Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blues on the Seine

Here's one of the artists who will be playing there:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Crepes & Gelato in The Latin Quarter

From a purely consumerist point of view (not historical or literary, because there certainly are those realms to talk about here), the Latin Quarter is to Paris what South Street is to Philly - the perfect place to get a bite to eat while walking down the cobbled streets, people watching, then popping in and out of shops or bars.
It's the perfect place to get a crepe - the kind they make in a little hole-in-the-wall place where you can stand on the sidewalk, watch your crepe being made, pay for it, and take it away while you continue walking down the street.

My street-side crepe was delicious - made with fresh eggs, cheese and ham. The eggs were so fresh that the yolks were bright orange! We didn't eat them while walking on the street though. We sat inside where the place setting was beyond humble ...
 ... it was downright makeshift!
And in total contrast to this platter of champagne filled flutes that we had back at the hotel!

But what fun we had going to the shops and then having gelato in a cone, with the scooped icy delight served to us shaped like a flower ...
Of course, I had to try the "Rose D'Orient" flavor - which was outstanding.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bold, Modern Art ... at Montmartre

About 300 artists hold licenses to work on the Place du Tertre in Montmartre. The waiting list to get a license is long. The artists' quarter at the plaza once attracted artists such as Renoir, van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Picasso. Today you can go there and see works such as this ...

"Quais de Seine" - Acrylique sur toile, 2010

7, rue gaston Auguet 75018 PARIS  |  tel: 00 33 (0)6 60 67 45 99

You'll find many styles of artwork if you visit the Montmartre artists' quarter. You can even have your portrait done on the spot!
If art isn't your thing, you can always get fresh macarons! I recommend this place for cookies and macarons:
This is where we had lunch ...
 Here's a look at the menu ...
The food is so-so. So is the atmosphere. But my Nicoise salad was good.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Vineyard Grows In Paris

The hilltop district of Montmartre was once home to a thriving church-owned vineyard that produced wines for the local cabarets and drinking establishments, before bohemian artist Picasso and his ilk arrived on the scene. With the urbanization of Paris, the district's wine-making legacy would have been lost if not for a group of artists who petitioned the government in the late 1920s to save a plot of land and recreate the original church-owned vineyard. That plot is the one you see above, the Clos de Montmartre vineyard. It's the only vineyard of its kind within Paris city limits, spans 1,556 square meters and produces about 1,700 bottles of wine per year. The bottles are auctioned for charity at the annual autumn Fête des Vendanges (Montmartre Harvest Festival). The Clos de Montmartre vineyard is not open to the public, but we caught a glimpse of it through the fence on our way to the Museé de Montmartre. For more information about Clos de Montmartre, click to visit the Commanderie du Clos Montmartre website.

Photo: Signage being put up for the 2010 Montmartre wine festival

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Romantic ... Faith Hill and Tim McGraw in Paris

I was on the treadmill last night, with the TV on in front of me, and as I was flipping through the channels, this video came on. Of course it caught my eye! Have you ever seen it? It's sooooo romantic. Then again, everything is in Paris. But add the beautiful Faith Hill and handsome Tim McGraw with this song that's perfect to swoon to atop the Eiffel Tower and ... need I say more? (Sorry for the commercial you have to watch first - it's worth it though if you haven't seen the music video.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Haute Toilet or Where To "Go" In Paris

Colorful artwork? No - those are rolls of toilet paper. You read that right - toilet paper. Toilet paper in vibrant colors such as one might find when shopping for, say, party napkins. Orange, turquoise, lime green, hot pink, yellow and even black. This is haute toilet paper.

Some of the women in my tour group were surprised to learn that we had to PAY to use the toilet at quite a few locations while on our recent trip to Paris. (This wasn't new to me - as I've had to pay to go in other European countries.) One lady even suggested the U.S. could solve its economic problems if we took on this practice. Others were just miffed about having to search through their handbags for coins when they had to go really bad. Often, we went "two on a euro" just to speed things up.

But how bad can it be to use a pay-to-pee toilet facility that looks like and sounds like a nightclub? The colorful toilet paper lining the walls are like disco lights ... and the cool music they pipe in helps clinch the experience ... not to mention the extremely clean and modern stalls which are continually being wiped down by the young, hip staff.

For a more in-depth view and explanation of what's going on, as well as to learn where you can get this fantastic toilet experience in Paris, follow this link.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cobblestones can be hell on your feet

Photo:  Leaving the courtyard of our hotel.

Cobblestones can be hell on your feet. Especially if you're wearing high heels. (Remember, all the fashion guides on what to wear in Paris specify "NO white sneakers" - so if you are style-conscious, chances are, you will find yourself in heels at some point in time during your stay in the City of Light.) And in Paris, there are LOTS of cobblestones. So while flipping through a magazine in the doctor's office this afternoon, I found something that may not help your poor little tootsies when walking on cobblestones but will certainly protect your precious high heels and which I just had to share with you:
Behold ... SoleMates!

"High Heel Protector
At last, the sole-ution to wearing high heels in grass, cobblestones, bricks, wooden decks, and over subway grates! A high heel protector that is discreet and easy to use, the SoleMates High Heeler™ attaches easily to most stiletto and high heels."  Ships Globally.

Get some for your Manhalo Blahniks!

From the BBC series on Paris, Blood and Chocolate (Part 2 of 3). Enjoy!

Streets of Paris - I shot this the day I left Paris, on a rainy September morning.

Small group Paris tours for women