Monday, September 27, 2010

of invalides and boulangerie

September 27th, 2010

Well Boys and Girls, everything has to come to an end, and the Reporter was pretty sad she had to close her little bag
to be ready to fly away on September 28th back to sunny California, and leave behind that lovely grey-green parisian sky.

So decided to enjoy to the most her last hours in the city of lights, she took the 82 bus, as she had in fact to drop a little gift for a new mum at the office of her friend, the Great Catherine. And on the way, she clicked her little camera on a little Smart at the Eiffel Tower

Then she looked pensively down on her lap and admired her velvety bag, as she is a very superficial and materialistic girl,

then, on the way back, she took a peek at the Ecole Militaire. Literally translated the Military School, it is a sort of brooding building, a few blocks away from the magnificent one of The Invalides. The Ecole Militaire used to be really a training military school in the 1900's. There is one wing named Artillerie, loosely translated as Artillery, and another wing called Cavalerie, which you may have guessed is loosely Cavalry. As a matter of fact, the Reporter's dad did his military time in the Cavalerie in like around 1922, and that took place in a forest near Paris called Fontainebleau. There, he was like a lieutenant and was given the task to take 20 men and go shoot in the forest near a small wooden tower which was used as a " point de repere" or a benchmark. So they galloped " ventre a terre " which is "belly on the floor " which only means ' pretty fast' really.

Except her dad had the 20 men, after galloping ventre a terre, aiming at the "point de repere" and the wooden tower went down. So that was it for the benchmark. They came back trotting, all happy with themselves. That curiously didn't go so well with the Captain, and her dad was never asked again to take men to take aim at anything.

So anyway, neither here nor there, this is the Ecole Militaire where her dad shined,

and next to it is Le Cafe des Officiers, or The Cafe of the Officers,

But if you ask me, there's not a lot of officers there.
Then the 82 bus passed the magnificent building of the Invalides which was created for the war invalides.
That was the favorite building of the Reporter's dad, so every time she passes there, she cries. Which is an embarrassment for
the poor travelers of the 82 bus.

And then, Boys and Girls we arrive to the crux of this last post on Paris.
For the 12 days that the Reporter spent in Paris, she looked in her posh 7th arrondissement for a wonderful baguette, as she, as a good former french little girl, loves a good piece of bread. And she had really tried like every bakery around Rue Vaneau in a circle of about 5 km. But it seemed all baguettes, even the traditional ones, didn't amount to much. So she was pretty depressed.
And then, like only THREE days ago, she spotted the Boulangerie des Invalides,

which she had earlier dismissed as it looked a little too refined from the outside. And she had thought, stupidly, such a pretty boulangerie has to make an awful bread. But, pushed by hunger, THREE days ago, she pushed the door, ordered " une ficelle ", which you cannot translate literally as " a piece of string " so you have to know " une ficelle" is a very thin baguette but not as thin as piece of string. As ALWAYS, the french tend to " exagerer " or " exaggerate."

And Lo and Behold, the ficelle from the Boulangerie des Invalides was more than delicious, it was Heaven !!

And the Reporter swooned next to la Boulangerie.

So, just to show you, what the best Boulangerie in Paris looks like, you are lucky enough that she was allowed to take some pics, so you can see that effectively, the prettiest Boulangerie in Paris, does the BEST bread in Paris.
And she is not mentioning the little cakes and pastries, as there is a tarte aux framboises, a raspbery tart,

which didn't look bad at all, or even a crumble aux abricots et pistaches, an apricot and pistachio crumble, that she would have swooned about again, and there was already enough swooning as it was.

And here is the bar, where you can order a " cafe allongé" which doesn't mean that the coffee is laying down but that it is in a bigger cup so a little weaker, and the cafe allongé at La Boulangerie des Invalides is sinfully good, seriously.

and sadly, last pic from this exquisite place,

So there, dear Reader, with much love and scents of wonderful coffee, from the exquisite Boulangerie,
the Frog

of hospital and gardens

September 26th, 2010

Well the Parisian, and french, stay getting towards its rueful end, the Reporter had a few things to bring together.

First, she had to visit the little square, near l'Institut, where she used to go as a child, so she visited that one,
eating a pain au chocolat under the shade of the trees.

Once that was done, she went to visit a place to choose samples of paint for the Decrepit House,
in that very hip paint store called " Mise en Teinte " or literally " Put into Shade " which doesn't put into
shade any other more pedestrian paint store as that one is faintingly expensive.

Fact is, the price for three samples, was so high that the poor Reporter swooned, and smelling salts were brought.

After that interesting event,
to get better, she went to see her doctor, at the American Hospital in Neuilly, and Lo and Behold, dear Reader, this is where her glorious first child was born !!! YES, Tall was born here, at the American Hospital and the courageous Reporter took a pic, and if you look at it closely, you may even click on it to have a better view, there on the right wing, fourth level, second window, that was the Reporter's bedroom, except it was on the other
side of the hallway.
But still, if you look at the second window, french third floor, American fourth level, you can imagine that ACROSS, on the OTHER FACADE, that is where the courageous mother and glorious first child spent their first days, outside womb, together. If that is not the most moving thing that Paris ever went through. Well, Neuilly for that matter.

