discovering paris Archives

March 7, 2007

Why did I move to Paris?

Because I fell in love. I fell in love with Benoit Arcangioli a French scientist that researches the sex of yeast at Pasteur. We met in the US nineteen years ago when he was doing research in my home town Frederick, Maryland where I was making coktails at Olde Towne Tavern. I was back in town to make some money after being in Florence. We went out some but I was in love with a Sardinian so left for Florence again. I sold my car for 400$ and bought a one way ticket.

This year on January 17th I moved to Paris 2 days precisely from my 21st year in Florence. The first month I cried my eyes out. Luck had it that I got the biggest contract of my life, three years worth of painting in nine months worth of time making huge paintings for a corporation; otherwise I couldn’t do it even if I have my outlets for my works. I was painting sunny scenes of Tuscany and Florence in this freezing ultra bohemian atelier with holes in the floor, broken glass and no lights overlooking factories in Ivry-sur-Seine in the grey rainy Paris winter weather. I cried and I painted and I spent a fortune telephoning my friends.

I left everything; a super apartment overlooking Bellosguardo a house at the beach in Baratti that has now been sold, a garage to park my car, worth gold in any city and a studio gallery in downtown historic Florence on via Ghibellina and most of all my adorable Jack Russell Terrier Lira. I miss my dog terribly, she is with my ex husband who loves her and treats her well. It is crazy to leave Florence, Italy after 21 years of wonderful life, great friends, food, weather and a super studio gallery in the historic center of the city, for love?! But hey, you only live once. Paris is not Poggibonsi and I know that the person is worth it so here I am.

All of our friends said to both Benoit and I that our story is worth a book so I’ll leave the details out.

Spring is arriving in Paris and I am meeting some people, last night I went to Patricia Laplante-Collins Wednesday networking cocktail. There was an incredible young woman named Valerie Vaghn who talked about her life: born in Tahiti studied in California moved o NY, worked the stock exchange then moved to China then Japan where she created a huge company and became the top person then came to paris on her way to Dubai and she is only 30. Everyone else was very interesting with their own story worth recounting.

March 18, 2007

My Thumb

When I was building the plastic room in my atelier I hammered my thumb. I saw stars but only after a few minutes because back in January when I was on the ladder attaching the plastic to the wooden rafters it was about 2 degrees celcius. The same day I cut my hand too. It was brutal, I was all by myself so there was no one to blame. -Go to my website if you want to see the photos of the atelier

As hammered thumbnails will do mine is growing out. Funny I thought, it looks like the Eiffel Tower. So I decided that Paris has somehow branded me, like livestock.

Check out the photo, it is a view from the apartment on rue Saint Jacques. You can't see the Eiffel Tower from here except for on my thumbnail.


Yesterday we went with a friend of my beau who's grandfather was one of the last Russian nobles that escaped as soon as the revolution started to the buffet lunch at the Racing Club France Paris near the Parc Catelan . There were all kinds of people playing tennis but it was not very multicultural. Our friend is great because he is kind of out of control and laughs loud and drives insanely, I love it. There were birds flying around in the restaurant that no one seemed to bother about. Everyone sort of ignored one another. And I had my first crepes suzette.

After lunch we went to his 150 m2 apartment near Trocadero that is so close to the Eiffel Tower that you can almost spit on it. The apartament also has a 150 m2 terrace. He just keeps his collection of paintings there and prefers to stay in a one room place on rue Saint Jacques. Bizarre. He gave me a beautiful antique Indian piece that looks like an illustrated manuscript written in sanscrit with a painting of a man and two women.

March 20, 2007

le canape`


Dreaming of the canape` with the sunshine beating down into the garage where it sits. The canape` is the latest leather couch that the guys who make designer parachute suits harvested off the streets in Ivry-sur-Seine. In Paris you can find the most amazing things just thrown out on the sidewalk. Their atelier is just to the left of the canape`. The photo is taken from my atelier. I feel like Rapunzal sometimes and want to descend from the tower. My atelier is the last one on the end at the top level. You have to make a point of going there, which for work is good.

Last week was beautiful spring weather in Paris but not today, it is wicked cold. I can't see how all the women wear flat doll shoes with no socks. It makes me cold just to think about it.

So today in the cold and windy wet weather as I painted in my atelier, I stole views of the industrial buildings and I daydreamed of hanging out on the canape` in the spring sunshine and chatting with the other artists from the factory. Perhaps teaching workshops in Tuscany wasn't so bad after all.

March 22, 2007

lost driving around the banlieue

This morning I left the flat on rue Saint Jacques at about 10. It is hard leaving the apartament in the morning very early, I guess it has to do somewhat with being in love. I wanted to get an early start because I was going to go to Leroy Merlin a huge do it yourself store and then to the Carrefour. I think that is spelled wrongly.

I am not checking my spelling anyway because I am writing and publishing live and with the general confusion in my mind between French and the nasal pronunciation, speaking in English and thinking more in Italian with its beautiful round sound who cares about spelling.

So I went to Ivry on the Metro instead ofon my bicycle because it looked like it was going to rain and was pretty bitter cold. I walk to Les Goblins down boulevard Port Royal and then it is 15 minutes to my stop at Pierre Curie. The atelier is just outside the metro stop. Once I arrived I called one of my studio mates, Jerome, that thought might accompany me because he wanted me to get him a container of essence to run his heater. He felt obliged to come and carry it for me. I told him that afterwards I was going to the grocery store Carrefour and would probably be back not earlier thatn 13.00. So he decided not to come, smart for him.

I have been several times to Leroy Merlin in Ivry and it is easy to find but the Carrefour was another story. I got on the peripherique Exterier and missed the exit in Bercy 2 then got lost at bois du Vincennes. Driving around there was kind of interesting there are some beutiful houses and I finally realized what that giant strange thing I see from my studio is, a fake rock in an amusement park. That isvmy guess. I know that it is a giant fake rock, I don't know if it in an amusement park but it is near bois du Vincennes. But when I saw it right next to me I realized how far I had gone because from my studio it is on the Horizon. I managed to get back on to the peripherique interieur and decided to head back to Ivry because it was taking too much of my time and I only had today to finish another painting that needs to dry before I go to my art dealer Mario Cappelletti in Castellina in Chianti next weekend. I can't wait to go to Italy. It has been over 2 months since I have been in Paris.

Next weekend I will drive to Nice with my beau and we will stay at his brother's house. His brother planned a party because a friend of mine is coming to Nice to drive the rest of the way with me to Florence. His parties are notarious for finishing at 10.30 AM. Yes it is not a typo. "AM". I hope i get some sleep.

Back to today.

After getting lost again looking for the Carrefour I decided to give it one more try and found it. It is a giant grocery store in a giant mall. I walked down almost every isle looking for the things that I wanted and after about 2 hours got agitated. Finally I left with all the things I need before the vernissage on Saturday and before I return the car to Florence where my ex and Lira my Jack Russell will enjoy using it.

