Friday, August 28, 2020

La Nuit aux Invalides 2020 à Paris

Last night I was supposed to see the annual summer light show at l'Invalides with M&M. I was the one who saw the poster in the metro. I was the one who said, "Let's go!" We got our tickets a week ago. Then last night rolled around. It was all dark clouds and drizzle. On the way over to M&M's in my head I was singing, "DON'T WANNA, don't wanna, don't wanna..." Truth is I hate going out at night. I'm an "extreme lark" the Guardian says.I wake up all bouncy at 3:30 AM, but keel into bed at 8-9 PM comatose. Any Extreme Larks out there? Let's talk at 3:30 AM 

Yesterday I even ate a preparatory coffee ice cream cone to keep me up late. It works. No kidding. At M&M's...she was fence-sitting too. Will it rain or won't it? Should we or shouldn't we? Look! its clearing up over there! M&M: "I hate to waste the money." 
Me: "I'll pay another 25€ Not to go!" 
Meredith: “If I call an Ubber? I'll pay!" 
We were going to take Bus 69
I said,"I will escort you to your car." 
Last words from Meredith, "Go take pictures along the Seine"
I did.

First stop Pylone's window across the street. 

Flowers are sleeping in Patrick Allen's window. 

More Summer hats. 

Late night eaters at Les Fous De l'Iles. 

Ice cream eaters at Pom'Cannelle. 

Crossing Pont Marie.

Meredith Mullins sent me a picture. 
“Wish you were here.” 
I was pretty OK at my own Nuit de Lumiere show. 
Please share this post with a friend. 
Please Stay well PBers ❤️🐻

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

La Cafe de la Mairie, Chanel bonus

This last week I've been running 🏃‍♀️
All over Paris looking for large brown cardboard envelopes.
No luck. So today I ordered 100 envelopes online.
A couple weeks ago 

Since then I've been trying 
To paint their pretty coffee cup

Not much luck there either.
I'm ready to throw in the torchon/towel and just relax like this French gal. I need a dog...
I got swimmer's haircut because they turned off the hairdryers at the pool. My swimmer's body is back-ordered.
This Pylones Summery turban would be cute, but maybe not with a mask...
Today in BHV I was shooting this ginormous bottle of Chanel Gabrielle.Naturally the sales gent came running over. "Puis-je vous aider/can I help you?" I asked "How much is it?" He said something like "€2,000+." I said, "I'll take 2 bottles s'il vous plait" He said, "deux bouteilles, et voila!" I said, "Its a cadeau/gift." He said, "Un cadeau. Bien sur". "A cadeau for me." "Mais oui, bien sur," he said. By this time we were both giggling... "Oh just one thing," I said, "can you change the name (Gabrielle) and put my name on it?" "Ah...non. Non, non, non! Pas possible!" "Ah..dommage,"I said. End of story.
But you dear PBers can have your name on a bottle with a subscription to Paris Maps/Letters. Pas de problem. Crossing my bridge 3 generations of Parisiennes. Toute en blue marine/all in navy blue. Please stay well and cool dear PBers. Paris is waiting for you❤️💋🐻

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Sunday on Bus 69 with Bear

Sunday afternoon we went looking for August Paris letter ideas. The best idea was taking bus 69 from the 7th arrondissement. What a grand tour of PARIS MONUMENTS! 1st we passed Les Invalides. 

Next the Louvre. Wish the bus windows were not so greenish.. 

And so-expansive former train station, the Orsay. If we'd gotten on the 69 earlier there'd be an Eiffel Tower monument to show you. 

Look! Grand Palais off in the vista. We got off the bus at Hotel de Ville. Is that considered a Paris Monument? 

Certainly Paris cafes count...sort of. They were bustling Sunday.

A brocant was stretched across 
Pont Louis Philippe bridge. Social distancing and masks was obligatory.

Bear noticed his current obsession, 'clouds' were reflected in the silver spoons!
Bear browsed a few shops on the Ile like 
Nina Kendosa. And  It was sunny and warm.
Everyone was eating Berthillon ice cream cones. What's your favorite flavor?

