Sunday, July 31, 2011

Life and Music at Marche Aux Puces

"It's interesting that two men would want to go to the flea market on the weekend, isn't it?" I ask my friend Ana-Maria as we get out of the car and follow Jean and Jacques down the alley leading towards the market.
"Yes, isn't it wonderful?" Ana replies.

"They're attractive, and they're not gay." I add, "I think it's just because they are French." Why else would two straight men have plans of going to the flea market on a Sunday afternoon? It must be because they're French. My mind tries to rests with that thought. 

"What did you want to buy here?" I ask Jean, still curious about why we are here.
"Oh, eats because I think Jacques wants to buy some-sing." he replies in English with the French accent I love.
"What does Jacques want to buy here?" I whisper to Ana-Maria.
"Oh, I think we are here because Jean wanted to come." She replies.

Sometimes in life, the reasons don't really matter, and the point is to enjoy the moment, I remind myself.

The thought reminds me of this video: Life and Music

Enjoying Life and Music in the sunshine at Marche Aux Puces 

Marche Aux Puces , Paris

Life and Music with Jean

In Life we are supposed to dance! Even if it's in the middle of a flea market.

Jean and Ana-Maria

Who care's why we're here. The day was perfect. (Ana, Jean and Jacques)

Florence and Ana-Maria

Just Dance!

Another wonderful Sunday afternoon in Paris. I'm beginning to wonder how long my rose-colored Parisian glasses are going to last. For now, lets just keep dancing.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saying A Revoir to Mike

"You remember Mike?" my French friend Florence tells me in a phone conversation early this morning.
"Hmm, Mike, Michel?, Michael?, Mike? uh No." I reply.
"Mike from a few Sundays ago? Remember?" she asks as if I can remember a few Sundays back, which I cannot.
"No." I reply.
"Ah, oh la-la!? Well, anyway he's leaving and he's having a party. We want you to come! There will be mostly French people, and a few Americans, but you must practice your French!" She says in perfect English with her usual French accent.

"Alright, I'll be there, I'm sure I'm going to miss him when he leaves. What shall I bring?", I ask.
"Ah, just a bottle of wine, if you like.", she replied.

The party was an interesting mix of all the wonderful people you find in Paris, each with unique backgrounds, cultures, occupations, hobbies and experiences to share.

Florence and Florence

Mike (seated) and Didier

 "Ah, yes. I remember Mike"
Mike, (his French friend), Florence and her boyfriend

Mike's Guests: French, American, German, and African. 

The View: Modern Parisian Rooftops

A Few New Friends

French girl eats, and doesn't get fat!

French girl drinks and still doesn't get fat. 

Watching the Sunset over the horizon

Another wonderful evening in Paris

Florence and Florence
Eventually I remembered Mike, and he will be missed, but he'll be back as usual, for his 11th year, next year.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Just Dessert

How could I forget to post the most important photos of any breakfast, lunch or dinner in Paris?
Dessert of Course.

(Hmm, I wonder if it would be a worthy project to sample, photograph and blog about just desserts of Paris. It would take a lifetime, but could be a worth project.

From last week, here's our photos of Dessert at Bar du Central, which is always a treat on a Sunday afternoon or any day for that matter.

Creme Brulee
Cafe Gourmand
Bar du Central in the 7th Arrondissement, is one of my favorite little cozy places at 99 rue St Dominique. The wait staff are super friendly, portions are (in my opinion) pretty large, and every dish I've had so far, which is nearly every Sunday, has been wonderful.

Bon Appite, if you ever go!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Confession

"Eat's Im-pos-e-blah, that you don't have a lover in your life!?" my friend exclaims as if I made a confession I was raised in a Cambodian orphanage.

I've wasted time on Love, I confessed, and I lie. I lie to myself about the illusions of Love that come my way.   
Today I've decided to post my confession.

My confession is: I lie.

I only lied to myself this time...

"People don't believe lies because they have to,
but because they want to." - a quote

I wanted to, at the time.

Now I realize, the worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves.

This song is dedicated to my lies.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Best Kept Secret -- Bar du Central

Almost every Sunday after church, (it's become somewhat of a ritual) we get together to talk about our life issues, goals, hopes, dreams, (men) and plans for the future. One of our favorite places to eat is Bar du Central (Just around the corner from the American Church in Paris...and always open for a late lunch after the 1:30 Service).

