Monday, March 31, 2008

Les Incontournables

Paris Incontournables, original watercolor
Les Incontournables of Paris are the "must sees" or not-to-be-missed monuments that hit you in face in almost any arrondissement in Paris.

L'Arc de Triomph is waiting for you in the 16th arrondissement. Rain or shine it still knocks your socks off.

 La Madeleine in the 8th, another buliding of grand scale. That's it. The scale of Paris is mostly human-sized, so these grand monuments make a big impression by comparison.

Place Vendome is an incontournable. The grandeur of it's open spaces let you experience a terrific openess suddenly.

Notre Dame - a must. I find myself walking by most days.

There are many others. Paris kindly accomodates you with these historic plaques - good way to work on your French while promenading.

The Eiffel Tower seen from Place de Concord speaks for itself. Is there any other city so loaded with monuments or has quite this effect on us?
Of course can we ever forget the ALMIGHTY Macaron monument!
I saw this huge poster hanging in a bio marche.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Marie-Antoinette exhibit

Marie-Antoinette Rose, watercolor,
Sometimes you take a step in one direction and it leads you to all sorts of unexpected places you never dreamed of.
I went to see the Marie-Antoinette exhibit at the Grand Palais last week. I'd learned to love the movie after watching it in French, so visiting the exhibit was a must.
The museum gift shop was full of roses pink roses.
  Pink, pink, pink
More pinkerie with a touch of raspberry.
Inside the exhibit there was a wall of hairstyle prints - more roses here too.
And Marie-Antoinette's exquisite china - with roses bien sur.
 On Easter Monday I visited the Louvre, and was more excited by Bernardaud's window display of special edition "Marie-Antoinette" china.
And the silk roses were to die for. Perfect for painting still lifes. But where to find them!!! A friend sent me to the wholesale hat district in the Marais = zero, nada, no silk roses. Finally I just walked into Bernardaud and asked them. So simple and they could not have been more kind. They got on the phone et voila! Their silk roses were from SIA and quite close by.
I went to 3/5 boulevard Malesherbes, 75008 near the Madeleine. LOOK Right in the window = my roses!
Mission accomplished.
SIA is a chain of home shops founded by Sonja Ingegerd Andersson in 1963 in Sweden. Now their main offices are in France.YUM and not just roses, but stunning vases and china and furniture... But the silk flowers are sensational - almost more beautiful than real flowers... And they have scented versions if you are so inclined.. Thank you SIAThank you Bernardaud

And most of all Merci, Marie-Antoinette!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dans La Rue

Kathleen wrote to me...I sneak onto your site and dream of being on the streets of Paris. I try to imagine how delicious the sweets must taste and what it would be like to spend the afternoon writing letters or in my journal at an outdoor cafe. This is the Paris en Colours poster in the street for the Hotel de Ville exhibit. 
Is there anything more fun in Paris than watching people in the street? And it's free.
The French do it all the time. They even have their seats set up in the windows, like here at Fauchon, so they don't miss a trick. I followed their example.
I love this dog walker's leopard shoes...
The pompiers (fireman) are just practicing here on rue Madame so M. told me, when I excitedly showed her this shot...
I still can't get over how French people blatently walk around eating their lunch in the street. Has the sandwich replaced the cigarette?

La Maison du Chocolat was selling their very pricy Easter eggs in the street on Saturday, since the shop was jammed.
Scooters are EVERYWHERE in Paris.

Nice socks!

The "layered" look - several shirts hanging out under the jacket...

The scarf as cape?

The French for some unknown reason refuse to wear hats, no matter how cold it is.

Now this macaron cart should be out in the street, instead of at the Marie-Antoinette exhibit at the Grand Palais.

How nice to have a macaron to munch on discretely, while people watching in the street.

Ooops! These people caught me watching

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Animal Farm

Like Radio City's Rockettes, pastel chocolate bunnies do their kick and lineup act.These yellow duckies will not float in your bathtub! White chocolate not rubber. Get out the knife and go to town.

Patrick Roger's sophisticated chocolate hedgehog sits in the window on bd St.-Germain.This giant chocolate rabbit is guarding an old fashioned boulangerie in the 18th.Jean-Paul Hevin puts everything except the kitchen sink into this Easter sculpture! All edible too. Not edible - a tiny Limoge bunnie..Edible!Unlike George Orwell's ANIMAL FARM, these animals play well together. Could only the French dream up this chocolate version of a mouse/sourci? There has to be a bear in this Noah's Ark of Easter animals.
How 'bout having a ribbon tied completely around yourself?
Dalloyau's big rabbit. What's inside? Little eggs?Rabbits inhabit the Metro too.. At first I couldn't find any chocolate frogs...But low and behold. Frog and rabbit went ahunting and rabbit got the carrot!