Archive for May, 2013

The French Like to Read

Thursday, May 30th, 2013
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Man Reading in Park

Man Reading in Park
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Shortly after a light rain, this man came to the Jardin des Plantes to read. Finding the benches too wet to sit on, he simply leaned against a tree to enjoy his book!

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Le Royal by Delmontel

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
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Le Royal by Delmontel

Le Royal by Delmontel
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

We stopped by the award-winning bakery and pastry shop of Arnaud Delmontel a few weeks ago and purchased Le Royal, a chocolate pastry in the form of a cube. Covered with dark chocolate syrup it has a hard-shell top and a chocolate mousse filling. When I bit through the dense mousse, I discovered a crunchy shortbread crust, which provided a nice contrast to the soft texture of this confection. The bittersweet chocolate flavor of Le Royal will please most chocolate aficionados.

Delmontel
9, rue des Martyrs
75009 Paris
Tel: 01.48.78.29.33
Open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. except Tuesdays.

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True Love on the Pont de l’Archevêché

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
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California Couple

A California Couple Locks In Their Love
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Yesterday while strolling across the Pont de l’Archevêché I spotted a couple reaffirming their love by attaching a love lock to the mesh of the guard rail.

They told me that they are from Sacramento, California and that they were near the end of their two-week stay in Paris. Their children had given the trip to them as a gift. What a great idea!

They also told me that they had been married for 32 years!

Husband Prepares to Throw the Key

Husband Prepares to Throw the Key
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

First the husband threw the key into the river, symbolically locking their love for another 32 years.

Wife Prepares to Throw Spare Key

Wife Prepares to Throw Spare Key
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Then the wife prepared to throw the spare key…

Key Has Been Thrown

Spare Key Has Been Thrown
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

…it’s gone! With no spare key around, that love has been locked in forever!

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Journées du Commerce Equitable in Alfortville

Saturday, May 25th, 2013
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Last Sunday we took the RER D train to Alfortville to explore the arts, crafts, and food stands that had been set up to celebrate “Equitable Commerce Day.”

Stefan Buljat

Stefan Buljat
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Stefan Buljat of Baština, an organization that promotes equitable and multipolar tourism, had told us about the festival.

The Ladies That Were Serving Brunch

The Ladies That Were Serving Brunch
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

One of the attractions of the event was a free brunch. This turned out to be jams and honey spread on different kinds of delicious breads, and squares of chocolate…all you could eat! Plus coffee and tea to drink. The ladies who served us were in high spirits and one of them cut loose and began waving her arms when one of the singers in the the band, Paradise, began a gospel number.

Paradise Performs in Alfortville

Paradise Performs in Alfortville
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Paradise performed Caribbean music on the steps of the town hall.

Kids Dancing to the Music

Kids Dancing to the Music
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Kids danced to the music, too. (Note the little girl with the pacifier stepping to the beat!)

Farah Kartibou

Farah Kartibou
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Farah Kartibou displayed her woven textiles. See more of her work at Mode Fusion.

Sandrine Ferracci

Sandrine Ferracci
www.DiscoverParis.net

Sandrine Ferracci restores old chairs. Take a look at her portfolio to see what she can do!

Artisans du Monde

Artisans du Monde
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

The Artisans du Monde were there with a display of equitable commerce products. The lady on the right was warning me not to take more than my share of free cookies. That’s the true spirit of equitable commerce!

We visited more stands and met more people. You can read about them on Monique’s Entrée to Black Paris blog. I also posted a picture of cabinetmaker Anne Perez on yesterday’s Paris Insights Facebook page.

Town Hall of Alfortville

Town Hall of Alfortville
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

A big thanks goes out to the town of Alfortville for hosting this fun event!

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Venezuela Puertofino 75% by Jacques Bellanger

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
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Venezuela Puertofino 75% by Jacques Bellanger

Venezuela Puertofino 75% by Jacques Bellanger
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

We stopped by Mococha Chocolates the other day and learned that we were just in time to purchase a special product that Marie had received: Jacques Bellanger Venezuela Puertofino 75%. Marie could hardly contain her enthusiasm for the chocolate, which she described as being rare—it is harvested from cocoa trees that grow on the high plateaus of Venezuela.

