Sunday, June 13, 2021

Napoleon Paris Map, Les Drapeaux de France


Drum roll please. The Napoléon Paris map is done and going out Monday. On Friday I was supposed to go on a presse trip to the chateau at Auver-sur-oise, but dyslexia and karmic destiny stepped in again, to mess with my plans. After searching for #1 Blvd. Gouvion St. Cyr instead of #81😳 I realized my error, but the bus was gone. What to do with my day? Go to Giverny? Time was too tight for the train. Go to Champs-Elysées and browse Galleries Lafayette? 

On the metro I decided on Palais Royale. I haven't been in a year. And didn’t Napoléon dine at Le Grand Vefour with Josephine on the edge of the park. Research!

Heading into the park, I spotted a toy shop to the right of the arch, to the left of famous Cafe Nemours.
Le Drapeaux des France (also known as Boutique Noxa) is at #1 (quelle coincidence!) Place de Colette, 75001.

Inside a plethora of Napoleonic tin figurines 👏 Perfect for map research. And who doesn’t love tiny things?

Napoléon on horseback, wearing as always on campaign, his grey greatcoat fashion houses still copy. One of his 21 nicknames was ‘Redingote Grise’.

An intimate L-shaped shop, first opened in 1949, though it feels more like 1849. A lovely step back in time. 

If you look up you’ll see the original owner’s handy work who specialized in tin flags/drapeaux of all countries.

The shop owner, Benjamin Zerbib, explained how tin figures are made (all over Europe) by pouring tin onto stone molds. A single figure can have 8 arms later to be cut off. Many of the figures are painted onsite. They also resell collections.

And it is not just for tin soldiers collectors. If you love Alice or Tin Tin or The Tour de France, Boutique Noxa have it. Plus lovely little metal-framed glass boxes to hold your treasures and keep them safe from babies and hungry hounds.

Did you know Bonaparte commissioned 15 fountains in 1806 so citizens could have free, clean water? He also created canals Saint Jean and Orque. It’s embarrassing to admit I’m a blank slate 🤔as far as Napoléon goes. You can’t love ❤️France without acquainting yourself with his story. I’ve been in deep immersion since the exhibition. 

‘Boney’(his British nickname) was not just about 60 battles won. Though most of the Paris’ monuments we take so for granted as an integral part of the city (Arc de Triomphe, Place Vendome, la Madeleine) were created to commemorate those soldiers fallen in various battles. Who knew? My friend Louise in NYC even knew he invented folding camping furniture😳 

The story is told in detail on the grilles of la Madeleine how he beautified Paris. 

The Napoléon map awaits you on Etsy unless you’re a Paris map subscriber. Look! The Luxembourg chairs are at Palais Royale and a few are left in my shop. 
❤️🐻💋🐝BON DIMANCHE dear PBers🐝💋🐻❤️

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Sunday in the Park with Fermob


Alison of Glasgow asked, “Could you please do more maps with Luxembourg garden chairs besides Paris Parcs map? Tried to take one home last visit but they are too heavy for the plane”. I could have told her to take the Eurostar instead but thought better of it.

Next day as I went to buy more letter paper..voila. The Fermob shop was next door and Alison’s chair was in the window. My life is one karmic destiny after another.

 I went inside. They could not have been nicer. Stores the world over are selling Luxembourg garden chairs fortunately. 

Unfortunately they cost a pretty penny. You will find the mini version in most Paris museum gift shops to get an idea. Originally created by the Ateliers de la Ville in 1923. In 2000 the bidding was opened to update the chair. Fermob won and worked with designer Frederic Sophia to create a more ergonomic garden chair. The aluminum chair now comes in 24 colors and anyone can own it. So its no longer an exclusive with Paris parcs. 

This year Fermob added the divine color pale vert opaline, a seafoamy green to their repertoire.

Just next door is a tiny Japanese tea shop. The walls are ‘vert opaline’. 

Their celadonware would go well with the Luxumbourg. 

The florist down the street had the perfect pale green thistles. 

This has been my week of vert opaline. Pierre Hermé, master pâtissier and master of color has olive oil/vanille macaron to go with your chair Alison. 

Galeries Lafayette Gourmand had windows of Apéro accessories and pinky Rosé, plus one pale green bag as a color compliment.

The new  commemorative Napoléon stamp just out, is loaded with a variety of muted pale greens. Since quite a few of you now own the Napoléon letter, if you want to mention his name over here, please remember there is an accented É. I’ve been an idiot asking for Na-POL-lee-on books and getting strange looks. Thanks to chocolatier Vlady, it should be: Nap-po-LAY-on or Nap-POL-Lay-on or... Easier to refer to him as ‘Bone-a-par. 