I did some U turns to get back to the atelier but with the Italian liscence plate I hope that the French police may have some pity on me for being lost in the banlieue. It might make matters worse though. So far so good.

Back at the atelier my studio mates Eva and Jerome helped me carry up the 20 liter fuel containers and the groceries then they came to have coffee in my place.

Yesterday Eva and her studio mate whose name I cannot remember even if she told me 15 times gave me a coffee maker that makes 10 cups. When I told my mother she said, "oh it sounds like they are planning to visit you." she was right. so at about 15.00 my work day started. I didn't do any painting but finally organized my stuff which was a good thing.

Tomorrow my best friends from Italy arrive for the weekend.

What is the banlieue? I thought it was a train station then I looked in the dictionary. You can too.

March 28, 2007

my Vernissage and Orsay

The party in my atelier was great about 40 people came throughout the evening, scientists, writers, collectors, artists. Considering the last opening I had where ony two people came it was a great turnout. See the photo.

This last weekend I went to the Orsay for the very first time. My freinds came from Florence and Siena with the overnight train from Campo di Marte to Bercy for the worst weekend. It rained and was very cold. Poor things, Monday spring hit Paris, all the girls have bare legs with short skirts, makes me freeze just to look at them.

The Orsay was great, no lines and few people. We went straight to the Impressionist painting rooms on the 5th floor. Toulouse Latrec reconfirms his place in my heart as my favorite. Manet gets me too, what technique. I was surprised at how grey the paintings were over all even the Van Goghs. In the Van Gogh room I had the net sensation that all the paintings are copies. I said this to my friends and that bothered one of them that had just spent 12 hours in a train not sleeping to see the paintings, oops. You can almost spit on the Van Goghs and they are supposedly the most important. But the Latrec's were in special glass cases in lowlighted rooms.

Friday I leave for Beaune, Lyon, Nice and then Arezzo, Florence, Giogoli, Livorno, Castellina in Chianti, and Miniera di Murlo. I can't wait !!!!!!!! Real expresso!!!! No smoky restaurants!!!!! My dog!


Womens shoes in paris suck

Either they are rubber and canvas baby doll shoes flat and covered with polka dots or they are these wicked high heel trampolines that I would just fall of of. What to do? I need new shoes, badly.

I love shoes but now have realized even after walking down Rue du Rennes, the shoe street, that anything that catches my eye is made in Italy. I am surprised also that I have less shoes than my boyfriend, amayzing. Who ordered a boyfreind with more shoes than me, that is not fair.

I must say that there is a third category of shoes it is the old matronly look, not necessarily comfortable. None of these are my style. Aside from the basic structure of these shoes they are so UGLY it makes me want to just cry.

The worst part about the shoes in Paris is that you have to wear them with bare legs and no socks if you want to look vaguely like you belong in this city. Even today, the 28th of March and a tiny bit of sunshine the women bare their legs in miniskirts with trampoline heels and no hose,bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! Do they think that they are sexy with mozzarella white thighs and goose pimples!

I have decided that my only solution is to go to Italy to buy shoes and I have to have more shoes than my boyfriend does.

April 4, 2007

new shoes old shoes and waves of emotions

Yesterday it started to rain in Florence as I took the taxi back to my street from the studio on via ghibellina to where my car was parked. I was transporting paintings and frames that I was taking to Castellina in Chianti. In the taxi I broke down and told my personal things to the taxi driver. We had just gone to the notary to sell the beach property clic on this link baratti beach place to see what we sold. I am going to take this page off the web but it is there for now.

So in the cab I was emotional. Giving up a place like that was hard but then I have to remember at night in July sweating like a dog with mosquitos buzzing around plus other unpleasant things. I had to load some frames into the cab and when I took them out to load them into my car it started pouring rain and then someone phoned me at the same moment so i forgot the paper bag on the seat that had my boots in. The cab driver was wonderful and backed up and handed me that bag through the window.

Those boots I bought in September '06 from a store in Florence called Rive Gauche on via giucciardini before I went to Paris the first time. I have over the years bought lots of shoes from them and have worn them even for ten years so when in Paris the rubber sole started to come off of one it was unusual but really unusual was when the sole came off three more times (funny every time I went to Paris) and then it did on the other shoe too. Everytime I would go back to Stefano or Shelly we would laugh until it got too much and they were afraid to see me and we all thought the shoes were jinxed. They said that it never happend to them before.

Before I went to the US in December I passed by their store several times to pick up the finally fixed boots but we never hooked up so the shoes stayed there through the holidays and then I forgot to get them when I came back from the US to Florence on Jan 3rd for 10 days before moving to paris. Finally in January when i was in back Florence from Paris for two days I picked up the shoes and went to the hair dressor where I forgot them. So yesterday after the my first two months in Paris I go back to the haridressor to get the shoes and to get my hair done and then leave them in the taxi on the way home. Where is my brain? I didn't used to be like this. Maybe the shoes are jinxed, maybe I should sell them on ebay.

In Castellina I was emotional, I love Castellina. After doing business with Mario i said that i wanted to look at the shoes Clair his wife from Chicago carries in her store because I was desparate for some nice leather shoes and hated what they were proposing as fashionable this year. Too cutsy and probably uncomfortable so I got two pairs of nice leather shoes from them with their logo Cappelletti. I'll have to photograph them when i get home, I love them and they are comfortable. The best part is that I we bartered their shoes for my paintings. That made it less painful for my wallet. Now I have three pairs of Italian made shoes to take back to Paris on my race to having more shoes than my man.

Off to meet Judy Witts

April 10, 2007

Easter in Paris and the Tibetan Monk

It was so nice to come back home to Paris after a week back Florence. I left my car with my ex and Lira my jack Russell. Lira was so happy to be in the car for her it means beach, country and getting out of the city. For me in Paris the car was just something to worry about, with Italian liscence plates parked here and there i always wondered if i would find it in the morning in one peice or even at all. So my trip back home was in the train.

The train left saturday morning before Easter from Florence at 11:27AM and I had to change in Milan. In Milan I found the TGV that went to Paris and boarded it asap. On my car came some real seedy looking people and then a Tibetan monk accompanied by three people. They saw that his seat was right next to the three seedy characters and started walking around asking if someone spoke english so I said i did. The young girl asked me if the car was number 13 and if I could help the monk buy a ticket to go to Bruxelles once we arrived in Paris. I didn't hink twice and said sure. He didn't speak any English or French only Tibetan.

The train ride was teedy some because the guy behind me talked on his cell phone until we reached the French border, about 2 hours and mostly because the creeps that the monk had to sit with were voicing loudly and goofing off so much so that the French guy that controls the tickets had to tell them to turn the music down.

