Category Archives: Paris in winter

Welcome To December

Whoa. December. How did that happen?

I am still shaking the sand out of my eyes and ears, having buried my head in escape from much of what was going on around me for several weeks following a certain day in November. I am back in the game, though still avoiding as much news as possible, which I am fully aware is not a mature way to deal, but it seems to help manage my anxiety so I am going with it. And also this.

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Anne never lets me down.

We made our first trip to Napa last month and I was smitten. What a gorgeous part of this country.

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We also made a second trip to Washington DC to visit our daughter. It was a lot more fun than the moving weekend- no trips to Target required. The city was aflame with autumn and refreshed us with crisp air.

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Thanksgiving happened at our house this year. Having my whole family at my table made me very thankful.

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but it was kind of hard to pass the salt

My November Nature Escape took me to Pedernales Falls State Park with my dog and a good friend. Still not many colorful trees to be found, but the day was glorious.

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Meanwhile back in the kitchen- did you know you can freeze pomegranate seeds? Well YOU CAN!

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I usually remove the seeds in a big bowl of water, but this time I tried a Martha Stewart technique which involved holding a half in one hand and spanking the peel side with a wooden spoon until all the ruby beauties fell out. I’m not sure it was any easier, but it did relieve some frustration.

Then I put spread the seeds out on a tray and froze them before sealing them all up into a large zip bag, where they await my December salads and cocktails and any other uses for them I can dream up. They taste pretty good by their little frozen selves, too.

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I have sought refuge in many a good book these past few weeks. This one particularly pleased me, and didn’t seem to get a lot of press. The author is British and wrote the short story on which the film 45 Years was based. (I also loved that film, though Mark yawned all the way through it. Anyone else see it?) The prose in this novel took my breath away.

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And yes, I would be lying if I said I haven’t fantasized about flying back to Paris for a good long while. Remember December in Paris?

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even though I never cared for those “hula hoop” decorations on the Champs

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Le sigh. Let’s go back.

But no- it’s onward and upward. Bring it, December! I am looking forward to a driving trip back to Pagosa Springs, Colorado (where it was 9 degrees this morning!!), lots of time in my kitchen, some fires in my fireplace, all the books, and good thoughts for 2017. What about you?

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Filed under books, Christmas, cooking, Paris, Paris in winter, Uncategorized

Happy New Year, Paris!

Mark and I took the mid-afternoon train on Thursday from London to Paris, arriving just as the City of Light was getting dark. Mark has some business here (hooray!), so we thanked London for her hospitality, kissed her goodbye, and returned to this place that holds so many wonderful memories.

Can I just tell you how happy I am to be back in my favorite city??? I don’t think I have stopped smiling in the two days we have been here. Paris in January is divine-the big winter light is everywhere and the crowds have disappeared. Restaurants that usually require reservations days in advance are happy to offer us a table on short notice. PLUS it’s SALE TIME again! I have virtually no room in my suitcase but I am not opposed to jettisoning all of the clothes I have been wearing non-stop for four months to make space for bargains. Or even for “not quite bargains”. For the first time in several years I don’t know when my next trip to Paris will be, so I might need to take some Paris home with me. And compared with London, everything is a bargain. I think you can see where this is going.

I covered some serious ground yesterday.

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breakfast!

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It’s King Cake time again!

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I stopped by Merci, hoping for bargains.

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Of course I had to go say “bonjour” to the Place des Vosges. It looked a tad woebegone without its leafy green canopies, but still managed to be elegant.

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My favorite fancy hot chocolate spot was sparkly and beautiful.

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With some quick steps I managed to just catch the pink of the sun on the tops of Notre Dame.

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That evening I met Mark and some co-workers at the Mini Palais, one of our favorite places for drinks or dinner. I took the metro, and when I popped up I was pleasantly surprised to find the Champs Elysees still wearing her Christmas best.

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The Christmas vendors were still hawking their wares.

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The Mini Palais sits in a corner of the Grand Palais, and has one of the best terraces in town.

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The food looked almost too pretty to eat.

pumpkin soup with chestnuts

pumpkin soup with chestnuts

the BEST scallops

the BEST scallops

Not a bad day at all.

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Christmas, Grand Palais, Marais, Notre Dame, Paris, Paris dining, Paris in winter, Place de Vosges, Uncategorized

Color Me Happy

It was a bee-u-tee-ful Wednesday in Paris! Colors popped out at me where none had been seen for days.

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excuse me but may I have your tote and the mustard coat that goes so well with it thanks

 

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even the bees were happy

even the bees were happy

Valentines Day is much more understated than it is at home. This window is about as over the top as it gets.

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The weather was fabulous, but I am also happy because tomorrow we go spend a long weekend with my older daughter, Claire, in Madrid. And for icing on the cake- we will celebrate my birthday together on Friday! Hip hip hooray! Who wouldn’t be happy about that?

I hope to be posting from Spain, but in the meantime….

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from “Ah-ha to Zig-Zag” by Maira Kalman

Thank you and good day.

 

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Filed under fashion, flowers, gardens, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, Paris in winter, Saint Germain des Pres, Uncategorized

Looking In And Out Of Windows

I have been on the couch all week with a bug, which has left me plenty of time to look out my window and contemplate life. And cough.

Sunday night my window offered this view

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Just a few short minutes ago, my window looked like this.

 

It rarely snows in Paris, and this snow didn’t stick, but was fun to watch fall.

