Sunday, September 27, 2009

Parisien du jour: Monsieur M.

This guy was amazing! He and his wife led our tour of Versailles. I hope I have as much energy as they do when I'm their age - all of us young things were struggling to keep up!

M. M. also reminds me so much of another M. M. - Monsieur Monet in his garden, complete with beard, hat, and dignified pose.

[photo source here]

Green Space Special Edition! Versailles

Can you believe this place is real?

As we passed this last tree, one of the professors who led our trip said, "Think of all this tree has seen - it was here for the Revolution!"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Vendredi, je t'aime

Nothing new...just glad it's Friday. Hope yours is a good one.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I hope this works!

I recorded a few seconds of sound while walking around outside Sacre Coeur this weekend that you will hopefully be able to play below. I've never tried this before so no promises!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Window Shopping: Repetto, rue de la Paix

Being at this store made me wish I wasn't so absolutely horrible at ballet. Those classes were such a bad idea, and there are pictures of eight-year-old me in a blue sequined tutu to prove it.

Luckily Repetto has shoes for ballet-challenged people as well as prima ballerinas. Exhibit A:


Green Space

At Parc Monceau.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

They aren't just for New England girls...

Parisian girls have them too. The ubiquitous Longchamp tote. Seriously, they're everywhere.

Cartes Postales

Whenever I'm at a flea market or antiques store I always look for old postcards. I usually don't even glance at the pictures on the front until after I've picked out the ones I like - I buy them for the writing on the back!

I love the little-kid wobbly cursive of the first one, and the simple message of the second:
"Two kisses. Pierre."

Sunday in Montmartre

Home of the Sacre Coeur, the Moulin Rouge, and Amélie Poulin, Montmartre is unlike any other area of Paris. Here you trade sprawling Haussmann boulevards for winding little streets and twisting stairways that invite you to wander and explore. A few photos of colors and patterns from my afternoon rambling:

And one more, just because:

Keep an eye out for a black cat named Leo if you happen to be near 11 Rue Saint Vincent.

French benches

This is a dishtowel, of all things, in my host family's kitchen. I just have a thing for those green benches and chairs you find in all the parks here so this makes me smile every morning.

Green Space

Saturday afternoon at the Jardin des Tuileries.

Parisiens du jour

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Window Shopping: Aigle, Blvd de la Madeleine

I really love wellies so this just made me happy. While I was taking this picture, one of the store employees peeked out from behind the backdrop and waved at me.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I stopped in at BHV yesterday on the way home from Centre Pompidou to see what all the hype is about. O. Mon. Dieu. You could live your entire life only shopping at this store. For example:

Basement: hardware store
Ground level: clothes, jewelery, cosmetics, etc.
1st floor: art supplies, books, stationery, decor
2nd floor: more home decor
3rd floor: organization, closet stuff
4th floor: lighting
5th floor: furniture, electronics
6th floor: more furniture, mattresses

Oh, and there were a couple of cafes thrown in there somewhere, too, so that covers food.  And an entire men's store across the street. It just kept going and going! I managed to restrain myself to only one purchase, a little blue house number from the hardware store to commemorate the new chez moi.

p.s. I found out later that BHV stands for "Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville" since the store is right next to the Paris equivalent of a city hall, or hôtel de ville.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Green Space

At Père Lachaise.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I judge books by their covers

I saw these books in Gibert Joseph (a truly gigantic store in the Place Saint Michel which has every book you could ever want; in other words, heaven) and though I hadn't heard of any of the titles, I loved the covers so much I had to look them up when I got home. They in fact come from Zulma, a publishing company which was founded in 1991 and is dedicated primarily to contemporary French literature. I've never seen these books anywhere else and as far as I can tell they are only sold in France, but if you want more info you can check out Zulma here.

Cultural Activity!

I happened upon the Church of Saint-Sévérin by accident today and was absolutely blown away by its stained glass windows. Designed by Jean René Bazaine, a midcentury French artist and writer, and made by B. Alain, the seven windows were added to the church in the 1960's. My blurry pictures do not do these windows justice - the colors are incredible, even on a cloudy day like today. And while their Abstract Expressionist style is totally different from the style of the much older stained glass windows of the church's upper levels, it all somehow works.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

French Style on Design*Sponge

Since I'm trying to force myself to get better at French, I've been avoiding reading/writing/speaking English as much as possible. Then what are you doing writing a blog, you ask? Hm. Good question. Well, there are certain things I make exceptions for, one of them being Design Sponge. I try to only look at the pictures, I really do! But Amy Azzarito's post today about French Chairs seemed relevant enough to justify reading it all the way through. Maybe my new found knowledge about the Louis XVI chair versus the Louis XV will come in handy in art history class?

Grazia Magazine

I picked up this newly-launched magazine today at the newsstand by the metro. The pages were big and glossy, I couldn't pass it up - and besides, I think the hour and a half I spent reading it counts as studying for french class, don't you? Pretty brave to launch a new magazine right now when there are already so many out there, and when so many have been cut (oh, domino, how I miss thee...). But I'm all for it! Love the large format and refreshing lack of ads between articles. Reading Grazia was also a great way to avoid dealing with the awkward no-eye-contact-rule on the metro, which I still don't understand. What is the point of pretending not to see the 20 other people who are standing within 5 feet of you, all of whom are pretending not to see you?

p.s. I just discovered that Grazia comes out weekly. That is kind of awesome. I forsee lots of homework procrastination in my future.

Parisien du jour

Zara Home

I stumbled upon Zara Home on my way from class to the metro station. Although weighed down by bags of groceries from Monoprix (my new favorite store - they have everything!) I couldn't resist taking a quick look inside this store. Their home accessories are très chic and trendy, but there are also great basic linens and even pajamas I wouldn't be ashamed to wear to class. Although anything but knick-knacks and tealights are still out of my price range, this place is pretty cheap by Paris standards. Here's hoping Zara Home follows the brand's clothing branch and comes to the U.S. so I can actually shop there.