20 January 2020


Today ends almost two straight months of non-stop strikes protesting the government's proposed retirement reforms. For now. Despite endless civil upheavals, encroaching homeless and migrant populations, pollution and soaring crime, like the Eiffel Tower, Paris always manages to keep its head high and for visitors, its clichés - fashionistas, dawdling for hours at cafés, baguettes, wine, cheese, small dogs, macaron-nibbling Parisiennes and sexy French lovers - intact. For now.


18 January 2020

Carpe diem

An espresso, a café crème and to share, a luscious Saint Honoré pastry.

The ant had wasted its life and its beauty hoarding for winter, only to discover a world of beautiful prosperous grasshoppers. Coffee partner, habitué, and local philosopher J. S.

17 January 2020

Au revoir Alsace

Until the next time.

Below: entry wall; vestiges of a Christmas market; local police go retro; a canal view; zimmer frei

15 January 2020

3 hours (or less) from Paris: Tasting Alsace #3

Alsatian fare, generous and invigorating, is essentially a cold weather cuisine, much like the rich fondues and fromage-charcuterie planches of the French Alps.

Above: modern twist on a childhood favorite, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte; succulent fresh fish choucroute 

Below: potato-ham-mushroom-onion gratinée topped with Munster cheese (the town of Munster is a short drive via a scenic wine route); a village street

TGV train daily (2 hours 20 minutes) + car rental at station
(driving from Paris: 4 hours via toll roads)


Addresses in February newsletter


"Tasting Alsace" is dedicated to Anthony Bourdain.

Below: Le Chambard Hotel in Kaysersberg, his final stop

14 January 2020

3 hours (or less) from Paris - Tasting Alsace #2

Because of Alsace's history its cuisine teeters somewhere between traditional German and French. Sauerkraut, choucroute in French, is king. When garnished with selected cuts of pork and sausages from Strasbourg, it is the region's signature dish.

Above: a memorable choucroute garnie; a refreshing salad; Alsatian wine (not shown: 7-hour beer-braised pork knuckle atop more choucroute)

 Below: crème brulée alight with Grand Marnier; wood oven extra thin crust flammeküche (topping: crème fraîche, onions, lardons, sprinkling of cumin seeds); view from a bridge