Tag Archives: Tuileries

Sunset In Paris

One of my favorite parts of summer in Paris is the lingering daylight. Even though it really messes with my sleep patterns, I love how it stays light here now until 10:00. Paris is beautiful in any light, but there is something magical about the glow from the waning sun.

Mark was out of town on Monday night and I ventured out to the Pont des Arts (which has now re-opened with the temporary panels) to watch the sun set from the Seine.

The inside panels of the bridge have been decorated by several different street artists. As you can imagine, not everyone approves.

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of course the graffiti has already begun

I kind of like the melting locks

I kind of like the melting locks

The Pont Neuf was particularly lovely in the changing light.

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As you can see, the little park at the tip of the island is not only a favorite picnic spot, it also is popular with the sunset crowd. Not that you can’t do both simultaneously.

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I loved the numbers on this  bouquiniste  box.

I loved the numbers on this bouquiniste box.

The buildings turn toasty gold in the setting sun.

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Now facing west from the other side of the Pont des Arts, toward the Musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower.

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I crossed back over the river at the Tuileries, which was trying to close for the night.

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looking to the other side of the Tuileries at the Louvre

Looking straight down the middle of the Tuileries, as the obelisk slices through the Arc de Triomph.

Looking straight down the middle of the Tuileries, as the obelisk slices through the Arc de Triomph.

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Finally, I strolled up Rue Rivoli to catch the metro home.

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I was tired and a little chilly, as I had neglected to bring a sweater, but pleased to have seen the show.

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C’est fini.

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Filed under Eiffel Tower, Isle de la Cite, love locks, Musee d'Orsay, Paris, Paris sunsets, Seine, Tuileries

Running Around Paris

Mark keeps telling me I need to bring this blog down a little. He fears it might be too much of a good thing. He suggested a post on “Ugly In Paris”, and even took a few pictures of cigarette butts scattered in the streets. I’m sorry if that is indeed what is due here, because these past few days in Paris have been nothing short of glorious, and I just can’t paint it any other way. Maybe another time. But not today.

Yesterday seemed like it was the perfect day for the Paris marathon, though it might have been a tad warm for the runners by mile twenty or so. Several hours after the race began we walked to the start line at the Champs-Elysées. Some super-fast people were already hobbling around with their medals and their “Finisher” t-shirts. Any time we get a chance to walk on the Champs-Elysées when it is closed to traffic, we do it. Because it feels really cool, that’s why.

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We then walked to Trocadero and down to the river to watch the mere mortals who were running the race at a four-hour pace.  This was around mile twenty-one, and it was plenty warm. They looked pretty miserable to me.

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Every so often these little musical groups would play along the course to cheer on the runners.

I would much prefer to ride this horse, thank you.

I would much prefer to ride this horse, thank you.

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Today was even lovelier, if that was possible.

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I took a walk that landed me at this tiny udon restaurant right at lunch time. Mark and I had noticed it several times and intended to try it out, and today seemed like as good a time as any. It was narrow, with an eating bar along the open windows, overlooking the sidewalk, and long tables about six inches behind those seats.

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I sat at the bar and enjoyed the street view.

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My neighbor was sitting very close to me, which made it easy for me to admire her gorgeous red hair. Is that weird?

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It was a short walk to the Tuileries.

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I spent about thirty minutes doing this.

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Because really- how could I not?

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The only Parisians having a bad day today are those who wore too many clothes.

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I hope you all are having a wonderful day.

And yes, there really is some ugly here. I just choose not to look for it.

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Filed under Paris, springtime in Paris

That Day I Drank Champagne In The Morning And Dined In The Orangerie At Night

Bonjour from Houston, where it is currently colder than it is in Paris! My days at home are quickly winding down, as we fly back to Paris on Sunday. These three weeks have flown by quickly and have been too much the boring stuff of real life- car maintenance, doctor appointments, etc. I think this is the first time that I don’t quite feel ready to return to Paris, not having had my fill of friends, family, and Texas Hill Country. But alas, this is the life I have been given. So I will board that Air France jet on Sunday and I predict that by the time we drive by that amazing view of Sacre Coeur from the airport, I will be “all in” for Paris once again. I will definitely be excited to hug my mom and niece when they arrive at our apartment an hour after we do. Another Spring Break in Paris- where there are no umbrellas in the drinks but there are umbrellas everywhere else. Yippee!

Shortly before we left Paris I had the most amazing day. It started out like this.

