I took this photo last December not knowing that Marie, our concierge (J), and I would enjoy a dinner here in April. We sat adjacent to Alan Alda, his wife, and another couple, but left them to dine in peace.
However, I was humming the theme from Mash off and on.
Don't you think that this would be a great place to ring in the new year?
It was a dark and snowy night but the twinkling of la Tour lights up the December sky.
(Taken from the Suresnes American Cemetery, in the suburbs of Paris, only five miles from city center. The 7.5 acre cemetery contains the graves of 1,541 Americans who died in World War I and 24 Unknown American War Dead from World War II. The cemetery is located high on the slopes of Mont Valerien)
Suresnes American Cemetery 123, Boulevard Washington 92150 Suresnes
Hoping that all the little French girls get the dolls of their dreams for Christmas. These are sweet, but ma chère amie Winterludes has the most charming and detailed dolls and she even weaves stories around them.
We met on our mutual birthday in November at a salon de thé in Passage Jouffroy and each exchanged a handmade cadeau. I cherish my little Winterlude doll with her exquisite hair and little dress, a delightful gift from a dear blog friend.
The grand dome sheltered the 66-foot tree in a traditional decor in 2009. The boxes were re-wrapped for a different color scheme in 2010. The giant red Christmas balls of 2008 were stunning. The "rock'n mode" for 2011 is quite different as seen in my post last week.
Let's hope that we just "rock away" from this year's theme when the season is over. The poster for Galleries Lafayette seen in the Métro stations just sums it up.
Galeries Lafayette Boulevard Haussmann 75009 Paris
There has been much said about the gaudy interior of Notre Dame de Lorette, but I found it elegant, adorned with 19th Century art and a Cavaille-Col grand organ.
The painter Eugene Delacroix lived nearby and was christened here in 1840.
The other stories of this large church refer to the "kept women" of the surrounding neighborhood. Many wealthy men of this period had mistresses as well as wives and it is said that all attended Sunday services.
Interesting, n'est-ce pas?
That little fact was not included in the church literature I picked up in November.
"On Wednesday 14th December, 2011, George Whitman died peacefully at home in the apartment above his bookshop in Paris. George suffered a stroke two months ago, but showed incredible strength and determination up to the end, continuing to read every day in the company of his daughter, Sylvia, his friends and his cat and dog. He died two days after his 98th birthday.
Nicknamed the Don Quixote of the Latin Quarter, George will be remembered for his free spirit, his eccentricity and his generosity. He will be buried at Père Lachaise cemetery in the good company of other men and women of letters..."
With so many options to dine in Paris, how do you find a great, reasonable meal?
Certainly, you should check internet reviews, but I would offer that reading blogger favorites may be a good place to start. In June of 2010, Virginia (Paris Through My Lens) introduced me to Le Reminet. She had met Meredith Mullins for déjeuner at Le Reminet at Meredith's suggestion. The prices are quite reasonable at lunch if you guard your wine consumption and select from la formule. The meals have been excellent and the friends I have sent there agree. Often I enjoy a bit of a splurge at lunch and have just a light salad or baguette et fromage for dinner.
Le Reminet has a lovely aubergine-colored entrance, a charming ambiance,
and it is situated on a narrow street in the 5ième near Notre Dame.
On Rue Daru in the 8ième arrondissement, this Russian Orthodox church is nestled in a predominantly Russian neighborhood. Although there are no photos allowed inside, the exterior is elegant, in the shape of a Greek cross. Each branch of the cross is terminated by an apse, topped with onion dome turrets.
Picasso was married to the dancer Olga Khokhlova in this church in 1918. The cathedral celebrated its 150th anniversary in September this year, and just a week ago a charitable auction featuring works of 29 Russian painters living in Paris was held to benefit restoration of the cathedral.
From Place de Catalogne, la Tour suddenly came into view. When you look at this historical structure, can you imagine it clothed in green plants? There is a company "Ginger" which is proposing to drape the tower with a mantle of 600,000 plants. The story was leaked in Le Figaro, that there would be 12 tons of tubing attached to the tower's struts. "Thousands of hemp or sack-cloth bags would carry soil and a large variety of plants would be added gradually over the second half of 2012."
Can you imagine la Tour covered in living plants from head to toe?
