Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Paris Ice Cream Chariots

Yes it is HOT in Paris (90 degrees). But not as hot as in July (104 degrees). The buses were free yesterday (so Parisians won't faint in the street)? What better antidote to the heat then ice cream/glace?
On Saturday post-pool I went to the new Pierre Hermé cafe at Odeon, 125 bd Saint Germain. They have an ice cream chariot outside. All flavors are based on Hermé's macarons. I got the 'Montebello'; pistachio + strawberry (3€) They said 'Ispahan'; rose, raspberry, litchi was their most popular. Inquiring minds etc..
The smallest size goes down so fast its hard to tell what it was other than cold. I have concluded Paris is 'Ice Cream City' second only to any town in Italy.
Paris is definitely first when it comes to chariots, ice cream or other-wise. Tell me this isn't so. Daily I have been hunting ice cream.

Sunday I bought small pots to paint from Picard,(no chariot sadly) the frozen food specialist (2€ each). Their cerise/griotte studded with black cherries is divine. Blueberry/mure is a good runner-up.
I saved my Hermé orange cup for painting still lives.
Yesterday I made ice cream rounds in the 6th post-pool.
Lots of chariots in sight.
Though I ended up with an all-pistache from 
Grom who has no chariot. You're entitled to 2 flavors. I have yet to try any other flavor in 12 years. Call me unadventurous. Admittedly if Pozzetto was next door like they are on rue de roi de Sicile, their pistachio wins the day.  Suggestions for today's ice cream are welcome. Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. Subscription Paris letters 💌, maps and ice cream chariot watercolors are in my Etsy shop. With love💋from Paris🐻🍦

Thursday, August 22, 2019

August Impressionistes map, Bouillon Chartier Montparnasse

After deep immersion in Van Gogh and tomatoes next up -Impressionists with special thanks to Li Chen of NY for suggesting this month's map idea. Let me know it you have a burning map idea in the comments SVP.
I'm always looking. Its funny how you may not be a big fan of something like Van Gogh or the Impressionistes.
But after serious exposure your head is completely turned around. You can't get enough.
Art critics of the time (1860s) called the work of Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, Cezanne, Renoir, MorisotCaillebotte sketchy, unfinished unlike the formulaic Academic highly polished historic paintings they were used to.
And why did the artists leave the studio to paint outside (en plein aire)? The critics derided their work as just an 'impression' and that's where their name came from. Who knew?
At the same time as the Impressionistes were busting loose with their paintbrushes, Baron Haussmann was ripping up Paris, putting in broad new boulevards. Opera Garnier was going up. It was a time of tremendous change.
No wonder these artists wanted to paint what was in front of them instead of looking to the past.
Thanks to well-off artist Caillebotte who bought up many works by his struggling fellow painters, you can now see all of their paintings in unison at musee d'Orsay, a don't-miss museum in Paris.
L'Orangerie and musee Marmottan should also be on your Impressionistes' bucket list. Today after a quick run to la Poste
I noticed a new branch of the classic brasserie, Bouillon Chartier in Montparnasse. Very reasonable and good, loaded with Belle Epoque atmosphere. The Impressionists probably ate their roast chicken here back in the day. Chartier opened in 1896. I had 2 starters; snails plus endive salad with roquefort and a pruneau and ice cream dessert.(€16,50)Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. Subscription Paris letters 💌, maps and watercolors are in my Etsy shop. With love💋from Paris🐻

Sunday, August 18, 2019

August Paris letter

There's no ignoring the August tomato *HOT TIP JUST IN* from Kate Hill Camont "After rolling out the pastry, brush it with a beaten egg mixed with mustard and set aside to dry. This is a little secret to avoid a soggy bottom". If only I'd known...next time. Put your irons away.
Immersion in Paris.
They come at you in every color of the rainbow . Red, yellow, green, violet. No blue yet but I bet they're working on it. Its no surprise I've done many tomato Paris letters.
I love painting them almost more than eating them.
When David Lebovitz put up a tomato tarte recipe 
Action must be taken.
I went with his older, simpler tarte with slices of chevre on top.
Warning: get your chevre from the fromagerie.
Not the supermarché. The taste will be far superior. Following recipes is not my forté.
I should have 'ironed' the slices. Or at least drained them in a colander as David suggests and then place on paper towels. My tarte had a soggy bottom 😳 The crust was easy, peasy store-bought Herta pâté brisée. The cooked edges tasted as good as a cookie. Now go make a tomato tarte PBers! Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. 
Subscription Paris letters 💌, maps and watercolors are in my Etsy shop. With love💋from Paris🐻

