French Friday: Saint-Étienne-du-Mont | Purple Doors + Magic Steps

“This is unbelievable! Look at this! There's no city like this in the world. There never was…Imagine this town in the '20s. Paris in the '20s, in the rain. The artists and writers…” - Gil Pender, Midnight in Paris

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Imagine sitting on these steps when the clock strikes midnight…

Imagine sitting on these steps when the clock strikes midnight…

You look down this street to see a vintage Peugeot approaching. The car pulls over to invite you into Paris of the 1920s — Hemingway, Scott and Zelda, Gertrude Stein, Picasso, Dali, Josephine Baker, Man Ray…

You look down this street to see a vintage Peugeot approaching. The car pulls over to invite you into Paris of the 1920s — Hemingway, Scott and Zelda, Gertrude Stein, Picasso, Dali, Josephine Baker, Man Ray…

Completed in 1626, the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont is located around the corner from the Panthéon on the top of la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève in the 5th arrondissement. In addition to the magical steps, the church contains the tombs of St. Blaise, Jean Racine, and Jean-Paul Marat.

Completed in 1626, the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont is located around the corner from the Panthéon on the top of la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève in the 5th arrondissement. In addition to the magical steps, the church contains the tombs of St. Blaise, Jean Racine, and Jean-Paul Marat.

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The church is mentioned in Hemingway’s  A Moveable Feast:  "I walked past the Lycée Henri Quatre and the ancient church of St-Etienne-du-Mont and the windswept Place du Panthéon." Seems like Woody Allen did his homework!

The church is mentioned in Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast: "I walked past the Lycée Henri Quatre and the ancient church of St-Etienne-du-Mont and the windswept Place du Panthéon." Seems like Woody Allen did his homework!

French Friday: Les Mimosas

« Véritables boules d'or parfumées, les mimosas en fleurs attirent le regard de très loin. Non contents d'illuminer le jardin à un moment où ce dernier préfère le repos, ils embaument l'air d'effluves incroyables. »

- Parfum du soleil, La Route des Mimosas - Grasse, France

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One of the first signs of spring in France, is the appearance of the brilliantly yellow and fragrant mimosa. It’s the French equivalent to spotting your first robin. As early as February, you’ll find them dripping from branches in Provence and along the Côte d’Azur and offered in great bundles in the markets of Paris.

French Friday: Les Fontaines Wallace aka Paris Bubblers

“Si vous rencontrez une fontaine, ne passer pas sans vous y abreuver.” - Denis Lapointe

Wallace Fountain — Place Saint-Sulpice

Wallace Fountain — Place Saint-Sulpice

During the Siege of Paris in 1870 and the ensuing Commune, many of Paris’ aqueducts were destroyed. As a result water was drawn directly from the Seine and sold for exorbitant prices. The water was so dirty that it was actually safer and cheaper to drink alcoholic beverages, leading to even greater social and economic issues. In an effort to provide free potable water, philanthropist, Sir Richard Wallace (1818–1890), designed and funded the construction of sixty-seven drinking fountains around the city. The dark green fountains display four caryatids representing kindness, simplicity, charity, and sobriety. Each one is different from her sisters by the way she bends her knees and where her tunic is tucked into her blouse. The water comes from the center of the dome and falls down into a basin that is protected by a grille. Originally, each fountain included two tin-plated, iron cups attached by a small chain, but they were removed in 1952 for hygiene reasons. Most of the fountains still distribute perfectly potable water from March through November.

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Wallace Fountain in front of Shakespeare and Company

Wallace Fountain in front of Shakespeare and Company

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Wallace Fountain — Champs-Élysées

Wallace Fountain — Champs-Élysées

PARIS’ 67 WALLACE FOUNTAINS:

  • 3rd arrondissement: Boulevard de Sébastopol, square Chautemps; Passage du Pont aux biches; Rue de la corderie, place Nathalie Lemel

  • 4th arrondissement: Place Louis Lépine, next to the Chambre de Commerce; Place Louis Lépine, next to the Hôtel-dieu; 7, Boulevard du Palais; 123, rue Saint-Antoine; Small models: Place Louis Lepine; Quai de la Corse

  • 5th arrondissement: Rue Poliveau, face rue de l'Essai; 37, rue de la Bûcherie (Shakespeare and Company), Rue des Patriarches; Wall-mounted: Intersection of Rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and Rue Cuvier

  • 6th arrondissement: Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés; Place Saint-Sulpice; Pont Neuf, Quai des Grands Augustins; Rue Vavin, at rue Bréa; Place Saint-André-des-Arts; Esplanade Pierre-Vidal-Naquet

