Category Archives: Montmartre

Some Ugly At Last

Just in time, Paris provided the perfect antidote to my overriding blog theme of “ain’t life grand in Paris”, a theme which was bordering on insufferable. You know you have thought it at least a time or two.

Last week, on the first full day of my friend Martha’s visit, we set off for Montmartre, which always sparkles extra brightly when the sun is shining through azure sky. We took the bus a few stops and then began walking, enjoying the quiet streets and congratulating ourselves on avoiding the crush of tourists and tacky souvenir shops that fill the main street leading to Sacre Coeur. I was mapping our way on my phone, carrying it until I saw a sign for “Place du Tertre”, at which point I stuck the phone in my purse and soon began following Martha up some steps. Approximately two minutes later I reached back into my purse to retrieve my phone so I could photograph an artist with his easel who had begun climbing the steps in front of us. I fumbled for my phone in my small bag all the way up the stairs, only to discover at the top that my phone had disappeared. Apparently someone had seen me carrying it and began following me, closely and quietly, until I put it in my purse and he/she was able to snatch it. Martha was in front of me during our walk and climb, so she would not have noticed anyone tailing me. I suppose I had felt so safe that I did not zip my purse back up, knowing I would be pulling the phone back out momentarily. I cannot describe how confused and disbelieving I was when I realized my phone was missing. It was the oddest feeling, and not a good one. The lesson, my friends, is never to let down your guard when on the streets of Paris, even when you do not feel the least vulnerable.

I was able to shake it off and not allow my day to be spoiled, but I am still pretty bitter about it. But hey- I needed some Paris Ugly, and she provided it. At least now my content is more fair and balanced. But man I miss my phone.

On a more positive note, we thoroughly enjoyed a Bonnard exhibit at the Musee d’Orsay.

IMG_5415

IMG_5413

IMG_5412

doesn't the woman on the right look as though she is in the painting?

doesn’t the woman on the right look as though she is in the painting?

We also paid a visit to Merci, which finally had its newest installation complete. It appears to be a laundry theme, like the one frequently installed at my house.

IMG_5400

IMG_5397

IMG_5394

IMG_5396

The sun is still shining here, and the trees and flowers are in full splendor. We are spending a lot of time outside and have enjoyed more than one glass of bubbly “au terrasse”. Life is good, but it’s even better with a phone.

Stay vigilant, mes amis, and keep all your zippers zipped.

And if you play Words With Friends or Scramble with me, now you know why I haven’t taken a turn in ten days.

The world can be ugly, but you, little nugget, are precious.

The world can be ugly, but you, little nugget, are precious.

8 Comments

Filed under Montmartre, Paris, shopping, springtime in Paris, Uncategorized

Fresh Eyes On Paris

My mom has returned to visit and this time she brought my niece, who is fifteen years old and making her first trip out of the country. It has been such fun seeing Paris through her eyes. I hope she never forgets this trip with her grandmother and her aunt and uncle. I am already planning to visit her when she does her junior semester here in six or so years!

The day they arrived we walked down to the Grand Palais to see if there were any interesting “fashion types” entering the building for the Shiatzy Chen fashion show.

IMG_1901

IMG_1905

Yep, there were a few.

The next day we spent the morning close to home, shopping at the Wilson market, and enjoying the fashion museum and the Museum of Modern Art. The fashion museum is featuring the French designer Lanvin in a new exhibit that is absolutely wonderful. Don’t miss it if you are in the neighborhood.

I can't resist taking pictures of these gorgeous color blasts.

I can’t resist taking pictures of these gorgeous Delaunay color blasts at the Modern Art Museum.

IMG_1910

Can you see the river sparkling out there?

 

In addition to a stellar collection of art, the Paris Museum of Modern Art also boasts a pretty fabulous view of the Eiffel Tower.

IMG_1912

 

That afternoon the sky was so blue that we had no choice but to walk around Montmartre.

IMG_1913

my mama and my niece

my mama and my niece

IMG_1916

IMG_1917

IMG_1918

IMG_1920

IMG_1921

IMG_1923

We were pretty tired at the end of the day, but not too tired to take a bus five stops to Le Bon Georges, where we were greeted warmly and fed a tasty meal, indeed.

IMG_1924

IMG_1926

melt in your mouth sole meuniere

melt in your mouth sole meuniere

And then we went home and fell into bed.

The End.

