring the inside of some large insect with its webbed walls directing my steps, following the light bathing the curved walls and shiny floors.

Zaha Hadid was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She was born in Iraq in 1950, a time when Modernism connoted glamor and progressive thinking in the Middle East, and was raised in one of Baghdad's first Bauhaus-inspired houses.  She is certainly a visionary with all of her creations, along with using touches of biomimicry in her decorative creations.
The exhibition will run through September, so you still have time to visit this interesting piece of architecture, even more interesting at dusk ....
Take some time to check out the permanent exhibition, the library,  cafe, boutique, restaurants, concerts, language lessons, and don’t forget to sign up for the Calligraphy lessons you can take there!
L’Institut Du Monde Arab
1, rue des Fossés-Saint Bernard
Place Mohammed V
01 40 51 338 38 
metro Jussieu, Cardinal-Lemoine, Sully-Morland


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Partager Paris .... Josephine's Malmaison

Josephine's Malmaison
Musée National Du Chateau de Malmaison

The day couldn’t have been more lovely ... the sun was out, the clouds were painted onto a summer-time blue sky.  We arrived with our sandwiches and pastries from the market in Malmaison ...( nice market I would like to add!  plenty of everything and some of the best clothes I have found at a market).  We paid our pittance of an entry fee into Josephine's’ beloved Malmaison, ... and wandered to one of the rose gardens to spread our goodies out for a summer impromptu picnic.  Life can be so good some days it can scare you ...

Doing the tour backwards, as I am known to do .. we enjoyed the outside discovery garden, and then entered the beautiful 17th century mansion that Josephine bought (without Napoleon’s permission).  Slowly we discovered the three floors full of Josephine and Napoleon’s life together.  After appreciating the authentic character furnishings, reliving the atmosphere of these times, and trying to imagine the love shared between Napoleon and Josephine.  Why did it have to go so wrong?

The chateau had a difficult history, but Josephine changed these negative connotations of her new home by allowing her passions for decorating and furnishings to make it a real home for her and her family.   She showed her love for nature in the surrounding six hectare park by planting a cedar tree, known as Marengo, antique roses, and maintaining a naturally wild field for losing oneself amongst the statures, rivers and cascades.  
An idyllic day, stepping back into time ...  
highly recommended if you would like to slip away from Paris for the day.
Musée National du Château de Malmaison
Open every day except Tuesdays
+33 1 41 29 05 57

Enjoy your summer!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Partager Paris and More ... Pleasure Grove

Dad's tomatoes
I'm back.  I've been back for a couple of weeks now.  

My time away was good, ... more like fullfilling, a bit too hot, but its good to sweat and feel the warmth of everything around you, too much to eat, never can get enough of my mom's cabbage and cornbread, canoeing with my Dad, beautiful sunsets, prayers for rain as we rock by the lake's shrinking edge,  the family of sandhill cranes that dance at sunset and cry you awake at dawn, rides in my father's pickup truck, sadness at the loss of our favorite grapefruit tree, hanging laundry out on the line, looking for slimy, nearly chartreuse treefrogs in the greenhouse,  screaming when spiders manage to surprise me,  watching my dad take naps, watching my mom as she sits and watches my dad,  the happiness of seeing my sisters walk thru the back door, reading "Out of Africa"  once again, seeing my presence even when I am so far away .....

Ohh, and eating my dad's tomatoes.  Truly delicious.  Just cut up with a sprinkle of salt.

So nice to see Mr. T again.  The next few weeks I will be reliving the last few weeks ... 


View from my window ... back in Paris!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Partager Paris and More ... Geneva

A note to say its time to take a trip from one side of the world to the next ....

This is the view from our trés bons amis terrace near Geneva ... if you look hard you can see the tip of Montblanc.  What a wonderful way to start the day!  So, another wonderful city to visit easily from Paris.  

So, I say good bye to this and the view from my window ... just for a few weeks, and on to the view from my parents'  terrace and their lake ...  also a wonderful way to start any day!

Will catch up on summer fun in Paris when I return ...


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Partager Istanbul

Guess where I have been?  I have finally made it to Istanbul!   It was all and more than I ever expected.  

It is the city to  "Leave the world ... Feel the moment".  
From the southern tip of Kumkapi, near the shores of the Sea of Marmara and the fishermen's village, across the south of the Golden Horn, across the Bosphorous Sea via the Galata Bridge, up the Tunel to the hip area of Beyoglu, on the ferry to Harem Bus Terminal and back to the Orient Express Train Station, through the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, up and down the many floors of the photgraphy stores on the main streets, watched my husband get one of the best shaves of his life, ... explored each alleyway of the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market,  searched for the best Kofte (we all voted for Tarihi Sultamahmet Koftecisi) ... and at the end of each day, cocktails on the rooftop terrace of the  Pierre Loti, or our cordial hotel, the Ottoman Hotel Park  (highly recommended if you like to stay a bit out;  in a more familial neighborhood) ...    now a mosaic of images, scents, colors, warm generous people, everywhere ... , CARPETS, art, bargaining, tea cups passing on trays in the street ..
I already feel the need to return ... so much we did, and so much left to do ....

I wasn't the only person from Paris visiting .. it looks as though Paris Imperfect was there at the very same time ... maybe we were sitting across from each other on one of the many ferries, or eating a delicious Kadayif or Kundfe pastry and sipping cay? 

It was my trip of a lifetime,
Tesekkur ederim, thanks Mr. T.
Just to tease you a bit....
Sunset at Pierre Loti

Alleyways near Grand Bazar

Blue Mosque

For more of Istanbul, take a look!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Partager Paris Surprises

Private Concert
That is the "thing" about Paris ... as I have appreciated many times in the past ... you just never know what is waiting for you around the next corner ...

We received an email from one of Mr. T's virtual friends on Flickr on Saturday inviting us to a chamber music concert to be held in a friend's home the next day..  We automatically agreed since music is one of those things you never turn down.   After finally getting the time and address, porte code, etage (floor) of the building, etc., we headed over to the 3rd arrondisement.  Not really knowing what to expect, how long this might last, ...  should we have brought a gift .... (I really think we should've) ... we arrived along with around 20 other people.    The apartment was on the 5th etage, and not liking elevators, we hiked up, caught our breath and pushed open the already open door.  Chairs were set around everywhere, and a beautiful black baby grand was sitting proudly at the end of the room.  Looking a bit closer, just beyond the piano,   I could see the outline of  la Tour Eiffel  framed in the window of the next apartment.  For the next 3 hours we were entertained by Mr. T's friend, the pianist, and his partner, a cellist.  Beethoven has never sounded so good!  And of course, the evening ended around des coups de champagne!  Another nice surprise in Paris!

If you would like to know more about the musicians :

Enjoy the beautiful weather in Paris!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Partager Parc Sceaux

Parc de Sceaux

Its not too late to enjoy this year's cherry blossoms ... if you have  a bit of time, jump on the RER station to Sceaux,  head to the Petit Chateau, and take a right down towards the fountain ... eventually you will run into the heavenly Pink Cherry blossoms to your left (Plaine de la Pépinére).  
Every year the gardens at Sceaux celebrate the Hanami "Cherry Clossom Viewing", a Japanese custom of picnicking under the trees with family and friends.  It is a great  excuse for  gathering up a circle of friends, choosing your favorite things to eat and drink, and then plan on a good nap afterwards.  Don't forget to take you camera!  

Bon Weekend!