Friday, October 27, 2006

Au revoir Cite

Today, we leave the Cite, the University Center in Virginia (U.S.A.) atelier will be occupied by a new person, a friend of ours. We went out for our morning cafe and a tartine, then took a walk in the neighborhood. We "found" the candy shop that made chocolate letters, and the good chocolate covered noisettes, which naturalement, we had to buy. There was a big display for halloween, too. These ghosts are charming, n'est ce pas? We returned to the Cite to finish cleaning out the refrigerator. Daniele was in, so we offered her the things from the frigo. Hated to waste good mayo, laitue, un oeuf, confiture and buerre. A person came to check the inventory, went through the check list and all is wel,l so we'll get our deposit back. On to the next part of our adventure. When I'll blog again, je ne sais pas, however, I'm sure I'll have some bonnes images to post. A la prochaine!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Morning sky.

This morning, we got up early...okay, so not THAT early...about 8h, and the sky was really nice. It's been overcast every morning, but this morning, the sun was making the sky peachy and pale blue, with purple on the clouds. The Pantheon is in the distance. This was taken through the window!

Faeries & Noel

There's a tiny shop nearby that is crammed full of ornaments and figurines. By tiny, I mean like a closet tiny, really little, really crammed. The upstairs is faeries, witches, angels and animals. The downstairs space is tinier, and full of Noel items. The stair "rail" was a red velvet rope, and when Chuck held it, it triggered "Santa Claus is coming to town" in English. Chuck said he was so surprised he pulled back. When he came back up, he avoided touching it, even though the stairs were steep and narrow. All I heard was the singing, because I stayed upstairs, snapping a couple of photos. It was some experience.

Yet another dessert.

Friends came over for dinner and join us for the concert. Afterwards, we came back upstairs for dessert. We shared two tartes aux framboise and a Napoleon. The tartes were tart as were the groseilles used to "decorate" them. They were very tasty as well as nice to look at.

Hotel de Sens

This is a view of the Hotel de Sens from the window at the end of our corridor. It's one of the few medieval buildings that survive. It was built in 1454 or 1445, something like that. In any case, quite old. It houses the Forney library of graphic arts, including wall paper. The little street to the right is the one I walked the other day when I went to Monoprix. It's amazing to me that I see this sight everyday, as I walk down the corridor to the elevator or stairs. I step out of the Cite, look to my left, and there is this building. I'm pretty much in awe, being here, seeing these sights, speaking French, buying baguettes and pain au raisin. Pretty awesome.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Being with artists and musicians

We visited with our across the hall neighbors Tuesday afternoon. Previously, I'd posted a photo of Daniele's back with her sign and a picture of their door with the request for clothing. Now, we have some idea of what Nadege and Daniele are doing. On one wall of their studio they've put up the signs they wear when they go about the city. Some have all of the phone number tabs gone. They are documenting where they've been and will create, with the donated clothing (cut up into pieces) a schematic, as a tapistry. At least, I think that's what is happening. If they read this maybe they can help with the explanation. In any case, it's an ambitious project. Their studio looks out onto the courtyard. Here's one view from their windows. In the evening, we went to a concert downstairs. A jazz guitarist/composer from Serbia who performed his own compositions alone and with other musicians (a sax player and an accordianist) Really nice sounds together. And a quartet playing Beethovan and Schumann. An interesting program combination. This is the thing that is so wonderful about being here.

A rainy day

I walked to Monoprix, on Tuesday, along the streets behind the Hotel de Sens, between the two schools, past the Village St. Paul (connected courtyards with little shops) just looking, listening, thinking that soon I would be leaving this place. The leaves are starting to change to red on some walls. The winds have been strong but the leaves on the trees in front remain, so we still don't have a clear view of Notre-Dame from our windows. Who knows, maybe by Friday, when we quit the Cite, it will happen. I'll post a picture of Hotel de Sens that I took from the window at the end of our corridor in a bit.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


CSAO is a shop that has items from Africa made out of recycled materials. On some of the products, maybe all of them, money goes to a foundation that helps street children. I didn't see the "no photos sign" here are the photos I took. See the tube on Centre Pompidou made of water bottles? They were perfect for that. The shop is on Elizavir st. not too far from the Picasso museum, in case you want to stop in there.

Tile guys

Some artist does these tile guys all over Paris. I don't usually see them, have to have them pointed out to me, but yesterday I spotted one as we were walking back from the Canal St. Martin. Then Chuck spotted another right near the Franprix. Just need to look and there they are. I wanted to take a canal boat ride but haven't so far. Instead, we walked to the canal up above Place de la Republique. A nice walk. The canal was a surprise. Down by Bastille, it's below street level, but where we went, it was level with the street. We saw a couple of the locks, too. I think it'd be interesting to take the boat, though the neighborhoods it goes through don't seem that picturesque, yet. The neighborhood is getting cleaned up and trendy,with some design shopsl, books stores and cafes. We walked back a different route and got a bit turned around, which was okay because that's how we find interesting things to look at.

Monday, October 23, 2006

La Notre

La Notre is a really, really upscale patisserie off of rue St. Antoine in the direction of Bastille. Before we went to eat dinner at the creperie, we shared these two amazingly delicious delicacies, which N & J brought over.

