Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Paris Boots Forever

So it's April 30th PBers. Like practically Summer and all of Paris is still wearing their BOOTS!?
What's up with that? I shot these pics this morning. It's in the 50's and sunnyish so why all the boots Parisians?
If you just arrived in Paris and didn't bring your boots, turn around and go home. Get em!
I mean it. Parisians are dead-seriously dedicated to their boots.
Boots with tights. Boots under jeans. Over jeans. You name it.
Look! Galeries Lafayette wants you to buy Summer boots aerated with tiny holes.  Bet that makes them super cool..
I asked this woman if I could shoot her Fab boots. No problem.
I asked this Galeries Lafayette sales girl if I could shoot her bleu suede shoes?
She asked "why?"
I said, "Oh, you know... I have a blog..
I'm an American...I'm crazy".
Finally she agreed ;))
Uggs in April in Paris!??? Who knew?
 
Honestly fur-lined high suede boots? Come on
So what are Parisian girls gonna wear when the temperature rises besides skate boards?
These?
Or these?
I'm holding my breath. It could be Boots. Qui sait?
Ooopla This girl was wearing boots - check
A Big no-no. Definitely an outta-towner
When in Rome PBers...

Monday, April 29, 2013

L'Eclair de Genie

It was rainy and damp last Friday when I visited L'Éclair de Génie 14, rue Paviée 75004
But inside all is bright and cheery. The éclairs are displayed like art objects in an art galerie and so they should be.
No kidding. Each one is a work of art. L'eclair caramel beurre salé is the top seller. The buyer in front of me cleaned them out.
L'éclair Vanille Noix de pécan is another top seller with caramelized American pecans and vanilla from Madagascar.
I was flirting with this strawberry creation...
But I fell hard for eclair de Maracuja. With passion fruit and a Brazilian name who could resist? Adding in eclair Rouge Framboise, what better way to beat the bad weather?
I got a little nervous when the vendeuse put my éclairs into a plastic bag imagining them arriving home battered and bruised. I was assured not to worry. Hmmm...
I was surprised to read the eclair was crowned France’s most popular pastry in 2012.
Please *note the ovoid arch-shape when you cut into any éclair.
All became clear when I boarded bus #69 to head home trying desperately to protect my éclairs from rush hour crowds.
Paris is chock-full of eclair-shaped arches! The bus #69 will take you past at least a good 10 éclair-arches.
There's no getting around it. Cross any bridge in Paris and how can you not think éclairs? It's a given...a fait á complet!
This archway at the Louvre.
Walk through and your brain will whisper subliminally,
"eat éclairs...eat éclairs..." 
That monster éclair-shaped arch - Paris' beloved Eiffel Tower. But of course the éclair is France's best loved pastry. No question about it! Is there any other choice dear PBers?
I was delighted to find my éclairs arrived home in perfect condition. And they tasted even better. Even after a couple of airborne somersaults.  L'Éclair de Génie are a bit shorter than your average 15 cm éclair. More like 11 - 12 cm of deliousness. I found this a plus. Some éclairs are too much of a good thing. They can be too heavy, too sweet. These were just right. Chef Christophe Adams has been creating les éclairs at Fauchon for 10 years before he opened L'Éclair de Génie, so he should know what it takes to make the perfect éclair.
Do try them out PBers.
And immerse yourself in a Paris arch or two while munching...
For more éclair stories:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Picard 101

