Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Createur de Reves

                              Wooden Duck watercolor on Etsy
Sometimes one of the hardest things to do in Paris is simply open a door & walk inside. But magic waits behind those doors, so why not?

I hesitated entering CREATEURS DE REVES (dream makers) a wonderful hole-in-the-wall wooden toy shop at 9 rue Beautreillis 75004. The Gilets Jaunes marched down lower rue de Rivoli Saturday forcing Monoprix to show us out the back door. Lost I turned left and fell into a charming treasure chest.

A very petit Madame Glaser has run the shop for 50 years carrying on her father's passion for witty wooden toys. This sailboat mobile lulls babies to sleep. I could stay awake watching it spin.

She hand-paints and makes wooden top amidst the clutter of equipment

Madame also makes copper jewelry Using Notre Dame's rose window motif.

I fell hard for the mushroom-shaped nutcracker(12€). Perfect to open the Grenoble walnuts I got from Monop (3€ a pound). Madame said, "Très bien pour la santé. I eat them everyday". Me too! Do get some French walnuts next time you visit Paris. Eating 5-8 a day offers many benefits like omega-3s, zinc, arginine. And open as many doors as possible in Paris! Easy peasy to make this savory winter salad of roquefort, walnuts, sliced apple and arrugala + balsamic vinagrette. The JANUARY WATERCOLOR SALE ENDS SOON. Run, don't walk to Etsy XXX 🐻from Paris ❤️

Friday, January 25, 2019

Oignon soupe at Pom'Cannelle

This post should be called, 'Ode to Paris Bistro water glass'. I could draw them all day long.

My obsession goes way back. I had to buy a dozen (FYI you cannot buy less from a restaurant supply house). I gave them away to the hotel staff, cleaners etc. When I arrived  back home I tripped on the front step breaking one of my precious pair of Paris bistro glasses. C'est la vie.

Yesterday while noodling around Instagram I got the brill idea to eat at a small local restaurant a block away. 
If you've visited Ile Saint Louis you probably waltzed right by POM'CANNELLE on rue des Deux Ponts. I think J. stayed in a stunning apartment directly overhead.

Inside is nothing to write home about. Unpretentious is the word, but Pom'Cannelle has survived over 20 years. I came in around 2 so it was pretty quiet. But people kept dribbling in for this and that. Their menu prices are on the low end, but word out onTripAdvisor/Instagram was their soupe d'oignon was memorable and worth returning for.Naturally they have the local ice cream, BERTHILLON. Maybe all 57 flavors from the look of it.

I'm happy to say my onion soup was excellent. Bubbling hot. Full of gooey melted cheese and bread. The perfect antidote to the damp day outside. I put up a video at @Parisbreakfast if you'd like a closer look. I'll def return to POM'CANNELLE for more soupe on another grey Paris day. 
XXX 🐻from Paris

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

My Chambre de bonne, January Paris map

Surprise! We got snow today. A rare treat in Paris. Only the 3rd time in 6 years living here.
                                  Le Pauvre Poéte by Carl Spitzweg 
When you live in a 'room at the top' or CHAMBRE DE BONNE (a single maid's room) you have expansive views of Paris but little interior space.
My view, on a clear day, extends from Sacre Coeur on the left to Bastille on the right 180 degrees. 
Living space is très petite. Rooms usually have a surface space of 6-12 meters, with sloping walls. Often called a garret. Mine is a 'double' so 21 meters. Not that I mind small spaces. My bedroom as a child was an attic extension. Big rooms make me uncomfortable. 
In the 1800s garrets became a defining feature of Second Empire architecture in Paris. My garret is an 150 year old add-on to an 18th century building. 
chambre de bonnes are located on the top floor with usually 6 flights to climb. I'm have an elevator/encensor 🤸🏾‍♀️
There are a few days when the elevator doesn't work/ne marche pas. 
I huff and puff.
Visiting AMY THOMAS of PARIS, MY SWEET, climbing up 6 flights for a croissant tasting in 2012. I didn’t know I'd end up in similar digs 2 years later.
A rare day when my staff, the elves cleaned up. Normally chaos reigns supreme in my studio. 
I love the view from Amy Thomas' garret and added it to the January map.
The 'paper doll' cutout stage of the January Best Views of Paris map. All bits and pieces. Some of those best views of Paris, aside from the usual Suspects can be experienced from a chambre de bonne if you're lucky to know someone. Amy's view is on upper right of the map. Its the newest subscription BONUS watercolor ->  A bunch of cats sitting in garrets. 
If you enjoyed this post please support PB by buying my Paris maps, letters & watercolors. And share with a Francophile. Meanwhile Bear 🐻 is outside dodging snow ❄️ balls 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

On the wall

J's workstation with PARISBREAKFAST LETTERS on the wall.
Please send pics of your walls of PB artwork so I can share them.
Bear is a LETTER SUBSCRIBER - his wall of PB art.

