Friday, September 24, 2010

The full story of Paris

Later that day Renee and I went over to Nathalie Lete's studio just outside Paris. I had planned to ask to take pictures but we both forgot. Her studio is incredible. She is so talented and busy with a zillion projects. I purchased her book version of Little Red Riding Hood. My favorite part is a photograph of her when she was a little girl wearing a red cape.
So that is the gist of the trip. Who knows where I will end up next... Spain? England? After looking at Mary Anne Moss's blog pictures of Turkey I am quite intrigued to go there. Lorraine wants to go to Bali... Hmm all I know is that in two weeks it's off to NYC for a long weekend.
Au revoir bellas.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Had to take a break from travel. Here are two pages side by side in my journal. Love the color. Oops the other one is at the end of the post.
Today is the memorial for my Aunt Leda who died in August. She was my last female relative on that was still alive and she lived in South Carolina. I miss her and being able to talk to her, travel, go out to dinner and hear her opinions on just about everything. These are all the women on my Mom's side except Chloe and I. My Mom is on the left and Leda on the right. My grandmother is in the foreground and our beloved Aunt Dot in the back. Many happy times as a child visiting them in Greenwich Village. They always wanted to feed me and play cards. My grandmother liked to take us to the Lower East side for bargains and pickles and then we would go to Chinatown and watch the dancing chicken. I wish my own kids could have had those experiences. My Aunt Leda was the closest they had to an active grandparent and I thank her for that.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A very full day in Paris

Bonjour mes amies,
Today we venture first to the Louvre. Lisa and I had a great time here as we started our self guided tour viewing the Northern European art wing where there were no crowds. Ah I love this period of art.

Lisa and I were both interested in finding some portraits of Marie Antoinette. A guard asked if we needed help so we asked were we could find any portraits of her. He put his hand to his neck and said something like, "Do you know what happened to her?" and made his hand pass through his neck as he said "Kapute." It was quite humorous (all week) and I guess that was why she wasn't represented at the museum. On the other hand, this guard did not know where the Spanish art collection was and we found it so maybe Marie is actually hanging on a wall somewhere at the Louvre.
Then it was off to the Italian Renaissance wing (you know where Mona Lisa hides out)where we were met with crowds as large as a Renaissance feast. Lucky for me, I prefer Early Renaissance but I still had to fight through several slow walking tour groups.
I was interested in finding my little Margarita painting in the Spanish gallery. On my last trip to the Louvre she was on loan. I almost didn't find her, but here she is:

Next Lisa and I decided to go to Angelina's for their world class hot chocolate. I yi yi. What was I thinking? Okay, first off it's like at least 80 degrees outside, second I am not a great fan of hot chocolate, third I don't usually drink too much at one time and fourth we had just eaten lunch. We each got our own pitcher of hot chocolate as rich as could be. It was good- well the first swallow or too. All I can say is if you are a chocolate freak order it on a cold day- other wise I recommend une glace instead.

The Japanese book store was the next stop and we were able to catch up with Renee there. (She had already been to the store and had bought some books. This was her second round.) Lots of oogling and credit cards being put to good use. Then it was a maze like walk to Ultra Mod for some beautiful ribbon.

More museums on the agenda as we went to the L'Orangerie to see Monet shine as well as some other wonderful Impressionist work. We were a bit tired so we slowly dragged ourselves home. Later that evening we went to the Pompidou art museum but someone read the times wrong (moi?) so we had to rush around and "see it all" in twenty minutes. I went back a few days later. Great views of Paris from this museum.
Fear not, only a few days left to this trip. I shall be back soon with the last installment of my summer vacation.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fully Versailles

I really hate to leave the food blog but we must venture off to Versailles where I seem to have taken an abundance of photos. It was amazing to think about Marie Antoinette and others actually living in such a large estate. I wonder if Marie had even been in every room in the palace.
We patiently awaited noon so we could also see Marie's country retreat, another massive property that was incredible. I especially liked her "little" theatre. She had beautiful gardens on her grounds that are still tended today.

