Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Zoom-zoom - Jardin du Luxembourg

Unless you have seen Jardin du Luxembourg on a weekend afternoon you cannot imagine the number of activities, families, children, singles...

Yes, you can even have a pony ride, a real one.
You can ride a carrousel with brass rings.
You can play a game of Pétanque.
You can sail a boat.
You can read a book while seated in a green chair with your feet propped on a fountain.
You can frolic on a playground that would never be allowed in our litigious country.

You can even get pulled around in a little green roadster... zoom-zoom!

Jardin du Luxembourg
75006 Paris

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jardin du Palais Royal - l'amour

Spring is not even in the air, but the lovers in Jardin du Palais Royal are unaware of the season and the weather. 

These two brought a bit of sunshine to the dreary January afternoon.

(pssst, I do not think they are French but not sure why)

Jardin du Palais Royal
75001 Paris


Monday, February 27, 2012

Nathalie Garçon - Galeries Vivienne

I am sure that you do not have to wonder how I selected this boutique for a photo...

Yes, it was initially the red walls...
and then the amazing hand-blown glass chandelier...

It was not until I got home that I discovered this delightful grand couturier, Nathalie Garçon, who created her own line in 1989 after making a name for herself with Cacharel.  Follow the link to see her website, to read more about her collaborations in many areas, and I think that you will love the music on her home page.... "Autrefois"

Nathalie Garçon
15-17 Galerie Vivienne
75002 Paris

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Église Saint-Louis-en-l'Île

The seventeenth century church on the island of Saint Louis was dedicated to Saint-Louis, Louis IX, King of France.  The ornate Baroque style interior is in stark contrast to the somber exterior.

Although one may imagine this organ as a centuries-old masterpiece, it has a more recent history.  It was made by Aubertin in 2004 (51 stops, 69 ranks) and blends seamlessly with the surrounding periods.  As with many Paris churches there are multiple organs, and I will show you the chancel organ on another Sunday post.

So, before you stop in Berthillon for an ice cream, wander east on Rue St. Louis to see this magnificent church.  You will notice the high, large clock which stands out as you look down the street.

bon dimanche

Église Saint-Louis-en-l'Île
19 bis, rue St Louis en l'Île
75004 Paris


Saturday, February 25, 2012

From CDG to Paris

When you arrive at CDG airport in Paris, how do you get into the city?

Oskar prefers to take the RER which is easy for him as he travels light... one small bag and he is ready to go.  The price is good at 9,10€ allé simple (one way) and there are multiple options for stations and transfers after you get into the city.  Be sure to hold onto your ticket as you will need it to exit any of the arrival stations.  On my last trip into Paris with Oskar and Holly, we departed the RER B at Châtelet les Halles to walk several blocks to our apartment.  Now, let me say that Châtelet les Halles is an enormous arrival station with many levels.  We were simply headed for the exit at street level and did not have to take the stairs even once.  We rode at least 5 escalators but no stairs either up or down. 
Note: This does not work going the other direction!

Another option from CDG is the RoissyBus which leaves every 15 minutes from Terminals 1, 2, and 3 and arrives at Opéra (Rue Scribe and Rue Auber) for 10€ one way.  You do get a more scenic view for your arrival in Paris and you do not have to be worried about the dreaded stairs.  The return is just as simple with the departure from Opéra every 15 minutes.

If you are not concerned about the cost, you can simply take a taxi, but I can envision all the other ways to spend my Euros and with only carry-on luggage it is not that difficult to avoid a taxi.  If you go to the links above you can plan for your arrival and transportation, deciding on the best option for your preferences and final destination in Paris.

Oskar says, "Bienvenue à Paris!"


Friday, February 24, 2012

Deux vélos

In the elegant halls of Galerie Vivienne, this pair of bikes parked just around the corner of the old librarie (bookstore) founded in 1826.  The large flat baskets on the front of each of these bikes appear to be the perfect transport for stacks of books.