Thanks to Glaswegian Alison I painted a bunch of the chairs...not a piece of cake but an interesting challenge none the less. Do you dream of visiting jardin du Luxembourg again soon?🐝💋🐻☺️

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Cafe City


Old habits die hard they say. Parisians were out in droves on Sunday eating, drinking, baking in the sun, whatev.  I finally got to the pool🏊‍♀️

Post-pool I went immediately for an ice cream naturally. Grom was nearbyish. While I was thinking ice cream, toute Paris was thinking ‘Cafes’. It was positively buzzing. And not with Napoleonic bees. 

I wanted to tell people “It is not summer yet! Stop this nonsense with the sandals, the off the shoulder sun dresses, the floral prints!” 

No one is listening. People simply want to be outdoors, eating and drinking anything and wearing as little as possible. They don’t care. 

They seem to be joyously happy. You can’t complain about that☺️ 

Paris has become wildly innovative creating outdoor cafes. One near La Poste put an extended platform beside a church across the street. There appear to no limits what you can do. I love the seafood resto near my pool who put up the blue picket fence with beach signs. 

Fou de Patisserie
 has a darling terrasse they put in the street. 

I was busy inside doing research. I got the framboise croissant. 

Parisians ❤️ their Apéro Spritzes on every table.  

If you’re wondering what to wear when you come over you can’t go wrong with anything animal prints.

Leopard is preferred. Head-to-toe is fine.

Did you know Napoleon had a leopard tapis/carpet under is his camp bed on the battlefields? Its true. The man loved luxury among many other things. For a more detailed review of the Napoleon Expo please read Laure’s exhibition review. She’s French and grew up learning all the pertinent facts.

Bear is very thrilled with the fuss being made of Napoleon. There are still some Boney letters in my shop. You would think it was Bastille day around here. 
The ‘landscape of the day’ has to be an abandoned cafe table. 🐻🐝🥐☕️💋

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Napoleon Expo at La Villette, Napoleon Letter

 0n Monday I was privileged to see the new Napoleon expo at La Villette. Ideally Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto should be playing in the background as you read this post. 

It should be blasting at the Napoleon expo as well in my opinion...

It is a very in depth, interactive exhibition celebrating all the events of his life, on the 200 anniversary of his death, May 5, 1821. 

I wish I’d known more about Boney before visiting, but now I can’t stop reading.

Did you know roasted chicken was his favorite food. Rotisserie spits were turning 24/7 in the Palace. And he was a fast eater. He believed one should not spend more than 10-15 minutes on a meal! Well he was Corsican...

But I digress. If you are planning on coming to Paris or even if you’re not certain, get your tickets now. You don’t want to miss out. 

I must add the huge gift shop will fill all your needs for Xmas, anniversaries, birthdays etc. except for sending Paris Letters of course...
I was swept up in the Napoleon obsession immediately. To hell with my strawberry❤️ fixation.

The May Letter is my interpretation and was inspired by sending Poppy Joy the Marie-Antoinette letter. It is certainement the perfect Father’s Day gift for June 20th non?☺️

It was crystal clear he had to dump 
Josephine. All these years feeling sympathy for her. The man needed issue, offspring, babies, heirs. His dynasty needed to continue for Gawds sake.  And no way was Josephine going to do it for him. He was practical above all. Well in some things anyway ☺️ 

Bonnie tells me he did not cross the Alps on a bucking stallion as Jacques-Louis David gloriously painted him. It actually was on a donkey of all things. The path was twisty-turny don’t you know. By the way don’t miss David’s story on Wikipedia. His life was just as convoluted and fascinating as Napoleon’s. He had friends in high places, many despicable like Robespierre and Murat. He would sure have been guillotined too , save for a convenient tummy ache.

There are many, many Napoleonic battle videos on youtube if you’re so inclined in English. Or in French, more romantic videos to watch. The battles are for techie nerds in my opinion. Lots of graphs and numbers..little drama or romance.

There was much discussion whether the Paris letter border should be Bees (Napoleonic 🐝symbol got the most votes). Or the Roman Laurel leaf? Among Napoleon’s many delusions, he saw himself as Emperor of Rome, crowning himself with a golden laurel wreath and adapting many neoclassical details to his regime.

Even if you’re father/husband does not have a Napoleonic Complex he should love❤️ the new Paris letter. If you write PBER in the ‘notes to seller’ at checkout a mini Legion d’honneur watercolor will be added for as long as they last (50+).
Bon Dimanche PBers💋🐻🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