Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Une Histoire de la Chaussure, The Red Shoes, MAD

Sometimes, by chance, a glimpse of an image opens a door to your childhood dreams. The current exhibit of shoes through history at MAD (musee des Arts Decoratif) on rue de Rivoli ends with a short video compilation of shoes in commercials and film.
The snippet of the dance sequence from the 1948 film, THE RED SHOES was the catalyst. So many little girls were deeply effected. Were you a fan? My plan was to become a ballet choreographer, costume designer and principle dancer all in one ;)) I've been painting red shoes all week.
One of my multiple careers was a shoe designer in Italy and Spain for an American company you never heard of.I fell into it (like so many of my professions) after working in fashion on 7th Avenue. Shoes are much more fun to design. You hold them in your hand like small sculptures. If you haven't designed shoes in the past you'll still enjoy the exhibit at MAD enormously.
It covers the historical evolution and political statements of design right up to today's obsession with running shoes.
Even showing you how shoes transform from wooden last to stitched finish.
Terrific graphic samples of posters selling shoes combine with the various styles.  
And Charlie Chaplin's old beat-up shoe from The Little Tramp
Plus a good mix of shoes in art like Delacroix's perfect painting of Moroccan embroidered babouches.
My red shoes obsession continues.
Unwearable shoes as real sculptures in strange shapes and materials. The MAD shoe exhibit is on till 22 March. If you'd like to obsess over The Red Shoes here are some lovely links:

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Map of Paris Art Nouveau Bouillons

I'm thrilled to tell you the January map went in the mail 📮yesterday.

Great minds etc. etc. Urbaninsider featured Paris' bouillons this week. A basic rule of thumb 👍 in France (and don't send me the bill/l'addition if I'm wrong) 

When you spot a busy, bustling brasserie in any French town, go inside and eat. Atmosphere will be warm and decor charmingly Art Nouveau period. This one is at the Excelsior.

Seafood is freshly shucked. 

Dishes will be traditional like chicken with wine/coq au vin. 

Service will be fast, efficient and friendly. Prices and bill/l'addition will/should be manageable. Exception is the  Beefbar where you get Japanese Wagu steaks. I have yet to visit. 

I did get to MOLLARD near Gare St.-Lazar for more research. The shoe fits for convivial atmosphere, friendly service. 

The waiter suggested the black rice on my plate of seafood fricasse was..surprise - Beluga caviar! 

Lots of brandishing of copper pans making the crepes Suzette.

Thanks for reading Parisbreakfast. If you'd like to receive Parisbreakfast letters, maps and Watercolors in your mailbox, look in my Etsy shop. I'm off to forage for scallops at the Montmartre Fete de la Coquille St. Jacques. Hooray🎉 Report to follow 🐻Xxx from Paris💋

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Bouillon Julien

The January 💌 map research (I'm late😳) entails eating out at art nouveau BOUILLON restaurants. Yesterday I went to newly-renovated heritage building, BOUILLON JULIEN at 16, rue Faubourg St. Denis, 75010

(From Wikipedia): the first bouillons appeared in 1855 thanks to butcher, Pierre Louis Duval. He proposed a single dish of meat and a bouillon (soup/stock) to market workers of les halles. By 1900, nearly 250 bouillons had sprung up in Paris. The idea was to serve good quality food quickly at affordable prices. They became the first popular chain of restaurants. 

Some other bouillons, more "upper-class", offered musical entertainment.Fernandel sang there in the 30s. There's a relaxed atmosphere at most bouillons today. 

The menu prices at Julien are unbeatable so the crowd is a good mix age-wise. 

My starter was a terrine de canard pistache, mesclun de salade(4,60€). 

I've never seen the classic bouillon dish offered on a Paris menu as a main so who could resist. A deeply satisfying beefy broth with beef slices, orzo and vegetables (9,90). 

Dessert I went for an old-fashioned meringue on top of whipped creme de marron. Total bill: a mere 18 euros. 

The interior is simply gorgeous. Pale sea-foam green walls with globe lamps, mosaics, stained-glass ceiling. 

And 'Mucha-style' figures. 

Flowered-tile floors. Eye-candy everywhere. I arrived at midi/noon. By the time I left at one the big space was full and lively. 