As we approached Paris I realized that it was almost midnight and almost Easter sunday. I started to think that it might be a problem getting a ticket to Bruxelles and what if the next train was in the morning. What would we do with the monk? My boyfriend had called me and I told him that I said I would help to buy a ticket for the monk but it is so hard to imagine until you see it.

We get off the train, the monk and I and walk to the end where my dear Love B. is waiting for me, we haven't seen eachother in a week and it is midnight so you can imagine what we are thinking as we hug eachother hello.

B. tells me that the only way to get a ticket to Bruxelles is to go to gare du Nord and we were at gare de Lyon. So B. says he can sleep on the couch and we all go home with the bus where we have a margherita cocktail and the monk some tisane.

Easter morning with fabuolous weather in Paris we are up at 8.00Am and accompany the monk to gare de Nord and get him on the train. Then we took our bycicles to ride to parc Sceaux with a picnic lunch where we watched falcons and crows and people jogging.

So now i know that Tibetan monks snore too.


April 13, 2007

a day trip to Giverny


I took my bike to the metro station at Montparnasse to get the line 12 to gare Saint Lazare and got on the train to Vernon. Before leaving I did a little research on the web for train times and how to get to Giverny, it is real easy. The train going took 90 minutes and was without toilets so I played golf on my cell phone the whole way to keep my mind off of the necessity to go.

Right of the train at Vernon I followed the crowd out under the train tracks and out of the station to the cafe de chemin de fer where I rented a bike for 12 Euro and headed off. After I came back I found out that the other bar rents for 10 euro a day. The ride to Giverny is flat and there is a nice bike trail off of the main road where all the trucks are. The weather was beautiful and I stopped every 5 meters to take a photograph. That was my mission to find subject matter for my clients paintings. They told me that I had done enough of Tuscany. After painting Tuscany for 21 years it is great to see the green of Normandy. Green is a great color to paint, it doesn't really exist.

There was on the way this beautiful red cat that angrily stared at me taking his picture. "Another tourist to bother me." He seemed to say. Giverny is just packed with tourists. Monet's garden and house were like Venice at carnevale. You just got pushed around by the crowd and it was impossible to get photos of things without tons of people in the way. I was also in the way of people taking pictures.

The day was hot, great for me after experiencing the Parisien cold. I doubt i will get the parisien cold out of my mind for a long time. I imagine that the valley of the Loire in the summer is unbearably hot and humid considering how warm it was yesterday. And there are mosquitoes. I swallowed a few on my bike ride back to Vernon and had to clean my sunglasses like a windshield. At least I don't suffer allergies from pollen, you could taste it in the air. This morning i am discovering all the mosquito bites.

Now I have over 200 photographs of tulips and stone houses to paint from. Off to the atelier.

April 15, 2007

Sunday cafè on the quai.

Last night we went to dinner at a friends house that lives in the 20th arrondissment. We ate racklet and finished with chocolate mousse. It was an excellent meal but our host did not calculate that it would be 26° degree (celisius); unusually warm weather for mid april. Racklett is great when you are skiing or when it is January in Paris or even in the normal April weather. So today I am feeling under the weather because I ate too much of it and actually stayed in the flat in rue saint jacques for hours with the beautiful warm sunshine not even interested in the Tuscan like weather.

This morning before I stayed in the flat we rode our bikes more out of reflex, because we had planned to do it, down to the quai de seine because I needed some photos of the Pont Marie. The light was strange this morning it seemed like that typical august heat light sort of muggy looking but in reality was not hot. We stopped and had a coffee on a barge just accross from the notre Dame and watched the barge cruises filled with tourists pass making the barge we were on rock docily. One coffee wasn't enough to get us back on the move so we had two. Excess to sooth excess. It was the first time that I have ever been on the quai de Seine.

The notre Dame was absolutely beautiful in the balmy light with a pale blue sky and the cherry trees blooming. I guess they are cherry trees, they are pink. We were the only people on the barge having coffee which was surprisingly inexpensive. When we left I went to find the ladies room and walked in on a cute waiter that was changing into his work clothes. oops!

Then we rode down to the Pont Neuf and I saw the most amazing thing. A whole grilled chicken just sitting there on the quai. It was sort of burned on one side. In that point there wasn't much trash so it was pretty funny to see a grilled chicken on the quai all by itself.

April 26, 2007

No bells in Paris

The other day I was painting in my studio in Ivry and heard a bell ringing at about 6pm. I thought to myself, "I wonder what time it is?" That is when I realized that it was not a church bell ringing the hour but a siren. There are alot of sirens, ambulance, police, firemen, etc...

It came to me then that there are no church bells marking the hours, ringing in the morning, noon, evening and night. In Florence bells ring all the time, all over town. Funny how sounds can change from one place to another. The realization of not hearing any bells, left me with this feeling of expectation, as if my ear is bent searching for the bells. I rmentioned this to a friend yesterday evening over a glass of sancerre wine on rue Bourgogne in the 6th as we sat outside a cafe. We had just left a vernissage at the Galerie Fraîche from one of my studio mates.

He told me that in other places in France the bells do ring.

May 3, 2007

Music on the Quais


After painting a portrait all day of a scientist I rode my bicycle down to the quais de Seine to look for the dancing places. The Quais are alive with people playing music, dancing, drinking on the yachts of Paris, picnicing, making out, walking their dogs, jogging and living in tents. The quai Saint Bernard is really beautiful with the outdoor sculpture museum and a nicely cured park. The evening light goes on and on, it was almost 9pm.

After two hours of hanging out I rode over to Saint Germain and saw all the people eating crepes and got hungry so went home to eat and watch the debate between Segolene Royal and Sarkozy. Luckily there was a really stupid movie on another channel about a couple that fall in love and kiss finally on the top of the roof.

May 4, 2007

beautiful day to play hookie destination: the Cramps Elysees

So yesterday I played hookie and did not go to work, it was gorgeous. I have justification for riding around on my bike all afternoon, I needed pictures of Paris. It was too grey when I got here and there were no leaves on the trees or flowers in the gardens but yesterday the sky was blu with little fast moving clouds and the green on the trees is not yet that summer green but the fresh green of spring.

Most of the flower beds were anhiliated by the storm on Sunday evening but that also cleared the air of dust and pollen and the too early summer heat.

Yesterday my plan was to go to the Arc du Triomphe, I hadn't seen it yet in real life only in pictures. I remember studying Italian rennaisance art for years in books later then seeing it in Florence with all of the smells, sounds and tastes of that fabulous city. A recipie for Stendahls syndrome. I must say that the arc du Triomphe didn't do it for me. Perhaps it is the Champs Elysees that is just too noisy; uncomfortable, an assault on the senses, or perhaps it was the attack of cramps that hit just as I crossed the Ponte Alexander.

