Saturday, March 31, 2012

Poisson d'avril -- chut!

Do you know what tomorrow is?

In the United States it is April Fools Day and we play pranks like, "Look out!  There's a spider on your shoulder!" 

The tradition in France includes poisson d'avril, attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim's back without being noticed.  There is an interesting history of this holiday of foolishness and it originated in France in the 16th century.  You can read about it here.

Today in France, people who are fooled on April 1 are called Poisson d'avril, which literally means the "April Fish," because a yound naive fish is easily caught.  

So, are you going to play a little prank tomorrow?

(I do know that these are oysters, but I did not have any good fish photos.)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Des lapins roses

A basket of bunnies seen in the window of Jeff de Bruges

They are not chocolate but adorable all the same.
There is no shortage of chocolate here!

Jeff de Bruges
Christine Dufiefs
51 bis, rue Cler
Métro École Militaire
75007, Paris

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Le Bon Marché -- des chapeaux

If you have been reading my blog for a period of time, you know that I am almost as passionate about hats as I am shoes...

This chapeaux is not quite my style but I was captivated by the design.

What do you mean, pas de photos?  Whoops

Le Bon Marché
Métro Sèvres-Babylone

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

La Maison du Chocolat -- eclairs

In the search for the perfect, very best eclair in Paris we discovered (for the moment) our favorite(s) at La Maison du Chocolat.  We had to have a caramel au beurre salé also, bien sûr!

The chocolate was rich, and the pastry was still firm, not soggy from the cream filling.  Fortunately for our waitlines, we had to walk to get there and back.  It is a chocolate eclair like this that makes me want to hide in the corner and devour it all!

Do not try this at home.


La Maison du Chocolat
19, rue de Sèvres
75006, Paris

There are many boutiques in Paris
and around the world - check the link

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Marché aux Puces, St-Ouen V

Perhaps this delightful little treasure-trove should be called
Le Cavern d'Ali Baba*

This sweet friend, originally from Spain, has lived in Paris with her husband for over 30 years.  I have been to see her on almost every visit to Paris, but we may miss each other on this trip. 
Surely, I do not have to explain that to you.

*a reference from French friend Isabelle when she first saw my art studio!

Marché aux Puces, St-Ouen
Porte de Clignancourt

Monday, March 26, 2012

Où sommes-nous?

We are here!

I will absorb Paris:
eat, drink, kiss, enjoy, laugh, swoon, dream, imagine, and a lot more!

(I will also take many photographs)

La Tour Eiffel
75007, Paris

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Basilique Saint-Denis

It is difficult to select a favorite photo from this beautiful Basilica, but this one shows the detail of the sculpture along with one of the thousands of stained glass windows in the background.

Today I am traveling to Paris with my husband and best friend (same person).  We have traveled together to far-flung places but never Paris.  I am excited to show him the city I love.  I do hope that Paris will love him right back.

I will be posting daily and commenting as I can, and I will certainly be reading your comments each day, summarizing briefly our discoveries and treats of each day.

bon dimanche

Basilique Saint-Denis
93200 Saint-Denis

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Un chapeau de dimanche

I was going through all my photos of Paris hats and realized that I had missed this one.

It was taken during a lively meeting of bloggers and friends enjoying a Sunday déjeuner (Mary, Marie, Virginia, Anne Hervier, Maya, and Janet).  They had us seated along the back wall for a reason!

We saw a young woman wearing this chic chapeau of black tuile and after entering gently placed it on the shelf and coat rack separating the dining area.  I wish that we had snapped her before she removed it, but once placed on the shelf it had the appearance of a display in a fine boutique.

It was a great day spent with friends:  old, new, and just-met.

La Bourgogne
144, rue Mouffetard
75005, Paris

Friday, March 23, 2012

Palais Garnier - The Grand Foyer

The opulence of Palais Garnier defies description.  This tourist shot does at least give one an idea of the scale and size of this Beaux-Arts opera house.  I will be returning here next week to feel the music in every crevice, to imagine the famous dancers who have graced her stage, to appreciate the barely-known architect who created her.

To me it is like so much of Paris.  One cannot truly grasp the whole with a single visit, and I want to see it again with the fresh eyes of my husband who will be making his first trip to Paris.  We will be there next week.