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An early morning with snow flakes the size of dinner plates! The snow stopped by the time my group and I boarded our small bus and headed for Reims, home of the The Bubbly.

Our destination was the Ruinart champagne house, which was established in 1729, making it the oldest of the champagne houses. Now owned by the LVMH conglomerate, Ruinart has a much smaller production than other LVMH houses like Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot, and Moet & Chandon. Ruinart has just recently entered the American market, albeit discreetly. Look for it in select restaurants and specialty wine shops. After visiting and tasting Ruinart, I know I will be on the hunt for it. It was delicious.

The Ruinart house sits above an elaborate series of caves dug by the Romans in the 4th century A.D. The Romans wanted the chalk found down there to build their homes. That same chalk in the cave walls is ideal for storing champagne. The temperature remains at 53 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. The chalk is sponge-like and soaks up moisture, keeping the chambers at a constant 88 percent humidity. Additionally, there isn’t much light or vibration going on down there. Perfect, as it would turn out, for storing those elegant bottles of bubbly goodness that I have grown to love so much.

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Lets descend to the old chalk caves, excavated by the Romans to build their homes.

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looking up

looking up

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After our very interesting tour, we rode the elevator back up and enjoyed a lovely tasting.

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Hey Handsome....

Hey Handsome….

Our guide was excited to tell us that scenes from the upcoming film “The Widow Clicquot” will be shot in the beautiful caves of Ruinart. I plan to read the book  and will look forward to seeing the movie when it’s released.

We were treated to a very nice lunch after the tasting, which helped all of us to doze on our ride back to Paris. The nap was much-needed, because our day was not yet complete. That night we had the fabulous opportunity to experience the Orangerie Museum all to ourselves.

Located in the Tuileries gardens, the Orangerie is a small art gallery best known for housing the much-beloved Water Lily panels by Monet.  I have toured this gem many times, and although the water lilies are pretty fine, my favorite part of the museum is its collection of early twentieth century paintings. Never did I dream that I would have a private tour of the gallery, followed by  a lovely candle-lit dinner in its foyer. But guess what? I did!

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I hope that man doesn’t block my view of any of these paintings.

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love these gals

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Yep- all in all that was a pretty good day.

I guess I am kind of looking forward to getting back, now that I think about it. Champagne in the morning and Monet at night- who could complain about that?

I’ll be broadcasting from Paris next week- same Bat channel, same Bat time. Bring your own bubbly.

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Filed under art, champagne, Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris, Tuileries

Moonstruck in Texas and Remembering Paris

photo courtesy of Getty Images

First, can we all just take a minute to acknowledge the amazing performance of the moon this week? Wow. And not just when she was all dressed up in red, but even the nights just before and after- simply breathtaking. Thank you, awesome moon.

I have been doing my moon-gazing in Texas, having arrived home a week ago and hardly stopped moving since. My long list of To-Do’s is a bit daunting, full of words like “organize”, “Goodwill”, “repair”, “pay”, and “appointment”. Not the stuff of Made For HBO Movies, to be sure, but somehow strangely gratifying after months of champagne, cheese, and chocolate. It’s always good to return to Real Life, as unglamorous as it may be, if for no other reason than my jeans are getting tight. But there are lots of other reasons, like family, friends, Wonder Chien, and margaritas.

Fortunately, I have lots of memories of Paris to share with you, because I think I would lose all my followers if I spent much time talking about my trips to Target and the dry cleaners.  So let’s go back to Paris, shall we?

The first Sunday that The Ladies were in Paris coincided with “Heritage Days” in France, the one weekend a year that a variety of well known but usually out of bounds historical monuments are open to the public. We rode the bus to Madeleine and then walked over to the “Hotel de Tallyrand”, which sits in a prime spot just off the Place de la Concorde. This gorgeous townhouse was built in 1767-1769 for a close friend of King Louis XV. It was purchased by the Rothschild family in 1838, was requisitioned by the Vichy government and then the Nazis, and then was sold to the U.S. Department of State in 1950. The mansion was the home of the administration of the Marshall Plan and is still owned by the U.S. State Department.  The home underwent a major restoration from 2000-2010, and is a glittering example of neo-classicism.

These two jaunty gentlemen greeted us at the door. The period costumes were gorgeous.

These two jaunty gentlemen greeted us at the door. The period costumes were gorgeous.

Remember to always look up when you are in Paris.

Remember to always look up when you are in Paris.