I love the pont Alexander with the baroque adorments and the gold leafed statues and the view of Les Invalides and the Grand Palais and the curve of the Seine that lets you see all the monuments to the east on the curve of the river and and and... the sky is blu, its spring. I think it is the image of a painting by John singer Sargent in my mind of the gold leafed statue that makes me love this bridge.

I knew I was close to the arc du triomphe when I was at the Grand Palais but I had already started to feel the cramps coming, awful stuff it is. I walked up the sidewalk then stopped at a pharamcy to get some asparin, to my surprise it only cost Euro 1.60. I was prepared to pay 5 Euro. The pharmacist was telling me not to leave my bike in front of her store but then I realized she was telling me not to leave it unlocked. She even offered to watch it for me because she had seen people come into the pharmacy leaving their bicycles unlocked then in less than 30 seconds it being stollen. The Champs Elysees is all down hill or uphill with cramps in my case. I had locked my bicycle so she was relieved.

I trodded up the super wide sidewalk between designers and macdonalds with the outrageous noise of evening traffic. It's like an amphitheatre, the Champs Elysees. Who coud ever find it interesting? I thought alot about that but then it is somewhat like Times Square, big and loud and expensive. Finally I got close enough to take some pictures of the arch with tourists bulgeoning off the top. Then I turned around and pedalled home missing a nice dinner at the Closerie because the Champs Elysees gave my such cramps.

See that spot on the picture to the upper right. It is a worm in my camera. It moves around but it is always there.

May 11, 2007

My Geranium

I got a geranium to put on the window sill. It was expensive, ten euro. I think that is an outrageous price for a gernaium but everything in Paris is expensive. My geranium is bright red and packed with blossoms. I look at it and it makes me happy, a flower.

I bought my geranium in a flower shop in Ivry when I was on my bicycle on the way to the atelier. I put it in my bicycle basket and it fell out of the pot but luckily it was in a plastic bag. Then the gernaium spent the day with me in the studio inhaling oil painting fumes and then went to the grocery store to buy something for dinner. After that we rode together on my bicycle down avenue d'Ivry and then to Place italie and then down avenue des Goblins. The poor geranium came out of the pot again and was bumping around in the basket trapped in the plastic bag. It is amazing that nothing broke, not even one bloom. I think that it was relieved to sit on the window sill finally after all that bumping around even if rue saint jacques is a busy street . Maybe i should give it a name.

There are geraniums on lots of the windowsills in Paris. I didn't notice them before. I am sure that I would have seen them when i first moved to Paris in January, any color would have jumped into my eyes in that greyness. There are more geraniums in Paris then there are on the window sills in Florence or maybe I never looked at the geraniums in Florence; There are cascading geraniums everywhere my favorite is in the square in front of the church of rue Mouffetard, that is a beautiful window.

This week was all work and no play but tomorrow is Saturday. I never had weekends before moving to Paris to live with someone that has weekends. Now I have weekends and mondays too. I have to work my bum off in the next few weeks because then we are going to Marseilles, Nice and some other places. After that I am going to Florence. Hurrah!!!! and then we go to Copenhagen. I CAN'T WAIT to go to Florence. Less than a month to go.

So I was going to the quai d Seine this evening to check out the dancing but now it started to rain, boo hoo. At least I have my geranium on the window sill.

May 15, 2007

winter is back and its MAY!

Sunday there was an outrageous storm with big gusts of wind. I was in my atelier worrying that the tin roof was going to fly off. Finally the guys - my boyfriend and his son that had just flown in- showed up and we hung out for awhile then we all left.

I rode around on my bicycle thinking that I would go to the pompidou or somewhere else when I remembered the antique broccante fair on boulevard Blanqui. So I wne there. The market is under the metro and was surprisingly nice stuff, most of it anyway. I was also surprised at the cheap prices. I bought a Hugo Boss shaker to mix cocktails, when the gusts of wind picked up I left. The wind was blowing everything over and dust into everything inclucing my eyes.

This week is a big work week, I have to get three paintings done. I am 1 and 1/2 done. Then three for next week.

Tonight I am going to brave the cold and wet and to go out with some Americans that I met through meet up down near Palais Royal.

cool wine bars

Tonight I spent the evening with one of the nicest persons I have ever met, a very interesting writer that has been living in Paris for 8 years. She suggested that we meet at Wili's wine bar on 13 rue des petits champs.

I came home from the atelier on the metro leaving my bike at the atelier in Ivry and took the 91 bus from les Goblins up blvd St. Michel two stops, what a waist of a metro ticket but it was raining.

I did what I needed to do at the apt and then left to go back to Les Goblins and took the metro down to Palais Royal exited and walked across some garden where those funny black and white colums are that are supposed to be interesting then got to rue des champs and found my friend at Willi's. It was the first time that I saw clientele in a restaurant that was semi dressed up since I have been here. Who invented the urban myth that the French know how to dress. It is the Italians that dress to kill, definitely not the Parisians that look to me like they threw their jeans on over their pygamas and forgot to shave. Perhaps it is their bedroom habits. They say that the Italian stallion is a myth gone by, I believe it.

We had a mediocre glass of wine at Willi's a nice place with a long bar and super duper posters; they have a fabulous group of graphic artists that give them the image they have gained. All of the clients that came in saluted the wait staff in French then dropped into English at their tables. We were looking for something a little more raunchy so walked down around the corner of rue de Richelieu to Juveniles a Cave Bistrot at number 47 where we shared an aubergine tapenade and a plate of charcuterie. I chose a spanish wine that was absolutely fantastic and we chatted and chatted. The Juveniles had a much more relaxed atmosphere, more eclectic crowd that still satluted the bilingual wait staff in French and then fell into English but not all of the tables like at Willi's, some spoke only French. It was even affordable. I will keep in mind les Juveniles but we promised to go tango on the seine before my new friend leaves Paris in a few weeks to go back to the US after an 8 year sojourne.

PAris is like Florence, people come and go.

May 18, 2007

Summer is back!!

Hurray! it is warm again. We even had a mosquito in the house. That I have been told is a rarity for Paris. I killed it without leaving a blotch on the wall and the geranium in the window sill did nothing to stop the little thing. Maybe i should have a word with my geranium.

Last night we met with a friend at the Academie du la Biere for a beer, the place is always packed and there are really no tourists, too far from St. Michel. I am always amazed how the waiters balance the glasses of beer on thei arms. There are 150 beers to choose from and they all have their own glass. Then the waiters carry these huge glass bowls of mussles. When I used to wait i always used a tray to carry all the plates, not here.

Then we came back and listened to jazz and ate the spaghetti that I made.

I am real excited that I have finished 28 of the 50 paintings that I need to get done so am over the hump. Got to run and work because next Thursday we are off to Marseilles for a week. I can't wait to see the seaside and hopefully get some sun.