I would love to think that I could sport around Paris on one of these, but the challenge of taking photos and riding would likely be a bad combination.  

Would you ride a bike in Paris?

bon weekend!

Galerie Vivienne
Rue des Petits-Champs
75002 Paris

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Surely there is a story about this restaurant in Paris named... "Jet-Lag"

All that I have read is that it is an American style (?) restaurant with about two and a half stars (out of five) on several rating sites.  Three additional questions:

Why would you put an American style restaurant on this wonderful street for foodies in Paris?

and.... why would you give it such a repulsive name? 
Do you really want to eat in a place called "jet-lag"?

On a positive note, I do like the red and white café chairs and tables.

3, rue de Montorgueil
75001 Paris

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rue Mouffetard, timeless...

Rue Mouffetard is a familiar sight, but the absence of diners and des flaneurs is a bit unusual.  The gentleman's trenchcoat and hat is reminiscent of a past era.  Certaintly, the scenery has not changed much along this street in the past fifty years.  I think that the blackboards with the handwritten menus are the same although the food offerings have been updated to keep up with current tastes? 
What do you think?  In this area of Paris I am not so sure.

Today feels like a Monday to many. 
If you are one who, like me, enjoyed the festivities of Mardi Gras...

Happy Monday and welcome to a short week!

Rue Mouffetard
75005 Paris

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras!

Today is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Carnivale....
It is last day to eat galette des rois, the last day of festivities before Ash Wednesday and Lent.

For us, far beyond Paris, we will be enjoying the last days of merriment, parades, and parties with hats.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Must be a French girl

After posting the French-girl-wanna-be dressed in a red coat,
I thought that I would show you the genuine article.

Jardin du Luxembourg on a Sunday afternoon is a guaranteed treat for people-watchers and photographers.  Virginia, Holly, and Isabelle joined me for an action-clicking afternoon.  This little girl was running toward the large octagonal pool to watch the action of sailboats or perhaps the toy motor boats shown by Virginia here.

There was no shortage of action in all of Jardin du Luxembourg,
and I will have many more photos to show you in future posts.

Jardin du Luxembourg
75006 Paris

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Église St. Gervais et St. Protais II

This 17th century church, situated just to the east of Hôtel de Ville in the Marais, holds many interesting details.  The church origins trace back to the 6th century and this current structure was built in Flamboyant Gothic style.  On this bright January morning, the rows and rows of pew benches made long shadows in the patterned rug.

The church today is affiliated with the Monastic and Lay Communities of Jerusalem, which is committed to bring prayer to the city, at times that suit the schedules of working people with services beore the work day begins; during the lunch hours; and when the work day is finished.

bon dimanche

Église St. Gervais et St. Protais
Place Saint Gervais
75004 Paris

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Must be a French girl...

She has the style, the self-assured attitude, the certain je ne sais quoi...

Wait... Is that a LLBean backpack?
It is not a French girl, but close!

Rue d'Arcole
Ile de la Cité
75004 Paris

Friday, February 17, 2012

Un petit garçon en rouge

Just before walking into the Basilique de Notre-Dame des Victoires,
I sensed a movement out of the corner of my eye. 

Looking up to the left in this premier étage window,
I saw this little child actually licking the window. 
By the time I could swing my lens his way,
he was looking wistfully down at the street
to the older children in the Place des Petits-Pères. 
The church façade is reflected in the large windows.

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

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Place de la Contrescarpe

With all the active fountains in January,
I wonder how many are flowing in the frigid temperatures of February.

The bright winter sun illuminated the fountain in Place de la Contrescarpe,
offset by a background of rouge.

Place de la Contrescarpe
75005 Paris

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Room with a view...

Our apartment in Paris last month had this lovely view from the tall kitchen window. 
The lace curtain filtered the early morning sun on the Haussmanian building
across Rue la Feuillades from our apartment. 

Having un café et un croissant while admiring this view,
we almost felt like Parisiennes.

