Friday, September 30, 2011

Moi, Tourist

Paris Metro Update: iPod Touch About the only thing I can work on the iTouch is MYFISH 3DParis Metro Everything else is a washout.
Paris Metro The how-to book I bought is too heavy, too long.
Paris Metro I'm sending it back and getting the new Kindle Fire.
Paris Metro The Louvre app works but do I need it?
Paris Metro I thought those Paris apps would really help me get Metro savvy.
Paris Metro But let's face. I eat off Metro place maps (from La Vaissellerie)
Paris Metro Rick Tulka's wife even gave me Paris Metro eyeglass cleaning cloth
Paris Metro My Paris Metro dish towel may win the day.
Paris MetroCan you see me.
Paris Metro Holding up this in a rush hour Metro?
Paris Metro I love my NY MTA subway shower curtain but the French don't use shower curtains - ca n'existe pas en Paris
Paris Metro I can pick up a London Underground shower curtain.
Paris Metro At Stanfords bookstore on Long Acre Street...
Paris Metro With maps like this on London streets who needs apps?
Paris Metro Here's my own app-file of places to visit in Paris organized by arrondissement.
I'm getting these Underground flip flops at Stanfords and the Mona Lisa flip flops in the Louvre gift shop (to wear in New York only)
BON WEEKEND Fellow Tourists!
Paris Metro

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What 2 Eat in London?

I'll have four days in London during my Paris trip... What to eat? Starting the day with a proper English breakfast sets you up perfectly. You could almost eat nothing until tea time... I love the food served in the streets in London... All you need is a 'fiver' and you can eat superbly at Covent Garden...
Or Borough Market...
The classic fish n' chips - a must-do this trip
I've been going to Food For Thought for years - it offers balance to...
 Ottolenghi's divine passion fruit meringue tart.
However did I miss Ottolenghi's Lemon tart? This oversight must be remedied a toute a suite.
Stopping in at Sketch Tea Parlor is another repeat not-to-be-missed - perhaps the best tea salon in the world!
Faux cakes at Liberty's plus a stop at Fortnum & Mason are essential browsing.

Finally Gelato at Selfridges. Where should I eat during my 4 days in London pray tell.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Le Bon Gout

I got French lecons on le bon gout/good taste last weekend. For example in Paris NEVER wear flipflops. They're for la plage/beach only I was told. Repetto ballerinas are always perfect.
Les running shoes?
Non non non jamais!
I was sitting in front of Sant Ambroeus eating a gelato - a perfect shoe viewing spot.
Caroline Kennedy waltzed in wearing these silver ballerinas.
A Parisienne wearing Italian metalic sandals..
My new Converse with sparkly paillettes - anything shiny is hot hot hot right now in Paris Fr Girl says.
Could you call these 'Marie-Antoinette' flipflops?
Trying to keep up with Fr girl's good taste I got $$$ Fr beurre.

But she wanted Philly Cream cheese.

On her Murray's Bagel.
Other essential New York food - Magnolia's chocolate cupcake with (pink) vanilla icing.
It's the unique way they swirl on the icing that makes them superior I informed. I ate one last night. Never again. I downed a sesame bagel slathered with cream cheese while watching Seinfeld reruns too. Monkey see - monkey do.
I struck out there too. Just give me a toasted marshmallow.
We're all sheep aren't we when it comes to doing the right thing.
When in Rome. I'm not throwing out my flipflops anytime soon, but I won't take them to Paris.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Master Painters of India and Adventures in India

Yesterday was preview day at the Met The Mets new Indian Painting exhibit opens tomorrow.
200 examples of exquisite small qouache paintings.And not to be missed!
You want to dress 'Indian' - magnifying glasses are provided.
The only other place you'll see this exhibit is Zurich - it was a 2 year collaborative effort. Examples range from worldwide collections including the Queen and Windsor Castle. A perfect portrait of Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal painted on horseback.
An unfinished miniature reveals the stages of creation.

A film shows how.Many watercolor papers are still made in India.
The original pigments used, many saved in clamshells.

I spent time in India in the fashion biz and fell in love with miniatures - Kumar Gallery let me sit in a back room and go through stacks of painted papers - this is my mini collection.
I came home, immersed myself in gouache and tiny brushes. Portrait of my niece, cookbook author, Louisa Shafi.
In '97 I went back to Northern India with my sister.
We stayed at the fabulous Jagat Niwas Palace hotel in Udaipur owned by the Maharana Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar. A grand soiree was held in celebration of the new moon. Everyone dressed in white. The menu was all-white food. 
The Maharana and I chatted about miniatures. He invited me to view his private collection after the soiree. His paintings were protected by two stuffed tigers emerging from either side of the gallery walls.
'You must go past the tigers,' he commanded.
He served me Indian-made Champagne and showed me his portrait collection.
The clock struck midnight.
'I have to go.' I said.
'Ah, you are afraid of me,'
'YES' and I ran out the door.
I still get invitations to the annual awards ceremony in March from the kind Maharana.
Lovely Indian treasures await you in the Met gift shop.

And a pistachio gelato at Sant Ambroeus.