August 15, 2007

flying into Paris


Yesterday we flew into paris Orly, 12 degrees in the morning compared to the 20 degree Nice morning weather was what awaited us. This time I actually saw the eiffel tower on the way in and more visible is the Montparnasse tower. What a massive city Paris is.

Today is the 15th of August it is grey going to rain but very quiet. Everyone is on vacation. i am going to the atelier to finish the last two paintings of my 50 paintings for the corporation. I can't say yet who they are or publish the paintings yet. but in a month when they are delivered I may be able to do that.

Since I have been in Paris , eight months now, I've made 48 large paintings and almost 50 small paintings for Mario Cappelletti in Castellina in Chianti. No wonder I haven't seen the Louvre yet.

August 23, 2007

Dinner at the Institut du Mond Arab


The other night we got invited to go to dinner Institut du Mond Arab on the roof top terrace restaurant. Luckily it was not raining. Some really lovely people came to visit my atelier and see the mass of paintings that I've done since I came to Paris then invited us to dinner.

It was too cold to eat outside where there are lovely mosaic tables but inside the tables were set with beautiful orange and red fabric. The restaurant is all glass so the fabulous view of Paris is to die for. The sky was grey but on a sunny day to watch the sunset must be incredible. You can see everything fromLa Defense on the horizon to Notre Dame, Sacre Coeure, Beaubourg, Bastille, the ugly hire rises in Place des Fêtes, and all the way to the east.

The restaurant offers three menus, a grill for a minimum of two for Euro 150, then a menu of dishes to choose from for Euro75 per person and the last menu 50 pp. Drinks are extra. We didn't reserve but it is a good idea to do so. Most of the dishes are Libanese but then there are tajine and couscous. One would think that it is expesnive for same dishes that are easily available all over Paris but the quantity and quality are the best I've ever tasted and the view is great plus you are eating in a museum.

I definitley want to go back but it was nice to be invited. <°,¨)))-<

October 11, 2007

The Arcimboldi Exhibit at Luxembourg

It was packed. I managed to get close to some of the paintings even if there were these groups of women that sort of monopolized the space in front of the paintings to shoot the shit. Not even looking at the paintings. I always find it amusing the comments of ovservers at painting exhibitions; being a painter I look at more technical stuff but hear the funniest things. Once at the Met in NY looking at an exhibition of Antonio da Messina. There were two women commenting on this amazing crucifix that was half the size of an A4 paper painted on wood with the most exquisit technique. The Christ was nude and totally suffering. The two women said to eachother, "What an interesting choice of model." I thought this was funny.

I thought that in the middle of the day would be a good time to go but it was not. Someone told me at Patricia's cocktail last night that the best time to go to museums in Paris is the evening.
the exhibit showed some of the early work by Giuseppe Arcimboldi and then alot of the bizarre portraits that he did using fruit and flowers and other organic things. There were many objects and other paintings by other artists that had been in the collection in Prague when the nobility there were collecting bizarre things. Worth seeing but go in the evening.

November 6, 2007

my butcher is a theif!

So I go to the butcher just on the corner that has great quality meat. I know that it is expensive but... It is market day and he seems happy to be busy. I walk in and say bonjour and wait. When it is my turn to be served I say quite clearly (in French of course) twice that I have 6 Euro in my pocket and I want to make some soup. I'd like to have some chicken BUT I have only six euro.

He responds, "oh you'd like to have a chicken cut in peices?" I respond, "Yes please BUT I have only six euro in my pocket is that enough, can I get something for that?"

He goes to the back mumbling something and gets a whole chicken and proceeds to chop it up. Then weighs it and I see the number 22.37. I say "Not bad for 6 euro." and move to the cash register with six bags of various fruits and vegetables that go for 1.50 per bag. A huge load of onions, apples, pears, clementines and pumkin; a good job for 6 euro at the second stand in the market.

The butcher without looking me in the face says "That will be Euro 22,37." I say, "What? I have only 6 euro and I told you more than once." He says" Oh you can pay later or when your boyfriend gets home he can pay." He knows that I have a credit card so I say that I will have to be more clear next time and reluctantly pay euro 22,37 for a freakin cut up uncooked unseasoned chicken. I feel like slapping the guy. I walk out frustrated and remembering how when he usually weighs things he slams the meat down on the balance with his hand on top of it and presses the button of the balance before the rebound. How pathetic, I think. i swear to myself that next time if I go back I will say something.

Then when I get home I recall reading in an interview with painter Lucien Freud that he describes how inhospitable he found Paris when he first came here, how people will just run right in to you as you walk down the street. This has actually happened to me as i was just standing there and not walking toward the other person. I vow to hit the next person that does it to me; perhaps the face of the butcher will overplace the face of the runner-in-to.

November 13, 2007

yikes strikes start tonight!

The French transport system seems to work so well, at least in Paris. The bustops have eletronic signs that tell you how long you will have to wait for your bus or the metro. People hre complain but they are not familiar with the buses in Florence.

The problem is when there are strikes. I guess it is because things are usually so efficient that the chaos from the strikes is total madness. Perhaps a normal day in Naples. The people here freak out when things are slightly abnormal.

Today there was a delivery truck blocking the entry to the atelier. All they had to do was open the second half of the gate to let me in. I knocked on the van but nobody budged then two people came up behind me that were also trying to enter. I was sure that it would only be a minute but the one guy that came up had no patience and started to scream. Screaming won't do any good. I bet I'll feel like screaming if Saturday I can't make it to Florence.

The strikes are supposed to go on for at least a week but I don't see why they would stop if the workers don't get what they want. They have no competition. Who is going to run the metro if they refuse to? Sarko in person? Personally I think that they should accept the reforms and work past age 55 and work a few more hours a week. Don't they say life starts at 50?

I think I'll go eat some chocolate and get dressed for the jazz concert this eve.

November 14, 2007

Tigran Hamasyan jazz concert


Last night what a concert! it was invite only at the Istitut Pasteur. I am not a real jazz fan but to see a concert by the Tigran Hamasyan Trio was a real treat. What a talented guy the young Tigran and the percussionist Louis Moutin and his brother playing the contrebasse François Moutin.

November 29, 2007

Louvre, Courbet and Champs Elysees

DSC07084.JPG Finally after being in Paris for 11 months I went to the Louvre. To my delight I can get in free and cut all the lines because I am registered as an artist at La Maison Des Artistes of Paris.

It was an unusually sunny day a white sunlight. My mother and I took the bus to rue du Bac and then walked across the Seine to enter the Louvre area from the Tuilleries side. Aristide Maillol's nudes float on pedestals. They look light in weight despite their robust build and bronze mass. Going into the pyramid was exciting. I couldn't help but think of Dan Brown's the "Da Vinci Code." That is sad but hey, I never saw the Louvre before the pyramid. Inside my goal was to avoid the whole wing where the Mona Lisa hangs. It is easy to tell which side it is by the hoards of tourists that rush there, smashing into you. We ended up going on that side first in order to see the Cycladic art, then went to see the European painting.