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Next door to the Hotel Crillon and just across the street from the Place de la Concorde- pretty sweet address.

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Home was just a stroll through the Tuileries away.

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So that was a really nice afternoon in Paris. Beautifully restored 16th century architecture makes for nice outings, yes?

I’ll be back soon with more memories of Paris for you. Just let me check a few more things off my list first.

To tide you over, I leave you with this parting moon shot from the Rodin Gardens.

Rodin didn't do this, but it's not half bad.

Rodin didn’t do this, but it’s not half bad.

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Filed under Heritage Days, Hotel de Tallyrand, nice buns

Seasonal Cooking in Paris (but what season is this?)

A dreary and wet day at the Tuileries today

A dreary and wet day at the Tuileries today

Spring has made a come-back in Paris this week in a very wet and chilly way. Yesterday was an unusual day of almost constant rain, some of it heavy. I actually had to close windows because the apartment was too cold, this less than a week after I was sweating profusely in a grocery store on the Champs Élysées. My sister has understandably been in a tizzy about what to pack for her family of 5, who are boarding a plane for Paris any minute now. I have a thousand things to do in preparation for their much-anticipated visit, but I thought I should get a short post out while I have peace and quiet.

The Paris markets look like summer, despite the current crazy weather.

Early this week I made David Lebovitz’s French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts. The recipe is from his new cookbook, My Paris Kitchen, which I adore but was not able to lug with me from Houston. Happily, the recipe appeared in my inbox courtesy of Splendid Table, and I bookmarked it and made it toute de suite. It’s delicious and keeps very well, which is a good thing because it’s a large portion and we are only two. I omitted the goat cheese because Mark is not a fan of the goat, but I added it to my plates and found it added a nice tang.

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those are just water droplets on the counter, I swear

Tuesday’s trip to the Marché d’ Aligre provided these lovelies:

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I have always admired these gorgeous pink, speckled beans. I think they are borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans. When out of their flashy pink jackets, they look like this.

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Unfortunately these babies lose their ruby tinges when cooked, turning rather drab and grey. I mixed mine with pearl barley and lots of fresh sage and garlic, using a recipe from another beloved and new cookbook, The French Market. I don’t have a picture of the finished dish because it is more tasty than it is photogenic. You know how that goes.

Cherries have been everywhere in the market, and were really inexpensive at Aligre. I pitted 6 cups of them and cooked them in apple juice, sugar, and lemon, as David Lebovitz directed me. They are delicious on ice cream or as a topping for other desserts. Like the peach crisp I made with drippy and sweet peaches. Oh yes I did.

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I gave a jar of those cherries to the concierge of our building, because it’s always a good idea to take sweets to people who do helpful things for you, like speaking  French v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y so that you have a fighting chance of understanding. I wish I knew more people like that. Maybe I should buy some more cherries. But next time I will know to pit them in the shower. Those suckers spray juice everywhere!

As Paula Deen used to say, “I’m sending you love and best dishes, from my kitchen to yours.” You did read that with a big southern drawl, didn’t you?

If you see my sister, tell her to pack some umbrellas.

 

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Filed under cooking, food markets, Paris, Tuileries, Uncategorized

Happy To Be Back In Paris

I love how the light fixtures kind of look like hearts!

I love how the light fixtures kind of look like hearts!

Bonjour y’all! We have finally made it back to Paris, and I know you all are as happy about that as I am. The skies have been sunny for the most part, and have warmed us up nicely in the afternoons. I am still adjusting to the time zone, but have managed to stay awake all day. I made a visit to the Wilson Market early this morning and was happy to find the last of the green peas and some very nice rhubarb, which I have already whipped up into a crumble. Just the rhubarb, of course- the peas will be steamed with a little (or a lot) of butter and a dash of sea salt. So glad it’s almost dinner time.

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Yesterday when I awoke from my deep post-flight nap, I made myself take a long walk in the sunshine. I walked to the river and then along the newly developed river bank, and then back home through the Tuileries. I snapped these pics as I went, so that you, too, could enjoy my first walk back in Paris.

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Quick aside- Mark and I went back to the river bank last night after dinner and it looked like this:

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Finding a table at a cafe was out of the question, so we stood in line for a drink and then perched on the curb and watched the masses go by. Some were in high heels, some were attempting to jog through the crowd, and a few brave souls were even on bikes.

Back to my afternoon walk-

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tether ball with paddles?