We're still counting down Chef Robbin's last few days (2) remaining in Paris.  

"Cheers, to Beginning a New Chapter Soon!"
Florence and Chef Robbin

One of my Favorite things to do in Paris, and Bar du Central is one of the best places to do it.
I was craving chicken. This was better than I expected.

"Delicious!" said Chef Robbin.
Bar du Central is one of my "Best Kept Secrets" of a Sunday Afternoon.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Floating Island and Mousse au Chocolate

"You have to try it." Chef Robbin insisted, before taking a spoonful of her dessert.
"What is it?", I asked having no idea if it were ice cream, whipped cream, or a lump of frosting.

"It's Ile Flottante, also called Floating Island." Robbin explained with a smile of amusement that I had never heard of this French dessert made from whipped egg whites.

"I can never get past Mousse au Chocolate", when I see it on the dessert menu, I confessed.

Chef Robbin (as I like to call her) and Dessert

Mousse au Chocolate and Ile Flottante

Me (my hand is still bandaged from falling, but I can still hold a spoon) and Dessert
After returning home, I researched the recipe and found this one to share, just in case you can't come to Paris and try this wonderful dessert for yourself:

If you're like me and cannot resist  Mousse au Chocolate, here's the perfect recipe:

Counting down the days until Robbin returns to the States next Tuesday, what better way to spend the afternoon than over dessert?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Twenty Minutes with BFF in Paris.

My cell phone rings as it sits next to my laptop.
“Girl!”, I hear as I finish my “Hello?”

I’ve known her since we were both 11 years old, so maybe that why from hearing just one word, I knew something was going on that she wasn’t happy about. I could almost hear “WTF?!”, although she didn’t say it. In the brief pause, I knew she was about to say something unexpected.

“Why didn’t you call me back? Didn’t you get my message? Where have you been? I’ve been trying to get in touch with you! We’re in Paris! We’re leaving tonight. I’ve been trying to call you all morning. Where are you? We’re on our way to London. I wanted to see you girl!” she said in one long sentence.

“Did she just say she’s in Paris?” I thought to myself, wondering where I was this morning. Did I have a hangover? No, that was the night before. Why was my body aching? Oh, yeah, I tripped and fell down when I went running last night. I was in so much pain this morning, I took a few pain pills, called my French teach to cancel our lessons and crawled back into bed to recuperate.

“Did you just say we’re in Paris?” my mind cleared as I asked her. “Yes!” she said. “We’re on the Champs Elysees!”

“You’re 10 minutes away from me. I’m coming to see you!” I told her as I grabbed a scarf to tie over my tangled hair from sleeping on it all afternoon; after getting directions rushed out the door to meet her.

Me and BFF, Marilena from the 6th Grade

Marilena, me and "Little-Girl" Victoria

Marilena, Mr E, and Victoria
(the Professional Traveling Family)

Marilena and Victoria
"Okay, you can take a picture of me, but don't put it on your blog!", Victoria insists.
"Okay, I will." I reply.

(she's so adorable)
Gare de Nord, Paris
20 minutes is about all the time we had to spend together at Gare de Nord (North Train Station of the Eurostar). In a flash they were in Paris, and just as quickly they were gone.  We promised to meet again in NYC on Halloween.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Party on the Seine Tonight

“Florence, come and enjoy Paris from the Seine River with a nice Cruise? ;-) You’re invited to our Summer cruise and live concert party on the River King Houseboat.”, Benoit’s email said to me.
The only reason I had the courage to show up solo, after my Parisian friend Florence couldn’t make it at the last minute, was because I knew Benoit would be there. Sure enough, when I arrived, he was standing at the entrance of his Houseboat International Party.

“I’m alone tonight.” I said almost apologizing when as we greeted with a kiss on both cheeks.
“Good! You only need somebody to help you put on this wristband, and I am going to do that for you.” He replied as he fastened a bright orange band around my wrist then holding my hand leading me to a group of his French friends for introductions.

The drinks were two for one, the food was a mix of Italian pasta, French and American appitizers, the band was French, the DJ music was all American, and the crowd was all interesting and international. We danced and laughed the night away.