There were two artists copying in the Ruebens room that illustrates the life of Maria di Medici. It seems that the louvre is so big that one takes more time walking than actually looking at the paintings. I am glad that I can go back for free

After we left we went down to rue de Petit Champs and had a nice lunch at the bistrot Aux Bons Crus. The waiter was brusk when we entered and treated us poorly but relaxed when he heard that I spoke to him in French. We sat next a couple of italians that were working on a food guide so I had fun listening in three languages. My mother ate a quiche like thing with ham and some cheese on a nice fresh salad, a humungous meal. I had a tuna steak that came out so raw i sent it back. Both were excellent. A bottle of San Pellegrino and a 1/4 of red house wine came to 39 Euro. Good considering the area and the quality.

Yesterday we went to the Phenicians exhibit at the Istitut de Mond Arab. I was dying to see this show and absolutely loved seeing the cuniform writing - the beginning of some written languages. There are sphinxes reproduced on everything from bowls to broaches to Faence. They navigated throughout the mediterranean leaving lots of stuff everywhere, the sarcaophogus in their symplicity were beautiful.

Then we went to the Courbet exhibit at the Grand Palais. Definitely worth seeing but make sure to reserve your tickets in advance. We got right in without waiting but the line of people with no tickets was long. Too long for the sub freezing temperatures.

Courbet had never been my favorite artist because all that I knew was one of his wild seascapes. I didn't know that he was such an iconoclast and that he was an excellent portrait painter. His monumental scenes of everyday life were overwhelming but what stroke me the most was a tiny portrait of Baudelaire. "The Origin of the World" -the infamous painting of a woman's vigina- was well hung in a little secluded area where there were "scandalous" photographs from the 1850's of women hiking up their skirts to expose their "secrets." I must go back to see Courbet's portraits, "the Origin of the World" doesn't interest me much except to see how he painted the skin tones over the pubic hair. I wonder if he let the black brushstrokes of the hair dry before going on top with the skin tones.

When we exited the Grand Palais it was dark and we were exhausted but we saw the beautiful christmas lights on the Champs Elysees. I thought what a shame to go back home so we braved the hike up the hill towards the arche de triomph and made our way to the peugeot store to buy some pepper grinders.

It is nice to see Paris in its splendor.

February 6, 2008

today' s dilemma


I am not a real sweet eater but today was. The question was: should I go downstairs to the convenience store and get a Magnum or should I go out to some cafe and eat a crepe. These kinds of thoughts seem to invade your peace of mind right before lunch or dinner or worst yet when you are grocery shopping. That is when you come away with pacakges of things that you usually whould never buy.

It was before lunch when I was getting this attack and so thought well, "I'll eat my mozzarella di buffola (yes I have discovered where to get Italian cheeses in Paris) and the boiled fennel with olive oil straight from the hills of Montalcino- one of my my best friends is a producer. After lunch the desire for the magnum, that was winning out probably more for convenience, seemed to die down. A nap was at hand so about 3 o'clock i woke up and decided to head towards Luxembourg gardens a five minute walk. The sun was out and it seemed warmish.

Of course as soon as i go out it gets cloudy. Luckily the clouds were blowing in the wind but that made it cold too. I made it over to Luxembourg and decided to have a tea at the little cafe near the Senate. Lo and behold they offer crêpes so violà my dilemma for the day was resolved.

February 9, 2008

The chinese new year

The nex year started on February 7th but today in Chian town in the 13th arrondisement they are having the parage of the Dragon. I walk through this arrondisement on my way to work and for the last few days it has been carpeted with remainders of firecrackers. I hope to get over to the parade.

This year is the year fo the rat.

to quote from the rat:

Tradition says that Lord Buddha had called for all the animals to come to him before he departed from the earth. When the cat got to know about the news, he told rat about it and the two animals decided to go together the next day. However, the next morning the rat did not wake up the cat. Therefore, the cat could not make it to the gathering on time and did not get a year. This is why there is no year of the cat and this is one of the reasons why cats hate rats.

The rat made it first to the assembly and received the first year. Though the rat did a lot of trickery to reach first to the congregation. At first he tricked the ox to let him ride on its head. The ox agreed and they went together. Just when they were about to reach to the assembly the clever rat jumped off the ox's head and got through the finish line first. This is why the year of the rat is the first year in the cycle and the year of the ox is the second.

This is probably the reason why the first of the twelve years is the Year of the Rat then followed by the year of Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

But only twelve animals came to offer Lord Buddha farewell and as a token of appreciation he named a year after each of the twelve animals in the order they arrived. In this way each year got linked with an animal. People born in that year are believed to share different traits.

February 10, 2008

a guitar player in the metro

This guy was playing guitar in the metro station at Montparnasse. This is one reason I like Paris.

February 11, 2008

a walk by the Seine at dusk

It was so beautiful Friday that I had to go out and take a walk on the Seine so I took the metro from Ivry to the stop just before Pont Marie and then walked on to the Isle Saint Louis.

This guy was playing the sax

Then I went and had a crêpe au sucre

I saw these silly handbags and thought of who I could buy one for but no one came to mind

if the weather continues like this we are all going to get spoiled

February 12, 2008

Dinner at the Obelisque

The Obelisque is the restaurant at the Hotel Crillon in Place de la Concorde. We went to dinner on Sunday night.
A friend of ours is one of the "waiters". He is more than a waiter but high up, second i think. Nothing was free but we were guaranteed a table.
A cup of champagne accompanied the appetizer of noix de Saint Jaques cooked with shallots, truffle and chives. Then I had a crab based soup with home made ravioli of buckwheat flower and after that some fish filet served with purée of carrots and ginger. Then dessert was a caramelized pear with cream.

i have no idea what it cost because I had one of those menus for women that have no prices on it. Pretty cool.

I wish I coud remember the names of each dish in French and it would have been great to photograph it all but there was no way i was going to pull out my camera and take photos of the food in that setting oer a romantic candle light dinner for two.

February 15, 2008

My walk to work

My walk to work takes about an hour. I can take the metro and get there in 20 minutes but on nice days like last Wednesday why go underground.
Avenue des Goblins

Place Italie
Adds in chinese on avenue d'Ivry. This is the largest China town in Paris, Avenues d'Ivry, Choisy and proximities. The stores have things I've never seen and the smeel of Chinese food can be pleasant and overwhelming.
Some boulangerie along the walk
The peripherique exterieur marks the exit from Paris and the entry to Ivry just outside the 13th arrondissement

This is Petit Ivry
My metro stop. Pierre and Marie Curie
The court yard of the Ateliers in Ivry-sur-Seine. It used to be a tannery

Fabien the Boogie Man taking the sun on the canape. Fabien makes designer parachute suits for extreme sports

the view from the atelier

February 18, 2008

crepe in the sun

Is it really February?