The Louis Vuitton windows on Ave. Montaigne look like this

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Ever sweet Bonpoint offered this glimpse of springtime and butterflies.

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I’m not so sure about these Chanel windows. Do we really want to go back to the days of leg warmers?

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And in closing, these flowers in the window of a fancy florist would brighten any sick room.

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Enjoy the view from your windows today, mes amis.

 

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Filed under Ave. Montaigne, fashion, flowers, Paris, Paris in winter, Paris sunsets

Sonia Delaunay- Coloring Paris

I am a big advocate for Paris in winter. I love the cold weather, the frequent grey skies, and most of all, the light that comes through the skeletal trees. I recently became aware of how monochromatic the city becomes in winter, when the grey buildings and the grey streets meld with the grey skies and trees.

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Perhaps that is why I was so delighted with the Sonia Delaunay exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art .

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The exhibit included her prints, paintings, wall decorations, fashion items, and textiles- all pulsating with deep, vibrant color. I would have enjoyed it even more if the exhibit had been less crowded and less hellishly hot. Here is a video of what the show looks like in the museum without any people in the way.

No photography was allowed in the exhibit, which was cruel because the scale and colors of many of the works made them so suited for photographing.

Here are a few images of her work from the internet.

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Sonia established her own fashion label and designed textiles that were simply gorgeous. Here are two examples.

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Delaunay arrows

The exhibit runs until February 22 and is well worth a visit.

If Paris is not in your travel plans between now and then, please check out this wonderful museum link containing many of her works, as well as other videos of the exhibition.

Musée d’Art Moderne

11 Avenue du President Wilson (16th)

 

 

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Filed under art, Musee d' Art Moderne, Paris in winter, Sonia Delaunay, 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.

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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….

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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

Sunday Morning Walk to the Raspail Market

“Bon dimanche,” as one sometimes hears in France. Or, “happy Sunday”, as one never hears at home. My Sunday began gray and cold, but I was determined to take a long walk and the dreary weather did not deter me. As it turned out, a puffy coat, warm scarf, hat, gloves, and a brisk pace kept me perfectly comfortable. The sun surprised me along the way, (of course it did, seeing as how I hadn’t brought my sunglasses) and the morning developed into a lovely day. I enjoyed my outing so much that I found myself wishing for a walking companion with whom to share my joy. Being solo, I opted to take a lot of pictures, and I hope they will communicate some of the contentment I felt along the way.

These red cranes were lined up on the Champs-Elysées near the Grand Palais. I loved the way they looked through the bare trees

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I think I might have gotten cold if I had been waiting in this looooong line at the Grand Palais. All these folks had waited until the final day of the Hokusai exhibit and were paying the price for their procrastination.

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Um, no thanks I”ll pass.

It was a tad chilly for the upper deck of the tourist tour bus.

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After crossing the river, I began walking with my eyes looking up at the elegant buildings lining Blvd. Saint-Germain.

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Also along this street are several sad signs honoring soldiers who died there in World War II.

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Many pastry shops still feature the lovely “galettes du roi”, which are made of puff pastry and almond paste and eaten in December and January in observance of Epiphany. Each contains a darling little “feve” which one hopes to get in his or her piece but also hopes not to break a tooth on. He who gets the prize gets to wear the crown! Need I mention that these taste infinitely better than American king cakes? I didn’t think so.

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I walked a bit longer than I needed to behind this mom and daughter because she was so darned cute.

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Hellooooo? Does anyone up there want to go on a walk with me?

My destination was the Sunday organic market at Avenue Raspail. I didn’t need to buy produce, but it’s always entertaining. And beautiful. Oh my.

Busy market but so much nicer than Sunday in HEB.

Busy market but so much nicer than Sunday in HEB.

Eating local is pretty easy to do in France.

Eating local is pretty easy to do in France.

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Bonjour Madame!

Bonjour Madame!

These people, and many others, were happy to wait in line for these eggs.

These people, and many others, were happy to wait in line for these eggs.

I think these lovely products were made from olive wood, although I did not confirm.

I think these lovely products were made from olive wood, although I did not confirm.

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Winter produce is so photogenic!

I wandered around a bit after leaving the market, because it was just too pretty to hop on the bus for home.

The Grande Dame of department stores was looking stunning in the sunshine.

The Grande Dame of department stores was looking stunning in the sunshine.

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Cuteness abounds.

Cuteness abounds.

When at last I got on the 83, I sat in the very back of the bus, which is an elevated row of seats. I pretty much felt like the Boss of the Bus.

Home, James.

Home, James.

Never forget to look out the window when you are riding the 83 back home.

Never forget to look out the window when you are riding the 83 back home.

Instead of my usual bounty of produce, today I have only some delicious baked items from my trip to the market.

This gorgeous English muffin was delicious with a cup of tea when I got home. Of course, it was really just another vehicle for salted butter, but whatever.

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And what do you think these are?

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If you said “tomato and onion and cheese tartlet to go with your lentil soup tonight”, you are correct. If you said they look like boobies, you are just nasty.

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Because they clearly look like eyes. And the nose and mouth are “chaussons aux pommes”. Apple turnovers to you. Dessert to me. Yum!

I really loved my Sunday morning. I hope that you found some joy in yours, too. Thanks for letting me be part of it!

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Filed under Champs Elysees, Marche Raspail, Paris in winter