Friday, September 30, 2011

It’s a good weekend for cupcake camp

Seventy-five degrees and sunny? Oh, to be in Paris this weekend… Sounds like good cupcake-eating weather, after all.

Cat Beurnier’s Cupcake Camp is back, this time at the adorable Le Comptoir Général in the 10eme. The deal is a bunch of professional and amateur bakers make dozens of cupcakes to be considered le meiux. Which means someone has to sample the goods. Many, many goods.

It’s not often you see Frenchies behaving like gluttons. To be crass, licking crumbs and going back for seconds and thirds. And fourths. But it happens. I witnessed it last year at the inaugural Cupcake Camp.

So I’m sad I won’t be there this year. To overindulge. To mingle with like-minded Sweet Freaks. And to contribute to a good cause—proceeds, after all, go to the Make a Wish Foundation.

Won’t you go for me?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Art in the streets of Paris

I made it to the Musée Marmottan in Paris. But since the lines at the d’Orsay were too long for my impatient self, and the two times I tried to go to Musée de la Chase et de la Nature it was closed, I had to make do with the city’s street art. Which, this time, seemed a bit more poetic…

More large scale…

As silly as ever…

And sweet.

But, à la fin de la journée, classic Parisian street art.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The new job

I talked to my mom and stepfather mid-week and this is what I told them about my new job: Holy. Shit.

I remember when I first moved to Paris and was really surprised at the late hours everyone kept. You were ultra conspicuous if you left the office before 7. And then when we pitched the Louis Vuitton relaunch and actually had crazy deadlines for the project (which, by the way, that web site is finally supposed to launch on October 16—finally, some of that work will see the light of day), sure, I worked weekends and long days.

But then, for the most part, my return to Ogilvy/New York was pretty cush. No crazy hours. No mountains of deadlines. A few busy spells, but I was pretty spoiled; not a lot of work (which worked perfectly with my June 1 manuscript deadline).

I knew that when I started Lipman on Monday, it was going to kick off a new phase in which I’d be buried in work. But I had no idea. This week was total culture shock.

The agency is on fire. There are tons of new business pitches and wins, which means, tons of writing to do. The projects, people and environment are fantastic. There are perks that make me really happy. But getting thrown a gazillion different projects and working 10-hour days is something you have to adjust to (or at least I do).

The most surprising part, though, is this new culture of being available 24/7. Skype IM, email, mobile… where have I been? Everyone else is so comfortable being totally available to anyone, at any hour. I am having a hard time embracing that. But I know I must.

It was a fast and furious, up and down week. But I am psyched. In fact, haven’t been this excited about or inspired by work in a long time. Well, since the days of spying on Marc Jacobs and writing about Louis Vuitton’s 1854 origins. This could be good.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Paris, City of Light

I was obsessed with the sky on this last trip to Paris.

Every time I looked up, it was breathtaking.

Over the river…

…from terraces…

Just around random corners and hidden streets…

No wonder everything is so much more beautiful in Paris.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Last stroll

My last couple days in Paris ended up being lazier than I expected. I didn’t get to the Zaha Hadid exhibit at l’Institut du Monde Arabe, or La Maison de la Chasse, nor rues Cler and Martyrs for old times’ sake. But I did have some lovely leisurely strolls (after catnaps in the sun).

Setting out in the 13eme…

… and velibing across town to the 7eme (hello, you).

The beautiful weather meant picnicking groups in front of Les Invalides.

And the Pont Alexandre III at dusk?

Come on!

Even walking away from it, it was impossible not to keep turning around...

...for just one last look…

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Vegan Mondays

I’m back in repent mode, mes amis.

After my chocolate blitz through Brussels and my pastry binging in Paris, I returned to New York, a whole lot softer in the middle, prompting me to stock up on kale and apples, oats and bananas. I’ve been a good vegetable eater for 48 hours.

Green tea
Green juice

Smoked tempeh wrap with greens*


Whole-wheat penne with pesto and roasted pine nuts and tomatoes
Dark chocolate from Mary (just a couple squares!)