On Sunday, to celebrate the lovely tempestuous grey day, the Reporter took one of her best friends, Ariane to see the Marly Gardens.
The Marly Gardens are located not that far from Versailles.

Unbelievingly, Ariane, whom the Reporter and other friends call the Queen, as Ariane believes that every country should be overlooked by a King, and elections serve no purpose, [ a kind King, that is, and not allowing poverty to reign ]
well, so, the Reporter took the Queen to visit the Marly Gardens which the Queen had never seen before.
An omission that had to be remedied.
So the Gardens in that Glorious Grey Day looked like this,

Yes, I thought you would like that too.

So with love from the wonderful Gardens and the exquisite tempestuous day of Marly,
the Frog

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

non rustic

September 22, 2010

All right, I have to say, I have to update a bit on the activities of the Reporter.

To be truthful, during the lapse of time since the rustic post, she did nothing.

Mostly, she had a cold, she drunk wine with friends, she had lunches and dinner, she looked for
a toaster-oven, an arduous thing in Paris central I can tell you, and mostly she gleefully and egotistically
enjoyed a glorious indian summer in Paris in a most complacent way.

But, the artistic side called, and there she went, first to the Pierre and Alexandra Boulat photo show at Le Petit Palais,

She would have liked to go also opposite the street, at Le Grand Palais,

but there was like a line defying all enthusiasm.

So instead, the Reporter invited her Provencal brother to come and visit her, which he did,
as you can see below as he is on his cell in front of Les Invalides,

And here is a closer look to the purple socks,

And then they went to l'Institut,

From there, they wanted to see the Monet show, but it was not yet opened,

So then they went to la Biennale and that time there was no line,

and there...... they saw this little marvel, a 1921 Picasso, a pastel about 30 x 30, of two hands,
and there they fainted right away in front of so much beauty.

And then they went to sleep and on the next day, it was sunrise, and they saw this from the bathroom window,

And that is the end,
with all love from pink sunrise, and Picasso Pink Period,
the Frog

Saturday, September 11, 2010


september 11, 2010

Well the rustication has to end, so the Reporter went one more time to Sarlat as she was missing a palette knife,
and so she took a few more shots of the little town,

Then it was the last morning and there was fog on the valley nearby early in the morning,

and so they had breakfast on the terrace and it was a little difficult,

Then she went back to Paris and there she checked what was going on, and she saw that in NY on the friday of fashion week, the Reporter was so surprised to see a pic of the wonderful Grace Coddington and ... Karlie Kloss whom her daugther likes a lot,
and guess what Boys and Girls, Karlie was wearing on her feet,

So the Reporter dashed back to her closet to make sure her pair of white socks was still there and not on Karlie's feet, but pfew, it was stilll there.

So in this September 11,
tons of love to Rhoda, and Moby, who have a birthday,
and to New York with all our heart,
the Reporter

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

About wind

september 8th, 2010

Well the courageous Reporter, dear Boys and Girls, made it last night to the heart of the country where the Decrepit House is.
And it has to be said that Dear Friend was very courageous in fetching his Frog to this dark, lost in the middle of nowhere brand new airport of Brive la Gailliarde.

It's an airport not unreminiscent of the South West China airports that spring all marble clothed in the middle of nowhere. This one is marble clad and aluminium and green glass, it looks awesome and it has a heavy traffic of three airplanes per day coming from Paris.

It has a sumptuous flight tower, real high and you look at it thinking of these controllers up there who have to deal with three planes a day and sometimes there are delays and the night flight comes really late [ like the Reporter's ] and the whole airport is plunged in darkness except for a tiny light above one of the carrousels, and one tiny light you can see up there in the control tower.

We were about a dozen in the turboprop, and it felt a bit like flying with Saint Exupery frankly except there was no Sahara desert around.

Anyway, the Reporter plunged into country life. She went the next day to Sarlat,

and ambled around,

while it was market day

then, she drove back home, where the grass had been burnt by the scorching August,

and then she checked on further demolition, which in fact is the LAST facade of the Decrepit House to be scraped from the ugly grey stucco in place since 1830.
So now we can see the beautiful stones,

And if you look closely at the ugly lower part, still grey and unscrapped, from the pic above,

this is what it will look like in the end:

Just pure beauty if you ask me. In the meantime, she cut mercilessly all the dead hydrangea and clipped the piracantha which is a nasty thorny bush which should really be called piranha. It's an equivalent of the red burning bush and believe me it really burns you when you prick your finger.
So here what it looked like after the Reporter with her Attila the Hun clippers passed by,

She also re-painted an old painting, and when Dear Old Friend had hung a huge mirror with an ugly wood painted frame the color of urine, and asked her if she wanted to clean up the mirror [ she offered to do so as she had an ulterior motive ] so, as soon as he had disappeared into the library to his computer, she rushed back to the kitchen from the entrance hall which was conveniently next door. There, where she was painting the back ground of her canvas a sort of pale blue grey lilac, she dived for the windex [ to clean up the mirror ] and her brush of pale blue grey lilac [ to paint the urine frame ] and lo and behold, in less than 45 minutes she had repainted the urine frame hoping that Dear Old Friend from his library, which door was opened, wouldn't hear the muffled sound of her black boots to the Hall,from the kitchen, where she was collecting more paint.

