December in Paris, pt. 2

My Apartment in Paris

François 1er

Hôtel Plaza Athénée

Rue des Saussaies

Sotheby's Paris

Sotheby's Paris

Christmas, Place Vendôme

Evening in the Tuileries

Pont du Carrousel

Sunrise, Clichy

Sunrise, Clichy

Le Saint Regis

A Paris highlight: attending (yet another) auction at Sotheby’s, this time an African art and sculpture collection that was delightfully outside of my normal interests (read: Impressionism or bust). I stood in the back corner, along with several gallery girls, diligently taking notes on every lot and paddle number. I love that place, which sounds strange, given all the monuments and museums in the city, but I do. If you’ve ever been curious about auctions, go! They’re open to the public, endlessly entertaining (where else can you see millions of dollars spent so freely and openly?), and informative, if you’re an aspiring novelist or art enthusiast.

December 14, 2015 / art / photo / Paris / travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 4

December in Paris, pt. 1

Place des Vosges

Musée Carnavalet

Musée Carnavalet

Musée Carnavalet

Le Marais

Le Marais

Place Dauphine

Place Dauphine

Pont Neuf

Rue Bailleul

Palais Royal

Palais Royal

Palais Royal

Palais Royal

I’m trying to edit these down, but it looks like I’m going to inundate you with at least another two weeks worth of photos. How did I take nearly 400 photos in a week? (That’s rhetorical, of course I know how. Have you seen this city?).

I went a few places this trip I hadn’t before: exploring Le Marais, visiting the Musée Carnavalet (and getting to see two Louis Béroud paintings in person finally!), and stopping in to the Palais Royal. I am so embarrassed it took me this long to visit this gorgeous, meticulously designed garden, but I fully intend on making it my first destination when I’m back in the city in March (96 days!). If it looked this beautiful barren, I imagine I’ll be overwhelmed in early spring.

December 10, 2015 / art / photo / Paris / travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 3

November in Paris

Morning, Rue des Abbesses

My Apartment in Paris

Rue Grenelle

Boulevard des Invalides


Boulevard de La Tour Maubourg

Rue Cler

Rue Cler


Somewhere in Paris

La Tour Eiffel

What can I say about Paris that I haven’t already said? Are you sick of hearing me sing its praises? (I don’t blame you!) I will say that I expected Paris to be many things last week: cold, dark, rainy, still reeling from the terror attacks a few weeks ago, scared, on edge, different. It wasn’t any of those things. It drizzled exactly once, a quick shower not even worthy of digging out my umbrella. I found the same Paris I’d left in May: unseasonably warm and bright, welcoming, insouciant, defiant, alive. I noticed more tricolores hanging from balconies and hung in shop windows, more signs declaring “Fluctant Nec Mergitur,” and yes, more French soldiers with large guns, pacing in front of monuments, standing sentry in front of synagogues in le Marais, and more security guards requesting to check my bag entering shops and museums. But Paris itself? Paris was the same, if not quieter and calmer, for the off-season lack of tourist and crowds. It was beautiful, and I loved every second of it, as I always have and I always will.

I hung out with Süsk, ate my weight in baguettes and butter, went to three museums (the Louvre, Rodin, and Carnavalet), wrote my ass off and finished a chapter that had been giving me a headache for weeks, explored new neighborhoods, walked an average of 25k steps (roughly 15km) each day, and only cried in public three times (all happy occasions, I promise, like seeing the Eiffel Tower again). I have so many photos to share with you! I’ll go easy on the words, because really, you’ve heard me say it all before. En bref, Paris is perfect.

December 8, 2015 / art / photo / Paris / travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 10

Print Shop Black Friday Sale!

La Mascotte

A big thank you to my darling Santa for alerting me to the above image’s (taken along the Rue des Abbesses in March 2013) popularity on Pinterest. Apparently, her pin of the photo has been repinned well over 100 times, and she sweetly suggested capitalizing on its ‘fame’ by making it available in the Print Shop! It’s funny, I never know which photographs will grow legs and take off online; photographers are notoriously bad at guessing which prints people will like the most. Even after I saw the repin count, I still asked myself, “That one? Really?” But I took Santa’s advice and added an 8×12 print for sale! Thanks again, lovely!

