Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Vegan Mondays

Coming off a 10-day free-for-all that included homemade peach and blueberry cobbler, many Manhattans, slice after slice, and multiple pastries for breakfast, it was good to read Time’s cover story about organic food—a reminder of treating your body to fresh fruits and vegetables and natural grains is the way to go. Hello, Vegan Monday!

Slept through the crummy airplane food

Motley salad: a few greens, some tomatoes, bulger and lentils... random

Carrots and hummus
Toast with hummus

Paris, you sure know how to charm

I won’t lie: it wasn’t easy coming back to Paris. Never on my previous trips has New York grabbed me like that and begged me not to leave.

But I’m also happy to be back; it’s just bittersweet. So I’m focusing on all the beauty and little details that make my heart flutter in this city.

You know. Stuff like that.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

How I love New York

Almond apple bread pudding. Brooklyn Promenade. Soho. Five Napkins turkey burger. Freaks on the subway. Cocktails at EO and The Standard. Dinner at Kenmare and Jack the Horse and Joseph Leonard.

Forgetting street names. Dates with Kerry, Aim, Mitchell and Cheryl. A new godson, my new godson. Coffee in the middle of the day.

$20 manicure/pedicure. $26 for two glasses of wine.

Shopping on the UWS. The trees along Central Park West. A city under construction. Four days of rain. One blissfully hot summer day. Gramercy. Whole Foods. Iced coffee. Browsing the Strand at 10 p.m.

Dell’anima bruscette. Drinks in Dumbo. My apartment. Visits with mom and dad. My best friend’s new son. Puddles, puddles and big, bad hair. Hazelnut torte with (too) salty gelato. Brooklyn on the brain.

Breakfast with Bennie. A white Empire State Building. Mario Badescu facial. Back to Brooklyn, again and again. Chocolate chip banana bread. Chocolate chip banana muffin. Chocolate peanut butter bar.

The High Line. Strolling Bleecker Street. Little moments. Overpriced restaurants. Aggressive pedestrians. Warm summer air. Central Park. One mouse, one dead cockroach.

Fresh peaches. Hanging with friends. Murray’s Cheese.

My apartment building. Change. Binging on magazines. Artichoke pizza, too many times. The Resevoir. Max the Bear. Landmark Sunshine Theater.

Heart swells and heartache in the very best way. Feeling at home.

Friday, August 27, 2010

While I’m away, the cat will play

While I am binging on muffins and pizza and dinner dates with friends in NYC, Milo is apparently getting around Paris.

The wonderful Erin Hill is still drawing inspiration from le chat—this Eiffel Tower watercolor, the latest in her series. Needless to say, it made my day.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

There's no place like home

There is no more beautiful city than Paris. But there is nowhere quite like New York. And tomorrow, I will be home for a dose of love and affection from family and friends, I will check on my apartment and reconnect with my beloved city, and, inevitably, I will binge on bagels and chocolate chip cookies and pizza and sidecars and maybe some doughnuts and cupcakes for good measure. Pourquoi pas? I have been waiting nine months to see my love. New York, New York, I am almost there...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sonia Rykiel’s windows

I love Parisian vitrines. Usually it’s the whole mise-en-scene: the mannequins, the backdrop and the clothes, bien sur. But when I was walking by Sonia Rykiel’s Saint-Germain flagship, it was the wee details that caught my eye: books, glorious books!

What store in America would feature Nabakov? (Well, maybe Barneys, grace à Simon Doonan...)

Love her web site, too. Is that Phillip Glass??

(Thinking of you, Carol!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vintage Monoprix

Who knew Monoprix could be so cool?

The '60s facade of the supermarket in Arles stopped me in my tracks. J'adore!

You didn’t just do that, did you?

Erin mentioned the August tourists have a tendency to bring some uncouth behavior with them. But for all the politesse in this country, I have to say, the French participate in some really loutish behavior.

I’ve never seen a nation of people pick their noses so openly and shamelessly. Whether they’re walking down the street, sitting at a café or driving their cars, they just dig in! So blithe and unbothered! C’est incroyable!

Double-dipping central! I’ve been shocked at evening soirées, work meetings, intimate picnics, when people just stick their crudities or chips or whatever, back in the hummus or dip. Foul, people, foul!

