13 July 2020

A midsummer's meal

Arriving early to a favorite place in my old "hood" for a fantastic and varied spread.

Maison Sauvage
5 Rue de Buci 75006

Photos in August newsletter

11 July 2020

Fuji in all its forms

Celebrating its 130th anniversary, Paris’ museum of Asian arts, the Musée Guimet, re-opened its doors on July 8, 2020, after being closed for months due to the coronavirus. Its newest exhibition, “Fuji pays de neige” - “Fuji Land of Snow” - is a retrospective focusing on this much-revered volcano that dominates the Nippon archipelago and has served to inspire centuries of Japanese art. Artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760 - 1849) is but one of many to have immortalized Fuji over and over. His iconic triangle of pure white as seen in “Fuji Blue” (above) served to influence the perspectives and technique of some of the Impressionists such as Claude Monet, as seen in his home at Giverny. Besides a selection of woodblock prints and watercolors there are extraordinary sculptures as well as other objets.

Note: all summer long in addition to this exhibit visitors will be able to take advantage of the "Carte Blanche to Ru Xiao Fan," extended until September 2020. Masks required. BPJ

Fuji Land of Snow
July 15 - October 12, 2020

Guimet Museum of Asian Art
Musée national des arts asiatiques Guimet
6, place d’Iéna 75116

Below: Sazai Hall at the Temple of Five Hundred Arhats from series "36 Views of Mount Fuji" (Katsushika Hokusai); courtesans display a snow-capped Mount Fuji (Isoda Koryūsai); our (masked) press group at preview

Merci encore Mélanie

10 July 2020

A Franco-American breakfast

Yesterday's usual French petit-déjeuner of coffee, tea, baguette toasts, butter and confitures was joined by a decidedly Anglo-Saxon visitor.

Above: organic fresh eggs baked atop a base of crunchy pan-fried hash browns then topped with smoky caramelized bacon curls, coriandre; avocado and sliced red onion accompany

8 July 2020

A book by its cover

That which is striking and beautiful is not always right, but that which is right is always beautiful. - Ninon de l'Enclos, French courtesan, author, patron of the arts

Author: Cristina Mittermeier
Publisher: teNeues Publishing Company 
Available at La Hune Gallery 16 rue de l'Abbaye 75006

Fantastic photographer, fantastic book

7 July 2020

Bread sticks

Mouth-watering Benoîton nordique breadsticks made with rye flour and mixed seeds.

Find at:

corner of rue de Seine / rue de Buci 75006

6 July 2020

Worth waiting for

The interior of Paris' oldest church, under scaffolding for almost two years, restored to its original splendor.

L'Église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés

4 July 2020

Hitting the spot

And the spot is Angelina, an old favorite on rue de Rivoli.

Above: hot béchamel cheese croissant, smoked salmon on brioche toast, coffee

3 July 2020

A café terrace

Two tables, four chairs, two ashtrays.


In spite of a preoccupation with la santé publique (public health) and the many precautions surrounding le Covid in France, ironically, smoking continues as before, as evidenced by ashtrays set out on terrace tables at many cafés and restaurants. Before smoking inside restaurants was prohibited I'd been working on a book, "The Non-Smokers Guide To Paris," but while my co-authors and I were still researching and compiling information the ban came into effect and in truth, it was a welcome development. When the law first appeared it clearly stated that besides interiors, enclosed terraces would be subject to the new smoke-free rules. But in no time at all smokers and their smoke invaded all terraces. Owners turned a blind eye; many of their regulars were smokers, as were they. I’d grown up around cigarettes; my father had been a chain smoker for awhile and, it seemed, so were all of his French friends who’d spend hours together all talking at the same time, puffing away. Smoking was not stigmatized, it was a choice, an after-dinner plaisir enhanced by an espresso and I chose not to take it up, nor was I tempted (deaths in France due to smoking-related illnesses are high but accurate stats are hard to come by). So I shouldn't have been surprised when the prolific tabac quietly showed up on the list of “essential purchases only” establishments allowed to stay open, along with supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies during our confinement. While Paris, as any large city, has its share of noxious fumes and air pollution, for me, one thing that's come out of all this is that masks make sense. Even when this is all over, I don’t think I will leave home without one. BPJ

2 July 2020

Rue du Trésor

Fellow journalists-bon vivants have an apartment on this cobbled "Street of the Treasure," so named after a cache of coins dating from the 14th and 15th centuries was discovered during its construction.