There are only three chocolate producers that commercialize Venezuela Puertofino, one of which is Jacques Bellanger. She has a small supply of the product in her shop, which she offers for sale.

We purchased a tablet and took it home to taste.

Monique’s tasting notes:
It has a brilliant, shiny finish and a light, slightly sweet aroma. Slow to melt in the mouth, its first flavor is of ash or burnt charcoal. It has notes of fruit and wood smoke with caramel at the finish.

My tasting notes:
For a product that contains 75% cocoa, the Venezuela Puertofino 75% is amazingly sweet, with no bitter aftertaste. The lasting impression that I have of the chocolate is that it tastes like a Fudgsicle, my favorite treat as a kid. I think that I’ll have another!

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The Eternal Quest for Beautiful Fesses – Our Fesses of the Month

Thursday, May 16th, 2013
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Tom on assignment

Tom on Assignment
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

May 2013 – Fesses of the Month

To photograph this month’s fesses, our intrepid blogger traveled to the far reaches of Paris’ 12th arrondissement. He had to take three trains to get there!

Follow the link to learn the name of this sculpture, the name of its creator, the name of the park near its location, and a close-up shot of her admirable fesses!

pinterest.com/pin/411586853415634333/

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Pastel de Nata

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
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Pastel de Nata

Pastel de Nata
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Where do you go in Paris when you find yourself yearning for a pastel de nata, the delicious custard pastry from Portugal? Why, to a butcher shop, of course!

Madame Gosnet of Boucherie Pascal Gosnet sells these pastries at her counter at 119, rue Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement. We purchased two and took them home to taste.

The pastry has a golden-brown, flaky crust and an unevenly browned egg-yolk-yellow top covering a pale-yellow custard filling. The crust is chewy. (It is difficult to cut with a knife—better to eat it by hand.) The custard is mildly sweet, moderately dense, and slightly grainy. In a word, they taste just like the pastéis de nata that we had in a coffee shop in Lisbon many years ago. Served warm, they are delectable!

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Paris – Just in Time for Mother’s Day!

Saturday, May 11th, 2013
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Does your mother yearn for Paris? We have two publications that will stir her passion for the city! The first is our monthly newsletter Paris Insights, written to present an insider’s view of the fascinating history, culture, and contemporary life of the City of Light.

The second is our book Paris Insights – An Anthology, a compilation of a number of our most popular newsletters. Travel writer Jim Calio has called our book “a wonderful valentine to Paris, unlike anything you’re likely to find in a standard guidebook.” Better than a bouquet of roses, it is a gift that offers an insider’s view of the things to love about the city.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, the Kindle edition of Paris Insights – An Anthology can be purchased and downloaded immediately! And remember…she doesn’t need a Kindle device to read the Kindle edition of Paris Insights – An Anthology! Amazon.com provides Kindle reader apps that work on every major tablet, smartphone, and computer so that she can read Kindle books on whatever type of device she owns. These apps are 100% free. If she needs one, click HERE to go to the Web page for the application that she needs.

Click HERE to order Paris Insights – An Anthology now. Click HERE to enter an annual subscription to our newsletter.

Give your mother the beauty and passion of the world’s most romantic city!

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My Day at the Art Exposition – Part II

Friday, May 10th, 2013
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Six Artists

Six Artists
Photographs by www.DiscoverParis.net

Although we have been living in Paris for twenty-one years, this was our first visit to the Grand Marché d’Art Contemporain. It was fascinating to walk from booth to booth to see what people with creative minds were up to.

