Sunday, April 18, 2021

A Strawberry Fête


Thanks to you dear PBers ❤️ I went back to buy more stamps on Thursday. Then I went dancing round town 🤸🏾‍♀️ 

Some lovely Springie windows at perfumer Durance of Provence. 

The first peonies/pivoine are here 👏👏

 I had high hopes of finding pink envelope stuffers for you at Nina’s Marie-Antoinette, but tragically they were closed. 

Further down rue Danielle Casanova , Boulangerie Eric Kayser announced,”Red fruits are back!!” Hooray 🤸🏾‍♀️Are you a red fruit lover? 🍒🍓

I bought his many-splendored tarte but it was easier to eat than to paint 😊

 In the window at Maison Plisson further down same street, a huge Fraisier gateau. I bought a jar of strawberry jam instead 😕

So tempted by the strawberry-citron-banana juice 🤔

*News Alert! Pierre Hermé has a new collection called ‘Gourmandise Raisonee’ (rational glutton?) of 30% less sugar/cream desserts, one being strawberry. FYI you pay more (10€) ‘Less is more’. I resisted.

Yesterday I saw a little French girl en famille, carrying a flat of strawberries. Monkey see, monkey want. This time of year you see people waltzing around town proudly displaying their flats of strawbs, never hidden inside a bag. Monoprix had them for a mere 3,99€ 🤸🏾‍♀️ Course they’re from Espana, considered inferior to French berries, but what the hey. Plus the obligatory can of Normandy Isigny whipped cream. The French traditionally make a parfait of multi-layered cream and berries. Quite outrageous!The French traditionally make a parfait of multi-layered cream and berries. Quite outrageous! La la la la la. 

Another news alert*** write this down dear PBers ✏️ Berthillon has new little cookie baskets just big enough for 2 dips. Natch I’m eating fraise 🍓

Here’s a touch of complimentary green from fancy men’s store Charvet also on rue Danielle Casanova. And more touches of new green buds along the Seine as I lean over Pont Marie. Parisians are flaneuring around comme d’habitude. Bonne Dimanche PBers 🌸🍓🤸🏾‍♀️

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

I went to buy French stamps yesterday


A Big, Big Merci PBers from Bear 🐻 for keeping him in Paris with your love ❤️ for the Eiffel Tower/blossoms letter. Btw if you’re a letter subscriber your Eiffel Tower and all other orders are in la poste 💌📮 

This is not me enroute to buy stamps. I wish...

I noticed the pavement was blocked off and thought,”Oh S***! I’m gonna have to walk in the street and get run over. Then I noticed they were repairing a patch of broken pavement and clapped 👏 Thank you Paris infrastructure ☺️ Btw prepare yourself for Paris’ ‘Killer Bikers’ when you come. They run red lights, ride in crosswalks and dont wear masks. You have been warned. Elaine S. got knocked over by one idiot biker.

FYI: the metro is currently full of giant hunks of cheese if you’re into fromage and who isn’t?

I took Metro 7 to Chausée d’Anton - Lafayette near Opera Garnier.

Galeries Lafayette may be closed but their Spring windows are fabulously goofy and colorful, designed by the very fabulous Mira Mikati.  Thank you GL 🤸🏾‍♀️

GL’s Maison Gourmet is open and awaits just across the street. 

At 10 I used to go alone browsing in Wanamaker’s toy department and their magazine racks. Other kids took ballet classes. I went browsing. Walzing through their 26 foodie stations is a lovely way to pass some time. Print out this map for your next trip. 

Temptation lurks like land mines. I fell for the ‘Tarte Mandarine Thym Citronné’ poofie thing upper left. I am mesmerized by the names.

Be sure to ask for the fancy signature bags. Tell them, “C’est une cadeau/gift” The shopping bags are sturdy and make great little waste paper baskets. And Chic Parisians reuse them when they’re out shopping!

Carré d’Encre/Ink Square has everything for the obsessed snail mail writer. In the back are the 1st day issue stamps, none of which are suitable for international letters sadly. And none are self-sticking/autocollant. The glue destroys the paper evidently. Collectors don’t like that. Who knew? 

I’m stuck buying sheets/planches of boring, traditional Marianne timbres/stamps. Bet you didnt know what we call a sketch ‘thumbnail’ is called a ‘timbre’ in French. At the post office I attach my stamps and send them off to you.