Virginia (Paris Through my Lens), a dear friend and fellow traveler to Paris, sent me a link to this marvelous 25 minute documentary on the story and building of Palais Garnier.  I think that you will not be able to stop once you start.

bon weekend

Palais Garnier
Place de l'Opéra
75009, Paris

(For more Weekend Reflections, click here for James' wonderful collection of participants)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Le chien de la rue Cler

The marché on rue Cler was full of people this day
and provided a great opportunity to explore the scents and sounds of the market. 

This pup owned the street

Rue Cler et Avenue de la Motte-Picquet
Métro École Militaire

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Qu'est-ce que c'est?

So what is this?

As we headed into Métro Bourse we found ourselves in the viewfinder of a movie crew.  We watched the action for ten minutes or so as the scene was replayed several times.  He was probably shouting, "Get those two women out of here!"  (in French bien sûr!)
For you movie buffs, let me know if this is anyone famous.

You never know what you will discover in the streets of Paris.

Place de la Bourse
Métro Bourse
Rue Vivienne
75002 Paris

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pierre Hermé - Jour du Macaron 2012

Yes, these are macarons, but they are not from Pierre Hermé.
They were made by Holly and me in a three-day frenzy of scientific study and baking.
They were divine.

Today is Jour du Macaron, a festival of these tasty delights by Pierre Hermé.  For the seventh year now the pâtisserie holds an event which I would compare to a treasure hunt.  You are given a card with the map of PH locations.  You can go to each location and select three macarons one macaron of the 25 flavors available on this wonderful day.  You are encouraged to drop a small donation in the box which will be given to charity.  You go to each of the 8 PH boutiques, selecting a macaron from each, and get your card stamped.  If you make it to all of the PH stores by the end of the day, you are rewarded with a box of 35 macarons!  

The rules have changed this year as in prior years there were three macarons at each stop!  I guess that it got to be too popular.  I have several blogger friends who are making the rounds today and they will be reporting on their success.  I hope that a treasure of 35 macarons is still the reward.  I am missing it by less than a week this year, but assuming there is an eighth year Jour du Macaron, I plan to be there!

Pierre Hermé, Jour du Macaron 2012
All over Paris 

After a random drawing from all the comments since last Tuesday,
the winner of the book, Dog Trots Globe, is .....
The Chieftess! 
Congratulations to her and thank you for all your wonderful comments during the past week.  
Special thanks to Sherry Long, the author and Chula's mom, and to OIC, the book publisher.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dog Trots Globe - to Provence

Image copyright © Sheron Long. All Rights Reserved.

Although Chula was limited by the "no dog" signs in Paris, she was free to go everywhere in Provence.  She loves the lavender fields, seen here with Mont Ventoux in the background, and the plentiful sunflower fields.  She was a regular in the bistros and markets and friendly with the brocante vendors.  Truly, exploring the village and making new friends was much to her liking.

See the original post here with her Paris story.

Today is the last day to comment before the drawing this evening. 
The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Dog Trots Globe
To Paris & Provence

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Basilique Notre-Dame des Victoires -- illumination

I have been in this church many times. 
How could I have missed this detail in previous visits? 

The lamps and light are beautiful, but the juxtaposition of the art gives them life.

bon dimanche

Basilique Notre-Dame des Victoires
6, rue Notre-Dame des Victoires
(Rue de Banque et Rue des Petits Pères)
75002 Paris

(Don't forget to comment for the book giveaway)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Paris vines - rouge

When the rouge turns to marron, can spring be far behind?

Counting the days until spring arrives in Paris, and then...
 moi aussi!

Paris in January

(Don't forget to comment for the book giveaway)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Une girafe de ruban

The Parisians certainly know how to dress up a window.  This ribbon shop (SHINDO) has an exquisite display of lifesized animals made of silk ribbons. 

Giraffe's are a favorite of mine and this fellow did not disappoint.

bon weekend

Paris Showroom
2, rue d'Aboukir
Place des Victoires
75002 Paris

(Don't forget to comment for the book giveaway)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dancing in the street

Every Sunday at the foot of Rue Mouffetard, there is a joyous singing and dancing in the street.  In January, the not-quite-French girl with the red coat had a full dance card while I snapped away.