February 23, 2008

Dangerous birds

This is a common sight in Paris in spring, it is a sign of spring BUT warning.

When you see this on the sidewalk or near you do NOT look up. Get out of the area as soon as possible. Especially do NOT look up with your mouth open. Sometimes this is hard to do because as you move your head back you mouth automatically opens.
It is some kind of wild migratory pigeon. I wonder what they eat, their terds are ginormous and so many.

February 24, 2008

Signs of Spring


The first crocuses (sp) are up at Luxembourg gardens. You can smell the weather changing, it feels warmer. The gardeners are all over the place getting ready.

No one is going to convince me to take off my winter jacket though.

March 3, 2008

The truck Tagé

A common sight in Paris are these vans owned by private people that are targets for graffitti. This one is a friend's of mine. She actually likes it but when driving around gets stopped by the police alot. She did not do the painting so askes the police if they stop her because her van is "tagé" (graffitteed.) There is not much graffitti on street level or on monuments like you see in Italy but there are these trucks AND on the walls up above the roofs of buildings there are alot of graffitti paintings. I guess painting on private property is less punishible than on public. Who knows.


March 4, 2008

The ivory carver

I saw this shop so small down near rue des Cannettes. I imagine that years ago there were many more shops like this filled with artisans doing unusual and unique crafts. Now all of those shops are taken over by franchises, clothing stores, etc. just like in Florence.



March 5, 2008

Pickpockets in the metro

A friend of mine was picpocketed today What a bummer, it was down by the more touristy areas, the stop was Jussieu. It is the first incident I have heard since I have been in Paris, much less than what happens in Florence. But still it means that we have be vigilent. At least they realized it right away, it was two young men.

March 16, 2008

Fromagerie Quatrehomme


I just happened to be on rue de Sèvres and saw this cheese shop.
Fromagerie Quatrehomme
62 rue de Sèvres 75007

The smell inside was unbelievable. I was told by the person I went to lunch with that this is one of the most renown cheese shops in Paris. I believe it. I didn't buy anything because I was overwhelmed.

March 18, 2008

Cheese at the local market


This is a photo from the biggest cheese stand at the local market that comes three times a week. It is just on the corner a 1 minute walk. Saturday we had some special guests from Cold Spring Harbor and they wanted cheese. We got some of the stinkiest cheese. It smells so bad that we have to keep in on the window sill outside. Don't ask me why we cannot put it in the refridgerator, some French thing. Why do the Italian cheeses that I bring back go into the fridge and the French ones go on the window sill outside? It's a mystery to me. Maybe the fumes are toxic.

March 22, 2008

chocolate and Easter

We went to buy chocolate for some friends that are arriving on Monday and i was excited to take a photo of the window display. There was nothing left! The whole shop had almost been sold out. All the chocolate in the window was gone and on the shelvs even the ugliest things were gone. (that doesn't mean they weren't tasty)
There was still a line out the door, we got in line under the freezing rain. It was actually hailing. Once inside we got two miserable packages of chocolate covered candied orange rinds.

The rain had stopped and the sun came out so we walked to rue Vavin and had a gelato Italiano from Amorino and I got to speak Italian to the two girls that served the gelato. Mango and chocolate. We walked into Luxembourg and ate our gelato. It was so cold our hands were freezing. It is supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow night.

March 27, 2008

My favorite art gallery in Paris

The Ariel Sibony galerie is my favorite in Paris. It is in Place des Vosges and is actually two galleries. Their artists truly inspire me from FIFAX to Jean-Marie DROUET to Fabienne ARIETTI to Magi PIUG and the others. FAbienne Arietti's paintings are amazing in life. They are on giant panels and the material on the sides is such a witness of her painting process. Magi Puig's paintings and FIFAX's paintings really drew me to the gallery to begin with. Sunday I went and saw Drouet's paintings in person. They make you feel so good, the warmth of the colors is so calming, the effect that he says he wants to achieve and the mastery of technique is incredible.

How much I would love to be part of this galleries team of artists. The problem for me is that I have no stock of paintings, the one I just finished of the cafe scene I sold off the easel and the next 6 months will be dedicated to the baby that is still in my belly. There is plenty of time to plan the paintings to present to them. I have 5 started...

March 28, 2008

Great day for a walk

Today when I left the house I couldn't decide if I should go to the macrobiotic store in the 14th or down to Shakespeare and Co. to look for a book that I want. After hesitating I decided that a walk down to the Seine was more exciting and of course going downhill was appealing seeing as how my belly is ginormous 38 weeks+.

On Rue saint Jacques I stopped to look at the chocolate fish, poisson d'avril in the Patisserie Confiseur BON vitrine. I was so tempted to go in and buy one but the line put me off and I knew that my stomach was hungry for lunch and not chocolate. Actually chocolate is good anytime.

This is the fish at the Bar Des Huitres on rue Saint Jaqcues

The church S. Severe. Everytime I see it I think of Dan Brown's the Da Vinci code.

Finally I arrived at Shakespeare and Co. to look for the book but they don't have anything on computers. It was the first time I had actually gone inside and so was delighted to hear someone beautifully playing the piano.

I was starving by the time I got to Shakespeare and Co. so stopped at La Boucherie one of the three cafes right next to it. I was undecided between the three and was lured in by a cute waiter that told me that pizza was no longer allowed by the EU to be baked in wood burning ovens. I know that this was not completely true but sat down anyway. The 3 cheese pizza was mediocre to say the most but the view on Notre Dame is nice. This place is good at happy hour but lunch, hmm.


The woman at Shakespeare and Co suggested I go to Gilbert and Jeune. Unable to find the book that I was looking for at the store on Blvd St. Michel I crossed Place St. Michel to the other Gilbert and Jeune. There is always some blague on the poor fountain.


I went home through Jardin de Luxembourg.

I was lucky to get home because the rain that they had been calling for started just as I walked in the door and then ordered the book I was looking for from Amazon.

April 1, 2008

another walk

Yesterday I went for a three hour walk. Boulevard Saint Michel, to blvd, St. Marcel, blvd de l'Hôpital, then went into the Jardin des Plantes but it started to rain a little and looked like more was coming. I crossed the road to the Quai St Bernard and wanted to make my way over to St Germain-des-Pres. Before I knew it the rain was coming hard so I found shelter with two other individuals where the batobus usually stops. There was a notice that this stop was temporarily nnot working because of the flooding of he Siene. See the photo...


After about 20 minutes the rain stopped but I had enough time to make a sketch in my new large format moleskin. It was nice to stop but I got my butt wet because the rain filtered under the kiosk and on to my side where I was sitting. It took about 30 minutes to reach the cafe Le Conti on rue de St. André des Artes. I wanted to get to this cafe because it is the one in my big painting and I still had not decided what to title it. Now I know the name of the cafe; Le Conti. It is a great place for a drink and people watching


I sat for a tea and skethced the corner opposite

April 2, 2008

The Eiffel tower

Here it is seen from Boulevard Pasteur just behind Montparnasse trainstation.


