Friday, May 31, 2013

L'Art du Jardin

If you're in Paris don't miss the spectacular L'Art du Jardin at the Grand Palais until 3 June. Words can not describe the beauty or creativity. C'est comme ca.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

La Pomme de ma Tante

Apples today and jardins tomorrow...I need to paint a flower Ooopla.
We went to the Apple lady in the marché before getting lost on the way to Versailles yesterday.
What better snack to take than apples and handmade apple jus pur?
And everything comes from her farm in the Loire Valley.
She's really quite unique in the market with an extensive variety of apples
She has many regular customers, quite loyal too.
How else could she have such a big table? Comparable in size to the fishmongers.
I've always been a little hesitant to try her apples being still loyal to New York State apples myself...
But I gotta admit they are darn good. Some times you get the crazy idea that there are no other apples except New York State apples. It comes with the territory. Are you loyal to your state's apples?
This morning I ran a little test to see if I could bring home a chausson au pomme after the pool from boulangerie Pichard.
My loyalty to their apple 'danishes' knows no bounds. It rarely lasts more that a few feet from the bakery.
I thought maybe I'd paint it and popped it into my swim bag...
Remember the 'Marshmallow Test'?
5-year old kids were left alone for 15 minutes with a marshmallow and told they would get a second marshmallow if they didn't eat it? I know I would have flunked within seconds (a sure sign of one's future success if you could wait out the 15 minutes ahem).Not only did I pass with flying colors but I only ate the apple compote inside! Wonder if it's too late to pass the marshmallow test at this stage in the game..?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Versailles Greens

I went to Versailles today with Carolyn and Vanessa. The weather was most obliging wth a bit of sunshine.
You know you're on the right RER train (C) by the 18th century decor, but it's a good idea to also be headed the right direction. We were not. The signs can be confusing...nevermind. Just get off and change tracks.
The fountains are on during the weekends so you might wish to wait.
I decided to just do the gardens at Versailles this time, with all the hints of Spring in Paris. Immersion in greenery and Mother Nature was quite appealing.
I ended up riding around on the little train all over the grounds without ever getting off. My plans to paint onsite a la Eugene Boudin were squashed by a lack of benches and maybe a touch of Spring fever inertia.
It may be too early for the flowers but the greenery is sumptuous.
I highly recommend reading Heather Stimmler's Secrets of Paris PDF on Versailles before you go. All the details are nailed. Definitely buy your entry tickets online before you go and a round trip RER ticket as well. You'll still have to go through a long line to have your bag checked before entering the buildings (not the gardens). Bring a book! Heather's monthly newsletter is full of treasures. Well worth subscribing. I wouldn't miss it.
I would also suggest you take lunch so you won't have to wait on more long lines or search for a place to eat. We picked up some goodies in the marche which proved a blessing.
There may not be many flowers yet but there are plenty of sheep and joggers.
The town of Versailles is charming and worth a promenade.
Look for the Cours de Scents - an elegant gathering of shops just outside the perimeter of Versailles including Guerlain and Diptych.
Lenotre has much needed ice cream cones after your jaunt through Versailles...
The gent behind the counter saw me eying the macarons and offered me one gratis! Is it that obvious that I'm a devoted macaron fan. This delicate creation is from their Printemps/Spring collection - almond with a dash of jasmine inside.
I passed a small courtyard and thought I better do a 'Cara Black' and waltz right in. An unlikely place for a murder but very pretty instead.
More gardens coming tomorrow with the l'Art du Jardin opening tomorrow at the Grand Palais. Get your shovels out and start planting PBers!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Red Tuesday

On grey, drizzly days like today there must be a general consensus amongst Parisians to throw on a touch of red.
Sit down in your reddest chair and prepare to have your spirits lifted. Isn't that what red does?
School kids are big proponents of the color red. I shot all these on the way home from the pool this morning. Fortunately my pool bag is red so I blend in...
The pool is near several grade schools. I pass lots of red riding hoods.
Red ridding hoodism starts around the same time as immersion into pastry shops = early indoctrination.
Red jeans work for boys.
And girls.
Vichy red checks are an everyday occurrence in Paris. They do not just appear when it clouds over nor do they have any political significance for those concerned.
Which Pantone red is preferred in Paris I can't tell you. Just bring something RED when you visit.
Red tartes are pretty common and also not weather-related. But it doesn't hurt having a quick browse of a red desserts in patisserie vitrines when it's overcast. You won't be disappointed.
I would not suggest putting your red tarte inside your red satchel even if they do match.
Remember I told you to pick up the daily free news at the Metro? Today's 20 Minutes announced that since Monday Café de la Paix is having a special petit dejeuner prix choc promotion for charity. Just 5 euros for a hot drink, croissant + OJ until 7 June. The Café de la Paix will match it in a donation. Look for those red news stands.
Have a cheery RED day PBers!