Friday, May 29, 2020


Yesterday I got an email, 'You've been pretty quiet. Are you ok?'
Marilyn xxxx Well I've been drawing like crazy to get the May PARIS letter/map done before May is actually over!! 3 guesses the subject matter?
Yesterday I took the 75 bus to newly reopened BHV to get burgundy-colored Faber Castellbrush pens for the Paris letters.
They have seriously widened the aisles in BHV.
For social distancing.
There is a newish branch of FOU DE PATISSERIE on BHV's 3rd floor. I succumbed to 1 marshmallow+ 2 small cream puffs. 
EATALY is like a block away in the Marais. Yes, I had a pistache/fraise gelato.
Going into Eataly is such an upper. Love the colors.
Love the products. Especially their Spanish hard-to-find anchovies from the Cantabrico, maybe the best in the world.

 What I bought yesterday: my fav Eataly salad (1 down, 2 to go), Italian ginger Kefir, tin of anchovies, Good grainy bread from Hune. 
Yesterday evening I heard a roar of clapping 👏👏👏coming from the window. The Prime minister announced the second phase of decontainment. Now we can take trips beyond 100 kilometers.👏Parks are open with restrictions. And outdoor cafes etc.👏
Are you bouncing off the walls like this fab NEW YORKER cartoon by C.TOM I saw on Instagram? I recently actually started running the 6 yards from my bed to the fridge. No kidding. Its how I caught the 75 bus yesterday. Why not try this Madrid dance routine for the hot new Lady Gaga/Ariana song RAIN ON ME. What's not to love❤️🐻 Please visit our ETSY SHOP.  Keep Bear in baguettes 🥖🥖🥖Back to drawing✏️💋

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Uptown Paris Girl

After months of hibernation restricted to 1-hour walks in a 1-kilometer radius
I flew the coup a week ago and went uptown.

Rue de Rivoli is mainly bikes and taxis these days.
The weekend metro was nearly empty.  Masks provided along with hand sanitiser 👏👏👏
My uptown objective = self-stick stamps. The only place in tout Paris is CARRE D'ENCRE near Printemps.
Restaurants are closed but many offer take-away. On rue Cambon Pierre Hermé macarons was open. The sign said, "3 allowed inside" There was 1 customer and 1 server. I was told to wait. My math has never been good. I carried on.
FYI Uptown French girls will be wearing granny nightgowns with Doc Martins and Kaki jackets this summer. Do you follow 
BERNADETTE BANNER? AN Edwardian fashion historian who can help you DIY your own granny gown. Or simply charm the bloomers off you with her amusing banter.
Even more charm in TEXTILE TOURS OF PARIS's weekly newsletter. Do subscribe.
Downtown Parisians are mostly behaving themselves in un-lockdown with social distancing most of the time🤞🏼🤞🏼
The boats are back Hooray! on the Seine delivering jam and other essentials. And Bear has been delivering all the letters💌 to la Poste! Hip Hip Hooray
Bear 🐻 was sad cafes are not yet open. Me too. We have a new personalized subscriber bonus watercolor in our ETSY SHOP. Hooray🥂Stay well and stay sane dear PBers 🐻❤️💋

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Paris Pastry Map

Coming up with an idea for the PARIS MAP is always a bit of a struggle.
Then I remembered there are 11-12 DISTINCTIVE DESSERTS born in Paris. Et  voila! Please try to taste every one of them next visit PBers. 

The closest Paris desserts I could 'research' nearby under Lockdown were the golden financier and a bag of chouqettes at BOULANGER DE LA TOUR

Adorable Carla Lalli Music of fun, relaxed BON APPETIT TEST KITCHEN makes Pierre Hermé's puff pastry. 

Its the base of so many classic Parisian pastries: cream puffs, Saint Honorę, eclairs, religieuse and the chouquette. Recipe HERE

We can all thank CATHERINE DE MEDICI for bringing her own pastry chefs (Popolino created chou pastry) to France when she married Henri II in 1600. 

