Friday, June 29, 2012

Forever Paris, Le Butte aux Caille, 13th arron.

 Heading off to places no one much goes to in Paris can be a trip.

 The Butte aux Cailles in the 13th arrondissement is one of those places. More a hidden village than a touristic haunt, it's a step back in  time like Woody's Midnight In Paris.

 The buildings are small. The architecture idiosyncratic. The cobblestone streets narrow and quirky.

 Paris doesn't get more villagey than this. I'm a fan of the 13th's big chlorine-free pool.

 Otherwise I might have missed this adventure to the hinterlands.

 After a swim nothing is bettter than a light lunch at L'Oisive The 5 minutes away.
 The food is delicious.

 Ex-pat owner Aimee (lurking behind her home-made cakes) started this cafe on her own and it's a delight.

 Walls of yellow tea canisters are the perfect decor.

 A wall full of colorful yarns is for the kniters who frequent L'Oisive The.

 While parents knit and chat, les enfants play quietly on the floor and crayon. The atmosphere could not be more homey and friendly.
 Parisian Ines de la Fressange has chosen the Butte aux Cailles to stroll around this month, offering much insider info on charming shops I missed. Take a look and consider.
 The 'more' includes:
Edith Piaf, Charles de Gaulle, Josephine Baker, Auguste Rodin, Cartier-Bresson, George Sand, Napoleon, Balzac, Simone de Beauvoir, Victor Hugo, Marie Antoinette (with spin out at Versailles), YSL, Henry Miller and Audrey Hepburn(she loved Angelina).
 And our fabulous Julia Child (rue Cler was her shopping street)!
Could you ask for anything more?
It's a mostly black and white book so perfect for your Kindle to have handy as you promenade around Paree.
Get out and walk this weekend.
Pourquoi pas?
Bon Weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

When Wanderers Cease to Roam

 I nabbed this cat (one of nine) because it's near 90 degrees here in New York and I'd like to be padding through the snow rather than hugging the AC..
 And I wanted to share with you her first book,
 When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put.
In her own words:
It took me a long time — 52 years — to finally get down to doing the work that I think I was meant to do (this illustrated autobiography thing that I do to communicate my peculiar joie de vivre) and I thank my lucky stars that I finally figured it out. Yes, I wish I’d figured it out sooner, and not wasted so much time doing work I so dearly loathed, but you know how the fate thing works: In Its Own Sweet Time.

 Swift has led an nomadic life. After living in 23 different places in 20 years, she decided to stay put in a small village on Long Island Sound. Her first book is a staying-put journal/sketchbook of ovservations in her vicinity and from memories. Wanderers is organized in a 12-month seasonal format.
 She is particular focused on weather and has attempted to paint and describe it in all it's ramifications like this snow flake 'chart'.
This is a sampler of snow.
This is what I did when I had to paint some snow pictures for my December chapter, and I had no real idea how to paint snow. I did what a good embroiderer does, when she has to learn a new stitch. I made a sampler.

 Or this March chart on dirt and mud.
 When Vivian she looked around my studio walls and suggested I paint pages of cups,
'Put a cup here and another cup there on the page!' she intoned.
You will never want for teacups in the Wanderers travel journal. March is the Tea time month by the way. Who knew?
 There are pages from many jaunts around the world - I have yet to visit Ireland I'm embarrassed to say...
 Here she explains about laying out her embroidered illustrations. An orderly person tries to influence a disorderly person...
 There are many cats (and birds) in Swift's book but no dogs to speak of...

 There are loads of travel tips both whimsical and practical in Where Wanderers Roam . I'm packing them into my head so this upcoming trip departure will be less traumatic hopefully...
A tremendously fun book even if you prefer to do your traveling in an armchair. Amazon has marked it down ridiculously in my opinion so do take a look.
Have you too been listening to the homages for darling Nora Ephron, who we lost on Tuesday way to soon. For me she epidomized everything good about New York - witty, sharp, incisive, positive, open-hearted.
I love this quote of hers:
They write books about success through failure and the power of failure. Failure, they say, is a growth experience. You learn from failure. I wish that were true. It seems to me that the main thing you learn from a failure is that it's entirely possible you will have another failure."
That's not to say one should just give up when things don't work out.
"My religion is 'Get over it,'" says Ephron. "And I was raised in that religion. That was the religion of my home — my mother saying, 'Everything is copy; everything is material; someday you will think this is funny.' My parents never said, 'Oh you poor thing.' It was work through it, get to the other side, turn it into something. And it worked with me."
We will miss you Nora.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rose Petals and Saffron

 Last week I took a Persian cooking class. Rose petals were on the menu.
 My 1st encounter with rose petals was at Au Nom de la Rose. I went whole hog buying up the shop - they're so pretty to paint. But eating them wasn't in my plan.
 Rose petals were a savoury condiment in the class. The tiny rose buds are in fact more flavorful.
 After class I searched for my bottle of Fauchon rose buds. They're from Iran.
 More exotic class ingredients - sumac, pomegranate syrup, Basmati rice, Fava beans, rose petals, dried spearmint (more flavorful than fresh, believe it or not, when you rub it between your hands).
 Ingredients to make Persian eggplant-tomato stew - Bademjan.
 Bademjan in process. I was ready to stop there and wolf it down - the aromas were sensational.
 Slicing up a slew of leeks with the best of them
 The fruits of our labors - a rhubarb spritzer on the left and Shirazi salad in the center - the best summer salad on the planet IMHO.
  And let's not forget dessert. Saffron yogart ice cream sandwiches to die for
 Bon Appetite!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Amuzilo 34 rue Dauphine 75006

#161 Pierre Herme Ispahan pinkerie PINK PINK PINK.
It can't hurt?
Pictures from a stroll down rue Dauphine in the 6th arrondissement.  Full of pinkness like these giant pink meringues. Or a pink wedding cake. From Amuzilo, 34 rue Dauphine, a kid's toy shop with mostly pink things. Boys, go somewhere else! Pink twirling silliness.
Silly dogs in pink chapeau..
From the Salon du Chocolat, piles of pink nougat - framboise or fraise? Doesn't anyone need pink ink/l'encre rose?
For grownups on 26, rue Vavin in the 7th - Baby pink cashmeres from Eric Bompard - miam
Why can't grownups have bracelets like this?
Or pink purses like this?
All from Amuzilo, Jouets d'enfant au ♥ de Paris
Well at least we can have baby pink macaron.
Well we could if we're in Paris!