31 August 2019

Front row seats

With narrow sidewalks and chairs that face outward, people watching in Paris can get up close and very personal.

30 August 2019

29 August 2019

28 August 2019

We are French

On a shopping bag of a boutique that sells lingerie:

"We are French. We believe in being sexy independent fashionable and optimistic"


French women care about how they look. They care about their weight, their skin, their hair, what they eat, and how they present themselves. Not so much for others as for their own sense of bien-être... and on their terms. It's cultural. There are few self-help books and no Tony Robbinses. No "self-esteem industry" here; one gets on without having to brag, considered vulgar and a sure sign of insecurities. If anything, one's own accomplishments and possessions are downplayed, and when it comes down to it, few care if they're liked, the heart of the endearing French Attitude.

You won't hear, "It's what's inside that counts" because the outside is seen as almost always the manifestation (and result) of what's been knocking around on the inside: all those small daily choices and decisions, spanning years, had a cumulative effect.
Even women of modest means treat themselves to a special accessory or scent; mani-pedis and facials are part of life's routine, and in Paris, there are as many lingerie shops are as there are tabacs. One of my French nieces, a young college student at the time, excused herself early from a family lunch so as not to miss her weekly massage - a nécessité, she explained, despite living on a tight budget.
While gym clubs and joggers abound, many find other ways to get in their daily exercise, such as foregoing the elevator and taking the stairs, or walking instead of using métro, car or bus. Cities all over France have become bicycle friendly, and not just to reduce pollution. One role of the sacred vacances d'été is to shed the year's stress, and with August coming to a close and everyone sharing stories and photos of where they went and what they did, Paris is re-energized. - BPJ

Adapted from: 

Seduction and the Art of The French Femme


Eating French: Why French Women Won't Get Fat 
a.k.a. A French Paradox: The French Non Diet and The Art of Eating for Pleasure

27 August 2019

Back from Aubrac

We returned to this enchanted region in southern France [see my 5-part photo series from August 2018, 3 hours (or less) from Paris: Tasting Aubrac], this time with a focus on fine art photography.

Above: open spaces + sparse landscapes = minimalism

 Direct flights daily (1 hour 15 minutes) + car rental at airport
Driving from Paris: 6 hours via Clermont-Ferrand

26 August 2019


Originating in next-door Belgium, ice-cream and chantilly-rich Café Liégeois is a specialty at many local cafés.

23 August 2019

For every cheese

... there is a wine.

A tiny wine bar behind the Montmartre cemetery meticulously pairs small plates of AOC / AOP cheeses with quality wines.

Below: selection of charcuteries from France and Spain

What we had:

- Cheese: aged cheddar, honey onion chutney, toasted pine nuts
Wine: Thokozani Shiraz Mourvédre Viognier 2018 - shown 

- Cheese: brébis from the Aveyron, fresh peach, chives, poppy seeds
Wine: Catherine & Pierre Breton Epaulé Jeté Vouvray blanc AOC

- Cheese: Gorgonzola DOP, crushed hazelnuts, dried apricots
Wine: Coteaux du Layon Les Terriades Prestige


Le Discret
3 rue Eugène Carrière 75018

22 August 2019

Dough bowls

These basket bowls at a boulangerie will soon be filled with fresh dough that will be set aside to rise.

21 August 2019

20 August 2019

A spot of breakfast

Back at one of my favorite breakfast meeting spots in Paris.

Above: side table laden with fresh viennoiseries, rolls, butter, assorted preserves

226 rue de Rivoli 75001

19 August 2019

Art. On art

When art does a satiric take on itself.
Tiggy Ticehurst

Paris - New York

16 August 2019

15 August 2019

Vacation en ville #2

A tranquil lake, an unexpected find in the sprawling Bois de Boulogne.

Above: canoes at the ready to rent by the hour

14 August 2019

Vacation en ville #1

Where is this?
Today and until Saturday I will be posting a photo a day of an idyllic location in Paris' own Bois de Boulogne.

(click to enlarge)

13 August 2019


profiterole made with vanilla ice cream tops off lunch on the terrace.

Restaurant Le Vauban
7 Place Vauban 75007

12 August 2019

Lemon aid

A lemon tree adds a touch of fraîcheur to the interior at Eataly.

Eataly Paris
37 rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie 75004

10 August 2019

Street of dreams

Narrow rue des Coutures Saint-Gervais, our home in Paris for years, runs alongside the Hôtel Salé a.k.a. the Picasso Museum.

9 August 2019

Breakfast banquet

Joining friends visiting from Spain for an elegant brunch in courtyard of Hôtel George V.

Below: still warm viennoiseries, as good as they look

Four Seasons George V Hotel
31 Avenue George V 75008

7 August 2019

6 August 2019

On a quai

“Though I have often looked for one, I finally had to admit that there could be no cure for Paris.”
Prologue, The Paris Wife, Paula McLain

5 August 2019

Tartine du jour

A light summer's day lunch: 
farm fresh goat cheese atop toasted pain de campagne, radishes, green onion, grilled cherry tomatoes, baby spinach leaves en salade

Au Sauvignon  
80 rue des Saints-Pères 75007


August newsletter

3 August 2019

3 hours (or less) from Paris: Côte d'Azur #6

With today's photos, the last of this week-long series, I return to the city of Nice. There's so much more, as this entire region will always hold special memories.

Above: early morning walks on the beach

Below: Nice's open-air market; lemons and leaves; in line for socca (local chickpea flour pancakes); fountain at Place Massena near La Promenade des Anglais

Direct flights daily (1 hour 30 minutes) + car rental at airport

2 August 2019

1 August 2019

3 hours (or less) from Paris: Côte d'Azur #4

Mougins, not far from Saint Tropez and where Pablo Picasso chose to spend the last years of his life, is one of the prettiest villages of the Côte d'Azur. But for me, a mere mention of its name and I remember how many times, when in the region, we'd excitedly head to Roger Vergé's incomparable Michelin three-starred restaurant Moulin de Mougins. Considered one of France's greatest chefs, Vergé sadly passed away in 2015. It was there, with friends from London, our three-hour lunches would kick off - memorably once with deep-fried crispy fish bones, piled high on a platter and served with a spicy aïoli, one of the most exquisitely unique ameuse-gueules we agreed that we'd ever experienced. - BPJ

Below: large portrait of Picasso in town center