Thursday, April 30, 2009

a friend's house in Montmartre

A friend lives in a really cool cave-like house in Montmartre, 18eme arr. Paris.

La Terrasse.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Potato Head in Paris

Here are the things I've found in Paris that reminds me of POTATO HEAD

Potato Head
a popular bistro/restaurant/bar in Jakarta
becoming a cool local institution to gather-eat-have fun-chillin' in Asia

has the best cocktail drinks mixed by a world famous mixer

Rue de l'Université, 6eme arr. I passed this gallery every day on my way home. They have the strangest, most bizarre yet utterly cool out-of-this world visual concoctions. This was this week.
Wooden Gnomes standing around a classical painting around the 18th century. Fake plastic mushrooms laid over fake green grass. Kitsch- so Potato Head.

This visual concoction was the past three weeks, the pink rolls on the sides are pink tissue rolls. Can you see the back walls are covered with pink tissue walls?

Part of the permanent collection of this gallery. Tiny miniatures of wooden fingers.

Mushroom plastic lamps that I saw months ago at Le Jupon Rouge, on the 9eme arr. Not as authentic as the ones in Potato Head but close enough to remind of them.

The first reminder at Marché aux Puces, 20eme arr. Orange Tolix chairs.

Etat de Siege off Rue de Seine, 6eme arr.,

At The Conran Shop in Rue du Bac, 6eme arr., opposite Le Bon Marche grand magasin.

Tolix silver chairs used for dining inside this famed crêperie Le Cape Breton, Rue des Victoires, 2eme arr.

Blogs and Newspaper reviews of Potato Head.

Cheeky Montmartre Boulangerie

Is that picture right? did I miss something? why is he headless? Wait a sec...what's his hand doing in there....???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The things you can only find in Montmartre and not anywhere else in Paris. HA-HA-HA. A very cute artisanal boulangerie in Rue des Martyrs, 9eme arrodissement, the end of the 18eme. Opened by Didier Lavry, diplômé de la grande école de l'I.N.B.P. (Institut National de Boulangerie Pâtisserie) which is like the university to learn how to bake and make beautiful cakes :O

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wo ai ni Paris

At Avenue de Choisy, tall flowy treest lined each paved streets, awning each restaurant day and night. With so many trees, the neighborhood feels very safe and seems like everyone knows each other.

Chinatown in Paris is on the 13eme arr., covering Avenue de Choisy et Av. d'Ivry; is a mix between a rosy neighborhood filled with a cluster of Chinese restaurants and its counterparts and Spring trees that lined the streets as if preparing themselves for a scene in a Meg Ryan movie, amidst all the chinese faces. It's funny, I have never felt as much of a stranger in this particular Chinatown, perhaps I grew up in places with chinatowns so crowded with lots of people that you could hardly walk in their little lanes or perhaps my notion of a chinatown, is one where the Chinese grannies don't speak french to their friends, or that the restaurants are not all closed at 5 o'clock in the afternoon (yes I don't understand why there hardly any restaurants open at this time? have living in France, Paris in particular have changed their habits, I presume they are playing mahjong or strolling the streets, stopping once so often as everyone seem to know each other from the little nods between the old ladies)

A corner french boulangerie follows tradition of closing its shop on Monday! c'est lundi, c'est normal!

My grand mission, is of course to see Tang Frere Supermarché. The huge chinese grocery opened by the Tang brothers from Laos. It has become the establishment in the 13eme arr., many people come there just to have a look at the exotic and well, chinese stuff that's available. There were definitely cheap exotic fruits like dragon fruits, custard apple (it is a fruit) rambutans and lychees. Though in the end, I only bought a few chinese snacks and sweets that I miss from back home, ginger chewy candy and black sesame crackers! and an aloe vera drink which I thought would at least heal me from the awful flue I am having at the moment.

She has blue hair. Elles se sont parlés en français, quel surprise!

But being a bloggist, you must always savour each adventures, whether far and wild, rain or thunder, hail or snow. So in all, I cursed myself happy for coming and seeing le chinatown à Paris, for a charming end, I have never seen a Chinatown so alluringly hidden and having such beautiful trees!

Spotted this oh so cool, you just know you are! brown tinted orange mini cooper at Rue de Rennes, Saint-Germain, 6eme arr. at lunch time!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Movable interpretation

Oscar Wilde, the great poet.