Clingancourt, redux

Okay, so remember when I said I could wait another 16 years to go to Clignancourt, the Marche aux Puces, again? Remember that? Well, guess was only a week and we were back there. However, I knew how to exit without going through the bottle neck area. N and J wanted to go so we tagged along. It was really fun, and we got to see some areas we hadn't seen the week before. Some really "junky" areas further back, where one could find little treasures. We ate lunch at a cafe and were royally overcharged, due to our being too tired to pay attention. I felt really badly that I wasn't more alert about that. Oh well. On the way back, N and J changed metros at Barbes-Rochechouart, while we went all the way to Chatelet. We got off, the clouds above Hotel de Ville looked heavy with rain. A cute children's outfit caught our eye. Loved the way the mannekin was posed. We went down rue de barre, that picturesque street. That's Chuck dashing out of a shop that has 20th century "antiques." There were some little brass cars from Russia in the window, but plus cher, meaning out of our price range. The owner, however, is nice to speak with about his stuff. We made it back to the Cite before it rained. Later, we met up for a dinner at the creperie on Iles St. Louis, where the chef remembered us from last Sunday. No pictures of food, we ate it too quickly.

Open Studio

Our open studio was a lot of fun. I'm posting a picture of my wall of collages before the people arrived and one of Chuck's wall of photos during the evening. Thirty five people came, including out friends and family from Richmond, who just happened to be here at the same time. And our Paris friends, as well as Cite residents. There was lovely mixing of people. Mainly English was spoken, though those who spoke French did so with one another, ditto German, Farsi, Spanish, and there were a lot of Hebrew speakers, Israeli and Palestinian artists. My meeting with Vanci Stirnemann, the person who started the artist trading card phenomanon, was quite fun. I tried not to make a fool of myself "Oh my-ing" a lot. Wine was consumed, as was cheese, olives and apricots, but the cookies were left untouched for the most part. Hmmm! I guess cookies aren't good with wine! We enjoyed ourselves a lot!

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Our friends were leaving for home, back to the U.S. for two and back to the south of France for the other, so we met for petite dejeuner again. This time we went to the cafe right on the corner of the square: Bourg-Tibourg. Love that name. The women sat at one table in the window and the men at the other end, ha ha ha ha. I had a very nice cafe creme and a tartine. Now what would one think a "tartine" is? A little tarte, perhaps? Well, it's simply baguette with butter. From the cafe, I could see the market that gets set up in the space by the Mairie on Saturdays and Wednesday (apres midi only) I was hoping the cheese spread stall was there and it was. I got some creamy, spicey spread that looked like pimento cheese spread, for those of you familiar with that. And some tzaziki, that Greek cucumber side. It was nicely spicy, too. Then Chuck came joined, me. He's been at the flower stall. He included some provencal olives and a pack of pita (from Germany or at least the writing on the package is in German- Arabische fladenbrod) The olive selection was big, but the man gave us tastes, so we could decide. Chuck wanted me to see some flowers and guess which was mimosa. We'd gotten some room spray in that scent but had no idea what the flower looked like. I couldn't pick it out. It wasn't what I'd have thought, at all. It's much wilder looking. We bought some to put on the refreshment table at our open studio.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Mexican food, again.

We went to La Perla againn with our latest visitors. We sat outside in the dark, somewhat chilly night, and had really good Mexican food, with a French twist to it. My cheese quesadillas had BRIE cheese and mango in them. Mighty delicious. Chuck got what he wanted this time. It was called Nachos Pacifico, a plate with chili con carne, guacamole, melted cheese on taco chips. He was very happy. A good night for this kind of food. too.

Window Views

This is the view from a corner room at the Grand Hotel du Loiret. Doesn't that sound grand? It's a small hotel on a small street called rue des mauvais garcon, street of bad boys. It's only one block in length. Right below this window is a small green grocery, which is very convenient, but right now there is also street construction going on, so it's very, very loud at this corner. Chuck and I will be staying at this hotel when we return from our trip to the south of France. We are hoping the there will be no street construction by the time we get here. Other than that, this is a very good little hotel.

Meeting friends

Yesterday, I met Phyllis and Michele for breakfast at a bakery that has a salon upstairs. We had the best pain au raisin. Definitely the best so far. It cost 1,20 euro which is also the most I've paid for one. We walked for awhile and passed the Mariage Freres shop. This tea set is such great color combi. We went our separate ways. Chuck & I went to meet Noah and Jessica at their hotel, and there they were, just arrived. We walked then ended up at our favorite place to have omelettes, Okawa. This reflection in the window is a multi & I love it in contrast to the single pression.

The annex studio

We met Johan, a painter from South Africa. His studio is in the annex building around the corner and across the street. He has interesting views. You can see the Seine looking to the right out the window. The roof tops look very Parisian. He is working on landscapes and still lifes.

Clothing project

It interesting being in here in many ways, One way is being part of other's peoples projects. One day we noticed a sign posted on a studio door on our way to the elevator. I read it a couple of times, not quite sure what it meant. Then at the opening, we had the opportunity to speak with one of the artists. Daniele and Nadige had taped signs on their back with tear off numbers. They were asking people to donate a piece of their clothing to the project. What they will ultimately do with this, I don't know. I did however donate the one thing I had extra of, socks.

Lapis Lazuli

Fatemeh showed us some stones one evening. They were rough, natural stones. She told us what they were and we understood Lazuli (lazhuli) I was very interested in this as I'd never seen rough lapis lazuli except as a photo in one of my books on color. Because of language differences, I had no idea that she was going to carve these stone. Here is the head that she carved out of the lazuli. She made heads out of the tourquoise, the jade, and a reddish stone. Chuck would have purchased this small piece for me, but it was too expensive for us.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Tuesday night, the vernissage (opening) of a showing of paintings and sculpture by some of the friends we've made here. Mahshid, who lives next door, Fetemah, who lives down the hall and Ali, who lives downstairs, had their work on display in the lower level gallery area. We'd seen the work in progress and it was really good to see it in an exhibition space.