The 10th arrondissement doesn't attract many tourists like the 8th or 6th but its worth making the jaunt for Bouillon Julien. Excellent epicerie Julhés Paris is just up the street and not-to-be missed. Plus an Indian passage, Prada. Public transport is back today. Hooray Share PB with a friend and consider receiving Parisbreakfast in your real mailbox 📮. Back to work on the Jan Map💌 Cheers 🐻❤️

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Maison de Balzac, JJ Grandville

Balzac’s Coffee Pot
HONORÉ DE BALZAC was known for drinking up to 50 cups (demitasse) of coffee daily while he wrote endless novels.
  'Yesterday, I worked 19 hours and today I shall have to work 20 or 22. Copy is my master, 16 or 20 pages a day are required, and I write them and correct them.Le Constitutional has exhausted my provision, and they must have more. I've not left my desk.' Passy 75016, 30 October, 1846

On Sunday I went back to visit the Maison de Balzac .Seven years to the day give or take. 'Dernier Jours'/last days (as they love to threaten on the posters in Paris) for the JJ Grandville exhibit. I was hoping to catch the metro. No way. Instead I discovered the fabulous Bus 72 that passes a multitude of top museums (Louvre, MAD, Grand Palais, Petit Palais, Guimet, MOMA, Palais de Tokyo, Galieni) and runs every 8 minutes! And stops near Maison Balzac, one of The Little(r) Museums of Paris.

A facsimile of Balzac's study.
His immense head with unruly hair inspired Rodin and other artists.

One room is filled with plaster castes of the exquisite line engravings made by engraver Charles Huard of every character from Balzac's La Comédie humaine 

1000 characters in over a hundred books.
The Grandville exhibit was downstairs and quite crowded. Renown for his anthropomorphic drawings of human figures with animal heads bearing human expressions. 

I love this benign lion getting his mane combed, a lap dog sits placidly. Meanwhile on the wall an engraving of a lion snatching a small child. Not so benign. 

Many of his cartoons made outrageous political commentary until government censure laws were issued in 1835.
Then he moved on to book illustration and collaborated with Balzac on a number of projects.
Early days my own drawings were deeply influenced by 19th century satirical artists; Thomas Rowlandson, George Cruikshank, Grandville, Dore.
I crosshatched with a crowquill pen point and hand-colored with watercolor 19th century style. By the way, the museum has been renovated since I last visited 7 years ago. Now they have a gift shop and a branch of Rose Bakery where you can grab a healthy lunch and their famous Carrot cake. I did. Coming home on Bus 72, the route is scenic with plenty of closeup Eiffel Tower views. Hop on just for the ride across Paris if you like 👍🏻 THANK YOU❤️ PBers for your generous contributions to WIRES❤️👏 Please share PB with a friend and consider receiving Parisbreakfast in your real mailbox 📮 as well. Cheers 🐻❤️🙏🏻

Saturday, January 11, 2020

January letter, Paris trash, weather, bears, Wires

I'm still hooked on accordion letters and snowflakes.
This Eiffel tower doodle that got the January letter going. Tuesday I went to rue de Rivoli (take bus 75 these days) to find envelope fillers. I used to collect PARIS TRASH for kicks.
Now its part of my job description.
1st stop browse Angelina. I was thinking the mini galettes would make good painting subject matter, but within 10 minutes gone and a mess of flakey crumbs down my front to prove it. So much for painting subject matter.
Angelina's galette des rois feves are irresistible.
Fortunately I succumbed 2 years ago.
The Laduree Thé et Beauté shop at 232 rue de Rivoli has more than tea and candles.
I succumbed to their washi tape happily sealing January's envelopes.
The weather this week in Paris is mid 40s to mid 50s. Overcast with occasional drizzle and brief intermittent hints of sun. The Greve/strike is still on so to catch a metro join the work crush before 9:30 or jump on a bus (the back door is best entry these days).
There are big bears in Paris windows during the holidays.
Please consider saving the koala bears (really marsupials) and other animals at risk in Australia from the rampant bushfires. For 30 years WIRES the wildlife emergency fund has been training people to go into the field and rescue animals. I'm donating the proceeds from these 2 watercolors on Etsy to WIRES. Praying for Australia 🙏🏻❤️XXX🐻