I can't thank God enough for going to church this morning. The topic was 'Movable Feast'! as some of you might know, I've discussed this topic in my blog when I first arrived in Paris and was reading Ernest Hemingway's classic Paris memoir, titled of course...Movable Feast.

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast" ERNEST HEMINGWAY to a friend, 1950 (as quoted on the 1st page of his book)

However little did I know, that the words Movable Feast is actually biblical, it is the day when believers celebrate the feast of Easter prior or after celebrating the holy communion. The feast is this context covers the joyful spirit of the day, whether gathering with each other to reflect each individual's spirituality, listening to God's words or simply attending service. Reverend Scott Herr mentioned that for believers, we can have our own movable feast according to our spiritual closeness to God. For Hemingway, his Movable Feast is Paris, he brings that (this is where I think the French pronom en as a replacement to a subject is more useful than English!) to wherever he goes after Paris. More often than not, a feast is associated to a gathering of food, or enjoying a meal together. Mark 6 :30 is one of the chapter that Rev. Herr discussed when Jesus fed a crowd of 5000 starting with a few pieces of bread and fish and after blessing them, there were more than enough for everyone that they had leftovers. Whatever your interpretation of a movable feast, each of us can have our own spiritual feast.

I feel sad that Hemingway never got to listen to Rev. Scott Herr message of the true meaning of a movable feast for he might not have killed himself when he was consumed by alcoholism in his old age. Maybe he did listen but forgot, or he had forgotten about Paris by then...

Rev. Scott Herr also incerpted a meant-for-a-joke quote on this topic earlier in the sermon that goes something like this...

"If you have lived good enough, you might go to Heaven, but if you've been very good, then perhaps you would go to Paris" Oscar Wilde

On another tangent,

George Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1886.

Le Dimanche...

Sunday is one of the only day in Paris where there are very little happenings...

Middle-aged French men play boules* in parks, pigeons swath themselves in Paris amazingly clean drainage water washing their feathers (on other days they swarm around everywhere in the streets, hitting people off their tracks) but no, on Sunday everything is calm. It is also the day when I feel that Paris is truly mine.

Every Sunday morning, I would pass a crowd of middle-aged men playing boules in a park just opposite l'Hôtel des Invalides, 7eme arrodissement. Boules is a classic French game between French men and their counterparts otherwise known as pétanque. They throw small metal-looking balls into the air and I think they have to reach a certain point...Hardly interesting for a lady like moi.

Watching pigeons clean themselves seemed more amusing this morning. Every day, twice a day, most of Paris streets would be awash with clean pure water from the sewer/drainage. They spur up at first making spurly sounds and then the edges of the streets are flushed. It's true, Paris pride themselves of their flush system.

Mr. Blue at Rue Jean Nicot, just on the corner near quai d'Orsay, where Church is.

Bon Dimanche everyone and Happy Sunday for the peeps in Jakarta and Melbourne!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Muesli Date Yogurt

Fruits in Spring seem to look brighter and happier in Paris. I have notice just recently that strawberries and blueberries are in. Every fruit grocer in the markets seem to be in a contest with each other, of who has the shiniest, most gigantic looking strawberries, their red skin glistening with the reddest of hues. For me, I just love seeing them, piled high in their carton boxes, so clean without a speck of dust. Now, I've been asked what sort of fertilizers those French farmers use, but I've actually just found out that, most of the markets I've visited are organic-friendly.

So...lets just say, they were born perfect.

The fruits display here are from Rue Poncelet Marché Alimentaire in the 8eme arrondissement. A small pedestrian street, tucked between Avenue Wagram and about 15minutes from Arc de Triomphe, closest Metro is Ternes.

Slurp, I can just gulp them down in one minute! I remember an uncle who had a bad case of diarrhea when my sister and I gave him a box of fresh blueberries we just picked from this little forest near our late-grandmother's house in Vancouver. Since that day, the sight of blueberries and fruits that ends with berries always reminds me of the Vancouver incident. Nevertheless, I still love them.

I was slightly dissapointed of this bakery so highly praised in David Lebovitz's blog, first of all, the colour green didn't appeal to my taste as I was picturing a more antique traditional looking bakery. I guess it's due to this new location, as the original is at the 20eme arrondissement, also this is more of a salon de the. They didn't have old-fashioned baguettes or simple stuffed sandwiches. The ones I saw were prepacked in transparent foil and started from 4.80euro! Trop cher!

The ricotta tarts weren't impressive either. :(
Though, I like the pink-paper packaging.

