Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Wine In Old Vessels

Interesting article in Time magazine online:

New Wine In Old Vessels

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Louvre Returns Five Fragments to Egypt

It happened today at the Élysée Palace. The article from is here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

France mourns an ageing lothario as tortoise dies, aged 146

Kiki sounds like he was quite the man (it seems even wheelbarrows were not safe from his advances)! Read the entire article here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

France's image in the US improves!

Le Monde carried this story today. A rather remarkable increase in Americans who look favorably on France. It's about time!

Le spéculoos...

I encountered spéculoos for the first time at a tea shop in Blois in October. So I was delighted to find this article in La Libération today. This little treat, served with tea or coffee, reminds me a bit of graham crackers, only better!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Paris Illuminated!

Check out this video of the special lighting effects designed to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower.  The show goes on four times a night until December 31, 2009! Amazing!! 

The City of Light really knows how to throw a great light show. The neighborhood holiday lighting is just about up all over town now, with more than 125 streets and 200 kilometers of lighting as part of what's called "Paris Illumine Paris" done with the help of 80 merchant associations and professionals in the capital. For those of us who can't make it to Paris to see it "for real" there is a small slide show available here.

And you can enjoy the creative holiday window decorations at the Grands Magasins without leaving the comfort of your armchair by clicking here.

Have an illuminating holiday season!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rose "Pierre de Ronsard"

I've just created a Zazzle note card using my Rose "Pierre de Ronsard" image:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Prince des poètes et poète des princes...

These photos were taken in October at La Possonnière, the birthplace of 16th century French poet Pierre de Ronsard. My good friend Bette and I were finally able to visit this Renaissance manor house near Couture-sur-Loir (Loir-et-Cher) after trying and failing for various reasons over the course of several years. It was well worth the wait! Our guided tour of the house and grounds was brilliantly conducted by Valérie Heuze-Martel, the author of a great book about La Possonnière (Bette and I now have autographed copies!).

"Pierre de Ronsard" Rose

South facade of the manor house

Stair turret and "skylight"

Coat of arms "parlantes" - "ronces ardentes" (blazing brambles) = ronce-ard = Ronsard

View of the east wing (some rooms of which may have served the needs of those making a pilgrimage to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle) built into the hillside

Coats of arms of Loys de Ronsard (the poet's father) and possibly those of Claude (his older brother)

The monumental fireplace covered with carvings of the arms of France, fleurs de lys, the coat of arms of the Ronsard family, their motto (NON FALUNT FUTURA MERE[n]TE[m], loosely translated as "the future belongs to those who rise early"), their arms "parlantes" (ronces ardentes), and assorted related coats of arms and tracery.

The garden is relatively new, created in 2003 by rosarian André Eve, and recounts the history of the rose with various planting beds moving back in time to the rosa gallica officinalis, the rosa damascena, and the rosa x alba, whose ancestors all date at least to the 13th century and the Crusades.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pascal Elbé, auteur d'objets à part

Quelque chose à te dire is a 2009 film by Pascal Elbé--read the article and view the bande-annonce.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kisses from Paris...

Read the Guardian article and then watch the video. Charming! Below is Doisneau's "Kiss By the Hotel de Ville" (1950).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Absolutely nothing to do with Luxor...and absolutely everything to do with France

OK everybody, pay attention now! You simply must, yes MUST, watch this video. A "delicious" interlude for pastry lovers and Paris lovers!

And as an added treat, here are some taste-bud-teasing dessert shots from my recent visit to France. The first two are the pastries Bette and I reveled in at Patisserie Buret in Blois on the last day of my visit to the Loire Valley. The third is a pastry called "Rosy" (for obvious reasons) which comes from the patisserie/viennoiserie/boulangerie/confiserie Stéphane Vandermeersch across avenue Daumesnil from the Hôtel de la Porte Dorée (where I always stay when I'm in Paris). Christina, Jodie and I had a lovely tea with this delicious treat brought fresh from across the street on the afternoon I got back to Paris before leaving for Luxor. Are we salivating yet?