Post by Jenny Bailey
winter postcard via flickr by giulia van pelt
From the glistening of Christmas lights to the city’s silver white winters, there’s no denying that December is one of the best times of year to visit Paris.
So whether you’re keen to step out into the crisp wintry air, or you’d rather stay snug indoors, here’s what’s going on in and around the capital to help you make the most of your voyage en ville.
I was invited to join a fun and delightful tour with a new company called Wonderful Time. They were in the final stages of testing their tours, and asked me to join a group (thanks to Pamela of francophilia who put me in touch with them, and who joined me on the tour) for a tour of Coco. THE Coco.
Paul Bedell of Korbella™ contacted me, and with one single sentence he had my full attention : “From our pieces of Paris to yours”. These are my pieces of Paris… but… What are his?
Small, wonderful, almost magical little “jewels” cut from an actual piece of the Eiffel Tower, and integrated into stylish and elegant pieces of fashion jewelry in sterling silver, vermeil (gold plated silver) or rhodium. Paul wanted to generously offer me a piece for review, because he felt that his jewelry line and concept fit perfectly with my site. He couldn’t have been more right.
One of our favorite places to grocery shop is the covered market, Marché des Batignolles. Ithas got to be one of the friendliest neighborhood hubs in the 17th; it feels like you have been transported to a small provincial town what with the way people slow their pace and chat with each other, and me. The vendors share recipes and gush over good-tasting products. A trip here is inspiritaion to eat well, and cook often. Even Chéri is inspired (he goes there more often than I do!). Ever since we moved to this part of town he has suddenly become master chef chez nous. I am NOT objecting! Continue reading
Chéri and I took some time on a Sunday in early November to just have a lovely lazy stroll around the park down the street from us (two actually), the new Martin Luther King park and the Square des Batignolles. It was somewhat of a Fall Colors stroll, since that is what we did in New England where I grew up, sought out the Fall Colors.
Granted the colors here pale in comparison to those found in Conneticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, but it was a quintessential Fall afternoon complete with crisp air, blue skies, birds of a feather, and the kind of weather that makes you hold each other closer… One of the best kinds of weather (second only to the lounging on a chair by the sea in Italy weather…) Hmmm Mmm! Continue reading
This Fall there was a lovely crisp and bright weekend where the 17th arrondissement had a wonderful event, that has become an annual rendez-vous and is imitated in several neighborhoods of Paris. It is a Portes Ouvertes (Open Door) event to visit the spaces where local artists work. You can chat with them about their work, and you can even buy some art, direct from the source from whence it came. It is authentic, it is cool, it is an experience.
We went to the studio of Barabara de la Motte Saint Pierre, who lives in the Batignolles neighborhood. She’s been there since waaaaay before it was trendy and popular amongst the baby-making thirty-somethings. She’s been there since the 70′s when no one really even knew about this corner of the city. It was a quarter where blue collar workers lived, and held onto the ‘oldness’ for a long time, you can still see it everywhere in the neighborhood, but it has often been updated to give it that fresh modern vintage look; aka : charm.
So back to Barbara’s studio. It has everything you could imagine in a quaint Parisian artist studio, a cat, dust on old clocks and keys, pots of paint brushed, wine glasses, baskets of fruit etc. The whole nine yards. So I did my best to capture the ambiance of her very charmingly cluttered space, that to me seemed so authentic and so Parisian without that commercialized frill that we now tend to attach so often to this city. Barbara is a thinker and a dreamer, the true artist type that is so well produced in Paris.
Far from the glittering and glamourous world of posh art galleries on the Faubourg Saint Honoré, Barabara is one of the most simple down-to-earth Parisians I have ever met. She is content to create and is often overly generous. We have a few of her lovely little water colors in our home. And we treasure them dearly as she is a close friend of Chéri’s, and they are beautiful pieces made with her never fading curiosity and desire to artfully depict the world as she sees it through the channel of her paint brush. Continue reading
Post by Jenny Baily
Paris 7ème, Pont Alexandre III by Medelie Vendetta on Flickr
What do you call a person who jumps off the Pont Alexandre III in November? In Seine.
With the blague du jour out of the way, here are some other amusing activities going on in the capital this month.
Paris is an eclectic city sometimes. I am often amazed at the diversity of things and people and events I see here, and how varied they are in my own life.
One day I am wandering a brand new park in the 17th watching teenagers practice their skateboard and rollerblade moves on the new installation…
For the Journées du Patrimoine in September, I was invited to a tour of the Carreau du Temple in the north Marais. The site is still under construction. The works have been delayed because of a certain “find” they made when excavating : 1000 human skeletal remains whose origins are unknown. In spite of these haunting discoveries, the venue will hopefully be finished by April 2014 and is already scheduling events. Continue reading
Post by Jenny Bailey
Why Visit Paris in October?
Well, I’ll tell ya!
Autumn in Paris de cani&porci on flickr
In October, Paris is packed with personality.
From art to fashion (et vin, bien sûr) here are some suggestions of autumn activities and affairs to try in the capital if you’re in town this month. Continue reading