Monday, June 29, 2009

beach sweets

Hot days.the beach on the T bay was calling.My bit of paradise. On the way there, the mood shifts, the breathing deeper and calmer. The wind was blowing out salads off our forks, but when it calmed down a bit, we were in the water, warm as amniotic, with raucous little waves splashing on our face.We saw a seal, sleek as metal, looking a bit prehistoric as he moved his small head .
We also saw children, creating their memories of sunny sunday afternoons on a little beach north of San francisco.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

hipsters,needy birds,tart crumbs and magic stones

He is a snob, a funny witty man, an artist with a caustic brush, a raconteur of hip arty events or hip arty people. I wouldn't miss a post of his. he knows how to hold your attention, never missing the cynic details and he take you around the world to places where sometimes he is the only one who knows how to crash them. His latest one on the Venice Biennale is a gem.I do not know how long this unknown hipster will remain unknown......
What I remember of our Venice Biennale trip is non memorable conceptual art, hype for the" hipsters", water lapping at the rim of the gondola, making Dot hide her head in my lap, disgusting black ink sauce with pasta, magical stillness and quiet, the trip to the islands, the beauty of it all.
Speaking of beauty, I have had a healthy dose of it lately.Beauty can be found anywhere, you just have to have your heart open.I have made new friends: first the grey birds with orange breasts have been calling me everyday, starting at the break of day and swooping by every few hours and regaling me with their arial dances, and their insistence with their sweet presence. I have been under their tweeting spell, so I feed them on the fence, leaving tiny bits of what I might be eating: levain crumbs, half cherries, parmesan bits, tart shells pieces.

And then I had the most wonderful moment, spent with a friend, tea and talk, share and laugh, uplifting moments where life feels good and happy. After she left and I sat at my desk, I found a present that she had quietly left there. the stone is smooth and fits in my palm perfectly.My thumb rubs over the words that she had put there and I feel their intent. beauty ,yes, in and out.

Monday, June 22, 2009

a quick trip to Peru

Our friends went to Peru recently,making sure that they were bringing medicine to drop off at an orphanage on their way to the Pichu.But they and their traveling companion wanted to do more when they returned, being probably overwhelmed by the devastating effects on these children, having been abandoned by Shinning paths members, or brothels owners among others.
So, they connected with a non profit charity organization named Global legacy and organized a backyard fundraiser for 20 of their friends.
Inspiring,to say the least, knowing that the money raised will go the specific children and will improve their life directly.
The cocktail was delicious ( revelation !), and the food was tasty and kicky.The auction was a success and we went home feeling good.indeed.

Friday, June 19, 2009

drink grid

back to my recent trip to Paris and Switzerland.First I got a sore throat and cured it with orange and lemon " pressés", the lemon juice was 2 squeezed lemons for a little bit of water and two micro sugar pellets:undrinkable, poisonous, but ...curative. Then, things improved and I moved to rosé, panachés, to finish it with an organic Provencal red wine, a gift from F,who has kept her sense of humor.....
( I never, never drink Coke, but in a Parisian cafe occasionally...)
terrace life, people watching( some in the family call it staring), lingering until the sun has set behind the roofs,sweet strong espressos after lunch, things of a different past life, sometimes recaptured, always in love with.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

all that I cooked

The whole animal kingdom and more. lamb, lobster, beef shank,duck legs, halibut, pork shoulder, scallops, tuna, salmon, chicken etc etc...
a colorful whirlwind of chefs' recipes with many reductions, strained sauces, and a million ingredients.( have you heard of ras el hanout spice mix, or aligot potatoes ? even though the dish comes from the center of France, I had never made it or seen it on a menu: It is mashed potatoes mixed with cheese, garlic and wine........)
we put the digital shots on a wall to get a flow of images.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

a fabulous new store opened in Paris back in March when I was there.I wanted to go check it out but time ran out.My friend F sent me a letter with a list of places to check.She had just come back from " Merci" and said" I think you will love it, it is your style, quite a place, expensive..., they have these tiny little medals pinned to clothes that say Merci, they were everywhere, I picked one up,and realized that at the counter they were selling them for 3 euros ! can you believe it ?"
Tucked in an unremarkable area of town( but getting trendier of course), is a 3 level industrial space converted into a temple to trendinesss.They have the vintage furniture, the flower shop, the cafe and restaurant, the bookshop, the designers clothes, the art, the kids clothes, textiles, new table ware, trendy new mix of old and new, with part of the profit going to charity ( thus the merci part). It is all very beautiful, with an eye to color, details,and achingly hip.
I loved a grey pearl cashmere hoodie (passed), and some cute red toothpicks ( bought).
I will make it my new place to stop by when in Paris and have a brioche and tea, reading from the 10 feet high bookshelves of used books. May be with F this time....

( you can always click on the images to see them bigger )

late afternoons

Between tea time and dinner, my mother would watch her shows, with her headphones on.It was quiet and I had some time to try my hands at watercolors.

In her bedroom. on top of piles of books, are some family snapshots,casually placed. My portrait must have fallen at some point, cut in half by some strange mishandling or haste.Here I am, at eighteen, captured by an young photographer, a forgotten admirer.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

vignettes from my mother's

When I am in Paris these days, I spend a lot of time in my mother's apartment.It is the place I grew up in, and I see it now as a museum of emotions, a glance at lives safely lived inside those walls, an imprint of my parents, and a memory of my adolescence rekindled by my old school books,piled up as I left them, a poster I picked up at a opening while in high school.

Monday, June 8, 2009

at a sunny terrace

At the bottom of the "old town" of Geneva, we spotted this bistrot with tables outside.the sun was still warm at 8:30PM as we sat down to a surprising good meal. this was one appetizer: asparagus with a basil cream in a golden puff stick.a dusting of a cinnamon line was a provocative taste mix.