Thursday, March 23, 2017

Saut Hermes 2017, Hermes Sevres-Babylon

Last Friday I went over to the Grand Palais. More pictures on my Instagram. Please follow..ahem
The preview for a big Rodin centenary was opening. And Saut Hermes 2017 in the nave.
So far I have not been able to get a press pass inside the equestrian jump show. Maybe next year.
Still its great fun to watch gorgeous horses parading in and out of the back door.
Love the look this horse gave me.
Grand Palais is in general a horsey place, trés a pro po.
There are tons of Saut Hermes videos on Youtube if you want a look inside at the jumping.
Those tails are fabulous no?
The riders are not bad looking either. If only I could whistle...
Les Paris flic passed by on horseback and gave me a half-smile when I took their picture too.
If you missed the annual March Saut Hermes you can still catch plenty of horse gear at the big Hermes Sevres-Babylon store.
A horse of a different color?
Is this really an alligator child's pull-toy? Qui sait.
Hermes' latest perfume is called of course 'Galop'. Only 1 L svp.
Horse gear print silk scarves are forever. I have one tucked away somewhere from eons ago...
The space was formerly a swimming pool so quite spacious for Paris
Those perfect Hermes orange cravatte boxes. Yum yum.
Speaking of Hermes orange, Bear and I are off to Dijon tomorrow, home of pain d'epice, also a lovely shade of orange. We're taking a drawing stage (course) dans le rue and inside the museum. Do you have any Dijon tips? Do tell svp. If you enjoyed this post and want to support it, buy Paris letters, maps and watercolors or forward to a friend. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Where's Bear? Mont Saint Michel

You guessed right. Bear and I escaped on Sunday to Mont Saint Michel for an overnight break.
We've been wanting to go all winter. After reading David Lebovitz' omelette experience that was it. We booked ASAP and took the train from gare Montparnasse to Dol-de-Bretagne, a tiny town 30 minutes bus ride away. The driver kept pointing out MSM as soon as it appeared on the horizon. Everyone was shooting and craining their necks for a look. We were in the front row so natch we had ringside views.
This is low season so the throngs were managable and we got a reasonably price at La Terrasse de la Mere Poulard.
La Mere Poulard is the first thing you see coming through the archway on Grande Rue.
I was starving and headed to lunch immediately. A big kitchen is open for all to come and gawp. You don't have to eat there but I was glad I did.
These guys are beating eggs up a storm, rat-a-tat-tat. They keep a distinct rhythm going while staying completely straight-faced.
Egg pans heat up in the fire. Gobs of butter are thrown in and poured from one pan to the next.
Et voila! If this is a 3-egg omelette then they are using ostrich eggs in my opinion. I've never tasted anything like it except maybe a fluffy soufflé. The plain 'traditional' omelette and mine with smoked salmon and roasted potatoes on the side are the same price - 34€
Post-lunch I was in no shape to climb up all those stone steps to the Abbey. I made it as far as the small church and then turned back.
No matter where you go views are spectacular on the island of Mont Saint Michel.
Its a small climb up to the ramparts surrounding the town and worth it.
Just look up and gasp.
Plenty of Normandy snacks to buy like caramels
And those divine butter cookies. la Mere Poulard has a nice shop in Paris at 19, boulevard d'Opera. I checked it out before going looking for I don't know exactly what, but I noticed prices were lower than in their MSM shop! More selection too. Qui sait?
Bear was getting hungry around evening so we stopped in a simple brasserie called Les Terrasses(?) along the ramparts. The mussels, called Bouchot, are the same you get in Paris from the bay around the Abbey. I thought they tasted much better onsite. 13€ for this filling marmite.
MSM is like Venice. Part of the fun is experiencing the medieval town once day-trippers go home.
I tried to capture a night shot but my iPad wasn't up to it. Simply spectacular to see.
Back in my room time to paint watercolors.
Mont Saint Michel is so iconic, you get carried away and feel you can paint it any color you like and I did, even dreamy purples. If you enjoyed this post and want to support it, buy Paris letters, maps and Mont Saint Michel watercolors (there are 8 watercolors up on Etsy) or forward to a friend. Cheers!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Expo Jardins, Grand Palais

A new, enormous exposition, Jardins has opened at the Grand Palais, on till July 24th. A giant gold flowerpot sits in the waterfountain. To quote the notes, Jardins is a modest attempt to echo the words of Foucault, "The garden is the smallest part of the world and the whole world at the same time". Its essential definition: an enclosure, a delimited area within a territory, an orchestrated area that is a window to the world. 
Two floors of historic and current artworks (mostly French though this fresco is Pompeian), videos, paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, environments with sound and smell, photography, scrapbooks.

A detail of Cezanne's flower pots.

My favorite were these grand landscape overviews of chateaux with tiny red-coated gardeners at work in the foreground.
Another with rustic workers in the foreground while aristocrats romp in the manicured gardens.
All manner of garden tools for manicuring those gardens, beautiful objects in their own right.
Rooms are darkened so works act as windows where you can escape into a garden.
Even humorous old bits of film.
The elegiac garden photographs of Eugene Atget.
Karl Blossfeldt's unigue plant photography.

Of course books of exquisite botanical illustrations.
Contrast with wild Matisse paper cutouts filling an entire wall.
Monet's Sunday afternoon garden party
Samples of earth colors.
Paris earth along the Seine is not yet fully green but Parisiens don't mind a bit. I dug up some of my first Springy Paris letters. Do check out the Newest Anniversary special set and other Paris maps and watercolors on Etsy. I hope the snow melts quickly for those of you house-bound.