20 January, 2015


I loved today's post by Duchess.
Her sassy asides have always been a delight
but today's remark that she'll take her
jewel tones as jewels
made me smile.
I envied her quick transition.
If there had been a pneumatic chair
with scissor-wielding stylist at hand
I'd have sat down and told her to
lop it all off!
It's easily been seven years since I made
my first dramatically short cut
to make room for my grey.
I'm still waiting.
My hair was blond - very blond - and has
gradually darkened to
a color that I find almost impossible
to describe.
Think "mousy" with an
extra dose of "meh."
For years - years - there have
been lovely white streaks running
from root to tip
interspersed throughout my mane.
They refuse to merge.
There have been short haircuts several times
since the first was made oh, so many years ago. 
Hasn't helped.
It seems small comfort that, thus far,
 I've avoided the dreaded
skunk stripe roots when the
longed-for transition never happens.
The idea that Duchess made her decision and
started the process in August
- less than six months -
makes me crazy with envy.
My regular hair appointment is on the
calendar for next week.
I've had time to calm down.  
There will be no lopping.
This time.

06 January, 2015

Iconic Images

Do you need to see another picture of
any of the countless icons of Paris?
We saw them.
The Rodin, Picasso, and Cluny museums.
D'Orsay, Louvre, Notre Dame.
Le Tour Eiffel, L'Arc de Triomphe,
Luxembourg Gardens, Tuileries,
Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton.
The list goes on... 
I have pictures and ticket stubs
and amazing memories
to enjoy when ever I want.
Today I offer a few of the humbler images
that will also represent Paris to me ...
including the cobblestones.

This is our terrace. 
 In our neighborhood. 
The three windows represent the hallway, living/dining area and the bedroom. 
 The building across the street was a community rec center.  One weekend it was used for an artisan's fair.  The next weekend it housed a vintage market.  During the week classes were held there.  I watched from the terrace windows as fencers performed their warm-up drills.  Dance classes included the tango and flamenco. Grace in motion.
Our wardrobe which, thanks to  
Naphtali's lavender sachets,
 smelled like summer sunshine when we opened the doors.
This is a terrible picture, but,
on the far left you can see that the women's skates are
made to look like high heels.

I should have taken more pictures:
Umbrellas piled inside shop doors.
Dapper men in their toggle coats.
Laughing women d'un age.
Plates of beautiful food.
Display cases of beautiful food.
Windows of beautiful food.
Impossibly small tables
laden with lunchtime paraphernalia
with the diners shoehorned in
around them.
The overhead coat racks.
Surely, someone has taken those pictures
and compiled a wonderful book
or created an instagram album
or Pinterest page
 to help us
relive the unique experience
that Paris represents
to each of us.
I'll have to look...

04 January, 2015

Bon Appétit!

In general there were three questions
asked after my return from Paris:
What did you see?
What did you buy?
What did you eat?
This was the most difficult
post to compose.
Hardly surprising when we consider how the textures,
aromas, presentation, and accompanying
soundtrack of conversation and clinking tableware
contribute to our dining experience
as well as the actual taste of the food.

Alors, in no particular order,
a few impressions:
Our breakfasts of variations on
 toast or croissants,
creamy yogurt,
and mandarins
were a delightful start to each day.
We cooked at home several times
with frozen selections from Picard (!)
or fresh-from-the-market ingredients.
Local-resident chic.
Omelette Concorde at Ladurée?
Delicious in it's simplicity.
The macarons purchased on our way out the door?
Everything I expected.
A leek soufflé with champagne butter
and caviar at Bon Marché?
(That's Naphtali's butternut soup in the foreground)
Fresh tomato basil soup on a rainy day stop at
Galleria Vivienne?
A reminder of why I leave certain
tasks to professionals.
Wine and frites to fortify us for the final
leg home on a late night.
The arrival of my chocolat chaud:
two small pots
- one of chocolate,
one containing hot milk -
flanking the small white cup
in which I will mix my own drink.
We scoffed at the warnings of the dangers
of sidewalk crepes - until we shared one.
Haricots, mushrooms and potatoes
will henceforth elicit
an inside-joke smile from me.

01 January, 2015

Fragrant reminders

The official start of each day was marked with
 the invigorating burst of citrus
as the first mandarin
was peeled. 
(We consumed soooo many of these little gems.)
In the way that warm and cold currents run through
a body of water
the aromas of Paris washed over us in turn.
Baking bread? Check.
Melted butter?  Bien sur.
The sleepy scent of chocolate?  Mmmmm.
Falafel?  Just around the corner. 
Fresh cut trees.
Roasting chestnuts.

Flower markets.
Fish markets.
The occasional cigar or pipe.
Today's special.
Lavender sachets.
Soaps, lotions,
and perfumes.
She chose SacreBleu.

31 December, 2014

Close at hand

My visit was further enhanced
by various tactile expressions: 
Vin chaud and a new wool wrap
to ward off the chill.
Stiff linen napkins at Ladurée.
The heft of silverware at Musée D'Orsay.
Heavy, elegant menus.
Chilled fingers
stealing heat from a cup of chocolate.
Silk wall coverings at the Carnavalet.
The supple warmth of
a nutella crepe.

Eric Bompard's cashmere.
The exchange of bills and coins.
Sorting through bins of used books.
Vintage furs, silks and leather bags.
New "furs" and silks.
Soothing lotions.
A hot shower and warm bed.

30 December, 2014

Evocative echoes

I loved my trip to Paris.
It was a sensory-intensive experience
from beginning to end.
We had many drizzly, but mild, days of
walking to and fro
about the city, absorbing the nuances of its 
quotidian rhythms.
(I wish I'd snapped a shot of the le Pain Quotidian)
My clothing selection was
- which is all I had asked of it -
in light of the laundry
facilities in our
charming apartment.
So, what did I hear?
I was awakened several mornings by the
sound of the rasping broom of a
street sweeper below our windows.
This pianist livened the street corner
at a flea market on a dreary day.
 (We kept hoping the ladies would break into song.)
Rain on my umbrella.
Church bells.
The organ at Notre Dame.
A boy's choir performing the Hallelujah Chorus.
A piano recital in a nearby church.
The melody of conversation.
The whine of approaching motorcycles.
Car horns.
An accordionist on the metro.
Street musicians doing their best with the Beatles.
Laughing children.
The click of heels on cobblestone.
Late-night revelers.
The hushed reverence of memorial places. 

30 November, 2014


Next week at this time
we'll be in Paris.
This will be a busy week as final
preparations are completed.
Here's a section from my to do list:
finalize packing selections
go to the bank
get a manicure
pay bills
have my glasses adjusted
compile addresses for  postcards
avoid breaking toes
(or fillings)