From one season to the next in France…

I was there…in Paris, that is, for Valentine’s Day, and before I left I caught a glimpse of the shop windows starting to roll into Easter.  But, first, take a look at what stopped me in my tracks before Valentine’s Day:

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You have to go see for yourself! The Pont des Arts (pedestrian bridge in the 6th and just before the west end of Ile de la Cite) and the Pont de Archeveche (just behind Notre Dame on the east end of Ile de la Cite  in the 5th) bridges are even more love-lock laden than the last time I was in Paris. The site actually startled me and then took my breath away when I came upon the sentimentality left behind by lovers.  This photo captures a close shot of the approach to the Pont des Arts, but the brassiness of the locks can still be seen lining the length of the bridge, which, of course, are on both sides of the bridge.  This Valentine’s sentiment can be seen all year long. However, the Valentine season shop windows come but once a year–Gerard Mulot in the 6th (76, rue de Seine):

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Notice the abundance of placards of chocolate standing upright on the left! Although he has several locations in Paris, Patrick Roger’s windows at 2-4 place St. Sulpice became some of my favorite windows not to miss on my walks! And, then this shop:

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and yet another:

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All macarons! A new shop, just with macarons! And then the windows shifted with the season….

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Back to my new favorite chocolate shop windows–with Easter now the focus! (And, I think the fish are to pay homage to a tradition in France on April Fool’s Day.) The eggs are on one side of the window display at Patrick Roger’s shop. Here’s the rest:

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Chickens–hens! On chocolate ground with chocolate grass!  (sorry for the glare)IMG_1433

 

And, then Easter dolls, as they were calling them, at the next stop….IMG_1434

and another lineup…But now I am in Uzes (qualifies as a gushy, mushy, impressionable town in the Gard region, just south of Provence and a 45 minute drive from the Avignon TGV station)  and here is what my dessert looked like for lunch today at L’Artemise:

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This creative ‘bunny’ shaped dessert is all sweet–not really an egg! For Easter, I have been invited to a vineyard picnic just outside of Uzes! Consider me fortunate! How about you?

 

 

February in Paris

I’m sure most of you don’t think about running out the door to visit Paris in February. I do, but then, I will go at any time of year! For starters, flights are generally less expensive. And, also Parisian life is in full swing including exhibitions & other cultural events. It is less crowded with tourists & even Parisians tend to think I am Parisian, as long as I don’t open my mouth! I know, because I am often stopped on the street for directions! Dressed properly, strolling is enjoyable & shop windows are heading into spring collections …See, I’m smiling!

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Here are just a few snapshots of my life in Paris in February:

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Blue skies….I sit in a warm cafe and watch the bundled up bike riders pass by.

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I sit inside, again, in a cafe which also offers outdoor seating with heaters at Les Editeurs (#4 Carrefour de l’Odeon 75006 Paris/ Metro: Odeon) and watch the Parisians drive (yes, the top is down on that sports car) or again, bike riders pass by! And, no, this is not Amsterdam. Bikes are, increasingly, becoming a popular mode of transportation in Paris.

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I pass by a school in the 6th arrondissement & read the students’ menu for the week for lunch. Note the several courses! IMG_1059

I make new friends while eating lunch at the stunningly renovated Angelina’s, after a stop, first, at the long-established WH Smith Bookstore (248, rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris/Metro: Concorde) to buy a lightweight guidebook on Amsterdam. Success!

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After lunch, I enter the Les Arts Decoratifs Museum (107, rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris/Metro: Tuileries, Pyramides, Louvre-Rivoli) to attend an exhibition on buttons! (Deboutonner La Mode or ‘Unbutton Fashion’). You can read about it here: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/blogs/daily/2015/02/buttons-exhibit-at-les-arts-decoratifs-article or here: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/blogs/daily/2015/02/buttons-exhibit-at-les-arts-decoratifs-article

A quick summary–Over 3000 buttons and over 100 pieces of clothing and accessories from the 18th to the 20th century are on display through July 19th. Plastic to metal to fabric to enamel to wood to horn to….Just a few of the photos I took:

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It’s pushing early evening so no one is having ice cream outside here, but sitting outside is common in the winter and comforts of heaters and blankets offered do make it possible! I also saw this window shop:IMG_1619

 

This suggests ‘Spring is on its way to springing! Happy Spring to all of you!