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under art, Eiffel Tower, fashion, Montmartre, Musee d' Art Moderne, Palais Galliera, Paris, Paris dining, Paris Fashion Week, Sacre-Coeur, Uncategorized

Shopping And A Late Lunch

The sun smiled down on my daughter Martha and me on her last day in Paris. We decided to walk to a store I had read about called Sept-Cinq on the edges of Montmartre. This day, like many days here, was more about a journey than a destination, but it’s nice to have a spot on the map to shoot for, if only for a sense of purpose. Not that there is anything wrong with aimlessness, mind you.

IMG_5057

Eglise de la Sainte-Trinité

IMG_5073

All too soon we stumbled upon the cozy little Sept Cinq, a shop dedicated to items made by Paris craftsmen. And as the sign says, there is also a small section in the back for a little refreshment after one has shopped up a need for a snack.

IMG_5073

 

IMG_5074

IMG_5070

IMG_5059

The Paris-made treats range from T-shirts to shoes, candles, cards, jewelry, and purses. I spent quite a while lingering over each charming collection. And take a look at the floor.

I'm a sucker for these old tile floors.

I’m a sucker for these old tile floors.

IMG_5062

IMG_5063

IMG_5061

IMG_5067

even stuff for the dudes!

 

IMG_5069

but sometimes I pretend to be

but sometimes I pretend to be

IMG_5066

The petite tea area in the back was so inviting. Perfect for a private conversation with a best girl friend and a nice cup of something hot.

IMG_5065

totally dig that wallpaper

 

IMG_5064

Such a nice little find! But we were not ready to return home, so we kept walking uphill.

IMG_5076

IMG_5077

IMG_5078

It was almost 3:00 when we decided we were kind of hungry. I was inclined to pop in to a bar for a glass of red, but Martha wanted something more substantial. Like lunch. Granted, it’s a bit late for lunch, even in Paris, but when we entered a cute restaurant a man asked if we wanted to eat lunch and we said yes. He told us to sit down in the back, where we waited patiently for a menu. Eventually another man came over and when we asked for a menu he said it might be too late for lunch- he would check. He returned with menus and told us it was fine. SO Martha chose risotto and I chose an open-faced sandwich from another part of the menu labeled “quatre heure”. He told Martha they were out of both risottos on the menu. He told me I couldn’t order the sandwich because it was not for lunch- it was for after lunch time. Hmmmm. We seemed to be somewhere in- between lunch and happy hour and should we just get the hell out of here. We decided to give it one more try. Martha asked for the warm goat cheese salad and, miraculously, she could have it. I had given up and stuck with a glass of red. I tell you this whole story because it is so typical of what one finds in France, and can drive you crazy if you let it. We were happy we stayed, however,  because the salad was delicious, and he even encouraged us to share it, which is not typical of Paris. Lucky for me, Martha did share, and we licked the platter clean.

IMG_5079

When we finally got out of there (I think they were hoping we would stick around for “quatre heure” offerings), the sun was on the wane, casting a lovely pink hue on Sacre Coeur.

IMG_5081

Sept Cinq
54 Rue Notre-Dame de Lorette, 75009
Tel: +33 (0)9 83 55 05 95
Métro: Saint-Georges

2 Comments

Filed under Montmartre, Paris, Paris dining, Sacre-Coeur, shopping, Uncategorized

Girl Time In Paris

When I came back to Paris this time I was lucky enough to be joined first by one daughter, and then the other, and THEN three of her friends from Texas. Do I even need to tell you how wonderful it was having 4/5 of my family here? Pret-ty darn fabulous. We missed our son/brother, bien sûr, but sent him pics until he begged us to stop.

My two daughters were here together for a few days. We did some shopping and some dining, and enjoyed Paris at Christmas time.

IMG_4934

Then Martha’s three friends/roommates arrived, and the apartment quickly overflowed with girls and boots and good smells and laughter. I was one very content mama, I can tell you.

The girls made the most of their six-day stay, and were admired by many a man about town. They may not have noticed, but I was behind them, picking up the rear, and I can assure you that they never went unnoticed. But I guess they are used to that. Ah, youth.

Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde

I can't remember where this one was taken.

I can’t remember where this one was taken.

on the one sunny day....

on the one sunny day….

unnamed-5

IMG_4992

IMG_4988

That same sunny day they also had a pricey drink at the top of the Pompidou, followed by gelato at Amorino.

 

Martha and I shared the tour guide umbrella. One day I took them to Saint-Germain because, you know, j’adore.

bus stop beauties

bus stop beauties

We went to Luxembourg Gardens, which was pretty empty on a cold winter’s day.

