Thursday, October 22, 2020

Elaine Sciolino’s, The Seine, the River that made Paris


I visited Paris many times before moving here, but the Seine was not on my to-do list. 

I’d rush around from one museum, restaurant, monument to another, checking them off as I went. 

Not till I moved next to the Seine 6 years ago did I come to see what an integral part it plays in Parisians’ lives. Its the lifeblood of the city. 

Parisians sit in cafes and watch the world go by. And they sit along the Seine and do the same thing. 

Is it because its so accessible? Walking over a bridge on the Seine takes a few minutes unlike crossing the Thames of London. 

The banks/les Berges along the Seine are a designated historic monument and car-free. Life is teaming along the Seine year-round but especially in Spring, Summer,Fall. As goal-oriented tourists often we miss out. Are we like Emily in Paris, who can’t slow down, stop working or talking and just chill? 

That’s why you need to read Elaine Sciolino’s book, The Seine The river that made Paris  now out in paperback. Better yet, let Elaine tell her stories out loud on the audio version. She has so many wondrous stories to tell. 

Among them how Paris fireman pumped water from the Seine to put out burning Notre Dame. 

Did you know there used to be swim clubs ๐ŸŠ‍♀️ along the Seine. Now there are Salsa clubs. Why didn't I move here 30 years ago? I created a map and bookplate for Elaine’s book tour last year, but its taken me awhile to figure out what my own relationship is to the Seine. I’m still working on it.

 I do know, after 6 years of living together, I never take a route home that isn’t beside her, crossing over 1 or 2 bridges on the way. You will definitely enjoy The Seine. Happy dreams of Paris PBers ❤️๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿป

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Bear goes to le Cafe Marly


On Wednesday Bear decided to go to le Cafรฉ Marly for breakfast at the Louvre. 

Enter the Louvre at 93 rue de Rivoli. 

Go straight through the tunnel towards the pyramid. 

Then sharp right to the arcade for Le Cafรฉ. This was my first time. It has a swanky reputation. 

Breakfast is def less intimidating everywhere in Paris. A good one to try is Angelina. Empty and no lines. Bear ordered ‘le Tradition’. 

Your basic cuppa + juice + viennoisseries + jam. If you want water, ask for it. 

And a straw to drink the OJ. Protect that enamel! All for 19€.

 Remember nice views costs. And yes I brought the jam home.

And sit in the exterior section but keep your coat on. Its chilly. 

There are some new Chanel watercolors in my Etsy Shop. Do have a look. Stay safe dear PBers ❤️๐Ÿป It will be curfew time for Bear soon. Zzzzzzzz

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Bear in Paris, the Paris Boulangerie Map


Bear๐Ÿป is as addicted to 
Emily in Paris as the rest of us. He insisted we get a chocolatine/pain au chocolat at Em’s fav Boulangerie Moderne. 

Bear is watching EIP in French with Eng subtitles. 

His fav chocolatines come from Boulanger de la Tour on the latest Paris Map

Mary already got her map.

Also on the map is where to get a chocolate pavรฉ, my fav viennoisserie. 

Someone asked what a sacristan was. Voila. Go to Hurรฉ on the map or go to Arles. 

Most boulangeries  conveniently carry jams/ confitures. 

Btw a pronunciation tip from The Perfect French with Dylane - do not say boul-lang-er-ree. Instead say boul-lange-ree. 

Keep an eye out for pretty glass paintings outside. Eric Kayser has them on rue Monge. 

This year they won best boulangerie in Paris. 

Many Saint-Germain bakeries on the map are prize winners in the annual competitions for best baguette, best croissant etc.

Look for the wreath in the window. Emily’s boulangerie has a wreath too ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ Stay Safe PBers ๐Ÿป❤️

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Looking for the Chanel Jacket

Last Tuesday’s  Chanel show at Grand Palais was the end of Fashion Week. Even with less fashion editors traveling, many of the faithful showed up.  

I kept my eyes peeled for an 
authentic Chanel jacket. Would I be able to identify a real one vs. a copy?
So many variations on a theme.

Did you know 
Chanel got her cardigan idea from an Austrian menswear Loden  jacket? Its true. 

This one looks home-made. It doesn’t hang right.

There should be a little gold chain in the jacket’s hem. There are a gazillion 

DYI youtube videos.

I once visited Hawick (pronounced Hoyk) in Scotland for Christmas where Chanel Tweeds were once woven. That’s the closest I’ve come to a Chanel jacket. Plus gawping at the bi-annual Chanel shows. 

This one seems right. I like the simplicity of the collar-less look.
A fun Chanel printed leather jacket in name only.
I love this witty
Karl’ bag with Coco’s Ritz suite address on it.

You can see the latest Spring/Summer 2021 show 

here. Lots of bright pink and bathrobe styling.

The ultra simple decor - giant Chanel letters like HOLLYWOOD. I miss Lagerfeld’s wild fantasy sets... 
Grand Palais is right by the Pont Alexandre III bridge. What a dramatic setting. Should I map this? 

I’ve been imagining a real Chanel jacket draped over an Empire chair...easy to do with watercolors. Its in my etsy shop if you’d like to have your own Chanel jacket. Bonne Week-End dear PBers Keep dreaming of Paris❤️๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿป

Sunday, October 04, 2020

‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto’ Palais Galliera


The Palais Galliera has reopened after a 2 years renovation with a retrospective of 350 pieces by Gabrielle Chanel. A big fan of Karl Lagerfeld, her successor, I was surprised by the elegant simplicity of her creations. Worlds away from his fanciful, witty clothes. 

Colette said,”Chanel works with her 10 fingers, her nails, her palm...right on the garment...pins and scissors strewn about, while a misty white creation with long pleats comes to life...” 

The 20’s - 30’s dresses, cut on the bias, are made of silken jersey fabrics. They follow a women’s form in the most graceful manner.  Does it takes a woman to truly understand a woman’s form? 

Her color palette is austere, limited to black, white, beige, pale pink with a dash of red. The exhibits in the new galleries downstairs have a tunnel-like feeling with long glass display cases on one wall. 

This black velvet school girl-like jacket with big bow is perhaps reminiscent of Chanel’s childhood in an orphanage where she first learned to sew.

The narrow galleries downstairs open into a big rectangular room full of sumptuous (fake) jewels.

Many designed with a Byzantine theme like the Maltese Cross made in collaboration with Count  Fulco di Verdura  Her accessories are iconic and worn world-wide.

Chanel made her comeback with her classic cardigan-style suit in 1954. The complex cut is made with multiple panels so it can be enlarged or made smaller if required. The skirt has 6 panels instead of two, for ease of movement.
Everything Chanel designed was to make women’s life simpler, more comfortable.  From the start of her career, she adopted men’s fabrics like jerseys and Scottish tweeds, men’s tailoring and styling from her lover, the Duke of Westminster to achieve this result.

She used them to liberate women from constricting corsets in the 20’s or the pinched-in waistlines of the Dior New Look’s in the 50’s, so women could move as freely as men when walking or riding.

                                            From Karl Lagerfeld’s Grand Palais fashion show, Grand Palais

The Chanel jacket is still sought after, collected and treasured by women today.

Her iconic 2-toned shoes were designed to make women’s legs look longer. 

I couldn’t resist capturing her silhouette by Man Ray in 
watercolor. The Palais Galliera exhibit is on till March 13, 2021. May the world be a safer place by then ๐Ÿ™❤️