Dinner was the highlight of the day I'd say :))))) plain natural yaourt with almonds stuffed dates, a good throw of muesli mix with raisins and crunchy little things I got from MonoPrix. YUUUM

and the french conversation class I took with a friend at this church near l'Hôtel de Ville
. Weather was terrible though today. Oh well tomorrow is Sunday! which means....cereal bread from Bastille Market!.............and church :))))))

Friday, April 24, 2009

Perma Vacationer

image from here

Seriously considering being a full-time perma vacationer.

a person who is "permanently" on vacation because they work where people go on vacation

p.s:my mum actually taught me the word

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


So why do the people in Australia call it *hump-Wednesday*? Well my sister and my dad has this theory that it is approaching middle of the week, hence the 'hump' and it is also when a lot of blue collar workers and yuppies etc go to bars and fancy restaurants after work, to celebrate the coming-end of their work days. Apparently the term was coined by Americans.

However the effect is sort of worldwide I presume, in Jakarta, most bars and bistros are very crowded on Wednesdays.

In Paris though...

Wednesday is cheap movie tickets day! but I didn't make a full use of that, since I didn't have enough cash in my wallet and left my bankcard at home :( But a note to do for next Wednesday, I'm going to watch Coco Avant Chanel, horraaaayy it's out at last.

Audrey Tautou who also starred in the French classic, Amelie, will be playing Coco Gabrielle Chanel, oh how cool is she! I think she symbolizes the true laid-back bohemian Parisienne, with her almost-black curly crop, sharp complexion, pouty mouth and petite frame. My french professeur actually told me that French women actually have brown -black hair...not blondes...contrary to what I've always thought. Ok, now I have another task to find a nice Saint-Germain cinema, not those over-rated big touristy looking thing on Rue de Rennes.

Stopped over to Mono-Prix and remembered about David Lebovitz's blog about Paris having the grandest selection of yogurt! and it was true, il y a beaucoup-beaucoup des yaourts!

The selection on one long cold shelf, this is just the everyday yaourt, there is another shelf facing this one stacked with the dessert selection, including yaourt de riz, panna cotta, and chocolate to vanilla flavors of all kinds!

Besides my favorite, Caillé, thanks to David Lebovitz's blog, I also like the unsweetened Malo brand. Purely because of the packaging I think. Looks more organic doesn't it?

On the way home,...He actually has a little real gray feather sticking out of his bowler hat. Some of the french people I've seen dressed too immaculately bizarre at 5 o'clock in the afternoon!

At Boulevard Saint-Germain, 7eme, just after passing Rue du Bac. See its twin at Avenue Montagne that I snapped last week!

Now everyone will believe me when I tell them that French people parked their cars literally touching each others' bumpers.

Alright I hope you have a funny-weird sort of *hump* Wesdnesday...and ewwwww! for those of you who thought it was...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Les Marchés Parisiens

These are the list of what's happening in antique and produce markets around Paris from now 'til June 09. From this website.

Image of Paris market streets in 1912-1925, Paris à l'Ancienne

Antiques et Brocantes

03 Arrondissement
Comité des Fêtes fleamarket
On Sun, Fri, Sat From: Friday, May 29, 2009 To: Sunday, May 31, 2009
Huge fleamarket which spills onto the surrounding streets of Eugene Spuller, de Bretagne, Perrée, Debelleyme and Dupetit-Thouars, Place Turenne, Carreau du Temple and the Cour de la Mairie in the 3rd. Vintage items, trinkets, clothing, furniture, toys and treasures starting from one euro. Métro: Temple.

04 Arrondissement
Bastille Antiques Fair
From: Thursday, May 07, 2009 To: Sunday, May 17, 2009
Annual Brocante. La Place de la Bastille (Arr 4) Metro: Bastille

14 Arrondissement
Puces de Vanves
Every Sun, Sat
200+ professional brocanteurs from France and abroad present their wares and most recent discoveries. Trade and amatuer object hunters abound from 07:00 to 13:00 on Sangnier and to 15:00 on av Lafenestrer. On weekends all year round. On av Georges Lafenestre, av Marc Sangnier. Metro: Porte de Vanves. Tel: 06 03 46 10

Les Marché Alimentaires par arrondissement (pour la semain prochain)

05 Arrondissement
Monge Market
Every Sun, Wed, Fri
Produce market held on Wednesdays and Fridays from 07:00-14:30 and on Sundays from 07:00-15:00 at Place Monge (Arr 5) Metro: Place Monge.