And speaking of sale, I wouldn’t be living up to my requirements as an American unless I added an element of consumerism to this week of giving thanks. Therefore: From now until November 29th, use the coupon code LWNBLACKFRIDAY at checkout for 25% off and free shipping on all orders in the Print Shop! No limit to how many prints you can buy! (Though I should note that because I’ll be in Paris after Saturday, all orders placed after Friday will ship out when I get back. You’ll still have them in plenty of time for the holidays!)

Happy shopping, kiddos! Thank you for your continued support with the Print Shop!

November 24, 2015 / art / photo / LEAVE A COMMENT / 3

Je Suis Paris

Rue du Général Camou

In August, to honor the 9th anniversary of my dad’s death, I booked a flight to Paris for just after Thanksgiving, to give me something to look forward to, a bright spot on an otherwise bleak day. To buoy me the way Paris always does, in its ineluctable magnetism. It would be my second trip this year, coming just six months after a quick stop in May, and though it might seem excessive to some, to me, Paris has long felt as necessary as breathing. It’s a required part of my life.

I’ve had a suitcase packed since the first day in November. I’ve had an itinerary drafted for each day I’m there for weeks; tentatively, of course, and allowing for ample time to wander and stop in a café or deviate from the plan. I’ve made sure to pack my empty Mariage Frères tea tins to refill at the boutique. A new umbrella for the inevitable winter rain. Gloves. An extra memory card for my camera. Everything I thought I’d need.

And then Friday happened. Attends, this isn’t about me. I wasn’t there, I don’t live there (yet), and despite my best efforts to the contrary, I’m not actually French. My platitudes will seem empty and weak, but I need to voice them anyway, because, as my friend Lyndsey told me early Saturday morning –after I’d woken up and had felt, for those first thirty seconds of confused consciousness, that everything had been a nightmare– “You are in love with Paris. And you need to stand by it.” I am in love with Paris, and I need to stand by it. I suppose, then, that I could be forgiven, in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy Friday night, for briefly considering not going at the end of the month. For canceling my flight, eating the cost of everything, in the name of panic. Love allows for momentary lapses in faith and judgement, I hope. Because as I watched the coverage deep into the evening, crying and stricken with a sense of helplessness and fear, I thought, “Of course I can’t go now.” Simultaneously, I knew, “Of course I must.”

In January, after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, “Paris will recover, has shown it is capable of overcoming the darkness in the days since the attack. For a city so filled with light, how could it not?” It seemed a given, and the city and its inhabitants banded together in the most beautiful show off strength and solidarity. And when I was there in May, the city was back to normal, or whatever the new normal was. It was easy to feel safe then. But in 12 days, when I go back, I don’t think I’ll have the same (false?) sense of security.

There’s been so much said in the endless media coverage the last few days that the targets were ‘random’ and rather than being specific artists at a satirical newspaper, it was everday people out on a Friday night after a long work week. The attacks on Friday were not random. The target on Friday wasn’t a specific person for exercising their freedom of speech, but rather an entire way of life. But that doesn’t make it any less deliberate than what happened in January. The targets were centralized around one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Paris, where people of all races and ethnicities live and work. They were places people could mix freely, drink alcohol, watch an international sporting event, listen to American music, dance in public, laugh, kiss, smoke, be outside without fear, in clothing they chose. The very things the terrorists abhor. The attacks were not random, the attackers just didn’t care about first and last names this time.

Does that mean everyone changes their lives in response to this horror? It could happen here tomorrow, and I wouldn’t consider staying indoors in Philadelphia for the rest of my life. So of course I’m going to Paris. I’m going to Paris in 12 days, and I’m going again in March. I’ll probably try to go again at the end of next year, because I can’t –and won’t– stay away. There’s something to be said about “not letting the terrorists win,” that oft repeated line we hear whenever something like this happens.