There’s a brand new coffeecup bonus watercolor if you’re thinking of subscribing to my Paris letters. Bear thanks you again dear PBers 🤸🏾‍♀️ ❤️🐻 Would you like to see more single letters on Etsy? Let me know IN THE COMMENTS HERE PLEASE🙏 Xxx💋🌸

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Le Floraison de Cerisier du Paris

 I was just finishing this month’s Paris Letter, when the BBC announced Prince Phillip’s passing, so this is my homage 🌸🌸🌸 And Isn’t it time for an Eiffel tower Paris letter? As a ‘Spring Special’ you can buy it as a single letter.


As always It begins with a doodle. PBer Bonnie picked the one on the right. Voila 👏

But not an easy picture to draw. All those tangled, gnarly branches. 

All those @#$& fluffy cherry blossoms! 🌸🌸🌸

This Japanese wood block print saved the day - use a visual symbol rather than go realistic. And the falling petals were perfect. I found this image in a French video, 1000 ans d'histoire des cerisiers en fleurs au Japon en 8 minutes. 🌸Add the subtitles(still in French but easy to figure out).

The same video shows how over time cherry blossoms infiltrated all levels of Japanese culture. 

BBC radio 4 is celebrating Spring with daily readings from the intriguing book, ‘Cherry' Ingram: The Englishman who saved Japan's Blossoms. Would you believe an obsessed British naturalist decided to save rare varieties of the cherry trees? The Japanese were letting many species disappear. Fascinating and beautifully read. 

Yesterday I went looking for pink on Champs-Elysées. A delicate, fragrant cologne in the Pierre Hermé-l’Occitane store, but no pink pastries from M. Hermé. 

Do you know the Hot French designer, Tara Jarmon, much loved by chic young Parisians? A simple milkmaid’s pink gingham dress (245€).

Across the avenue Laduree’s windows have towers of pink macarons. I think they have a ‘cherry blossom’ flavor.

Their pink and green, witty Easter windows are still up. FYI: Easter lasts for 2+ weeks in Paris. Sadly there are no 50% off sales afterward.

In Guerlain’s windows at 66, Champs-Elysées, beautiful petal pink perfume bottles, but they’re not open. Isn’t perfume as ‘essential’ as macarons to daily French life? 

This week I passed by the tiny, but oh so beautiful Square Marie-Trintignant in the Marais. Once a year it is full of blossoms for a week. And the next week full of petals. 

I picked up some fallen flowers and put them in my pocket. When I got home I cut the stems and dropped them in a dish of water. Et voila they revived! I hope you have blossoming 🌸 trees nearby dear PBers. If not, live vicariously through  Parisbreakfasts ☺️🌸🌸

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Flower Viewing at Jardins du Plantes


How did Vincent do it? Painting delicate blossoms (almond in Van Gogh’s case) on a thick gnarly branch is not a piece of cake. 

I loved the Spring window decals in Nerides, just across the street on rue Bonaparte from Pierre Hermé.

Then seeing so many photos on Instagram. Thanks to @thereal-emilyinParis giving me daily updates on petals discoloring and falling, I finally made it to Jardins des Plante on Thursday.

Watch this 4 minute video on Japanese wood block prints celebrating the Spring tradition of ‘Sakura’. 

Sakura’s significance in Japan is due to its evanescent beauty, which resonates with the Buddhist ethos of life’s illusory nature. The cherry tree blooms en masse during the spring, and its blossoms die within a week of their flowering, making their beauty both intense and short-lived. 

It is during this time that friends and family gather to take part in hanami, or “flower viewing,” by traveling to districts populated by cherry trees

Bear insisted on coming along of course. 

        And on getting a selfie like the others. 

He’s been practicing at home. Nailed it.

In 1912, over 3,000 cherry trees were bestowed upon Washington, D.C., by Tokyo in an effort to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan. 

Cherry trees typically grew in remote mountain areas; 

However, under Shogun Yoshimune (1716–45), cherry trees were planted in cities as a means of urban beautification and of demonstrating the government’s benevolence. 

This was my first time ‘Flower Viewing’ at Jardins du Plantes just a short walk away from my house. I asked my landlord if he had been and he said “Oh yes of course.” Interesting how Asian cultural traditions have enriched and become embedded in so many other cultures. 
I wish you all a lovely blooming day dear PBers 🌸🌸🌸🐻