Sunday, November 25, 2012

Partager Thanksgiving Paris Style

The wind howled last night ... and whatever leaves were left on the trees on the avenue were sent flying in every direction.
It was a soothing sound that helped lull us to sleep after ....

We had returned from the annual Thanksgiving Celebration at our friends who live in the 11th, near Republic.  A fantastic celebration with people who had never known what Thanksgiving was all about until last night.  So impressed.  And it was ever so impressive.  
The one comment I kept hearing over and over ... "So much Food," Mais, oui!  There was every kind of salad, sweet potato, green beans, legumes, legumes, corn muffins, loaf bread,  ... the turkey sparkles, straight out of a Martha Stewart magazine ... (which I have read that she is really back in fashion with the young createurs in NYC and environs ...), and the dessert course was extravagant - apples pies with all kinds of decadent toppings, brownies straight from the USA, creamy pumpkin pies, and southern recipe pecan tarts, and don't forget the cheese course, which I managed to enjoy fully.   The champagne was our hostess's favorite, Ruinart Rosé.  Conversation was quick and smiles were all around.  A lovely evening was had by all.  We can't wait until next year to do it all again, Thanks mille fois to our wonderful host and hostess!  Having Thanksgiving in Paris is a true gourmand affair.  

Today, its quiet ... a perfect day to sit and watch those last few leaves of Paris whirl past you ....

by Collard Greens


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Partager Les Maison des Metallos

Every now and then I venture out for a night out with “the girls”.  As you might know my husband and I are deeply in love with photography; me for the beauty and memory of the moment, and he for le meme, plus the science and technology of the camera  ... we each have our roles to play and teach.  So, while we have been living in Paris, we have been involved with the Paris PhotoMeetup.  He more so than me, because he has more to offer when it comes to teaching about the hidden secrets of cameras, lighting .. you know technical type stuff that he thrives on, and is patient enough to share with others.

The Photo Meetup is a great group of people.  We have made so many friends and have had the wonderful opportunity to meet people from all over the world who share our common passion.  If you are of the same mind visiting Paris, please “meet-up” with us! 

“The Girls”  are a bit of a subset of the Photo Meetup ... one already a great friend, while the other 2 to 3 to 4  ... I met at the meetup.  We sometimes combine our “Girls Night Out”  with some culture.  This past month we were “invited” to a vernissage at the Les Maison des Metallos,  “Photographies Soudanaises”.  There is one more day left for this exposition, but the calendar of schedules events is worth taking a look.  
(Le Contraire de L’Amour for example)

Les Maison des Métallos is a cultural establishment of the city of Paris set up for the pursuit of creative endeavors - photography, dance, social and artistic discussions, you name it!  It is in the heart of the Belleville - Ménilmontant “neighborhoods vivant” and should be on your list of places to visit while you are in Paris.

A little history ... In the beginning, the Métallos was the warehouse for the fabrication of copper musical instruments.  Many years later it became the home to Couesnon, internationally famous for its musical instruments.  
It was also the home to many strong anti-war movements, before and after the world wars.  Many resistance discussions were held in this building.  Some led by the famous French resistance leader, Jean-Pierre Timbaud.
Today it still continues to promote social movements and heated discuter on political and artistic fronts.

So, back to the “Girls Night Out” ... A great time was had by all, the wines were poured generously, all type of delicious tastes were in abundance ... 

Thank you for a great night out, Girls!  
Waiting by the phone for the call for next month .....

Les Maison des Metallos
94, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, Paris 11e
01 48 05 88 27


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Partager Paris - Marché Ave du Président Wilson

Cooking with the seasons

After a night out at the American Library, listening to Susan Herrmann Loomis  talk about seasonal cooking, which I am a great believer. 

I went to bed with only one thought for the next day ...
to celebrate the changing seasons ... be sure to make it to a new market.   Its my bi-weekly outing now.  

So, ...I just got back from the Marché Ave du Président Wilson, Also Called the Marché du Pont de l'Alma, an open aired market in the 16th. It takes place every Wednesday and Saturday morning, from about 7am to 2:30 pm.   Its so close to the 7th, a bus 92 away.  

to be as red as a tomato (to be embarrassed)

What a market.  A real “total senses” adventure, the colors of the flowers, the fruits and vegetables, the spices, the smell of it all, the setting ... in the middle of one of the most affluent areas of Paris, right around the corner form the YSL museum (another something to put in your agenda), the feel of the excitement of what you are going to cook when you get home, tasting the seasonal fruits as you move from vendor to vendor ....  so, with figs, cepes, the last of the heirloom tomatoes, fresh thyme, regional honey, and a bit of autumn color in the form of one large hortensia bloom, I politely pushed my way onto the bus.  Thinking over that I really could have carried that polka-dotted scarf ... 