I wonder what sort of mood I’ll find in Paris this time. It’s changed the entire atmosphere of my trip, tinged it with a surreal, nervous edge. But I don’t get to complain, because I’m alive, and everyone I know in Paris is alive and safe, too. I’m going back, because I am in love with Paris.

November 17, 2015 / Paris / travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 8

Two of a Kind

I recently, somehow, recognized some…similarities between these two photos, taken a year apart and in different countries, and thought it was too funny not to share:

Get back, Uffizi Gallery

Helping hand, Arc de Triomphe

See what I mean? ;)

Have a great weekend, kiddos! I’ll be back with more substantial posts next week (I think!).

November 13, 2015 / art / photo / Paris / travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 1

The Opposite of Nesting

[Disclaimer: I am going to use the word ‘pregnant’ in this post. This in no way means I am pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or wanting to become pregnant. Mom.]

Collyer Brothers brownstone
photo via

You know that instinct that surges in pregnant women called ‘nesting’? Where they wake up one morning and decide to spruce everything up like little happy birds, clean out every nook and cranny, and make sure everything is just so for the impending arrival of new life? Is there an equivalent instinct in non-pregnant women? I suppose we could call it “purging” or “decluttering,” or, following the current trend sweeping across social media, the “KonMari Method,” from the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Growing up, my mom simply called it, “throwing shit away,” and if you need a book to tell you how to do that, I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems but clutter ain’t one.

Though, recently, I’ve noticed that it kind of is a problem. I woke up one morning with the (admittedly totally-batshit-insane) thought that, “If we had to move to Paris today, we would have too much shit to bring with us, we couldn’t do it, how would it all fit on a shipping crate?” I looked around, and felt smothered. My house suddenly felt like a mix of the Collyer Brothers brownstone and Grey Gardens. Who needs this many DVDs anymore? Why do we have three mostly-empty bottles of shaving cream under the sink next to cough syrup that expired in 2014? Where did all of this stuff come from? How do I get rid of it??

So the past week has found me decluttering and non-nesting like a fiend. On Monday night, I had the totally normal urge to pull the stove out from the wall and vacuum behind it, as well as wipe down the sides. I’ve boxed up a ton of kitchen stuff (tiny coffee maker we bought at Walgreens but have never used? Buh-bye!) to take to a donation center, threw away a handful of old kitchen utensils (gross spatula in the back of the drawer that had partially melted? See ya!), tossed a Vanity Fair from 2003 I’ve been holding on to (I love JFK Jr. and Carolyn as much as the next person, but saving a 12 year old magazine isn’t doing anybody any good) and took a stack of DVDs to sell at FYE. I made a paltry $8, but it isn’t even about the money. I just don’t want it in my house anymore. I took some old purses and nicer clothes to a consignment store, and have another round ready to go next week. All those tiny samples I’ve accumulated from Sephora and Macy’s that I’ve never used? Gone. All those comfortable old underwear we keep even though the elastic is stretched or they’re starting to rip? (Admit it, you have these, too) Trash. Books? Books are proving harder to part with than I expected, but I have a small stack to take to a used bookstore, and my fiend Jess took a few, too. Borrowing books from the library has been an enormous help, too.

Am I alone in this? Is this just spring cleaning a season early? I wonder if there’s not some larger cultural shift, where, because we’re so digital these days (does anyone print photographs anymore? Or are they all stored on your hard drive?), it’s spilling over into other parts of my life, too.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have some more closets to go purge.

November 4, 2015 / life / dog / LEAVE A COMMENT / 8

The World’s Longest Baguette

If Wednesday’s post was filed under “The Most Ridiculous Thing I’ve Read in a While,” then today’s should be filed under, “The Sexiest Thing I’ve Ever Seen,” cross-filed under “I Totally CAN,” subcategory, “Gimme Gimme Gimme.”

Friends, fellow carb-lovers, insatiable inner-fat-kids, lend me your ears. I present to you: the world’s longest baguette, measuring in at a delicious, drool-inspiring 400ft (!!!):

World's Longest Baguette

LOOK AT IT. FEAST YOUR EYES UPON THIS MAGNIFICENCE. (But only your eyes, because if you try and touch what is rightfully mine, I’ll bite you.)