  • 7th arrondissement: Small model - Place des Invalides

  • 8th arrondissement: Rue de St-Pétersbourg, at rue de Turin; Av. des Champs-Élysées, Chevaux de Marly (north side); Av. des Champs-Élysées, Chevaux de Marly (south side)

  • 9th arrondissement: Place Gustave Toudouze; Place de Budapest

  • 10th arrondissement: Place Juliette Dodu; Place Jacques Bonsergent; Place Robert Desnos

  • 11th arrondissement: 143, rue de la Roquette; 197, Boulevard Voltaire; 44, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud; 94, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud; 1, Boulevard Richard Lenoir; 89, Boulevard Richard Lenoir; Small models: 32, boulevard Richard Lenoir; 74, boulevard Richard Lenoir

  • 12th arrondissement: Cours de Vincennes, face Blvd de Picpus, Angle de St-Mandé; at rue du Rendez-vous; Rue Descot, face Mairie du XIIe arrondissement; boulevard Menilmontant

  • 13th arrondissement: 82, avenue d'Italie; Rue de la Butte-aux-cailles, at rue de l'Espérance; ZAC Baudricourt, at avenue d'Ivry; Small model: Place Paul Verlaine

  • 14th arrondissement: Avenue Reille, at avenue René Coty; Place Jules Hénaffe; Place Edgard quinet, at rue de la Gaîté; Place Denfert-Rochereau, at Blvd Raspail; Avenue du Maine, face Mairie du XIVè arrondissement

  • 15th arrondissement: Place Henri Rollet; 2, boulevard Pasteur; Place du Général Beuret; Place Charles Vallin; Small models: Place Alain Chartier; Place Saint Charles; 19, Place du Commerce; 35, boulevard Pasteur

  • 16th arrondissement: 10, boulevard Delessert; 194, avenue de Versailles; Place Jean Lorrain; Place de Passy; Place du Père Marcellin Campagnat; Esplanade Pierre-Vidal-Naquet; Colonnaded: Rue de Rémusat, at Rue de Mirabeau

  • 17th arrondissement: 112, avenue de Villiers; Place Aimé Maillard; 15, avenue Niel; 1, avenue de Wagram; 112, boulevard des Batignolles; Small model: Place de Lévis; Colonnaded: Avenue des Ternes, at Place Pierre Demours

  • 18th arrondissement: Place Emile Goudeau; 42, boulevard Rochechouart; Rue Saint-Eleuthère, at rue Azaïs; Place des Abbesses; Rue de la Goutte d'or, at rue de Chartres

  • 19th arrondissement: 214, boulevard de la Villette; 139, Rue Meaux at Rue du Rhi

  • 20th arrondissement: Place Édith Piaf; 6, rue Eugène Belgrand; 29, boulevard de Ménilmontant; Place Maurice Chevalier; Rue Piat, face au square

French Friday: Je pense à toi sans cesse...

« Paris sera toujours Paris. Qu’est-ce que tu veux qu’il fasse d’autre ? » - Fréderic Dard

Tour Eiffel w/ green bench

On se rappelle les chansons, un soir d'hiver, un frais visage, la scène à marchands de marrons, une chambre au cinquième étage, les cafés crèmes du matin, Montparnasse, le Café du Dôme, les faubourgs, le Quartier latin, les Tuileries et la Place Vendôme.

Paris, c'était la gaieté, Paris, c'était la douceur aussi. C'était notre tendresse. Paris, tes gamins, tes artisans, tes camelots et tes agents, et tes matins de printemps. Paris, l'odeur de ton pavé d'oies, de tes marronniers, du bois. Je pense à toi sans cesse. Paris, je m'ennuie de toi, mon vieux. On se retrouvera tous les deux, mon grand Paris.

Évidemment, il y a parfois les heures un peu difficiles, mais tout s'arrange bien, ma foi. Avec Paris, c'est si facile. Pour moi, Paris, c'est les beaux jours, les airs légers, graves, ou tendres. Pour moi, Paris, c'est mes amours et mon cœur ne peut se reprendre.