And nobody is chagrined to leave a mess behind them. I notice this most at work: everyone buys their shot of coffee from the vending machine (don’t even get me going on the environmental aspect of their predilection for bottled water and taking two sips of something from a paper or plastic cup and tossing it away…), brings it to a meeting in a conference room and then just leaves the cup on the table for the next people to clean up.

I know we all have our own little rules and can’t expect the rest of the world to abide by them. But these few things never fail to astound me. What else am I missing??

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weather check: bitterness falls with the rain

Today would be quite a nice day. In April. Donning jeans and a sweater, plus a little jacket because it’s that cold, I set out across the Pont des Arts at lunch for my favorite salad. And, just to add insult to injury, it started raining. Just a light but steady pitter-patter, oui, just like April showers.

I am now as officially obsessed with as I am bitter about the weather.

Paris from a female expat's point of view

“The mood in August is entirely different than the rest of the year. Given over to the mercy of happy, badly dressed tourists, the city becomes gentler, freer, less imperious. Kids from the suburbs, somehow kept at bay by the Parisians for the rest of the year, feel permitted to spill over onto her elegant streets on August nights; the footbridges are alive with bad bongo players, amateur jugglers and other unabashedly uncool samples of French youth [lol]. Those Parisians who do stay behind in August revel in the luxe calme et volupté of the slacking city, and the place becomes more erotically charged than ever. I recently learnt of the existence of August brothels. Open Monday to Friday from 1 to 21 August, they cater specifically to husbands whose wives and children have left for the country or seaside. These husbands stay and work in Paris in the week and then take the train to join their families on Friday nights. To even things out, the Friday-night trains are called Les Trains des Cocus (the cuckolds’ trains), packed as they are with men whose wives have been having it away all week with their children’s tennis instructors.”

I'm reading Lucy Wadham's The Secret Life of France, which I found up at Daunt Books in London. It's alternately making me feel relieved that, it's not just me, but there are many French practices and rituals that are foreign and mysterious to me and this is just the way it and they are, and it's freaking me out.

They are gross generalizations, of course, but quite valid, coming from a smart woman who has lived in France for 25 years. I'm reading it as a replacement to Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong in terms of a cultural immersion. What do you think about those August brothels??

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Vegan Mondays

Well, a special edition tonight. This week, Vegan Monday conflicted with a very, very important event: The American Smackdown in Paris.

I had to eat macarons for dinner. So, while most of my Monday was entirely, purely, faithfully vegan, I have a feeling there was just a little bit of butter and cream, plus a few egg whites, in those macarons.

Cantaloupe and banana

Tossed salad with roasted broccoli and yellow pepper, cukes and tomatoes, plus my favorite protein toppings: avocado and walnuts with diced sundried tomatoes

Macaron madness!
Veggies and hummus

Amy hearts Arles

Three days in Provence, and I understand the allure of passing a whole year there.

There were no grand adventures, no unexpected treasures. No jam-packed days or omigod moments. Just three languid days of summer weather (curse you, Paris), strolling and exploring (my flaneur'ing is getting quite good), eating well (no sugar or alcohol! I'm serious!) and relaxing and enjoying (can you say 10 hours of sleep? Two nights in a row? Mon dieu…)

It was sort of how I envisioned it. Charming, relaxing, wonderful.

Le Grand Hotel Nord Pinus lured me down, and it didn’t disappoint. Tres cool! Going in...


And coming back out onto La Place du Forum...

As one of my favorite pastimes is wandering new towns and villages, the narrow nooks and windy streets, with their colorful shutters and thriving greens were perfect.


The shops and restaurants were equally charming.

The Saturday market was sprawling and impressive (1 euro for a melon! And I paid only 80 centimes for two delicious peaches! Incroyable!)

And then there were the ruins for which Arles is best known.

And the photography festival, which I will write about for The Moment.

I’m not much of a history buff so I wouldn’t have otherwise gone inside some of these ancient churches and buildings. But having an excuse to—it’s where many of the exhibitions were held—just might convert me.

I also popped over to Saint-Remy for a day—another darling town, begging to be eaten up.

Arles, Saint-Remy, Provence… I get it, I get it! More reasons to love France.