08 Arrondissement
Europe Covered Market
Every Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
Produce market held Tuesday to Saturday 8:00-13:30 and 16:00-19:00, Sundays 8:00-13:00. At 1 rue Corvetto (Arr 8) Metro: Villiers.

12 Arrondissement
Cours de Vincennes Market
Every Wed, Sat
Produce market held Wednesdays 7:00-14:30 and Saturdays 7:00-15:00 at Cours de Vincennes, between boulevard Picpus and rue Arnold Netter (Arr 12) Metro: Nation.

Batignolles Market (organic)

8th arrondissement & 17th arrondissement
boulevard des Batignolles on the center divider strip between no. 27 & 35 (8th) and no. 34 & 48 (17th)
Métro Place de Clichy/Rome

As quoted from here. "This delightful market specializes in natural and organic ("biologique") foods, both fresh produce and take-out dishes. With all the food crises lately, this is becoming more and more popular in France. You can also find raw silk blouses, mare’s milk, wine and sushi, all in the same space! This is a great market to visit to pick up a picnic lunch."

African Market Street Dejean

Every day from 9 am to 12 pm 30, except Sunday afternoon and Monday. Rue Dejean - Paris 18e. Rue Dejean - Paris 18th. M° Château Rouge. M ° Château Rouge.

Marché poncelet, Paris

Rue Poncelet
, 75017 Paris

Tous les jours sauf le lundi 8H00/13H00 et 16H00/19H30

Nearest tube:

  • Ternes (0.2 km)
So far...

Les Moments Inoubliables

Unforgettable moments in Paris...

Taken from my room close to midnight, the sky was a dark-purplish blue. I could not close my eyes...and stared at the sky for a while. One of those nights.

Walked past Jardin du Luxembourg after class and passed this lady painting watercolour, as with so many painters in Paris out and about in doing their business, carrying their little easels around town.

The white sculpture as the model. This is the third time I bumped into street painters around Paris left bank.

The french lady with the tallest legs I've ever seen from the back. It was a surreal moment to see her walking from the start of Rue de l’Université to Rue du Bac, 6eme. She must be in her late 50s and she was wearing the tightest superfine black jeans with really cool black pointy ankle boots. And a black leather jacket of course. French women and their skinny long legs :O must be all those walking ey?

However cliched it might be, everyone can have a piece of La Tour Eiffel in their mac notebook. This one is mine and I'll never forget walking along Rue Saint-Dominique on my way to church on a foggy Sunday morning and looking up to see the gray sky folding its flair around Eiffel. How mysterious, how enchanting...

Walking past the Seine along the long stretchy quai is the Paris moment, with the hundreds of books stands, souvenirs and vintage posters. My favourite walk along the river is from Quai de la Tournelle, passing Shakespeare & Co, the always-beat busy Saint-Michel, and finishing off at Rue du Bac on my way home. The street vendors with their witty hats, century-old drabs and little stools to sit on are the true characters of Parisians!

Where would I go for to spend my Saturday afternoons, but the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg with its manicured lawns and spring tulips. All the lines of Paris jardins, buildings and parks seem to running in a straight line, why?

There is the Paris line which is more orderly queue and everyone calmly waits for their order, but I've also come to learn that there is also the Boulangerie Line of Paris where the clock hits 1.00pm and everyone storms off to the nearest boulangerie and anxiously fidgets in their queue thinking if they should get the jambon fromage or the thons et crudites stuffed-baguette (sandwich) for 3.20e or should they opt for the formule de jour. This one is a local boulangerie down on the 6eme, towards boulevard Montparnasse, near Alliance Francaise.

Food markets on a Saturday or a Sunday morning is the authentic Parisian activity. They make up the character of each arrondissement and each one is a pleasure to visit. Even just walking from one end to another end is an adventure. This one is at one of a favorite, looking up La Tour Eiffel on the 7eme, Marche Saxe-Breteuil.

Dinner at Jules Verne, La Tour Eiffel, great mac and cheese and bread! Oh and the toffee mousse was heavenly too! I had a great time...

Le Mini Cooper à Paris. I had the best of fun taking pictures of these babies out and around town, each with their own witty characters. This one oddly found at the overrated Avenue Montagne 7eme arrondissement.

It might not be my permanent home, but everyday is a joy to come home :)