Friday, August 16, 2019

Imagine Van Gogh, Le Havre

Earlier in the week Lois Bender and I ran up to Le Havre for the day (a 2 hr train ride) to see the Imagine Van Gogh Immersive on till September 1 at Carée de Docks and just a short walk from the train station. We went to see the Dufy Retrospective at the Musee d'art moderne André Malraux later but that's another story. Le Havre is always a shock. Completely flattened in WWII. Industrial but with a wonderful harbor full of boats of all sizes. Of course I saw the l'Atelier  des Lumieres Van Gogh show in Paris, but something drew me to see the Le Havre version.
And I was right. It was a much more immersive experience showig 200 paintings large scale.
And I preferred the all-classical, mostly French background music .
Simply perfection.
It would have been nice to have seats like the Paris animation but then maybe people would stay all day instead of 30-40 minutes.

I sat on the floor like others and let the experience float over me. Deeply emotional.
It was good to see related images (like groupings of his sunflowers) instead of just one image repeated in varying sizes. More immersive that way.
Natch I felt compelled to get out 'Vincent's bedroom' and paint it again and again.
Food-wise we hit it lucky. I had been dreaming of a seafood shack like Surf City, NJ etc. While traipsing over to the Dufy exhibit (everyone told us, "Oh its only a 5-10-15 minute walk"). It seemed more like 35. We stumbled on a small place sitting right next to the fish markelt, Bistrot du P'tit Port. Very unassuming to look at but when I saw the lunch formule (18,50€) included a starter of fruits de mer + moules (or fish)I was happy as a clam. Trip Advisor gives it a 47 out of 148 Le Havre restos. Top that! (Proper cherrystone clams are so damn hard to find in France. Its deeply frustrating, though they do have them in Amsterdam so all is not lost). Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. 
Subscription Paris letters 💌, maps and watercolors are in my Etsy shop. With love💋from Paris🐻

Monday, August 12, 2019

Berthe Morisot - Orsay, July Paris map

Of course Berthe Morisot at the musee Orsay has absolutely nothing to do with the July Paris map.
I got the July Map off finally on last Thursday (8 August)and the museum is open till 9:45 pm. And the 87 bus stops in front so I went (finally to see something!). The Morisot retrospective is a collaborative effort that originated with the Quebec museum, the Dallas museum and the Barnes Foundation. Frankly I did not expect to be surprised but I was immediately taken with how abstract her compositions were.

Her subjects are classic 19th century feminine subjects much like her contemporary, Mary Cassatt.
Mother and child, well-to-do women in fancy dress or relaxing in the countryside. But look how abstractly she composes this picture.
A plethora of triangles. can you count how many? I had to make a doodle on the spot. Her training began early with the best, Jean-Babtiste Corot, since women were not yet allowed into the Academy de Beaux Arts.
Edouard Manet painted her at least a dozen time. Here in a detail from 'The Balcony'. His strong graphic black and white paintings must have had an influence on her. She married his brother, Eugene so he was around for consults no doubt. Degas too was her champion.

Yet she evolved her own Impressionistic style.
A master of painting white diaphanous fabrics, Morisot captures the multi-colors in those whites. She paints grasses, trees like the eye sees. Backgrounds fade in and out of soft focus.
Even her brushstrokes are distinctive and fluid. Sometimes the backgrounds are left empty in her portraits. Critics called them unfinished but she knew what she was doing.
I wish there had been more photos of her, and not the tiny ones placed above tall boards of text. I wish French museums would consult me on some of these things. Who wants to do squats to read a descriptive label (even if it is good for your hips) or use binoculars to see a photo? Coming home that night, Notre Dame, with or without her spire, is still glorious. If you enjoyed this post, share with a friend. 
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Cheers Carolg and Bear in Paris 🇫🇷