Monday, September 01, 2014

Baguette Stalker

Parisien Boy by photographer Willie Ronis "Parisien Boy" by photographer Willie Ronis
Don't most of us know this world famous photo by Willie Ronis of a Parisien boy carrying a baguette?

But who knew that Parisiens actually do walk around with a loaf of bread under their arms in broad daylight!? And look at these two sisters getting the training early.

Naturally the older sister gets to carry the bread or baguette...humph! Can you tell I'm a younger sister?

I spotted this woman coming out of the boulangerie and I started following her hoping for a shot of this strictly French phenomenon. Uh oh! She's spotted me stalking her.
Gawd, you'd think with at least 6 baguettes under her arm, she was getting in supplies for a restaurant? But this is not the case in France. It's the norm to stock up for the day.

Isn't this the typical Frenchman?
Trying to decide what wine will go best with his bread.

Here's another thing about this peculiar phenomenon...
French people are quite content to walk around with their bread PRACTICALLY NAKED! Exposed to the air, to street pollution with just a tiny paper "diaper" around the thing!!! Wa'?
I have a favorite boulangerie where I go for a wonderfully grainy, nutty baguette on rue Vavin. It has no name so don't even think of asking.
But why is it when I go in, the saleswoman, even before I open my mouth takes my baguette, neatly cuts it in half and sticks the cut ends into the bag and there were no bare bits hanging out of the bag? How did she know I was a crazy-hygenic American? It must have been the way I knotted my scarf.

Here's the end of this fab bread, which Rick says I must tear off and eat in the street. It's de riguer. I admit I first bought their bread just for this adorable bag.
Oh here's another rule of thumb in France. When eating in a restaurant or as a guest at someone's home, ALWAYS take your half-eaten bread and PLACE IT ON THE TABLE! Do not ask for a bread plate!!! When you're home alone you can put your bread on bread plate or whatever.

A PB reader told me I MUST go into this boulangerie on 64, rue Saint-Dominque 75007 and I'm so glad I did!
Big Merci!
There are perhaps 6 of these Le Moulin de la Vierge throughout Paris and they are all equally beautiful.
Did I mention that everything I tasted was absolutely DIVINE!
The French love these little worker figurines (a bit like garden gnomes...non?) still very sweet.
Here's another bread phenomenon you'll see in Paris. Not just restaurant menus are out in the street to peruse. Bread menus are there for a quick read too.
And what happens to the bread you don't carry around under your arm - it becomes delicious sandwiches like here at SECCO (formerly Poujauran - they bought all of his recipes by the way) at 18, rue Jean Nicot 75007
French babies start the training while still in their strollers!!
Don't we all want to pass as Parisiens?
Admit it.
Here are some rules (regles) to follow:
1. Get on line, any line.
2. Carry a loaf of bread under your arm, preferably naked (I mean the bread! not you).
3. Walk with a straight-legged stride.
4. Never run across the street.
NEVER! Your straight-legged stride will get you quickly and expediently across the street. Plus drivers will see your baguette like a flashing headlight.
5. NEVER wear a hat even in Artic temperatures (frequent in Paris).
6. OK You may (must) wrap 9 yards of fabric around your neck at all times, but you've heard that before a million times.
Oh and try to keep your mouth shut (the biggest give-away)

AND DON'T WEAR SNEAKERS! (no longer true.)I overheard a saleswoman saying,
"I can always tell ze Americains by their shoes"
Err...this was a repost I didn't mean to repost.
C'est la vie.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

La Rentree

It's that time of year again in France.

'La Rentrée' when everyone returns from vacance.

And the kids go back to school.

This is a big, big deal here.

Department store BHV in the Marais is back-to-school central.

It was packed on Saturday.

Did every family in Paris decide to go shopping for school supplies yesterday? Does every child have to have a Tann's schoolbag? Evidently. They've been making schoolbags since 1978. Vintage Tann's satchels go for a small fortune.

This is a famille affair.

Dad has to show up to help pick put the right notebook color.

Shopping baskets are brim full. I'm wondering if this is a whole year's school supplies?

How to choose from so many colors?

Ever wonder where the fancy kids shop, Bonpoint got it's name?

From the little award cards given the best students. Do they still give them out?

They still use little chalk boards called ardoise that's for sure.

Every window in Paris has back-to-school themes now.

You can find French vintage school labels on Etsy at La Belle Ville.

French kids clothes are darling. I wish this came in my size...

'Day Dream' sweater at BHV. I day-dreamed my way all through school.

'If Carol would only focus and stop gazing out the window' my report card said again and again. I'm still window gazing. It's work now. Still day dreaming too :)

I found this darling vintage French ABC book on Etsy for my new September Sketch Letter...

It's still in the works of course being that time of month.  A lot of French regional candy research was required for this letter. A lot of research candies have gone mysteriously missing.
I think Bear ate them...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blanche Neige

Everyone wants to know what to wear in Paris for their upcoming trip.

White white white

White cardies, white shirt, white T is forever in Paris. 'Evergreen' in fact. Aways a class act.

White T shirt tails hanging out works fine.

Upstairs at WH Smith a bevy of French girls in white tops combing the English-French books.

Did Annie Hall/Diane Keeton make the white shirt chic? Or was it Chanel? Or both? What ever Frenchies are hot to buy books with English text on one page with French on the other at WH.

I thought, "Ha!" This will be Great for my French, but all the footnotes are in French. The sales person informed me these books are for French learning English not the other way around. Never mind. I bought a book of contemporary American short stories. But if you want to know how to sound like Annie Hall or Sabrina from Breakfast at Tiffanies but in French you've come to the right place.

Back to the ever-present white T-shirt. Worn with the shortie denim jacket. Perfect.

Where to get your white T? Take a look in forever hot Colette but buy maybe back home. This T with absolutely zero on it (unless you wear it inside out so the label shows) is 155€ ouch. It has Charlotte Gainsbourg's name on it. Go figure.

A plain and simple logo T at Colette is 60€. Still ouch. 

Better bring your own Fruit of the Loom with you to Paris to be safe and not sorry.

A white sweater will do fine.

Uggs with white cuffs in August. What is there to say? Mystifying.

Vans are hot hot hot and nothing new (in Colette's vitrine) but plenty of white 

Please do not ask me where, who, what, how to get these little cute numbers with the white soles. No clue.

They could be baskets by Jeremy Scott for Adidas which probably cost an arm and a leg and would go perfectly with your Fruit of the Loom nothing T.

There's a lot of white in the new movie, Sils Maria. It takes place in the Alps.

Kristen Steward carries it in her V-neck FOTL. I fell asleep and woke up at the titles so pleeze tell me what happened at the end!

Keeping on to 173, rue Saint Honoré you'll find the perfect trés chic matching all-white china at Astier de Villatte.

White food is an essential on top of your white plates while wearing our white Ts.

It's Magnums 25th birthday this year. The white chocolate pop is actually called 'White' in the freezer case so you know white is really in. Best to bring the essential accessory with a permanent white T on, your French Bull dog, non?