PATISSIER FREDERIC CASSEL of Fontainebleau put my watercolors on his stand at SALON DU CHOCOLAT a few years ago. Thrilling!

LA POSTE in Paris has me on the wall.
Eons ago I had a chef portrait exhibit on the wall at THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION. Everyone loved the painted chef 's jacket I wore. Orders came in from chefs of reknown like...
MOF PAUL BOCUSE! What an honor.
BOCUSE helped me get my artwork on CHAMPAGNE MUMM's bottles
Here is how my Parisbreakfast letters work in case you were wondering.. I sit at my desk (like now) burning the midnight oil while tearing my hair out, creating a letter and a Paris map each month for you while Bear placidly looks on.
Then BEAR takes them to La Poste and ships them out to your mailbox
Yesterday I saw my artwork for ATELIER CATHERINE MASSON on the wall at MAISON OBJET. Thrilling.
I came home and painted Notre Dame at night.
Thanks for reading PARISBREAKFAST dear PBers!
If you enjoyed this Paris post please consider putting my letters on your wall by buying my artwork and watercolors on Etsy. And do pass it on to someone else you think might enjoy it.BONNE WEEK-END!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Meet: PBer Janet

Its nice to put a face on Parisbreakfast letter subscribers.  send out piles of letters 💌 monthly and sometimes I wish I was on the receiving end. Subscriber Janet said she was staying on the Isle. Could we meet? I thought why not? Janet's work station is covered with my Paris letter artwork. Seeing her photo was as thrilling as seeing my poster in the Metro. Feel free to send any PB photos svp.
Janet's Champagne collection inspired me to get out the Hooker's green paint. You can order your fav brand on Etsy. After visiting her spacious apartment I invited her to my shoebox studio
To meet Bear.
Then we toured nearby frozen food store, PICARD to check out the goodies.
A block away an obligatory stop in BOULANGER DE LA TOUR.
J. Got DAVID LEBOVITZ's favorite Paris-Brest
It looks a lot like this boat.
When J. stayed on Ile Saint Louis last January, she remembered the Seine was flooded. I remember jam shipments were not getting into Paris. It was a real crisis for some of us. Later on I emailed J. to tell her to leave her lovely apartment and catch the Eiffel Tower lighting up on the hour. Happily she did. The Seine at night is spectacular - a don't-miss experience when you're in Paris. 
So drop me a line, Parisletter subscribers when you come over. Don't be a stranger. An OPEN STUDIO visit may be possible. Now back to finishing the January map!!! Eeeek
Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast. If you'd like to receive Parisbreakfast letters, watercolors and mapin your mailbox, look in my Etsy shop. 
With love from Paris xxx ❤️ 🐻

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

New years day in Paris!

M.I.A. Missing in action...I've been immersed in a soap project. I'm finally coming up for air.
THANK YOU Everyone for all your kind wishes, encouragement, support and comments you've shared with me this year. Bear and I are sending you a ton of Love ❤️ and good health to you all.

On New year's day Parisians went walking, no matter the weather - it was chilly, 30s, overcast.

They don't doll up either. Just the usual uniform of black head to toe.

Gulls on my bridge Sully watched with amusement, hoping for a breadcrumb or two I suppose.

Parisians go mad for shellfish over the holidays. Loaded tables of oysters and crabs spill out of restaurants to entice you inside or to eat right there in the street.

Monoprix's poissonierie has their annual special plateau de mer (just 15€!) you won't find it except during the holidays. Enough for two people, but I had no problem polishing it off New year's day.

Last Saturday was the annual charity Galette de rois fete. I was lucky to grab a small bite of the giant galette. Instead of the chefs wolfing down Champagne and paté, this year they offered it to the public buying the deluxe galettes for charity at Place Saint Germain de Pres.
They were giving out a hearty French country vegetable soup called garbure. It was cold. Brrrr
Street corners along boulevard Saint Germain were piled high with empty champagne bottles.
Inspiration enough to get out the Hooker's green watercolor and start painting bottles again.
Paris annual winter sales started on Monday. I'm 2 days late. Never mind. You can find your favorite brand of champers on Etsy - Veuve, Mumm, Taittinger. Only the best for PBers! All watercolors are reduced.
Requests for 3-month subscriptions of the letters and maps are finally up. 
Thanks for reading and sharing Parisbreakfast. 
With love 💋 from Paris 🐻🥂🍾