Merci Monique et Stéphane

1 July 2020

Most missed

Just one of the things in Paris I missed the most during le lockdown.

Above: chaotic sharing meal around a table with friends


10 things I missed most
July newsletter

29 June 2020

Caramel wonder

It's buttery. It's flaky. It's infused with salted butter caramel and there's nothing else like it. Anywhere.

Where is it?

July newsletter

Merci Renée

27 June 2020

A week in Provence #7


One of the most delightful market outings imaginable was the Sunday morning marché at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. The market runs along the river, with no shortage of cafés and restaurants.

Above: fragrant herbes de Provoence and lavender; regional olive oils and vinegars

Below: leisurely start each day with breakfasts of home-made confitures and cakes, fresh orange juice, coffee, fruit; still hot-from-the-oven artisanal croissants with chocolate; arriving for dinner in Lacoste to sweeping views with village of Bonnieux in the background 

July newsletter: 
Gourmet Provence and more w/addresses, our itinerary

26 June 2020

A week in Provence #6

For most of this road trip before heading out each morning we'd map where a village market would be on that particular day, getting us up and out early.

Above: stalls at the compact Thursday morning market in the village of Ménerbes, home to British author Peter Mayle of "A Year In Provence" fame

Below: the obligatory stop-to-refresh in nearby Lourmarin followed by a summery lunch


As friends and I recall when we get together from what we call our "Cadaqués days," days filled with adventure and memorable encounters with colorful people who lived in the village or were passing through, there was the time I'd been invited by "Captain" Peter Moore and Catherine, his Swiss wife, to their home for lunch. The house was an architectural wonder on the tip of a sort of peninsula surrounded by security cameras and had stunning 180-degree views of the Mediterranean. Inside, the walls dripped with enormous paintings and, incredibly, tapestries of Salvador Dali's work, something I'd not realized existed. An effervescent Irishman, Peter had served in the British Royal Navy prior to becoming Dali's personal secretary and business manager, accompanying the maestro all over the world for years, and was to become embroiled in a scandalous international court case of stolen art. But on this idyllic day it was just me, daughter Danielle (quite small then), Peter, Catherine, and their guest and friend, Lyle Stuart, publisher of a controversial children's book by a certain Peter Mayle called, "Where Did I Come From?" Just before we left, Lyle, enchanted with Danielle, disappeared for a moment then emerged with a copy of the book, which he duly signed and dedicated then and there and gave to us, a cherished gift and memento of that afternoon now buried somewhere in our piles of books in Paris. Meanwhile Peter Mayle, who I never did get the chance to meet, was working on "A Year In Provence," published not that long after, in 1989. In early 2018 he passed away in his beloved region in France. BPJ

25 June 2020

A week in Provence #5

One of the surprises on our getaway was the vibrant red rock ("ocre") surrounding the perched village of Roussillon, reminiscent of landscapes native to Colorado and Arizona.

Above: red cliffs encountered exploring the village and taking a turn onto a side street for ice cream

Below: view of Roussillon through lavender; a boulder upon our approach; red clay from the region was used to construct the village

24 June 2020

A week in Provence #4

Lavande? Le sais tu? Je suis amoureuse de toi, ta beaute, ta fragilité.
C'est la magie envoûtante de la provence. -

"Lavender? Do you know? I am in love with you, your beauty, your fragility.
It is the spellbinding magic of Provence."

We drove through the countryside to wafts of lavender, would turn a bend, and fields and fields spread before us.

23 June 2020

A week in Provence #3

Roaming the narrow streets of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence with its tiny shops, galleries, cafés and quiet fountain squares.

Below: dessert, Provence style - Paris-Brest

22 June 2020

A week in Provence #2

The week began with lunch.

Below: tiny hilltop stone village in the heart of the Luberon; pre-lunch apèro of kirs made with local crème de cassis

20 June 2020

A week in Provence

We just returned from the most glorious week of meandering, relaxing and feasting through the ruggedly enchanting region of Provence. With perfect weather on our side - not to mention lavender in bloom, village markets and few tourists - it was the perfect time to get away from Paris.

Above: on the road; private home nestled in a vineyard

Below: poolside barbecue and couscous on our last evening

(click to enlarge)

Starting Monday: A week in Provence