Monday, November 21, 2011

A Weekend of Eating Simply

And cheaply!

Crispy polenta with wild mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and shaved comté.

Arugula with crispy polenta and a poached egg.

Have I gone on about how good the eggs are here?  

 Over hard with a salad with spicy mustard dressing.

Thick n' fancy tubular pasta (which surely has a more authentic name) from the gourmet floor at Galeries Lafayette with pesto, parmesan, and a sunny side up-per on top.

Stuff on Walls #52

What can I say?  The evening light dimmed just so and the callbox had a perfect glow.  I couldn't resist.

Love him or hate him (this string on the Odd Future forum sorta sums up what the kids are saying ... it's not artistically done, so is it "art" or just vandalism?), at least here he's got a nice looking script going.  Though at first glance, I thought it was a hater biting him with "Kibutt"... but I guess it's just him all fancied up.

And here's more that popped up on some planters along my route to work.  His stuff really is everywhere in Paris right now.  If you must know, I'm sorta "meh" on it.  It ain't great, but it's fun to spot.

Here's a quick vid of his fire extinguisher technique.  Nothing new, but it sure packs a punch.  As much as I wanted to post the video of him blasting Colette, I opted for him hitting up the agnes b. homme store, which is right around the corner from my apartment.

A li-bit?  A rab-on?  A bun-ion?

A moment before, there was an old man (complete with cane) standing just to the left of this scrawl.  The shot could have been that much better.

Church Hopping

You know I love an old European church as much as the next guy.  So when the last bank holiday foiled me from getting some delicious mustard from Maille, I decided to pop into some of the nearby churches. (As well as treat myself to some macarons from Laduree.)

First, I hit up Notre Dame de L'Assomption, which is commonly called "The Polish Church."  It sits right on Rue St-Honoré, though I didn't get a shot of its exterior.  (Follow the link for that.)  It is domed, and its stone has darkened according to its years.  I went in expecting to photograph the interior, but it was all prayer business up in there!  Even though my iphone is silent, I felt disrespectful getting it out at all.  So sorry, no shots of the interior.

Next, I hit up the Church of La Madeleine, which sits between Place de la Concorde and Place de la Vendome.  This is a church that commands respect, what with its pillars that don't quit, its surrounding square, and its eponymous metro stop.

I quite like this machine.  It's Jesus-meets-Vegas for a brochure of the history and architecture of the church.  At least I *think* that's what it is.

Sadly, the priest on duty was not that day.  (I guess priests take bank holidays, too.)  I like how his office looks all Barney Miller--check out the lettering and the interior blinds!  I wonder if he's pulled any perps straight outta mass for a talking to in his office?  I picture him as the enforcer of La Madeleine.  Guess that's what Barney Miller blinds inspire in me.

Real Quick

I started taking outfit photos again, and even though I'm using the big (read:  fancy) camera, it's still hard to get a good shot when I'm just one lady with a tripod and a rush to get out the door in the morning.  Bear with me as I work out the photo-taking, but for now here are some things I've worn recently:

Hard to make out the goodness in this one... velvet shirt with rounded collar from Cos, shorts with baby deer print that turns out looking quite geo at a distance, and look!  Those Opening Ceremony shoes!  After some hearty sessions with the shoe stretch, they are back!  And I can wear them for hours on end now!

Blarg... it's hard to make things out, but this is a romper/jumper/pair of shortalls from Philip Lim with the loveliest leather buttons.  Shirt is vintage and says something disparaging about co-workers (as illustrated with turkeys) in a manner that peaked in the early 80s.  Boots are Frye and space dyed tights are ??

Check out my new leather and fur bracelet from HK!   (Such veiny hands...)

Space dyed tights, headed out the door to work!

I can't seem to quit this sequined jacket lately.  Nor the clicky frog necklace.

These boots were also given new life thanks to some free time and a bottle of shoe stretch.  This is how I spent the first weekend since my boyfriend moved up north... walking around with chemically wet shoes and socks 2-deep.


This shirt is the best thing I have purchased in ages.  It's a cotton/poly black/white birdseye sweatshirt, but the fabric is sturdy and it's cut big so that it's got a life of its own.  I wore this 3 days in a row that weekend.  No joke.  Sweatshirt from Cos, tights from Cos, leather shorts from UO, boots from Opening Ceremony. 

Boo on the dark photo, because this outfit is full of color!  Thrifted gem sweater and black tap shorts from Cos combined with mustard tights... I was dancing out the door that morning!

I really have to work on the photos.... Blarg.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pere Lachaise

We went to Paris' most celebrated cemetery, Pere Lachaise, the other day, just before Halloween.  The weather was perfect for a wander through such a beautiful and historic cemetery.  I think that the cemetery of Laeken (in Brussels) actually has more sculpture and is probably more beautiful, but there is something very peaceful about Pere Lachaise, even if it is fairly bustling with locals and tourists alike.  The other things that struck me about Pere Lachaise are the changes in elevation and, frankly, the overcrowding.  It's pretty cool to see those old graves right on top of each other, jammed together and at odd angles... and then to look up and see rows of graves rising ahead of you.  I tried to capture it in a couple of the photos below, but I'm not sure they'll do the trick.

Oh, and if you make it to the end of the photos, there are some celebrity headstones... and some crotch-rubbing--I swear!

OK, now on to the famous people.  Pere Lachaise's most popular resident by far is Jim Morrison.  We didn't even really have to look for his grave;  we just followed the crowd.  And there was a crowd.  They were all gathered around, photographing, leaving bottles of beer and cigarettes.  We wondered why they didn't just leave needles and pills there instead?  It would be more authentic that way.

But really, all of the fanfare around Morrison's grave is a bummer for those other graves situated nearby.  Talk about being trampled on!  And we also saw that people had scratched "JIM ---->" on some of the graves to point the way to the lizard king.  Totally disrespectful.

But there are plenty of other famous people besides Mr. Morrison in Pere Lachaise.

Sarah Bernhardt, for example.

And Oscar Wilde... though his tomb was under renovation, so it was under wraps.  There were still flowers and notes left.

Oh, and here's Edith Piaf!  In the family tomb!

Paul Eluard's on some uneven ground.

And here's Colette.

But really, this guy's got the best story.  He was a young journalist who went by the name of "Victor Noir", and who ended up being shot dead by the great nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte under suspicious circumstances.  There was a great public outrage at his unfortunate death, but it's become his gravesite that is now famous.

Here, read about it:

A life-sized bronze statue was sculpted by Jules Dalou to mark his grave, portrayed in a realistic style as though he had just fallen on the street, dropping his hat which is depicted beside him. The sculpture has a very noticeable protuberance in Noir's trousers. This has made it one of the most popular memorials for women to visit in the famous cemetery. Myth says that placing a flower in the upturned top hat after kissing the statue on the lips and rubbing its genital area will enhancefertility, bring a blissful sex life, or, in some versions, a husband within the year. As a result of the legend, those particular components of the oxidized bronze statue are rather well-worn.

Check out that rubbing, would you?  Looks like someone's getting some action at Pere Lachaise.