Thursday, July 29, 2010

Do You Have A Big Head?

Eglise St. Eustache certainly does!
To appreciate the size of this delightful sculpture by Henri de Miller, note the people walking or sitting nearby.  Understandably, this sculpture is often over run with both children and adults climbing on or playing hide and seek around it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Place des Vosges Fountain

Guardian of the Gate

Thursday, July 22, 2010

À quel étage?

Stairmaster - French style...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gems of Le Marais

The Marais, like other Paris neighborhoods, has a personality all its own.  And although many chain stores have "invaded" over the last 10 years or so, because of architectural limitations and regulations they still tend to maintain an individual, rather than a corporate personality.  But best of all, there are still many wonderful, personal, specialty boutiques throughout the Marais, and the city in general.  

So I've decided, from time to time, to bring a few of them to your attention.  I hope you will seek them out, talk to the proprietors and support them with your purchases.  Today....

Marie Antoinette
at 5 rue d'Ormesson just off Place du Marche St. Catherine, a stone's throw from Metro St. Paul, is distinguished, first by its RED facade!

And while you think you understand the name, there's more to it than the former, famous "let-them-eat-cake" queen.  Ask Antonio, the proprietor.   Originally from Portugal, he will regale you with stories and information in English, French or Portuguese!  

Once inside this tiny space, you will be impressed by the treasure trove of  rare perfumes, candles and scented soaps presented within its ancient walls.

Among Antonio's treasures fit for a queen, are  Isabey fragrances by the legendary French perfumer (parfumeur).  Marie Antoinette is one of only two places in all of France where you can purchase this line!  With airline size and weight restrictions tightening by the season, this gem (bijou) of a boutique is an ideal place to shop for personal, memorable, non-touristy gifts that won't push your bags over the limit. 
For more information (en français) check the shop's website, or better yet, go talk to Antonio!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

After years of refurbishing, the Tropical House has re-opened!  

While the renovation preserves the exterior's 19th century ironwork (think Eiffel Tower) and the fascinatingly eerie, iridescent glass of the windows,  the interior has been modernized to provide views from multiple levels and of several environments.


Of course, the old favorites like the allées and rose gardens shouldn't be overlooked 

A current, temporary feature is the large map of France, so come learn your French geography, or just point out where you've been or where you are going....

Friday, July 02, 2010

Back to Paris,
                 Photographically speaking...


One of Paris' largest  and certainly steepest parks, Buttes Chaumont in the 19th arrondissement, is not often sought out by tourists, but offers wonderful vistas, bucolic spaces, gardens and a real "find" of a restaurant.

So wear your hiking boots and get ready to climb to

the Sybille Shrine, visible from numerous points of the park and from which you will have wide ranging views of Paris including Sacre-Coeur.

Then burn a little energy rolling in the grass or playing cards

before having lunch at Le Pavillon du Lac

Afterwards you can take a little snooze along the water or just loll around within view of the parks' recently refurbished suspension bridge

before following Canal Saint-Martin back to the heart of the city...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Beyond Paris...  New York, actually.  

After arriving in NYC on Saturday afternoon I learned that the 41st Annual Gay Pride Parade was being staged the following day.  Having just missed the Paris version due to our flight, I was eager to photograph this one as it wound its way down 5th Ave.  While the event was supported by a wide range of businesses and organizations - enough to span three hours of "starts" - I'm going to share some of the more colorful moments with you.  Be advised that if you are easily offended you might prefer to come back in a few days when the blog returns to Paris!