To put one's two cents in

This market brings me completely alive. I don’t care that it is raining.  I stay excited the whole time I am there.   Its one of the largest markets of Paris, one with the largest assortment of fruits, vegetables, clothing, spices, meats, fish, leather products, undies and socks, that I have encountered.  I have this small rule, not stringent of course,  which is to walk all the way through a market before I pull out my porte monnaie.    I want to see what’s fresh, who has the best prices, and where most of the people are gathered.  

I don't have any money!

I went there particularly to find a certain direct producer, Joel Thibault.  He is famous for his produce and many of the finest restaurants praise his produce.  I never actually found him ... 

la prochaine fois ... next time I will try to follow my own rules !


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Partager Le Ciel Blue

Le Pont de Alexandre III

Today was one of those beautiful days ...
one of those kind of days when it is a sin to be inside.
If you are planning your trip to Paris, September is a wonderful time of the year to visit.

It has a special feel in the air, sort of like "last call" type of feel since we know that cool, rainy weather is near, gray days that I like to refer to as "romantic", much less depressing, I think.  

So, wherever you are,  
this type of blue sky weather won't last forever ... 


Friday, August 31, 2012

Partager La Rentrée

La Rentrée - has arrived once again in Paris.  
This will be my 12th, I think ...

Life begins again in France; the stores open, our favorite restaurants are serving again, the sidewalks are full, and places on the bus are harder to find.

It is the time of the year when you review what you want in your life, rid yourself of those activites that didn’t quite work out, and replace them with others that are more interesing, maybe more lucrative, and at least more fun.  A time to begin again ... 

Life is but a dream, you know.

The talk on the street during the first weeks of La Rentrée is called les raconter, bascially to recant your summer vacation.  An adult version of “what I did on my summer vacation” by ... 

Friends and neighbors organize parties around this “Raconter”.    I’ve learned to take notes at these gathereings, so I can begin planning my next bridge weekend.  There are so many holidays in this part of the world, that one should always have a list ready of places to go and things to do in the coming year.  

Do not be caught with No Plan and No where to go.  

and another rule of French etiquette I learned while away:

"Never turn down the cheese course"

Here are a few raconters of my own during some time in the south 
in Ville-les-Avignon and Agde... 
with Mr. T, of course!!

Dream house in Burgundy 
Along the way, we decided to take a small detour thru the Burgundy region.  I highly admire the wines of this region, the land rolls with vineyards in every direction, and the small stone houses make me dream. 

Villeneuve-les-Avignon  La Prieure
A real dream place to stay.  We had never stayed at a Chateau-Relais before, and if La Prieure is an example of the standard of service and beauty of the surroundings, we have been missing it!  The Prieure is a renovated convent in the city of Villeneuve-les Avignon.  A lovely little city with many nooks and crannies to investigate.  The  hotel itself was absolutely lovely, with a Michelin 1- star restaurant available in the gardens of the convent.  The service was pleasant and always present, but carefully hidden from your view.  A sense of calm was felt under the trees in the courtyard that I wish I could have taken with me in a small bottle to be worn around my neck.  In the hopes that one of the "pont weekends"  will bring us back, I've circled it in red on my Where to Go List.
Plus, I turned down the cheese course.  I must make amends.

Avignon Bridge

Rooftop Terrasse in Agde

Agde is one of the oldest towns in France.  I would run up to the rooftop to watch the sun come up ... and search for other roof dwellers like you would find in Istanbul ...

A city with winding streets and a market that takes up the whole town!

Welcome back and hope your Rentrée starts with a bang!

Life is but a dream,


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Partager Paris in August

12th arrondisement 

Summer is finally here in Paris ... and maybe a bit of the Canicule, the Dog Days of Summer.

So be prepared and find yourself a nice park to wile away the time ... 


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Partager AHAE Exhibition "Out of my Window"

Almost hidden amongst the trees in the Jardin des Tuileries, behind L’Orangerie in a specially built gallery, is the photography exposition “Da Ma Fenêtre’  by the Korean photographer Ahae.

Entirely free and open to the public from 10am until 10pm, this exposition allows each of us to appreciate the photos that the photographer took from out the window of his studio during a two year period.  These photos were taken without any artificial light, or manipulation of any kind, different from most photo exhibitions of today where original, no post processing,  photos are hard to find.  

When I first walked through the door, I felt like I was still outside ... I felt like I was in my backyard in Florida.  I went to the exposition twice, and will probably return at least once more before its finished.  