If you have been reading my blog for some time, you know how I enjoy "a hunt" and definitely love "a story." Before my recent trip to Paris, blog friend Louis la Vache (San Francisco Bay Daily Photo) asked if I could get a photo of Le Moulin de la Vierge on rue Vercingétorix (14ième arr.)
I coaxed Peter (Peter's Paris) to make the trip with me, and we were delighted with the pain from the wood-fired oven, the tile walls, the murals of women holding armfuls of wheat, the mural on the ceiling, the etched glass doors...
This is the story behind this charming boulangerie as told by Louis:
The boulangerie is operated by Basil Kamir, a former music promoter turned boulanger. He inadvertently became one of the leaders of the renaissance of artisan baking in Paris specifically and France in general.
Kamir was using the then-closed boulangerie as his office when an "urban renewal" project in the neighborhood deemed that the building would be destroyed. Basil loved the building with its marble counter, copper fixtures, and fine details. He couldn't allow the building to be destroyed.
Because of his work in the music business, he knew the Minister of Culture. A call was placed to the Minister, Basil pleading for intervention to save the boulangerie building. Calls were made, arms were twisted.
The Minister of Culture phoned Basil and said (in effect), "I've got good news and bad news. The good news is the building will be saved. The bad news is that it must be used again as a boulangerie."
Basil protested, "I don't know how to bake!"
To which the Minister replied, "Well, you had better learn!"
And he did. And in doing so, became a leader in the rediscovery of artisan baking, away from pain industriel, and also became one of the leaders in introducing biologique (organic) flours into baking.
But it didn't happen without some delicious Gallic drama.
A wrecking crew complete with a crane fitted with a wrecking ball showed up in front of the boulangerie. Somehow, the word didn't filter down through the bureaucracy that the building was not to be destroyed.
Basil practically came to blows with the crew. He went back into the boulangerie, and came out with a shotgun. The crew wouldn't back down, and neither would Basil. After some time of this impasse, Basil, took his shotgun and went to the basement, crawled into the wood-fired oven (at this point still long unused) with his shotgun and told the wrecking crew they would have to take him out!
Panicked calls were made and finally the wrecking crew got the Official Bureaucratic Word not to destroy the building. (You can get additional detail from Louis' post here - Merci beaucoup, Louis)
This little carrousel is new to Parc de Monceau since my visit last April. It is called Carrousel Jules Verne and looks like a slice of the 19th century with its submarine, camel, and camion de pompiers. The setting in this park is perfect, enjoyed by children in neighborhood and by this wandering photographer.
You know that I love to find carrousels and what a treat to see this one where there had been none. Please note that the rotation is counterclockwise.
While on my way to another destination, I found this church which was built between 1899 and 1901 for the working neighborhood all in steel and iron. It is interesting that this church was constructed in the same period as La Tour Eiffel and perhaps by some of the same laborers.
The art nouveau design of the organ is nestled in the midst of the iron and steel, providing a soft touch to this interesting church.
My dear young friend Isabelle from Bordeaux introduced me to the delicious cèpes seen above in Marché Maubert. She took me to a delightful restaurant serving authentic Savoyard fondue with a generous mix of cèpes. November is mushroom season as you can see from the selection above. In addition to the cèpes and girolle, there were coulmelles, trompettes, and pied mouton.
I learn much with every trip and will share the restaurant with you on another post.
This ancient church built in the 12th Century boasts a romanesque tower and other treasures within. Parts of the church remain from the 6th century beginnings. It is undergoing a much-needed restoration to bring it back to its former glory.
Did you know that the heart of Descartes is interred here?
The rest of him is at the Pantheon.
The fantastic acoustics enhance performances of Gregorian chants,
and the medieval surroundings make a haunting backdrop.
On the last day of Photoquai 2011, an open-air exhibit along the Seine at Quai Branly, the dreary day was brightened by the nearly 400 photo images by 46 photographers from around the world. I met Vreni (Verenas Paris Blog and Vienna Daily Photo) and we enjoyed the afternoon strolling through this free exhibit.
The above by Sergei Loier, a 30-something Russian, was my favorite. As I remember, his models are all children from an orphanage, and by the time he concluded his photo project, all had been adopted.
What a treat to see this eclectic photo exhibit... on the very last day!
Photoquai 2011 musée du quai Branly 37, quai Branly 75007 Paris