7.31.2009

Une allée d'arbres



I love the beautifully trimmed trees that border the gardens and parks throughout France.

This garden, at the Palais Royal, was created for Cardinal de Richelieu in 1639. It is located just north of the Louvre. Today, the park is surrounded by an arcade of shops, galleries and restaurants. Le Grand Vefour, one of Paris' finest restaurants, is located here. The Grand Vefour is one of those very special occasion restaurants. I highly recommend the lobster stuffed raviole, it's offered as an appetizer and it is amazingly delicious.

Metro: Palais Royal/Musée du Louvre

7.28.2009

Le Grand Colbert


Because it's so easy to find a delicious meal in France, I tend to choose restaurants based on décor, ambiance and occasion.

One of my favorite dining spots is Le Grand Colbert in the second arrondissement. Readers may recognize the name, Le Grand Colbert was featured in the film Somethings Gotta Give, starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. It's everything it was portrayed to be in the movie - a beautiful restaurant with delicious food and excellent service.

Le Grand Colbert 2-4, rue Vivienne
Paris 75002 01-42-86-87-88

7.25.2009

Haute Couture pour Bébé






Who can resist the adorable baby clothes in France?

Whenever a family member or close friend has a child, I make it point to find a unique and special gift for them. Baghere, in the heart of the left bank, offers some of the most beautiful baby clothes I've ever seen. These charming ensembles are designed, manufactured and sold only in Paris and the quality is exceptionally good. Each collection has a theme - featured above are Blueberry, Angel, and Cherry.

They are too cute for words!


17, rue de Tournon
75006 Paris
01-43-29-37-21

7.19.2009

Trocadéro



For the past few months, the city has been renovating Metro stations and I couldn't be happier with the results. The Trocadéro, which is a frequent stop or transfer point for me, looks absolutely fantastic. The lighting system is new and the familiar white tile is shiny, clean and bright.


The Place du Trocadéro is the hub of the 16th arrondissement. It's where locals and tourists gather at one of the many cafés and admire the Eiffel Tower from a distance.

I love this part of Paris - excited tourists pose in front of the Eiffel Tower while good-looking men pose in front of their fancy sports cars! It's like a street festival of happy people thrilled with their surroundings.
If I don't have anything to do at night, I head to the Place du Trocadéro where I'm sure to find a comfy spot and plenty of atmosphere.

All of this activity creates a lot of traffic in the Metro station below. At Trocadéro, an accordionist often entertains passers-by. I love encountering musicians in the Metro - hearing their music resonate through the maze of tunnels brings a smile to my face.

If the music is good and quintessentially French, I tip generously.

video

7.15.2009

Perrier - Menthe Verte


Hot summer days require an occassional stop at the café for something cool to drink. A Perrier-Menthe is an excellent choice for some relief from the heat - the sweet minty flavor is so refreshing.

It consists of a bottle of Perrier and a couple of shots of Menthe Verte.

Enjoy!

7.14.2009

Bastille Day


Paris is celebrating "le 14 Juillet" with a grand fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower.

7.11.2009

The Tour Eiffel Celebrates 120 Years!




2009 Marks the 120th anniversary of the Tour Eiffel. It was constructed for the International Exposition of 1889 and it remained the tallest structure in the world until 1930. From now until August 31 an exhibition celebrating the work of Gustave Eiffel is being held at the Hotel de Ville.

On a personal note, July 2009 also marks the 20th anniversary of my first visit to Paris. I was here for 100th birthday celebration of the Tour Eiffel, fireworks and all!

I've been in love with Paris ever since.






7.10.2009

Purse Hanger

Several years ago, my friend Meredith came to a luncheon at my home. As a hostess gift, she gave me a purse hanger. I had never seen or heard of a purse hanger at the time, but I absolutely love this little thing. I can hang my handbag on the edge of just about any table, keeping it securely at my side and off the floor.

These days, I see them everywhere, including several gift shops in Paris. Mine came from Salon Bacco in Louisville, Kentucky.

1121 Bardstown Road
Louisville, Kentucky 40204
502-451-9100


7.06.2009

Geraniums



Remember those geraniums I planted a couple of months ago? Well they've filled in beautifully and I couldn't be more pleased!

7.05.2009

Kandinsky at the Pompidou



As a Chicagoan, I think I'm naturally inclined to favor the Bauhaus School. So, the Kandinsky exhibit at the Pompidou Center was a "must see" for me.
 
In Chicago, we are fortunate to have numerous buildings influenced by the Bauhaus architectural style and as well as a good number designed by Mies Van der Rohe himself. Over the years, I've come to appreciate them for their boldness and beauty - looking up at these massive, often black, structures is quite a sight to see. I can't imagine our lakefront without them. (See post 10-10-09.)
 
That said, I'm less familiar with how Bauhaus idealogy influenced other art forms. The Kandinsky exhibition is arranged chronologically and displays more than 100 works, tracing the artist's evolution from his early days in Munich to his final days in Paris and Neuilly-sur-Seine.
 
Kandinsky's complex background and various stages of his life is revealed as the exhibit progresses. Interwoven with Kandinsky's life history is general information about the Bauhaus School and events taking place in Germany at that time.

The Bauhaus School was closed by the Nazi government in 1933 for being too subversive. Bauhaus teachers and students, including Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe, fled Germany to pursue their craft elsewhere. Gropius ended up teaching at Harvard University while Mies Van der Rohe worked as an architect in Chicago. Kandinsky continued painting while living in France.
 
This is a terrific exhibit for anyone with the slightest interest in mid-century design. It closes August 10, be sure to see it if you can.