Saturday, September 21, 2019

Festival de Loire d'Orleans

On Thursday morning, a day after I got back from Maine, I was at Gare de l'Est on the train to Orleans.
For the FESTIVAL DE LOIRE. The trip took just 1 hour.
We passed through Place JEAN D'ARC .
Walking through town down to the Loire river. 
And stopped inside the beautiful gothic Cathedrale Sainte Croix d'Orleans. 
Arriving at the 5-day delight of boaty and watery events for the whole family. Sea chanties, rope knots, fireworks, boat races, antique boats, Dutch making smoked herring, English jacket potatoes, Cancal oysters.
You can  spot guest mariners wearing their red neckerchiefs and black pirate hats.
Of course there were plenty of scenic rides on the boats. The French call this a 'Balades en bateaux' meaning a ride, tour, promenade (not to be confused with a romantic song in English).

A few years ago I took a 'balade' to see the famous cliffs of Étrétat, imagining it to be a gentle romantic boat ride. Instead it was a bouncing, rocking boat with no getting off till the end of the tour. Not to worry.
These are very gentle boat rides along the Loire. I wouldn't say I'm very boaty much as I love seafood and clams, but this was all around a lovely experience.
And I loved all the little flags and banners waving in the wind. Great fun to paint. Sunday the 22nd is the last day until 2020. Definitely worth a day trip if you're in Paris. Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast. If you enjoyed please share with a friend. *Get monthly subscription Paris letters, maps and watercolors in your mailbox at ETSY xxx💋Carolg and Bear 🐻in Paris🇫🇷

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Home in Paris

1st day back in Paris. What do you do? I was greeted by none other than Mona Lisa when I got out at metro St. Paul.
A look in a patisserie is always a good idea.
My remedy for all that ails you (colds and flu you can pick up on the plane) is pomegranate juice. Squeeze it yourself at any Franprix hypermarché (3,99€). They have orange juice of course (1,89€) and pink grapefruit machines too.
Take a look at the cheese display for instant Parisian gratification. OK a real fromagerie is better bien sur. Still nice to inhale.
A walk over Pont Marie.
And a look at the Seine is de riguer.
The boat symbol of Paris will greet you,
"Fluctuat nec mergitur" (tossed upon the waves but doesn't sink, how I feel at the moment) at the base of the lamp posts.
The Autumn bears are out in force.Boulanger has a new sandwich onboard. Duck sausage with violet moutarde...I had to try it. Pas mal. Happy to be home again and off to the Loire today to LAMARINE FLUVIALE! Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. I mail 📮 out Paris letters and maps subscriptions every month + watercolors from my Etsy shop. With love💋from Paris🐻🇫🇷

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bonne Maman, Maine

This is going to be short and sweet. Wifi is intermittent in my lovely, enormous room in Owl's Head, MAINE.  I've been here a week. When I arrived my host made a fatal error. They bought 5 BONNE MAMAN blackberry jam instead of hard-to-find raspberry. I took this as a sign to paint French jam instead of Maine rocks all week. Hooray.
Meanwhile I brought them 4 boxes of divine French chocolates + some bars.
I can happily recommend Pierre Marcolini (yes, he is Belgian) if you need chocolate gifts. Perfect in every way: variety, color, flavor, number, price.
My hostess in front of The Mariner's Grill in Camden.
Where I ate a single blueberry pancake chock-a-block with Maine's tiny berries + real maple syrup.
Of course I had a lobsta roll on a bun(?) and a pile of mayonnaise with some slaw included the day before.
One cannot visit Maine without going for a whole lobster at Archer's.
Oh and those rocks.
I was attending David Dewey's Fall watercolor workshop.
But mostly I was up at 3am painting jam jars. I stayed on Paris time (and got poked during class for snoozing. Zzzz)
Per usual I made a mess in my enormous bathroom with all my painting stuff. If you're into Bonne Maman there is plenty lurking in my Etsy shop. Is Lavender a flavor? It is now. Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. Paris letter and maps subscriptions + jam watercolors are in my Etsy shop. With love💋from Paris (back on Wednesday)🐻

Monday, September 09, 2019

Les Bouquinistes des quais de Paris

PBer Bonnie was surprised I had never done a map of les Bouquinistes /booksellers along the Seine(sent out last week btw).
But I only started sketching them this summer. Plus chatting with bouqiniste B.near Pont Sully (who appears on the map 5x - find her).
Call me a copycat but I bought her men's denim jacket at the monthly 1st-Sunday Vide Grenier at Jussieu last weekend (a mere 5 bucks). Most of the open air booksellers have a command of many languages.
Marquis de Ravel AKA MATHIAS even speaks Chinese. His terrific figurative sketches are on offer as well as his specialty, French history books.
He mentioned that my book readers reminded him of Le Petit Prince with their flying scarves.
Paris' bouquinistes used to line the Pont Neuf back in the 1600s.
During the French revolution when the great mansions were vandalized their libraries often ended up  on the outdoor shelves of the bouquinistes. Looking at the old photos and today, not so much as changed.
This is an element of the old Paris anyone can enjoy by simply by strolling along the quais of the Seine between 10 and 6 pm. And its free to browse. In 1992 UNESCO designated the booksellers a world heritage site. Say, "Bonjour" as you would inside any French shop before browsing or taking pictures. And buy a book bag (5€). They lead rather eclectic lives being outdoors most of the time yet are quite friendly.
Lots of fun stories to tell too. B. told me she and her friends used to walk right inside any of the big houses on the Ile Saint-Louis other side of the bridge. There were no digi-code plaques back then to deter them.
The September Paris letter went out in la poste today. Hooray🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼fingers crossed (Please Mr/Ms US Post person) may they 💌 arrive during September without a hitch 🤞🏼🙏🏻🤞🏼 Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. Paris letter and maps subscriptions + watercolors are in my Etsy shop. With love💋from Paris🐻📚

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Sennelier, Paris

On Friday I ran to art shop Sennelier for a fresh pen. A 'heritage monument' to art supplies you shouldn't miss on 3, quai de Voltaire. Bus 87 stops nearby.
It hasn't changed much since 1887.
By the way they still take a break for lunch like French country stores, so take note.
They're situated conveniently a 10-minute walk across Pont de Carrousel from the Louvre as reflected in their front windows.
Art students, busy making copies of the old masters onsite,  could race over and grab a tube of paint or stick of charcoal at the break. I used to grab M&Ms chocolate-covered peanuts at the class break but that's another story.
These numbered drawers have 'old days' written all over them. I'd love to  peek inside.
Sennelier has a terrific selection of Frenchie-looking journals for non-artists as well.
Someone asked what pen I use. Pens are a personal thing. Every time I've bought someone else's favorite pen it didn't work for me. One prefers not to think of the $$$ wasted on other people's choices...ahem. One flight up you'll find almost every pen on the planet. Test them out. 
The array of colors everywhere.
Always brighten my day.
Around the corner on rue de Saint-Péres you'll find the perfect art student outfit. And then the 95 bus will to take you back to realité.
Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. Subscription Paris letters 💌, maps and watercolors are in my Etsy shop. With love💋from Paris🐻🎨