Bear is a purist and goes for so-called plain vanille. Which in Paris is not so plain. It can be Madagascan or Tahitian or Mexique with real vanilla bean specks. No vanilla extract thank you very much. Plus Berthillon won best vanille in La Figaro's Contest and is a worthy Paris monument. Forget the other 56 flavors svp. What's your favorite Paris monument? You're wondering who is BEAR 🐻? For more BEAR STORIES. Umm, we made a mistake last post with the 'name the song' contest. We'll do another free letter offer shortly je te promis. Please share Parisbreakfasts with a friend. Stay well and stay cool dear PBers ❤️🐻

Friday, August 14, 2020

James Tissot, d'Orsay

Dear PBers, the week-long heatwave finally broke yesterday. And I finally got the JULY LETTER in the post last night at 5 PM. To celebrate a return to sanity I went to the ORSAY to see the James Tissot exhibit.
The Orsay is open till 9:45 PM on Thursdays. Not so many people. Its reservations only but you can easily RSVP online outside.
I'm experiencing the museum differently now I'm aware of it's train station past. You can almost see, hear  and smell the locomotives.
The first painting in the show is a stunning portrait of Tissot by his good friend Degas. They studied together at the Beaux Arts. Tissot is surrounded by his collection of Japanese screens, prints and fabrics, plus diagonal motifs. It demonstrates the Japonisme trend both artists were influenced by. Plus Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, Manet, Monet and Whistler. All painting buddies.
For a quick dip into the art history of Japonisme, I like the 
Art d'Histoire videos.
Instructor Lise Martinot is speaking 
French only but the visuals are so strong, you'll get the picture.
Squint at the featured Tissot to notice the repeated diagonal framework for the figures. The background woman is silhouetted and flattened by the black shape behind her like in a Japanese woodblock print.
I was so taken sketching the buttons and satin bows, I didn't notice till I drew her how the foreground woman's profile is set off by a large Japanese fan. That's why doodling at exhibits even in the most casual way is useful. You'll see much more.
It was said Tissot that he kept Champagne in the waiting room off his studio. It's in his paintings too.
Many of Tissot's commissions are family group portraits and fashionable ladies. He's not one of the great painters of his time but that's just my opinion.
Clearly he  was a big influence on the making of Merchant-Ivory Victorian films.
Snippets are played as you exit the show: 
Portrait of a LadyA Room with a View

Sunday, August 09, 2020

The New Paris Train Station Letter

Ta Da This brainstorm hit me on ligne 7 going to ze POOL yesterday. We're in a week-long HEATWAVE/canicul. 90+ degrees. I bought another fan/ventilator only to discover I have to assemble it. The box is attractive.
I was going to do the GARE DE LYON facade for the letter and realized how boring that would be. Plus Bonelle said NO WAY! Btw there are many wonderful FRENCH TRAIN videos you must WATCH. Even classic French train NOISESDooo do dooo da.
Clearly I was subliminally influenced by New York City architectural historian, BARRY LEWIS
History of NYC's Grand Central Terminal. this view of the great train shed/verriaire seeped into the little brain cells. I took Barry's Cooper Union night classes over and over. Riveting and funny. He points out the influence of mid-1850s French Beaux Arts architecture on NYC design.
Like the former Orsay train station.
Plus who knew the gorgeous plumes of romantic smoke and fog we love in films like Funny Face and Anna Karenina, actually stank and were abhorrent? Barry knows these important little things. You will be very amused. BARRY LEWIS is a PBer too.
Way back when, I visited the ORSAY for a comic book convention.
Its still one of the great fabulous spaces in Paris, as are all the train stations.
But the Orsay has not been gutted and shopping mauled Merci Dieu.
Did you know you're not supposed to call it the 'D'Orsay'? I didn't till recently...its a snob thing. Now we know. Call it the ORSAY. Drop the d'. Professor Deb says so.

Here's a divine Van Gogh from the Orsay fab Impressionist collection. Big merci Caillebotte brothers. And a cool matching view of the Seine. Please share PB with your friends. The NEW PARIS Subscription LETTER is shipping out 📮Monday (perhaps with a tip sheet so you can cut/fold yours to look like mine). Xxx 💋from Bear 🐻and Carolg❤️