I will be back there shortly to clap and sing to the sounds of the accordion.  Join me!

Rue Mouffetard
Next to Église Saint-Médard
Métro Censier-Daubenton
75005 Paris 

(Don't forget to leave a comment for the giveaway book)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pâtisserie Algerienne - Amira

On a busy market Sunday, the open window above the pâtisserie shop gives the observant an opportunity to see the bakers at work.  The perfect little pastries are a delight to the taste buds with flavors of honey, almonds, and pistachios.  It is, as you would imagine, a family operated business, friendly and welcoming. 

When you go to Marché d'Aligre, go there hungry as there is much to tempt.

17, rue d'Aligre
75012 Paris

(Don't forget to leave a comment for the book giveaway)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dog Trots Globe -- Chula

Image copyright © Erick Paraiso. All Rights Reserved

Meet my friend, Chula, Paris dog about town and "globe trotter" extraordinaire.  This sweet Sheltie has enjoyed adventures in Paris and beyond (in Provence) with her owners Sheron and Bob.  She tells the story in a book titled Dog Trots Globe, which I have enjoyed reading and reviewing.  The text and beautiful photographs are blended into this tale for any age, one that will have a special place for those who love dogs and/or France.  In addition to Chula's story, there are many tips about bringing a dog to France and the book has more than 150 lovely photos of  familiar scenes of Paris and Provence and Chula, bien sûr!   

When I am in Paris, I love seeing the dogs in cafés and restaurants which is almost never allowed in the US, but there is another side to visiting in Paris from a dog's point of view.  While over 200,000 people in Paris have dogs which are permitted in most hotels and restaurants, they actually cannot go in the Métro, the parks, the museums, and many other public plces.  Sheron said, "We had to leave Chula home a lot, and this picture where she is curled up in the big chair captures her sad face."

Image copyright © Sheron Long. All Rights Reserved.

This charming book comes in three formats:
Sheron and OIC Books have made a copy available to my readers and so I will have a giveaway (my first) for a print copy of this book, signed by Sheron and Chula!  To enter, just make a comment here on my blog today.  Each day you make a comment on my daily blog will add another chance to win, and the random drawing will be the evening of Monday, March 19th, announced on Tuesday's post of March 20th.  I will have a post that day of Chula with her happy face in the lavender fields of Provence as she travels "beyond."

I might also mention that Chula has her own Facebook page where readers can keep up with her comings and goings. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Square du Vert-Galant

Square du Vert-Galant

If you look at my banner photo you will see this square taken from Pont des Arts in summer.  This narrow piece of land on the western tip of Île de la Cité 
looks much like the bow of a ship in the middle of the Seine
and is a beautiful, quiet retreat on this January day. 

It was named for the dashing 16th century king of France, 
Henry IV, known as the lusty gallant!

Square du Vert-Galant
75001 Paris

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Basilique Saint-Denis

This enthralling basilica just on the outskirts of Paris had been on my list for many trips to Paris.  In January, Peter (Peter's Paris), Virginia (Paris Through My Lens), my daughter Holly and I met up with Owen (Magic Lantern Show) and his delightful wife for a tour, guided by Owen's local expertise and knowledge. 

I have many shots to share with you in the months ahead on my Sunday posts, and this statuary piqued my interest today.  The royalty depicted here will have an exquisitely embroidered gown trimmed in the finest silk threads and represented here by the craftsmanship of the sculptor.  She will have some very fine slippers to wear as you can see.

bon dimanche

Basilique Saint-Denis
93200 Saint-Denis

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jeff de Bruges -- Tintin

The chocolatier Jeff de Bruges with its color scheme of almost-Tiffany-aqua and chocolate-brown (of course), featured a window in collaboration with Tintin.  The boxes seen here hold combinations of their famous chocolates, 60 petite caraques, each wrapped in foil with a Tintin characature on the front:

  • noir (70%)
  • lait
  • lait sucre pétillant (je crois)
  • noir nougatine

I was given a delightful box (3 layers!) of Jeff de Bruges chocolates during my November visit to Paris and made them last, languishing over each one individually, marveling how something could be so singularly delicious.  No, I did not eat them all myself and I did make them last until after Christmas.

I will be back in Paris in two weeks and will look for the windows to be decorated for Easter and spring.  I just may need to indulge in a "small" box...