These photographs reminded  me that nature is a state of beauty available to each of us and that this "pure state" should be respected in our interactions in our daily lives.   We all have a tendency to rush past things, in a hurry to get to the next place, the next task, the next ... fill in the blank.  

“Open your eyes, look at the nature all around you, and do your best to protect it while there is still time”  
Take a walk thru ... 

Jardin des Tuileries
until 19 August 2012
10 until 10 everyday


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Partager Paris Apartments

Salle de Douche aka Shower Room
photo by Collard Greens

Paris Apartments !  I have spent hours looking for the perfect one to buy.  I have walked all over Paris visiting one after another. 
I have set "alerts" on Seloger and PAP (on-line real estate agencies) for each arrondisement with the criteria I dream of ... 

... a double salon with an "american kitchen", salle de bain, separate toilet (preferable with a window and sink, two bedrooms (or I will settle for a bedroom and a small bureau), and a "cave".  The "nice-to-haves" would include a parking and an east-facing balcony off of the salon.  
Now is that asking for too much?
Trust me, it is.  

Maybe I should keep renting?  Over 50% of Parisians are renters.  Finding a better, bigger apartment to rent is a sport here.

Why do I feel this need to have my own Paris Apartment?

Presently, after two years of discussion, we are having our salle de douche redone.  You wouldn't think that such a small room could cause such havoc!  Just keeping up with our toothbrushes has been a challenge. We were told 3 days max ... and now ... 
5 days in, we are still looking at quite a mess, ... a real mess that is half done.  One little problem leads to another, and more materials, and more and more EUROS!  The workers, and our landlord,  come in and out all during the day.  They are now members of our little family.   Will we ever have our apartment back?

So, now I'm re-thinking this ...
Do I really want my own Paris apartment?

Thank goodness its a rental!

Mot du jour 
fuite = leak

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Partager a bit of Florida ...

With all the rain we have been having in Paris, I decided to take a trip to Sunny Florida for some time with the family.  And as always, it was great, but a bit too short.

My folks live on a small lake, which is my favorite place to sit at sunset.  All the birds come home to roost, the herons, cranes, egrets, the alligators ( yes, they live there, too) swim slowly by with their snouts sniffing for small dogs to serve as an evening aperitif,  and the sunset paints a different picture every night.  Monet didn't have it any better than this.     
Its the most relaxing place in my world.

There are also plenty of ants and lizards to keep me company while I am there, too.

But now its back to the rainy, romantic days in  ... will we ever get some 
all-day-long sunshine ?   We can dream ....


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Partager a Taste of Sweden in Paris

Partager Le Café Suédois

Such a nice surprise the first time you peek into this large courtyard, the pavé covered with tables and chairs, small groups lingering over that last cup of coffee and licking up the few remaining crumbs of some delicious pastry.   It is a real welcoming place after the hustle and bustle of the shopping streets of the Marais.  You are certain to enjoy tasting their culinary culture here, open Tuesdays  thru Sundays.  

Everything they serve is home made - straight from their kitchens, making their own breads, soups du jour, and pastries.  They especially like to make pastries!
There are only 20 places inside, but when the weather is nice, there is plenty of room in the courtyard.  And if you really like what you taste, they might share their recipes with you !
right across the street from Le Café Suédois

Le Café Suédois 
Horaires : du mardi au dimanche de 12h à 18h, nocturne le mardi soir jusqu'à 21h.
  • Adresse : 11, rue Payenne 75000 IVème 
  • Téléphone : 01 44 78 80 11

  • PPxx

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Partager Paris Brocantes de Printemps

The sun is finally staying out in Paris, and everyone feels the urge to clean out their greniers ... and make a bit of money while they are at it!   I am an avid visitor at these affairs, looking for that perfect treasure.  
Scanning all the tables for small oil paintings, rounds of lace, old buttons, limoges perfume bottles, a Lustre for the salon, dinner knives from the 1930s .. actually anything from the 30’s, Moroccan book ends, old cooking books, netsukes ... the list goes on ...  

Today’s treasure from my afternoon at the brocante in the 14th arrondisement was a beautiful vase from the 1930s ... a real success!
If you don’t have time to go all the way to the famous Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt, take a look at what is going on in central Paris:

Ce sont les petites réussites de chaque jour qui fabriquent le bonheur !


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Partager Rollerblading

I am  too much of a debutante to participate in the Sunday 20 km, 3 hour Roller event, but it sure looks like fun!  There is also the Friday night 25 km. event for the real thrill-seeker.  They are free and open to the public.  Maybe the weather will cooperate and you can join in !
Once every two months they even take on the Champs Elysees. 