IMG_5047

IMG_5049

We also visited Au Bon Marche, Cire Trudon, Coton Deux (we love their pajamas), Hermes, Rue de Buci, and finished at Cafe de Flore for hot chocolate and wine (for moi).

Another day we went to the fun and feisty Marche d’Aligre, where the girls got A LOT of appreciation from the spirited vendors.

IMG_1774

We had fun looking at all the produce and enjoying many juicy citrus samples. The small flea market just behind the outdoor market revealed treasures to be explored. One friend bargained hard and bought this framed pencil sketch for her mom. I think she ended up getting it for 1/2 of the first price he quoted her. The girl’s got skills.

IMG_1782

From the flea market we entered the old covered market, which was still festive with Christmas decorations and lights.

IMG_1775

IMG_1779

IMG_1780

IMG_1776

I loved having these girls in Paris with us. They were perfect guests. They were super enthusiastic about everything, even through jet lag and winter grey. They were all adventurous eaters, which automatically earned my badge of approval. No one needed lots of primping time, so they were able to get out of the apartment early each morning, making their tour guide very happy. They helped in the kitchen and cleaned up after themselves, and they even let Mark and me hang out on the couches with them. And did I mention that they loved to eat??? Gold stars all around!

It sure has been nice living in a city that people want to visit. Mark and I have had such fun entertaining guests during our time here. It’s hard not to have a good time in Paris. We miss our family, and we miss our friends, but sometimes they meet us in Paris, which is always a good idea.

Merci, girls, for making Paris just a little more sparkly for a week.

Now get to work. And Hook ‘Em Horns!

2 Comments

Filed under Cire Trudon, Eiffel Tower, family, flea market, flowers, food markets, gardens, Luxembourg Gardens, Montmartre, Paris, Paris in winter, Sacre-Coeur, Uncategorized

Speed Bump

Bonjour, mes amis. I am loath to tell you that my Paris antics have been  curtailed due to clumsiness  an unfortunate accident I suffered while visiting Le Musee de la Vie Romantique on Friday. The museum is in a charming, crooked little house build in 1830 at the foot of Montmartre hill. The house feels untouched by passing time, and one can still hear the conversation and music that must have filled its rooms when George Sand, Chopin, and other artists used to congregate here.

IMG_4114

IMG_4115

A two room studio sits just in front and to the side of the house, and that is where I enjoyed the paintings in both rooms and then stepped out of the second, forgetting that I had climbed two steps to get into that room just minutes before. I didn’t land in a heap on the floor, but I did perform mid-air acrobatics before landing hard on my right foot. All to say, it isn’t broken or even severely injured, but it has slowed me down significantly. As you probably know, my little adventures usually involve many miles of walking on uneven and crowded streets, and I have been hesitant to do that on an ankle that still looks lumpy and slightly fat. Which is why I spent this last delightfully temperate weekend on our couch, catching up on Downton Abbey and reading The Antagonist, both of which were very entertaining but not Paris!

Oh yes, before we left the museum we had to sit and enjoy a spot of tea in this charming courtyard.

IMG_4116

One other instance of unfairness this weekend- I had to lose an hour of sleep for the second time this spring, as France changed its time on Sunday. I wonder why all countries don’t move clocks at the same time? It was nice having only 6 hours difference between us and home, and now it’s 7.  However, I do look forward to having evenings lit for after-dinner walks, once I am able to enjoy them again.

In closing, we did get out for a nice dinner on the l’Ile de Saint- Louis Sunday night. We ate at Mon Vieil Ami and enjoyed smiling service and delicious food.

IMG_3870

IMG_3868

For dessert we bought Berthillon ice cream at the stand by the river that always has a long line in summer but was blissfully short on a Sunday night in March. We ate our cones while leaning against the bridge, watching the water, and listening to a very good street guitar player. Not a bad way to end a lazy weekend at all.

 

 

I always enjoy being in that neighborhood at night. It feels so dramatic.

IMG_3874

A quick update- my ankle is much better (hooray!).  We are off to Dubai tomorrow for a quick trip.  Hoping for no speed bumps!

3 Comments

Filed under Montmartre, Paris, Paris dining, Paris museum

Paris- Where Even The Rocks Are Elegant

IMG_0945

IMG_2268

IMG_2271

2 Comments

Filed under Montmartre, Paris, Uncategorized

Montmartre

IMG_2270

2 Comments

June 11, 2013 · 2:04 am