And another hug to queen Marie for bringing MACARONS into existence, later refined by chef Pierre Desfontaine in 1862. 
Pretend you're in Paris with this short, sweet video.
It inspired me to imagine I was walking in to get some pistache and rose macarons.
My very 1st Paris map was for Jill Colonna's book, Teatime in Paris. Jill is baking easy almond tuiles on YOUTUBE this week. I never for one minute imagined I'd be doing monthly maps back then. Ha.
Yesterday was 
the 1st un-locked day in Paris. It started out blustery with 19 mph winds. Bear 🐻 did not want to venture outside. At all. Fortunately we gathered up our courage, masked up and were thrilled to find our favorite copy shop open🙏🏻 Hooray👏👏The Paris Breakfast shop
 is open and cookin'. "Hand me the envelopes" Please 💌💌💌 Stay safe dear PBers ❤️

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Millions of Masks

Tuesday was your classic drizzly, grey, overcast Paris day.
Noted all new Parisian joggers stayed in bed. I was up and out (with documents) to buy masks at nearby Monoprix.
By chance I saw in LE PARISIEN.  All French supermarché chains will be selling millions of masks starting May 4 (some begin May 11 like Carrefour). I went early on Monday but the camion/delivery truck had not yet arrived.
What a clever idea! Instead of people bombarding pharmacies for masks, we can buy them at the caisse/cash register - 50 disposable masks @ 29,90€ and/or 2 washable masks at 6,99€. Easy peasy. Sometimes the French get it right. No word on testing yet. TBA
My Tuesday haul plus a celebration 🎉 jar of apricot-passion fruit jam I've been eyeballing for months.
Many out there have accomplished great things during the lockdown.
I have fed an ever-growing bunch of pigeons at 6:30 am daily and tasted every jar of apricot jam within a 1-mile radius. Ta Da🎉
Thank you Bonnie for suggesting I put a teaspoon of apricot jam in my daily yogurt. The power of suggestion. Bonnie did not suggest I eat almost 1/2 the jar immediately.
No new chef this week, but a superb new newsletter by New Yorker writer Lauren Collins (of When In French. Did you read it?). You can subscribe HERE.
The Monop masks have that wire bit that clamps onto your nose. They may not be so comfortable to wear but much better than a CPAP or a ventilator IMHO. I'm making progress on my latest Paris map 🙏🏻. Maybe today or tomorrow they will be emailed out. Watercolors are going out immediately from my Etsy Shop. Letters will take a little longer. Please take a look. Cheers Xxx🐻❤️

Sunday, May 03, 2020

From Scratch

I hope dear readers you're all keeping well and making plenty of bread🥖 I've seen the pictures. Everyone is experiencing changes during this time of isolation. I'm not making sourdough but I am cooking from scratch like never before.
A few weeks pre-Lockdown I was listening to Dr. Robert Lustig, the anti-sugar doc on youtube and he changed my mind in 30 minutes.
As an artist or writer you're used to isolating all the time. Foraging daily for food becomes an essential and pleasant escape.
Except my foraging had me eating frozen, prepared food I never ate in the US. Its weird to move to France known for the best food in the world and end up eating frozen dinners of pomme de terre au gratin or Thai soup. Thank you Dr.Lustig for waking me up to smell the herbs.
My Wednesday haul.
I looked up Jill of MAD ABOUT MACARONS salade de chevre chaude. How I wish I'd gotten real lait cru chevre from the fromagerie as Jill suggests. Next time.
Normally I would eat at my desk or standing up, out of a pot. Not lately.
Here's the newest, funnest Youtube CHEF OF THE WEEK to explode on the scene, Aussi NAT'S WHAT I RECKONHe is wildly foul-mouthed sprinkling f... words liberally. You have been warned. His premise: we should all be cooking from scratch. He makes it super easy and 1st thing throws a box of prepared food out the window.
Your next trip to Paris if you're into cinnamon you'll want to stop by Swedish CIRCUS BAKERY. Right now they're swamped making deliveries.
I was a lucky recipient thanks to Bonelle in Boston. The twisted cinnamon bread was stunning but if I didn't give 1/2 to my regular brunch gang I would have devoured it whole instantly.
Please don't say anything untoward about pigeons and crows. Pigeons are seriously underrated. Plus I love hearing them scratching on the roof.
So thats my scratchings for the week dear PBers. I have put up some Mother's day macaron watercolors in my Etsy shop each with a sprig of Lilly of the valley. Stay well and keep cooking ❤️💋🐻🥖