Thursday
Nov032011

Paris Photo Diary Part 3 - Good Eats

Our first night in Paris, my sister and I were jetlagged and utterly exhausted.  Despite grand plans of going out for a multi-course dinner, we just couldn't muster up the energy.  Instead we went to a little bistro in the Latin Quarter near our hotel called Restaurant Perraudin.  I started my meal with the goat cheese profiteroles which in my opinion is a genius idea for an appetizer.  It was deliciously decadent and I don't know why more menus don't have this little gem.  My sister and I each ordered the entrecote steak with garlic butter cooked rare.  I'm not sure if it was the language barrier, but I think the only two choices we had were rare or medium, which by the way suits me just fine.  I like my meat rare (and always think of the Moonstruck quote where Cher says to Nicholas Cage "you'll eat it bloody to feed your blood").  I thought it was cooked perfectly red but warm in the center though my sister claimed that the steak was "dragged through a warm kitchen".  Anyway, the steak, salad and frites were perfect for our first dinner out in Paris. 

While we were out exploring the vintage shops near the Jardine du Palais Royale, we decided we needed some sustenance and thanks to a quick search we were led to the Hip Paris Blog.  If you haven't visited, it's a fabulous blog and helped us to narrow down our options.  We ended up deciding that we'd grab some Japanese noodles at Kunitoraya and we were very pleased with our choice.  Sis got the noodles with tempura shrimp. 

I got a version of noodles with tempura shrimp and veggies that was a wee bit different.  They brought me out four plates; one with noodles, one with tempura, one with a sauce and the other with herbs and spices.  I was thankful they told me what I was supposed to do with all these plates because I would have been confusted without explanation but I must say my lunch was delicious.  All the herbs and the little egg went in the sauce which I then dipped my noodles and tempura in. 

I think it's true when people say, you really can't go wrong anywhere in Paris.  I'm ready to go back again!

Wednesday
Nov022011

Paris Photo Diary Part 2 - the Shopping

What would a trip to Paris be without a little bit of shopping?  I planned and plotted my short stay based on information from Lani, Anne and two books; Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange and Vintage Paris Couture: The French Woman's Guide to Shopping by Jessica Clayton. 

First stop, Maje, where I bought these glitter heeled booties.

We also made our way over to Didier Ludot which has a very well curated selection of vintage clothing, bags and jewelry (think Chanel, Balenciaga, Lacroix, Hermes).  There are a few shops, one with vintage couture and the other ready to wear.  Warning, the opening hours are not clear.  One shop was not open, one was.  We had seen things in the window that we wanted to look at in the shop that was not open and when we asked, we were told it would be open in 20 minutes (the staff left the one shop to go to the other).

One of Didier Ludot's windows

My sis bought this fabulous vintage Dior brooch.  Don't you just love it?!

Our next stop a few doors down was Gabrielle Geppert which is a small vintage shop with more high end designer accessories and duds in excellent condition.  There were no bargains to be found here but the selection was superb and worth a pop in.  I must say about both Didier Ludot and Gabrielle Geppert, the folks in the shop were not in the least bit friendly.  We got hardly a hello or bon jour but these were the only two places we visited where the service was anything less than friendly.  Everywhere else we went we were met not only with very helpful and friendly people but also chattiness and curiousity about who we were and where we were from. 

After our vintage shopping escapades we made our way over to the Avenue Montaigne where I spotted this chain, pearl and ribbon necklace in the window at Blumarine.  This is not a brand that I usually shop but they had some fab jewelry such as this as well as shoes that were to die for.

That's it for Paris part two.  Stay tuned for our Paris and London good eats!

Tuesday
Nov012011

Paris Photo Diary Part 1

For those of you who aren't aware, for some reason or another, fate has kept me from visiting Paris on my last few attempts.  Well I FINALLY made it for a few days with my sister and we had a glorious trip of wandering the city, chatting up the locals, eating really good food and of course, doing a little bit of shopping.

On our first day, we wandered by this gorgeous display of flowers.  I love the small vases with just a flower or two floating in each which would be perfect to scatter about for a dinner party.

We happened upon this floral sculpture made of aluminum which I thought was so cool.  The artist is Andrea Salvetti and it's called Mazzoulin di Fiori.

How darling is the lobby of our hotel "Le Petit Hotel Paris"?  The hotel was lovely (though our room was tiny), the people who worked there so very helpful and I loved the "honor bar" they put out each night.  Thanks Lani for the recommendation.

I need one of these acrylic floating chairs for my apartment!

I just thought this colorful fruit stand looked so pretty.

 

Paris' love locks on the Pont des Arts make me think of all the hopeful romantics who affixed their locks here.

Sunday
Oct302011

The Highs and Lows of Blogging

Darling readers and friends, I'm going to go a little off topic today.  I started this blog a year and a half ago as a creative outlet and as a way to express my love of fashion.  I certainly have a style that is all my own and love it or hate it, it is mine.  I've met so many lovely people both virtually and in person as a result of blogging and even after each long workday, I look forward to my daily dose of blogging both as a reader of other blogs and a contributor to my own.  But yesterday was the first time that blogging really brought me down.  Someone that I'm not going to name stole a whole slew of my photos (which by the way are copyrighted), posted them on her random facebook page with mean spirited commentary about how I look and what I wear.  Comments ranged from telling me I should wear spanx to the fact that they thought I look manly to making fun of my poses.

All I can say is this; it takes a lot of chutzpah to put myself out there every day.  I take my own photographs and if my pose or the look on my face isn't perfect, give me a break.  I'm just a person who is trying to express myself each day.  This person who stole my images didn't even have the balls to identify herself by name but instead put me on her random facebook "page".  I know putting myself out there means that sometimes people won't like how I look, what I wear or my style in general.  And sometimes people will comment with feedback to that end, but this was over the top, unnecessary and downright rude.   

At the end of the day, we are all people with real lives, real jobs, real families.  It is beyond me that a group of adult women who "like" this particular facebook page all took some kind of perverse pleasure in making fun of me.  It reminded me of high school mean girls and I thought that part of my life ended 25 years ago.

Thanks for putting up with my rant.  I'm just back from London and Paris so we'll be back to regularly scheduled posting tomorrow.

 

 

Thursday
Oct272011

Best Little Restaurant - Chinatown

Last week I had the privilege of meeting up with a group of Boston Chowhounds for a delicious meal at Best Little Restaurant on Hudson Street in Chinatown.  I met this group of folks years ago and they have expanded my culinary horizons in so many ways, one of which is having introduced me years ago to this hole in the wall restaurant with authentic Cantonese food.

Always a favorite, we ordered the long bean and minced pork lettuce wraps and since we love them so much we ordered the minced turkey version as well. 

I had never had the squid with XO sauce before and it was quite good.  The squid was cooked tender and the XO sauce, which is a spicy sauce with dried seafood, is a very savory sauce with a deep umami flavor.

The garlic spare ribs were meaty, porky goodness at its best.

I'm always a fan of sauteed pea pod stems and this girl's got to have her green veggies!