World's Longest Baguette

So here’s the backstory, if you can wipe the drool from your chin long enough to focus: Earlier this month, at the Milan Expo 2015, French and Italian bakers set out to beat the previously held record of world’s longest baguette (364ft. I call that a ‘mid-morning snack’ around here). They worked at a rate of 20 meters (66ft) per hour, sliding the dough through a portable oven that cooked it in sections, and fighting against the elements (cold weather! breakage!) like the brave, heroic souls that they are. The whole enterprise was monitored by the Guinness World Record Committee, and sponsored by Nutella. Repeat: SPONSORED BY NUTELLA. So you know what happened after they set the 400ft record, don’t you? DON’T YOU??

World's Longest Baguette

Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy” started playing in my head immediately upon seeing this photo. Oh, how I wish I’d been in Milan for this! Because expo-goers got to eat pieces of it after they had finished. We’ll ignore the fact that it looks less like a crispy, crunchy, traditional French baguette, and more like a slightly burned Italian roll, because honestly, it’s bread of an endless quantity, covered in Nutella. If there is anything sexier than that, I have yet to find it.

Happy weekend, kiddos! And I would wish you all a Happy Halloween, except I am not-so-secretly terrified of/hate Halloween. You can read all about that here, and see some awesome costumes I wore in my childhood right here.

Hat tip to my friend Herbie for sending me this story!

October 30, 2015 / eat / drink / LEAVE A COMMENT / 7

An Accidental Art Heist?

File this under “The Most Ridiculous Thing I’ve Read in Years”, cross-filed under “I Can’t”: a well-meaning janitor at the Museion Bozen-Bolzano, a few hours north of Venice, Italy, dismantled a modern art exhibit because she thought it was trash. Literally.

Museion Bozen-Bolzano

Artists Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari created an exhibit titled “Where shall we go dancing tonight?”, a room filled with streamers, empty champagne bottles, confetti, cigarette butts, and general detritus, meant to “represent hedonism, consumerism and financial speculation in the 1980s Italian political scene.”1 Obviously. (I don’t get modern art.)

The cleaner was new, and had been told to clean part of the gallery after a book party the night before. Seeing empty champagne bottles and party remnants on the floor, she naturally assumed “Where shall we go dancing tonight?” was her assignment, and proceeded to bag everything up and dump it into recycling bins, perpetrating an accidental art heist. Though, does it count as a heist if she only threw everything in the garbage?

Before and After

The museum director was able to re-install the entire exhibit by pulling the items out of the trash. A popular Italian art critic, Vittorio Sgarbi, has summed this whole situation up better than I could, saying the janitor’s cleaning spree was entirely justified. “If she thought it was rubbish, it means it was. Art should be understood by everyone — including cleaners. The fact that the museum could simply pick the pieces from the trash bin and put them back together shows you that wasn’t art in the first place.” Mic drop.

Now pardon me while I go giggle for a little bit. And dig up this quote from Steve Martin’s “An Object of Beauty,” my favorite book about the art world: “You want to know how I think art should be taught to children? Take them to a museum and say, ‘This is art, and you can’t do it.’” Some art is just garbage.

October 28, 2015 / art / photo / Art Heist / LEAVE A COMMENT / 14

A Sweet Stop at Ladurée Florence

Ladurée, Florence

Ladurée, Florence

Ladurée, Florence

Ladurée, Florence

Ladurée, Florence

Just a few darling (mouthwatering, if you’re anything like me) photos of Ladurée from our trip to Italy this spring to start your weekend on a sweet note. I stopped at the Ladurée cart in the Charles de Gaulle airport on our way to Rome, and then also popped into the boutiques in both Rome and Florence, because when macarons are your favorite food group, you indulge in them whenever the opportunity presents itself. This store is such a jewel box of delicate delights, and if they allowed franchising, you can guarantee I would’ve opened a store in Philadelphia by now.

Here are more Ladurée Love posts, if you need a little more cuteness: Paris & New York. Happy weekend, kiddos!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
October 23, 2015 / eat / drink / Paris / travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 8