I crossed back over the river at the Musee d’Orsay bridge. Before leaving, I took this short video of the scene on the Seine, because I found it so charming. I regret not getting more of the musicians, because they were wonderful. I hope to find them there again.

I love this temporary “gallery” of famous people whose photos were taken on the Seine.

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Paul and Joanne!

Paul and Joanne!

I did finally make it over the bridge and into the Tuileries, where a carnival was set up on the Rivoli side.

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I was impressed that stands were already being set up for Bastille Day. These were at Place de la Concorde, facing the Champs Elysees.

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Mark asked if I would mind sitting there for the next few weeks to save our seats. Somehow I don’t think we would qualify for those prime viewing spots.

So that’s pretty much what my first two days have been. Our first visitors arrive tonight, so I have some housework to do today. I probably will not take photos of that.  You will just have to use your imaginations.

Au revoir!

 

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Filed under food markets, gardens, Paris, Tuileries, Uncategorized

The Sun Came Out On Sunday

Twitter was abuzz with Paris folks complaining about the second weekend in a row with a rainy forecast.  Weather in Paris is always a trending topic, but people seem to get extra cranky about it when the weekends are gloomy.

Saturday was indeed wet and grey.  Sunday was forecasted to be more of same.   Blah.  Yawn.  Can I stay in my jammies?

And then, in defiance of iPhones everywhere, the sun came out shortly before noon on Sunday,  followed quickly by lots and lots of people who were tired of being cooped up in their apartments.  Or cafes.  Or incredible museums.  Or whatever.  We’re always happy to see the sun.

I, myself, left my flannel, leopard-print jammies* in a pile on the floor and slipped into some clothes.  No shower- I wasn’t sure I had time for such an indulgence.  I put on my shades and prayed the sun stayed out long enough for me to be able to keep them on the whole time I was out, because I wasn’t looking too good.

I decided to trace my old steps.  Last year I walked Wonderchien up the Champs Elysees to the Tuileries every single morning.  Now that I am chien -free, I don’t go there as much.  It’s such an amazing walk- I really should do it more often.

That day when I arrived at the Tuileries I was delighted to see that FIAC had spilled over into the gardens.  I know what you’re asking.  “What the FIAC?”  It is the annual International Contemporary Arts Fair, of course!  The heart of the event takes place in the Grand Palais, where 178 galleries exhibited (mostly very expensive) art from almost 3000 artists.  Lucky for me, there was also a series of outdoor art projects scattered in various locations of the city.

sign in the Tuileries listing all the projects displayed in the gardens

As I entered the Tuileries from the Place de la Concorde, this was my first clue that something unusual  was going on.

They look like strange birds, don’t they?  As the pieces slowly moved in the breeze, they cast interesting shadows on the white fabric and on the water.

This next piece was a kind of curved mirror with a strip cut out in the middle.

the other side of the mirror

This piece was called something like “house of carpets” and was a cube covered in carpets that had been painted grey.  It was cooler than my photograph would indicate.

And here is another bird-like creature.

I thought this piece was gorgeous.  It looked like a giant shell and was called something like “the beginning of the world”.  Sorry to be so vague- I wasn’t taking notes.  I was out for a walk, remember?

This lovely lady with the bird on her head was not part of the show.  She lives there.

By now I was at the far end of the Tuileries, approaching the Louvre.

the Louvre and her whacky pyramid

At this point I turned around and headed back to the Tuileries, looking for art hiding off the center path.  But before I got there I walked by this gorgeous building and gate.

Now back to the park.

More art!

This tower looked cooler in real life because you could see the slivers of space in between the objects, and it looked as if they were all hovering in the air.

By now I was almost back to where I started.  I decided to take a break.

I sat here.

And ate this.

That’s so typical of Paris.  You think you’re just going out for a walk, in a place you have been a hundred times, and yet you are surprised with something new and beautiful every few steps you take. Do you see why going for walks back home just isn’t the same?

As I went across the Place de la Concorde, I noticed that the fountain that never seems to be flowing was indeed flowing.

So sorry about those pesky tourists. You can’t go for a walk without them. Kind of like mosquitos back home!

*That night when I got into bed, Mark told me I smelled like pancakes.  I told him that meant one of two things: I was spending too much time in the kitchen, or too much time in my pajamas.  To which he replied, “that sounds like something for your blog”.  I think he was just avoiding telling me which answer he thought was correct.  Probably a wise move.

Thanks for stopping by, my friends!

xxx

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Filed under art, Tuileries, Uncategorized