And there she made it just in time !!!

He came out of the library, complimented on the glistening mirror and did not even see that his frame had changed colors !!!!!

She was a little miffed that one of grander master piece was not even recognized.

With love from the country and with tons of blue grey lilac paint,
the Frog

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

a little sunny

september 7th, 2010

Wells, Boys and Girls, it was like 1/4 to 1/3 sunny at daybreak.

The courageous Reporter went to get, in view of the weather a pair of her fav sneakers at Autour du Monde, rue de seine.

She got them in awfully chic navy, see below

It's just that the Reporter, contrarily to what might be thought, the Reporter, in all wisdom, finds that anything which is scented from parochial school, appears to her, in a subtle way, eminently sexy.

We are not talking here of what Madona did to free the catholics. We are talking of this subtle allure of the parochial school elegance, like navy skirts and white shirts. Probably because the Reporter was not born into a catholic family but in a loose, liberal thinking and frugal french protestant one. The french protestants are very different from their american counterparts.

First they are a minority, then they tend to think that church attending is not that important. But talking and giving advice to God is paramount to them. In one word, they can be very zen like which is why they tend to become buddhists after a while.
They are an interesting bunch and I think there's less and less of them.

There are a bit like the colors of lip stick, the good ones tend to disappear.

But we digress. So the Reporter never having gone to a parochial school with navy skirts, tended to regret that, so with the pressure of Dear Old Friend [ not a protestant that one ] she sent her children to a parochial catholic school which had the desirable effect to instill in them a sane rebellious spirit. Again the kids have been unintentionally blocked from commenting on that page too. The Vatican has enough problems as it is.

So she got herself a nice pair of navy sneakers in the parochial spirit.

Then she went home as she had to prepare herself to get on a flight to Perigord, la maison decrepite, [ i.e. The Decrepit House ] since the trains were on strike as they should be, in france.

So she stopped again at her purple fav flower shop to admire and cry, seeing that she might never create on her own such beauty :

and here, just closer,

So, next posting will be from la Maison Decrepite,
with love and sneakers,
the Frog

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to a shade of grey

September 6th, 2010

Well Boys and Girls,

the Frog has hopped over the pond, and is back in the city of lights, which is today of a delicate dark shade of grey.

So, after a leg of chicago- paris in coach as she was not upgraded for once in the more comfortable unit of the plane, she has to say that there should be only one class, and it should be business for everybody. Except for her kids as it is very salutary for children to live frugally. Fortuitously, her children will not be able to post comment on this page as they have been unintentionally blocked.

So she arrived in the tiny apartment in the hope to get a good shower, and erase the stress of falling asleep in a figure 8. But it was to be thwarted.

She had hoped, since Dear Old Firend had passed by a few days before that the bath tub and sink would be scintillating with shine and cleanliness, but she suddenly realized, after thirty years of matrimony, that some french men are not attentive to bath tubs at all.

So it was time to arm herself with her green froggy gloves and plunge in the depth of her addiction to the " Ajax Frais ", and here I am not kidding you, Boys and Girls, I am seriously thinking of fedexing to LA a case of twelve bottles of " Ajax Frais " as it smells like you have no idea. Short of turpentine smell, and, to the horror of her son, her own little abercrombie perfume, there is little scent that is more appealing than that of her dear " Ajax Frais ". See pic.

Then you can see the results here,

and here,

Sparkling shininess.
To reward herself she did a little cupa,

Then, since there was like a light, light, light shower of rain outside, she decided to put on her boots, which gave approximately this view.

Boots are black, they look blue but they are black, and the pants look blue but they are green, i am just saying.

She then went to La Grande Epicerie, to get some Echire butter, oranges and Poilane bread for her breakfast next day.

Then, the consequences of the figure 8 sleeping attitude made itself felt again, and she walked home to get a little nap, and hopefully follow the quarter final match Monfils-Gasquet at Flushing Meadows. [ Monfils won !!! Yes !!! ]

But before she got home, she stopped rue de babylone to have a look at her favorite flower shop, and Yes, it was desperately adorable and luminescent as usual, see below pics.

and here, and you should click on that one and see how ethereal these damn flowers are,

So that was all for the first day, Boys and Girls, as the frog catapulted herself on the sofa,

with Love from the City of Grey Light
the Frog