Christine Marques

Christine Marques
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Christine Marques uses discarded tea bags to create images on canvas. She graciously spent several minutes discussing her technique and various works with us. In this photograph, she stands next to an image that she created of Michael Jackson as a child. Can you see his face in profile? Her Web site has a gallery of her tea-bag creations including one of Barack Obama: art.the.free.fr

Jean-Marc Boudine

Jean-Marc Boudine
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Sculptor Jean-Marc Boudine exhibited a couple of works that looked decidedly bizarre. He has created a series of sculptures for an exhibition in commemoration of the abolition of slavery. The sculptures are on display through May 31 at the MJC-Centre Culturel in the nearby town of Limeil-Brévannes. (The abolition of slavery is commemorated on May 10 in France). His Web site can be found here: www.jean-marcboudine.odexpo.com

Jean-Marc Wettstein

Jean-Marc Wettstein
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Jean-Marc Wettstein told me that he gets inspiration from photographs that he sees in magazines. Many of his portraits portray brooding or angry subjects, but if you look at his Web site you will see some happy faces there.

Joost Heetman

Joost Heetman
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

After Joost Heetman’s partner died, he burned 6,000 votive candles. He shaped the aluminum candle holders to form eyes and then mounted them on canvas as a lasting representation of this emotional period in his life. One of these works is shown in the picture above. Heetman is an industrial designer and his booth contained a number of chairs, benches, and tables displaying fanciful, colorful patterns under smooth, transparent resin. His Web site can be found at the following link: www.joosth.nl.

Mercedes Madriz

Mercedes Madriz
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Mercedes Madriz exhibited numerous collages at the show. She collects texts from books, magazines, and newspapers that interest her, mounts them on panels, and records her thoughts on the content of these texts on the support medium (often in a language different than that of the original text). Hailing from Caracas, she came to Paris to learn from and contribute to its rich artistic culture. She does not have a Web site, but can be contacted at mercedesmadriz[at]hotmail[dot]com.

Steve Wells

Steve Wells
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Some people really can re-invent themselves—Steve Wells has done it three times! First, he was an electrical engineer, then a rock star, and now a freelance photographer. His artistic vision is bold and subversive. Visit his Web site to have a look at his photographic series, including one of Paris shot on film: www.stevewells-photo.com.

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My Day at the Art Exposition – Part I

Thursday, May 9th, 2013
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Five Artists

Five Artists
Photographs by www.DiscoverParis.net

Last Saturday, Monique and I attended the Grand Marché d’Art Contemporain that was held at Place de la Bastille in Paris.

The event was enormous, with over six hundred artists displaying their creations in tent-sheltered booths that had been set up on the south side of the square. It would have taken days to visit all the booths and speak with each of the artists—we had to be content with talking to only ten of them. Each had a fascinating story to tell!

Sandrine Bourlon

Sandrine Bourlon
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Sandrine Bourlon was there to represent her husband Jean-Charles Decoudon, who paints watercolor scenes of Paris. Many of his clients are tourists who want him to paint a scene to take home as a souvenir. I wrote an article about him in the March edition of our Paris Insights newsletter. Samples of his work can be viewed on his Web site.

Franck Mercky

Franck Mercky
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Sculptor Franck Mercky has created some remarkable mobiles. A video of some of them that he created in collaboration with artist André Lemax can be viewed at the following link: http://vimeo.com/6717671. His Web site can be found here: www.francmercky.net.

Anaïs Verspan

Anaïs Verspan

Vivid lines and splotches of color seemed to vibrate on the black backgrounds of the acrylic/mixed media paintings exhibited by Anaïs Verspan. Not content with using just canvas as a support for her work, this artist also marries art and fashion by using shoes to give life to her art. See images of her work here: http://www.anaisverspanart.com/.

Carole Duval

Carole Duval
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Award-winning artist Carole Duval displayed paper maché “statuettes” and wood carvings representing the theme of “the extraterrestrial.” Her paintings were made from mixed media on wood. View her extensive online portfolio here: http://www.carole-duval.odexpo.com/.

Astrig Alyanakian

Astrig Alyanakian
Photograph by www.DiscoverParis.net

Astrig Alyanakian comes from a family of artists. Her work is inspired by images that she collects and transforms via collage, painting, and drawing. “Colorful,” “whimsical,” and “mystical” aptly describe her paintings. See examples of her mixed media works here: www.astrig.fr/.

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