* I started my new job today and am so excited for all the new lunch options. Today, I went to ’Swich. They make healthy, easy!

** I started my new job today and am super excited for the fully stocked kitchen! Seriously: giant bowls of bananas, apples, plums and peaches; canisters of cereal and snacks; refrigerators filled with Greek yogurt, Naked juices and god knows what other deliciousness. Good thing, too. I think I'll be spending a lot of hours there.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friends and food

One of my favorite adages (grace à Oprah) is that life is all about what you learn and who you love.

I would add that, in the City of Light and Dark Chocolate, it’s also about what you feel and what you eat.

When I am here, I feel the deepest pools of joy and bliss, unlike anywhere else. I feel so inexplicably moved that I get weepy. And if I’m not feeling hungry, it’s only because I’ve already eaten a pain au chocolate, raspberry crumble, Nutella crepe or any combination thereof.

On this past visit, I’ve also felt so happy to have friends to come back to. It used to be enough to just enjoy Paris. But now there’s this extra element of having friendships to return to. Each time, they grow deeper.

There were gatherings at friends’ homes and in public places…

Speaking of public places, Sarah and I enjoyed old friends along the canal and made new friends at vernissages (bonjour, Serge!).

In addition to my Septime bliss with Ann, Kasia and I dejeunered at the adorable Chez Nenesse in the Marais. Dessert was a chocolate and pear tart. Miam.

Michael and I shared three decadent courses—which ended with a soufflé pour moi—at one of my favorite restaurants, La Régalade Saint-Honoré.

Mel and I had salades Chinoise craquantes at Hotel du Nord, belly laughs at Crazy, Stupid Love and a feast at a friend’s house that ended with Comté and Lola’s brownies, which sent everyone over the moon.

And I got to see V and Amandine, two girls who made my Ogilvy/Paris office nothing short of kickass.

Obviously, I missed spending time with Jo. But next time, the trip to Stockholm will happen. As well, I hope, as many other happy meals and aperos in Paris.

Merci, mes amis!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The way lunch should be

Rachel’s going. Mel’s going. Erica’s been and raved about it. The restaurant du jour? Septime.

Located in the 11eme, it’s slightly industrial, but more country-chic. It’s my kind of interior.

Look through the window, and there’s even a lovely little garden out back.

Ann and I met there for lunch and it was a great experience all around.

While I left Ann to her starter of raw beef, pretty as it was,

I lapped up every bite of my velouté of kohlrabi with poached egg. Super miam.

As was the plat:

There was a succulent piece of merlu hiding under those slightly roasted greens and cauliflower shavings. Dollops of anchovy paste decorated the plate, too—a titch salty but still a nice accent.

And au final, dessert:

A gorgeous plate with a bar of ganache with a beautiful cassis-basil sorbet and raspberries. The ganache should have been room temp, it was a bit hard, but what a mélange of flavors!

If I still lived here, Septime would definitely go on repeat-visit list.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

One day we're gonna live in Paris

One day we're gonna live in Paris
I promise, I'm on it
When I'm bringing in the money
I promise, I'm on it

I'm gonna take you out to club showcase
We're gonna live it up
I promise
Just hold on a little more

And every night we'll watch the stars
They'll be out for us, they'll be out for us
And every night, the city lights
They'll be out for us, they'll be out for us

One day we're gonna live in Paris
I promise, I'm on it
I'll find you that French boy
You'll find me that French girl
I promise, I'm on it

So go and pack your bags for the long haul
We're gonna lose ourselves
I promise
This time it's you and me for evermore

And every night we'll watch the stars
They'll be out for us, they'll be out for us
And every night, the city lights
They'll be out for us, they'll be out for us

And every night we'll watch the stars
They'll be out for us, they'll be out for us
And every night, the city lights
They'll be out for us, they'll be out for us

(Have you listened to the Au Revoir Simone remix lately??)