While on our visit I was able to practice my assertive skills when a woman tried to convince Renee to give up her Versailles map as she had lost hers. Reluctantly Renee did, but I could tell she was upset by this. I told her I would get it back and had no choice but to ask the woman for the map back. She did not want to budge so I had to use my french language skills to say, "Je regret," as I took the map back out of her hand.
This sign makes me laugh. Especially at Versailles where you just have to sit down every so often.
The gardens were quite beautiful and massive. I tried to find this cool grotto with a waterfall but it was closed due to a television production.
There were also many wonderful paintings along with drippy chandeliers, and wonderful wall murals inside the buildings. Ah next stop the Louvre and Angelina's for a spot of hot chocolate.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Full and tasty

Did someone say food?
Look at these dream pastries. This is where we started our planned macaroon tasting tour where we would visit many bakeries of Paris to compare macaroons, but turns out that after this first tasting none of us were that crazy over them. Lisa and Renee had a thing for the pain au chocolat and I think I was favoring a bit of wine.

We tried to take a picture of the macaroons at Laduree but they said no pictures inside. Lisa was so upset she wouldn't even buy one there after that. We also tried the McDonald's macaroons. All in all they taste sort of the same and there are many more things that taste far better- like la glace. I had the most wonderful la glace at Berthilon. Worth the wait for a cone of apricot.And don't forget the gelato at Grom. C'est tres perfecto.

The best place was the Rose Cafe. Renee and I ate there three times and each time I ordered this fruit crumble which came with a delicious creme anglaise that tasted like eggnog. Oh that was a little piece of heaven for us.
ah the sweetness. Next is Versailles. avoir.


Okay I am on a mission. Paris over by Sunday. I have to move on to Vermont and the present. I can't keep living in the past so I will be having posts galore (are these famous last words?).
Montmartre day: I was looking very forward to this day as I had never been and heard how great it was- you know the shopping, atmosphere and all. First we arrived at Sacre-Coeur, along with the rest of Paris and shuffled through the church. It could have been beautiful but I really feel these buildings lose their awe when the tourist shuffle happens. Anyway after we left we went to the equally touristy artist section where you can get a portrait drawn of your face or pick up a souvenir painting of Paris. I did like the fact that being here made me feel like I was in a technicolor movie from the 1950s, berets and all.

Next we had the never ending where should we eat question. (unknown to me there was a Rose Cafe quite near by) We ended up eating at some crepeish place with a french name that probably equalled something like bicycle tire. While it wasn't the best meal, things seemed okay until Lisa and I went upstairs to the rest room (see enclosed picture of me walking downstairs from the experience).

Lisa wanted to take a picture of one of the memorable stalls, but a rather drunk man came into the bathroom to relieve himself without closing the stall door and she thought that wouldn't be the best time to take a picture. Yes I can say it did at least leave us with a few laughs. We continued to walk down the hill but most of the shops seemed to no longer be there or not as I thought. There was one nice high end bocante that had some nice things. Lisa got a cute antique watercolor set. I almost bought a photo album with cute kid pictures but used a small amount of resistance. Yeah yeah not much excitement going on in this posting.
Fear not next post is food galore- now we're talkin'.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

First full day in Paris

Paris Paris who remembers Paris? I had to peek at Renee's blog to try and remember the order of Paris.
Okay so when we last left off, I had a happy reunion with my friends and was allowed inside the apartment.
The next morning we took off for the flea market. There was a lot to see there and we all managed to do some serious shopping. Even Renee got into the act of "combien?"

Next we rushed to Mamie Gateaux which has a small boutique and a cafe. We really went for the shopping, but the restaurant looked tres belle so we went inside to eat. (Oh the store was okay, but not like the flea market) I am sorry if I spelled the name wrong. I tried to get a menu to take home as a souvenir but the waitress was not keen on that and even when I asked to just look at it after we ordered it made her nervous and she promptly took back the menu- spots, food residue and all. Not so sure why those menus were so priceless.
We then walked back to our apartment stopping at the Bon Marche.

Later Lisa and Renee wanted to check out the Eiffel Tower. We arrived to quite a mob scene. Turns out it was the memorial celebration for Michael Jackson (faithful readers of my blog may recall that last year when I went with Chloe to Paris we got caught in a Michael Jackson parade due to his death, also by the Eiffel Tower). It was a mad house as you can see from these pictures. It was also the site of the World Cup massive TV screen to watch the soccer games.

Final stop on our first day was to a Thai restaurant which we found unsettling as we sat there as we were the ONLY people there, but the food wasn't that bad.

Readers, I have some sad news for you... I don't really have that many great pictures of Paris. I have a few more to show you but really nothing that spectacular. What a tease I was telling you Paris stuff would be soon and finally it arrives and isn't that breathtaking. Versailles seemed to be a heavy picture taking day and a few other places but nothing earth shattering. Sorry, but I shall keep at it.
Faithfully yours in Paris...