Rue la Feuillades
75002 Paris

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

L'amour dans le jardin

In the center of  Jardin du Palais Royal is a bench. 
Except in freezing weather or during a rainstorm,
you will likely see a couple clenched in an embrace,
nothing too racy, but l'amour à Paris.

May you give a hug today and receive one in turn.


I have a treat for you...
a tray of Valentine cookies made to share (virtually) with my blog readers. 

Who will bring the Champagne?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Jardin du Palais Royal
75001 Paris

Mobile in South Alabama, USA

Monday, February 13, 2012


Seen in a shop window in the Marais,
this would make a great dress for a Valentine's Day party.

It will be a bit too much for my Valentine's Day plans!
Do you have anything special planned for tomorrow,
 and do you give a Valentine or two?

Do you remember passing out Valentines to classmates,
maybe even decorating a box for yours?

Une vitrine en rouge
75004 Paris

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Église St. Gervais et St. Protais

With a storied history of musicians and composers, this Gothic church is filled with light.  
 The bright January sun doubled the beauty of this stained glass window.

bon dimanche 

Église St. Gervais et St. Protais
Place Saint Gervais
75004 Paris

Saturday, February 11, 2012


One of my favorite markets is at Place d'Aligre, a daily market about which I have posted many times.  On a recent Sunday I spied two large boxes with an assortment of plastic toys and trinkets. In looking at the photos I took, it seems that I might have wanted a single souvenir to perch at home among my little collection of Pez dispensers.  I would not have wanted a dozen but just one, the right one, of course.

Certainly, I have bought my share of Paris souvenirs and have towels, hats, aprons from many cities around the world, but in recent years have been most happy with small little remembrances:  an old key bought from a Paris friend in the Marais, an antique handkerchief with a hand-embroidered initial for my husband, fêves (bien sûr), old post cards and photographs, a Champagne glass, a grocery tote from the Monoprix, second-hand children's books, etc.

What about you? 

Not counting edible items (macarons, fromage, baguettes), what do you buy as a reminder of your trip to Paris or any other place in the world, near or far?

Marché d'Aligre
Place d'Aligre
Métro Ledru-Rollin
75012 Paris

Friday, February 10, 2012

Au Panetier - boulangerie de tradition

Au Panetier

On each trip to Paris, my "check list" includes two new boulangeries/pâtisseries.  Sometimes I have a specific name (Moulin de la Vierge) but often I just stumble into one. 

Au Panetier has been in the same place on places des Petits-Pères facing Basilique Notre-Dame-des-Victoires since 1896.  The prices were extraordinarily inexpensive for 2 cafés and 2 pains au chocolat, enjoyed in the ambiance of the Art Nouveau surroundings.  In the fifteen minutes we were here (on the first day) there was a revolving line of people making their selections.  The extra treat is that this was just around the corner from our apartment!  While you are there you can pick up a sourdough baguette hot from the wood-fired oven to take with you.

I just wished for a small taste of pain au chocolat this morning and un café served in a Cafés Richard cup.  I hope that my friend Mary will enjoy one for all of us today!

bon weekend!

For more reflections go to James' Weekend Reflections

Au Panetier
10, places des Petits-Pères
75002 Paris

(I ignored the "no photos" sign, okay?)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Un landau

Un landau - a pram - a baby carriage - une voiture d'enfant

With the challenges of the Métro, busses, and steps in Paris, how do you manage to stroll your bébé in this fine carriage?  Holly has a very old one and I can vouch that they are as heavy as a car and bigger than some I have seen in Paris! 

This one sits in the foyer of a building and is only one step up from the street.  I have watched young mothers with two little children, three bags of groceries, and a portable stroller struggle in the Métro so I am assuming that this large model would only be for a jaunt to a nearby park or garden. 

I posted one here in which the grandmère strolled the little Parisienne princess in Jardins du Ranelagh (near Musée Marmottan).  The petite baby must have lived in the neighborhood.

Un landau
75001, Paris

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Palais Royal

As one walks out of the north end of the Jardin du Palais Royal,
this cavalcade of columns presents a maze of light and shadows
marking the exit from the quiet garden onto the streets of Paris.