Jeff de Bruges at
Stéphane Valentin
112-114, rue Mouffetard
75005 Paris

Friday, March 9, 2012

Artisan en réflexion

The covered galleries of Paris provide a window
into the ateliers and studios of artists.

Galerie Vivienne

bon weekend!

Galerie Vivienne
75002 Paris

Thursday, March 8, 2012

La patineuse artistique

In the bright midday sun of January,
the ice skaters moved around the temporary ice rink in front of Hôtel de Ville. 

This young woman was in a world of her own
as she gracefully made her turns, jumps and spins.

Hôtel de Ville
Place de l'Hôtel de Ville
75004 Paris

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Galerie Véro-Dodat -- un passage couvert

In 1826, two friends, Messieurs Véro and Dodat, opened a covered galerie between Rue du Bouloi and Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  Built in Neoclassical style with a decor that included details of copper and cast iron, along with mirrors and the black and white marble floor, it quickly became the darling of Paris.  At the very end of this covered passage, is the Louboutin boutique I featured a few days ago.

A recent renovation and sprucing holds promise for its future. 
The mirrors, the rich woods, the marble... all were sparkling.

Galerie Véro-Dodat
Rue Jean-Jacques et Rue du Bouloi
Métro Palais Royal
75001 Paris

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Le carrousel de la Tour Eiffel - renewable energy

Renewable energy

Who would think that a "carousel in Paris" and "renewable energy" would be in the same sentence?  On July 6, 2011, this interesting carousel was introduced, a carousel in which at least a portion of the power is generated through "pedaling" the horses and other vehicles.  Marcel Campion along with the assistance of Pascal Pouzet created this carousel of "renewable energy" from an existing merry-go-round.  For those who do not ride the carousel, there are several positions with recumbent bikes off to the side to help generate the power.  Additionally, there are photosensors, solar cells, a small windmill... and a more traditional motor to assist when little legs do not pedal quite fast enough to turn the gigantic carrousel.

 Oh, and the bonus is that structure looming in the background... 
La Tour Eiffel

Le carrousel de la Tour Eiffel
75007 Paris

Monday, March 5, 2012

Palais Royal - Galerie de Beaujolais

The late afternoon sun made for long shadows and soft colors in the Galerie de Beaujolais at Palais Royal.  I imagined that I could almost see the gold fence spires in the shadows.  You can see one actual spire in the open gate on the left.

I could spend hours here just watching the light change.

Galerie de Beaujolais
Palais Royal
75001 Paris

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Église Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois

The tall columns topped with garlands
give way to the brilliantly-colored windows.

bon dimanche 

Église Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois
2, place du Louvre
75001 Paris

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Galerie Véro-Dodat -- Louboutin!

The large windows of Louboutin in Galerie Véro-Dodat provided ample opportunity to check out many new styles of this exclusive brand.  The French luxury shoemaker Christian Louboutin opened at this location his first ever men's boutique in the fall of 2011.

I will bring you another view of this 19th century passage which has been gorgeously restored next week. 

Interestingly, I did not check out either the size or the price of these pumps!

Louboutin Boutique
Galerie Véro-Dodat
19, rue Jean-Jacques
75001 Paris

Friday, March 2, 2012

Des fleurs du printemps?

The bright selection of flowers in this upscale fleuriste (Marie pour 360 Degrés) could not even be contained in the large windows of the shop.  The colors spilled out across the street onto the columns of the Louvre. 

Although spring is still almost three weeks away, these blooms give us a taste of warmer days filled with sunshine.

bon weekend

For more reflections go to James' Weekend Reflections

Marie pour 360 Degrés
6, rue de l'Amiral de Coligny
Métro Louvre-Rivoli
75001 Paris

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Le Saint Médard Café - Paris friend

After a delightful Sunday lunch in January, I encountered this friendly gentleman as he prepared deux express with the enviable Cafés Richard machine, gleaming of chrome.  After a brief exchange about visitors and Paris, he agreed to a photo, and I will be taking a print to him when I return, bien sûr!

So, now I long for a Cafés Richard expresso/cappuccino machine along with the CR cups. 
I can taste that coffee still!

Le Saint Médard Café
53, rue Censier
75005 Paris