April 9, 2008

Jardin Luxembourg ponies


The Luxembourg gardens have a multitude of activities for both adults and children. Adults can play chess or boule or tennis or take courses on bees and honey production. For kids there are tons of things among which a theatre, the various play grounds, peddle driven go carts, merry-go rounds, tennis and then there are these ponies - a donkey among them.

There is often a line for the pony rides but it goes fast. The parents race along ahead taking photos of their children. The ponies stink so bad it is a good thing that the rides are so short.

April 10, 2008

flowers beds in Luxembourg gardens


These are the beginning of the spring flowers.

April 12, 2008

Sunset on the ile St Louis


April 14, 2008

sculptures by Daumier

Daumier is my all time favorite artist. He was mostly know for his political cartoons and this sort of tainted his career as an artist. He tried to be a painter and was honored by all of his contemporary colleagues but shuned by the salons and the critics.

These sculptures in unfired clay are in the Orsay. I love these guys.

April 25, 2008

a pause on the terrasse

Thanks to non alcoholic beer i can feel like I am having a drink. Jeeze its tiring having a baby to take care of, who ever would have known. Only other mothers. I don't think that the guys really get a handle on it.

At least when I want I can hop down to the corner cafè and hang out in the sunshine to avoid cabin fever.

May 2, 2008

a cafe on the corner

It is finally nice weather here 23 degrees!!

May 10, 2008

Luxembourg in the sun



When the sun is out in Paris take advantage. Luxembourg gardens is a great place to go to relax away from traffic noises. Take a blanket and lie in the sun. People strip down to pale bare skin as soon as the grey skies disappear and the sun comes. Love handles and spare tires exposed... definitely not laguna beach or Livorno.

May 19, 2008

street performer

This mime was quite fun to watch, The people at the chic cafe le Rostand accross from Luxembourg seemed to enjoy him as well as the other people, like myself.

May 20, 2008

the big head


Who is it? What is it? It's a big head in Luxembourg garden, part of the outdoor sculpture exhibition thats happening on the west side of the gardens at the moment.

May 28, 2008

May 1968

In Place la Sorbonne there is a photo exhibition of the riots in Paris during May 1968. There has been alot of documentation in the news for the 40 year anniversary of events that changed France.

May 29, 2008

Urban vegetation

I was amazed while walking down boulevard Saint Marcel to see camomile sprouting at the base of the trees. Last year I noticed it too. I wouldn't suggest making any tea with it unless you like the smell of dog pee.


Even more surprising was to find a patch of wild strawberries in flower beds. Who would have planted these? Does someone actually eat them? The Pariseans are crazy about strawberries, they buy them by the kilos at the markets in May.


June 1, 2008

Rue de Cherche Midi

This place on Rue de Cherche Midi looks so coolI didn't stop because i was on my way over to boulevard Pasteur.
Rue de Cherche Midi is a cool street, there are some very cool shops with inexpensive stuff, it seems that it has kept a certain local feeling despite that it is in the 6th arrondissement.

June 2, 2008

David Lebovitz

The name David Lebovitz was familiar to me but yesterday I was reading Jerry's blog and saw a link on the side bar to David Lebovitz . I didn't know what was I missing! Such an amusing writer to read. I love his description of How To Look Parisian. Funny to notice the little red guy on the crosswalk signs with his hands on hi hips.
I wonder if David saw the wild strawberries in the flower beds on blvd Saint Marcel?

June 5, 2008

Cafe le Crystal

The great thing about Paris is the outdoor seating of the cafes all over the city. This is cafe le Crystal on Boulevard Port Royal. Sometimes we hang out here when the sun goes down and the long shadows of summer grow even longer.

July 28, 2008

I'm back!

Where was I? Out of contact, changing diapers, sleeping and enjoying being a mother. Getting to know eachother is exhausting.

Here is a giant macaron in a boulangerie on rue de Campagne Premier

August 11, 2008

mounted police


This was on le Pont Neuf, funny I was just talking with someone about never seeing mounted police in Paris.

August 12, 2008

bridge in Luxembourg gardens

Among the many activities there are groups of people playing bridge. You can feel the tension but it is one of the quietest places in the garden, near the orangerie.

October 18, 2008

Paris is about cafes


No matter what your drink is Paris is about cafes. Everywhere there is somewhere to sit at a cafe and have a drink and relax and enjoy the people watching. With this great weather recently the " terasses" have been fabulous.

October 25, 2008

CAfe la Rotonda

One of the nice cafes on Boulevard Montparnasse

November 5, 2008

Winter light


The white white winter light of Paris is so great WHEN the sun is shining, long long shadows on rue de cherche midi

November 9, 2008

The tagged car


It was moving too fast to get a good photo

December 8, 2008

20 great things about Paris

It has taken almost two years for me to find myself saying, "This place is so cool." but the other day walking through the masses on rue de Rennes the thought popped into my mind. I don't enjoy walking in the masses on rue des Rennes but Paris is happening. So I decided to write about the things that I like so far

1. Paris is a multi-cultural city with people from everywhere just being like everyone else.
2. The public transportation is super.
3. You could wear your pygamas out on the street in paris and no one would look at you but then again you could be dressed head to foot to underwear in Coco Chanel and no one would still look at you.
3. Paris has cafes
4. You can find mangos and avocados and corn on the cob
5. the baguettes are killer
6. There IS an art scene in Paris
7. Luxembourg gardens is in Paris
8. Everybody delivers, even Ikea
9. YOu can hail a cab in Paris
10. Paris is you get great oysters
11. Paris is the chocolate shops are amazing
12. In summer the sunlight lasts until 11pm, no comment on winter.
13. You can fly or train to about anywhere in Europe from PAris
14. In Paris there are fantastic markets
15. IN PAris you can get great thai food.
16. Paris has the most amazing museums and I can get into them all for free!
17. IN PAris you can tango dance everyday
18. Despite the traffic the pollution is sent away by the wind.
19. There are hardly any mosquitos in Paris
20. In Paris people bring champagne when you invite them for dinner

February 6, 2009

dog in a basket

What if someone stole the bike?

February 9, 2009

Gay Pride 2007 again


February 10, 2009

lounging in the feeble sun

The sun comes out and the parisians are like seals, trying to absorb as much as possible

February 13, 2009

cafe conti

I love this cafe in Saint Germain des Pres. It has been my subject for painting a couple of times

February 15, 2009

Car races


February 18, 2009

The oyster guy


February 21, 2009

The carrot


What great sunny days we've had lately. Here is a sign for a Tabac.

February 24, 2009

where next?


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