Paris, c'était la gaieté, Paris, c'était la douceur aussi. C'était notre tendresse. Paris, tes gamins, tes artisans, tes camelots et tes agents, et tes matins de printemps. Paris, l'odeur de ton pavé d'oies, de tes marronniers, du bois. Je pense à toi sans cesse. Paris, je m'ennuie de toi, mon vieux. On se retrouvera tous les deux, mon grand Paris. - Paris, chanté par Édith Piaf

French Friday: Fleurs fanées

« Sache que la fleur la plus belle est aussi la plus tôt fanée. Sur son parfum penche-toi vit. L’immortelle n’a pas d’odeur. »

- André Gide

It’s one of the things I love most about Paris — you never know when you’re going to stumble upon something beautiful. On the morning of my birthday, we were walking down the rue Cambon to pay our respects to  Karl  at Chanel when we witnessed the changing of the  fleurs.  Apparently these lovely white tulips (my favorites!), pale pink ranunculus, and purple and white anemones were too wilted to stand before the formidable Mademoiselle so they were replaced with fresh white hydrangeas (another favorite) and calla lilies (not a fan). Still, I couldn’t help but feel like these discarded beauties were like a birthday bouquet that are now preserved forever in my memory and on my blog.

It’s one of the things I love most about Paris — you never know when you’re going to stumble upon something beautiful. On the morning of my birthday, we were walking down the rue Cambon to pay our respects to Karl at Chanel when we witnessed the changing of the fleurs. Apparently these lovely white tulips (my favorites!), pale pink ranunculus, and purple and white anemones were too wilted to stand before the formidable Mademoiselle so they were replaced with fresh white hydrangeas (another favorite) and calla lilies (not a fan). Still, I couldn’t help but feel like these discarded beauties were like a birthday bouquet that are now preserved forever in my memory and on my blog.

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French Friday: Les Parapluies - Village Royal

« L'esprit humain est comme un parapluie : il marche mieux lorsqu'il est ouvert. » - Darry Cowl

Imagined by the artist Patricia Cunha, the exhibition Umbrella Sky is installed in Le Royal Village from February through April 2019. “Color life!” is the leitmotiv. About 800 colorful umbrellas, suspended in the air all along the passage, bring joy and vitality. Inspired by Mary Poppins, this poetic installation will not leave you indifferent. #levillageroyal #umbrellasky (Source: http://v2.villageroyal.com/2019/02/21/umbrella-sky-by-le-village-royal/)

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Le Village Royal, in collaboration with Galeries Bartoux,is pleased to present the monumental artworks of the Belgian artist Dirk De Keyzer. Discover a carousel of dreams and poetry from February 5th to April 28th, 2019. Like articulated puppets, Chevaliette, Zalangou, and Zalando seem to come to life at any time. With a recognizable style, both fantastic and universal, Dirk De Keyzer mixes cultures from all over the world with human feelings such as the quest for happiness, beauty and harmony.

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French Friday: On y va!

« Savoir où l'on veut aller, c'est très bien; mais il faut encore montrer qu'on y va. » - Emile Zola

…et aujourd’hui j’y vais! Demain, je serai encore à Paris!

…et aujourd’hui j’y vais! Demain, je serai encore à Paris!

French Friday: Encore Paris

« Jamais deux sans trois. » - Proverbe française

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They say that the third time’s a charm, so I’m looking forward to my third annual February trip to Paris. Several of you have asked me if I ever get tired of going to the same places and doing the same things year after year. Well, of course I’d like to discover new places. I dream of visiting Scandinavia. Scotland and Greece are high on my list I would like to spend more time in Ireland, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy. But I need to return to France on a regular basis.

Paris feeds me literally, linguistically, artistically, and spiritually. I go to Paris to practice my French, to visit friends, to capture the beauty in both words and images. How could I ever get tired of browsing through book stalls along the Seine, sprawling outdoor markets or galleries in some of the world’s greatest museums; of sipping tea at the Ritz, cocktails at the Hemingway Bar or wine in a sidewalk café; of strolling along the Champs-Élysées or in the Palais-Royal; of window shopping (or really shopping) in the Paris’ most fashionable neighborhoods and grands magasins; of hearing the bells of Notre Dame or street musicians playing La Vie en Rose ? Ernest Hemingway said, “Paris is a moveable feast” — a feast for all of your senses, and I have an insatiable appetite!

French Friday: Février

« Février commence bien et finit vite. » - Proverbe français

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Happy February! I bet you don’t hear that very often, but I really do love February — 28 crisp, snowy days, punctuated by celebrations of la Chandeleur, Valentine's Day, and my birthday (the exclamation point at the end of this lovely little month). Traditionally, my February posts have featured rosy hues, pretty flowers and pastries, beautiful snowscapes, and new Paris pictures. This year will be more of the same since we leave three weeks from today 💕