The day before the tour, get all the details to roll around Paris at


Friday, May 11, 2012

Partager Salle Pleyel

I usually buy the Pariscope, although I have from my french friends, that real Parisians buy the L'Officiel Spectacle for all their weekend plans ... but I still prefer the Pariscope.  And now that I can pronounce it correctly when I ask for it at my favorite kiosk, I really prefer it.
Each week I like to read the Rencontre Avec .... where they interview some somewhat famous person that lives in Paris.  They ask things such as :
Which bank, right or left, do you prefer?
What is the symbol of Paris to you?
Your favorite place to take a walk,
Bistro of grand table?
Your last great time out in Paris
What would you like to see for Paris’ future ....
followed by a page of the person’s favorite “fetiches”
All quite informative for my "research" about Paris.
Another favorite section of mine in the Pariscope is the weeks’ agenda of classical concerts.  This past week, I noticed a concert Gratuit at the Salle Pleyel, which is a place I have been yearning to go ...  The Orchestre Symponique du CRR de Paris was playing ... My big chance to visit this lovely 1930’s salle with red velvet seats and perfect acoustics!  

A little about the Salle Pleyel ... 
The Salle Pleyel became the most celebrated concert location in Paris. It was there that Stravinsky returned to direct Agon in 1957, then Threni in 1958, and where Otto Klemperer gave his highly intense spiritual interpretations of Mahler’s 9th Symphony and Beethoven’s Heroica. It is there that the Orchestre de Paris took up residence and conquered a wide audience with Daniel Barenboïm. It is there that musicians ranging from Louis Armstrong to Ravi Shankar, from Sviatoslav Richter to Jorge Bolet, from Jascha Heifetz to David Oïstrakh; all of the great interpreters who have marked our perception of music have played.

So, when you are visiting Paris, pick up the Pariscope ... (Pareescope), and take a look.  You might find your perfect night out, too.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Partager The École des Beaux-arts

The École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-art (ENSB-A) is the very distinguished National School of Fine Arts here in Paris, founded by Charles Le Brun in 1648.

You enter the impressive courtyard of this former convent on the 14, rue Bonaparte and immediately are confronted with the large carved heads of Pierre Paul Puget and  the bust of Nicolas Poussin.  It was pouring rain and sideway winds were pushing me around, as I tried to find my way to the current exposition.  It was my first visit to this side of the school, and I was a bit turned around in a good way, ... as I wandered thru this labyrinth-like complex of buildings ... leading to courtyards ... leading to other buildings ... leading to classrooms and ateliers ... not the least bit upset that I had forgotten my umbrella,  as the rains whipped thru the hallways.  

After a few minutes of wandering, peeking in windows, watching students working on their projects at various stages of completion ... and remembering the days when I was in art classes ... I found the main building which housed the exhibition I was searching for, Rembrandt’s students drawings.  Sadly, this expostion is finished now, but the vast complex of buildings that I wandered thru were better than any exhibition!  The Cour Vitrée took my breath away!  

So, if you are wandering thru St. Germain, near the quay Malaquais and the rue Bonaparte, look for the bust of Poussin in the courtyard.  It is a public establishment, so you are allowed to enter freely to explore the nooks and crannies of the most prestigious art school in the world.  Plus, there are usually exhibitions of future and past famous artists !   
Just to name of the alumni - Fragonard, Garnier, Givenchy, Wyeth, and Sisley!

École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-art 
14, rue Bonaparte
75006 Paris


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Partager Paris Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

If you find yourself wondering around the Marais, not far from La Place des Vosges and du Musée Picasso, with no particular plan, I would suggest you stop in and spend some time at Le Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature. 

François and Jacqueline Sommer have housed their exotic collection in a beautiful Hotel Particular, L’Hotel de Guénégaud, built in 1651-1655 by François Mansart.   I had planned for the longest time to stop in, and finally, an arrangement was made with my french teacher, to spend our lesson at this inspirational and educational museum.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since I am not a hunter, and I have never lived anywhere but near the beach,  and now in Paris;  and not having any family members or friends who enjoyed hunting ...  But, the museum’s collections held my attention for nearly 3 hours, all of which was being explained to me in french ...  while the atmosphere was as if I was a guest in someone’s home.

Not only does the museum have the different types of instruments (beautiful, intricate works of art) for hunting, and all the trophies of animals from Europe, Africa, Asia and America, it also has many works of art:  paintings, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics and pieces of furniture.  And to make the museum even more interesting, there is usually a temporary exposition of art that somehow relates to nature or hunting.  

It is one of those museums that I want to revisit the next time I find myself wandering around the Marais with no particular place to go ....
Here are the details:
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
62, rue des Archives - 75003 Paris