Palais Royal
75001 Paris

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cimetière du Montparnasse

Gone, but not forgotten by family and friends.

Cimetière du Montparnasse
75014, Paris

Monday, February 6, 2012

Expédition Polaire!

I saw the above billboard in a Métro stop during my November visit and quickly snapped a (poor) shot before the doors closed.  I even knew the station location but the billboard had been replaced before I could return for a better photo.

In January, Holly pointed it out on the side of a bus pulling away from the curb and I hastily "clicked."  If you have ever seen the fountains of Versailles you would understand the amazement of the snow and ice on this scene.  The Apollo fountain depicts Apollo the conqueror on his chariot pulled by four horses representing force and ardour.  He is getting out of the water among sea monsters to enlighten the Earth as he represents the rising Sun.  In Versailles all the statues of Apollo represent Louis XIV, the sun king.

This is the Apollo Fountain on a July day many years ago for contrast

To my Paris friends, take many snow photos to share with me. 
Wish I was there to see the snow again
 and would just die to see the Apollo Fountain in snow and ice!

Le Château de Versailles
78000 Versailles, France

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Église Saint-Ephrem Le-Syriaque

This is as close as I could get to Église Saint-Ephren Le-Syriaque and had to shoot from behind the iron gates.

As you can see from the poster this church is often filled with music and is known for its classical concerts.  According to the signs, there is a regular Mass on Sundays.  The first church edifice was built here in 1334, the second in 1685, and the one standing on the site today is the third built in 1733.

Here is a link to the concert schedule for 2012.

bon dimanche

Église Saint-Ephrem Le-Syriaque
15, rue des Carmes
75005, Paris

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Oskar at Longchamp

The shopping in Paris is "the cat's meow"
and Oskar enjoyed visiting the Longchamp boutique before he returned to the USA.

(Oskar is my travel kitty, given life by brattcat
and named for our first Paris apartment cat
and LaPouyette's Oskar who is recovering from an accident.)


Friday, February 3, 2012

French girl - reflecting

Sitting in the window of Fauchon on Place de la Madeleine,
this young woman was reviewing her journal,
perhaps waiting on a friend, reflecting in the winter Paris sun.

Definitely a French girl

bon weekend

(for more reflections see James' Weekend Reflections)

30, place de la Madeleine
75008, Paris

Thursday, February 2, 2012

La Chandeleur -- le jour des crêpes

For this crêpe maker, every day is le jour des crêpes.

The Catholic feast day, La Chandeleur, celebrates the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple 40 days after Christmas, on February 2nd.  It is also referred to as "Candlemas" or Candle Mass for the blessing of beeswax candles used in the church all during the year.

In France the day is celebrated with crêpes which must be eaten only after 8:00pm.  If the cook can flip a crêpe while holding a coin in the other hand, the family is guaranteed a prosperous year.  The many rituals and superstitions surrounding this date include the Groundhog Day test of whether or not the little animal sees his shadow.

We always have crêpes (if I am not traveling), and Holly goes out for her crêpes with friends.  I think that my photo is going to give you two days of feasts in one as Sunday (February 5) is World Nutella Day!  I think that I will have my crêpes with bananas, Nutella, ice cream, and a little dollop of Chantilly cream.  It is after all a feast

Will you have savory or sweet crêpes?

Rue Mouffetard
75005, Paris 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bistrot Victoires avec mes amis

In our first hours in Paris, Holly and I met friends Peter,
Mary, and Virginia at Bistrot Victoires.
We plied our travel-weary selves with delicious tartines and Champagne.

As you can see from the menu, the tartines are made with Poilâne bread. 
It was delicious enough that Holly and I came back
later in the week with sweet friend, Isabelle.

They did not seem to mind the crazy people with cameras
snapping every corner, zinc bar, and cranny!

Bistrot Victoires
6, rue la Vrillière
75001, Paris