Listen up PBers. This could be an important Paris leçon. If you plan to rent an apartment in Paris, even for one week, you NEED to know about Picard. Who wants to eat out every night?
Granted I rented apartments in Paris short-term many times but Never figured out Picard. I used to go in, look around, always when it was empty(?) and think,
"What is this? A dental surgery? Get me outta here vite!"
But Bear and I have come to know dear Picard quite well these past months. We're in there almost daily. On occasion twice daily just to check the ice cream case. More about that later...
Here's a special fav of ours - Alaskan cod. Just pan fry it and add their Provençal roasted vegetables (microwave em) and you'll be sooo happy. Picard's frozen food is like nothing you've seen in the US or elsewhere I bet. They have canard if you've got an oven. The selection is humungous and pas cher de tout (cheap).
Tons of BIO (organic to us) stuff like these veggies under 2€ for a big supply of spinach. I'm addicted to their epinards branches bio.
How bad can that be for you PBers?
Clever Picard portions out the spinach and other products into these nugget-shaped things instead of one massive clump. They must love single peeps and couples. Personally this could be a good pickup place IMHO. I see lots of cute guys/beau mec shopping.
Picard is Paris' Trader Joe's (900 stores in France). They always have new tempting seasonal stuff like whole cooked lobsters from Canada during holiday season and Coquille Saint-Jacques in the shell! All kinds of deluxe mushrooms ready for the micro. It's well known many a fancy schmancy Parisian dinner party got their fare at Picard. Chef Marthe said she was eating at her daughter's and asked how she made the main course.
"Oh it's Picard. I tweaked it".
Oh and about their ice cream...ahem
It just may be the best on the planet. I kid you not. Please try the coffee/cafe (only 2.80 for a litre!!) and let me know what. Inquiring minds etc,
They have 'dixie' cups if you're watching your weight and don't trust yourself with a full litre (2 euros). The vanilla with macademia caramel is to-die-for. Darling Carla Coulson says all French moms-to-be are told to stock up for 6 months so they won't have to cook once the bebe arrives. I'm not enceinte but my freezer is jam packed...
Fancy pants chef Francois Theron is creating special flavors like Speculoos (!!!) for a mere 4.50€ - the same price as 2 bols de Bertillon you can hardly see.
Disclosure: I am not in the pay of Picard nor do I get any free ice cream (quelle dommage) so don't get the wrong idea PBers.
Bear's favorite bedtime reading is Picards latest newsletter and mine too. Good way to practice yr French non? Hmmm...
"Palette de rouges, de jaunes et verts. Les légumes bruts ont la part belle chez Picard. Cueillis au meilleur de leur maturité, bla bla bla

Friday, April 26, 2013

Modern Art Desserts

The late Friday edition - I'm so happy for the 6 hr time difference...
Here's another Don't Miss PBers.
The Keith Haring exhibit at MAM - le Musee d'Art Moderne.
I can just hear you saying,
I am not coming all the way to Paris to see an American artist! No way.
I know, I know. I went reluctantly myself but got swept away by the enormous energy
So much vitality and downright positivity (I hope that's a word)...
It makes you feel extra proud to be an American - all that 'can-do' spirit is ever present in Haring's work.
And boy did he work - so prolific! I didn't know he painted sculptures and huge ones at that, plus murals everywhere including Paris.
And for very good causes - for AIDS awareness, stamping out crack cocaine, South Africa, you name it. And Haring supported the hip hop/rap movement as a positive change from crime and drugs. This guy was immensely pro-active in every possible way. Plus his bold color sense is riveting. You can't help feeling deeply energized when you leave.
So how does that bring us to these gorgeous tartes? In this town art and pastry are joined at the hip. Well maybe that's not the best cliche. My hips certainly feel the connection. But pastry chefs in Paris know their color wheel and their creations are works of art.
Even the Paris Opera chose American artist (and a big favorite of mine) Wayne Thiebaud to illustrate their posters all over town for Hansel and Gretel. What a clever and sophisticated leap of faith. I was floored when I saw these.
And isn't Caitlin Freeman (also from San Francisco like artist Thiebaud) a clever duck to come up with cakes that illustrate many famous tableaux!
Her table of contents is like walking through the best art gallery.
And it's all edible! What's not to love. I wish I baked. I wish I had an oven and not just a microwave...
Nevermind.
You can make these arty cakes!
And don't miss Keith Haring when in Paris!
Bonne Weekend PBers!