Me and Benoit (the perfect host)
New International Friends
French, American, Canadian, Indian
Houseboat top Deck with a View.
Me and Julie (a new French friend)
Benoit doing what he always does during the night for his website.
Another beautiful evening in Paris.
Sometimes I want to pinch myself on evenings like tonight. Maybe it's all just another wonderful dream.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bastille Day

 "Everybody knows La Fete Nationale is every July 14th." my friend explains to me as I thought it was the same weekend as our U.S. 4th of July, I told him as I strolled along the Champs Elysees watching bleacher and flags being set up a few days prior to the celebrations.

Bastille Day (referred to as La FĂȘte de la Bastille or La FĂȘte Nationale in French), is a French holiday which marks the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 and the first major event of the French Revolution.

The day begins early with the oldest and largest military parade in Europe, on the Champs Elysees.

 The French Revolution

At the Place de la Bastille where the French Revolution began on July 14, 1789 a huge concert takes place. (There's only a small plaque on a wall just outside the metro Bastille that marks the prison location.)

In the evening, the Paris Fire Brigade (Fire Fighters) hold their traditional Bastille Day ball. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My First French Video.

My French is still not so good, but I am improving every day. Today, I made my first French video for the world to see.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Farewell Lunch

After spending a few years in Paris, our good friend "Chef Robbin" as I like to call her will be returning to the States to start another adventure in life.

We're going to miss her nuttyness. (she really is a hilarious nut case), She's also one of the most creative people I've met in Paris. She's a chef, a painter/artist, jewelry maker, master knitter, photographer and an instructor. Possibilities are endless when she returns to the states.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed, that she'll be back in Paris to continue her dream soon.

Florence, Robbin, Ana-Maria 
Paris Tea House - Je' the Aime
Entrees (Starter) of Ana Maria
Entrees (Starter) of Florence
Entrees (Starter) of Robbin

Another wonderful afternoon of laughter, good converstaion and friends who's personallities are as creative as their choice of starters at this fabalous restaurant. The 1,001 thing I love about Paris (actually I've lost count). 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

George Washington and Lafayette at The American Church in Paris

Stained Glass Window - The American Church in Paris

One of my favorite places to be on a Sunday afternoon is sitting under the beautiful stained glassed windows at the American Church in Paris, (1:30 Service) listening to inspiring music and a positive message in English. The messages shared by the pastor are always uplifting and positive (as opposed to condemning, preachy, boring), resulting in a feeling of renewal and strength when leaving the service to do more of “just livin” in Paris.

Today, on this day before the 4th of July, our pastor once again pointed our attention to one of the breathtaking stain glass windows.
“How many churches can say they have Lafayette and George Washington in a stain glassed window?” he asked the congregation, in appreciation of the historical beauty.

I’ll admit my mind was wondering on barbecue ribs, cole slaw, corn on the cob, potato salad, baked beans, hamburgers and an apple pie…, however looking at the widows made me appreciate details of our American history even more

During the American Revolution, Lafayette who was a French aristocrat, served as a major-general in the Continental Army under George Washington. They were such BFF’s, George Washington (since he had no children) considered Lafayette as his son, and additionally Lafayette named his son George Washington Lafayette.

I’ve seen the two together in a few paintings, and now after a brief explanation during the church service, I understand why. Small details shared about the church history and beauty are a bonus to the Sunday blessings, even when my mind wanders off to a barbecue on the 4th of July.

People Watching in Paris

One of my favorite things to do in Paris is to just sit around at a cafe, drinking coffee and doing nothing.

Today was spent doing just that with a friend as we sat, drank and people watched.

This is what the Parisians do.
Young, old, and everyone in between.
Watching people stroll past.
Doing Nothing.
Typical Paris Cafes

As a beautiful young French woman strolls past, I admired her straight dark brown hair with golden highlights. "I could rock that hairstyle, if I straighten my curls." I told my friend,as I noticed he was also admiring the young woman.
"uh, mumble, la, mumble, mumble." he replies, still gazing at the woman.

Mmm, "He must not have heard me." I thought as I repeated a little louder, "I said, I could wear my hair like that. What did you said?"
"I said, uh I could hit that." he mumbled a bit clearer.
I wonder if he even notice her hair as she disappeared around the corner? I didn't dare ask.

We enjoyed the evening of drinks, conversation and people watching.