Paris Fashion Week - The Full Experience

1 day ago

Paris turns up the volume for PFW. From jewelers to cafes, there are signs and oracles everywhere that PFW is here.

The jewelry displays in the Place Vendome are breathtaking and define the term “major jewelry”. And the security is most impressive as well. Still, we were allowed to get up close and take pictures and yearn.

Cartier spotlighted a diamond panther necklace:

Coco Chanel felt comets were lucky and her fashion house agrees. White wristwatches are still in style, BTW. Note the lower right corner.

I believe this is from Van Cleef and Arpels, another piece reminiscent of the Duchess of Windsor:

This image is the best of both worlds: a magnificent necklace with the Place Vendome and the beautiful Paris sky reflected in the window, creating a Renaissance-painting background:

O, to be royal!

Everywhere, beautiful shoes displayed like jewels:

Fashion in the streets: an enterprising mobile showroom on the rue de Rivoli, which was open late into the night, with music and a pitbull to complete the experience.

And, at the end of the evening, a tasting menu of foie gras and caviar, washed down with outstanding champagne at the Welcome Cafe, also on the rue de Rivoli. We went several times, day and night. The food was consistently interesting and good, the service always friendly, and the superior red wine truly superior. My new favorite spot to play the Fashion Police game: “Gotta have it; make it stop”. We saw fabulous street style options, very few of which involved visible designer names. The basic uniform was: tight, straight-legged pants, elegant boots or heels, slightly-shrunken motorcycle jackets with a truly astounding variety of tiny variations, white tops, and scarves for added color and flash. The red stiletto remains a key piece, of course.

Bon appetit, whether for jewelry, shoes, clothes, or champagne!



Paris Fashion Week: Cartier

18 days ago

Trying again with photo – It’s too gorgeous to miss!
cartier necklace picture



Paris Fashion Week: Cartier

18 days ago

Place Vendome in the heart of the Right Bank is in the midst of a huge rebuild with both The Ritz and Napoleon’s column in process. However, for PFW, the jewellers put on a fabulous display of their most luxurious and over-the-top creations. We are talking Bulgari, Buccellati, Chanel, Van Cleef and Arpels, Cartier, and all that jazz. I can verify that crystal healing works. After making the circuit and basking in the radiance of so many diamonds, I was energized and ready for a little something. Even Swarovski is out of my range, but one can dream, right?

Below is a sample, the merest tidbit, of the glories to follow. Please note the design for Duchess of Windsor’s gorgeous flamingo pin in the background. She was one of the great fashionistas, perhaps of all time.



Auberge St. Roche - Neighborhood Dining in Paris

24 days ago

Local knowledge is one key to a great trip, whether in Costa Rica or Paris. On our first night, I asked the clerk at the hotel Louvre Montana where he would go for dinner in the neighborhood. He said go out, turn right, pass the church (the venerable landmark Eglise St. Roche, and look for the red sign on the left. And there it was, right on sushi row in the right bank. An assuming, softly lit, neighborhood place, with the classic chalkboard sign out front. Our waiter, David, was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and genial. He has hoped of opening a restaurant in Amsterdam. Given his energy, expertise, and sincere interest in his customers, it should do well.

We chose the menu (prix fixe) which offered updated takes on classic French bistrot dishes. My companion and photographer opened with escargots en casserole. The escargots were shelled and accompanied with crescents of tender, fresh mushrooms in a light cream sauce, delicately savoring of garlic and other good things, but all so perfectly balanced that I couldn’t separate the flavors. Definitely a Top Chef quickfire challenge. I’m looking at you, Tom Colicchio! It was all I could do not to rip the dish from his hands and dash out with it. Fortunately for all concerned, my warm chèvre salad arrived. The chèvre was presented on perfect little toasts, with mint and honey on a bed of rocket, rather than the usual frisée. Delicieuse! We both had duck breast, thinly sliced, crispy skin, with a light sauce that featured honey and lemon. Perhaps a Vietnamese or Lebanese touch? Desserts were the classic creme brûlée and profiteroles, but the chocolate sauce on the profiteroles was dark and decadent.

The restaurant itself was in a building older than the United States, or as we like to say in France, just last week. Its ancient brick and stone walls looked as though they should be lit with candles in sconces or even torches. The dining rooms were separated by a magnificent archway formed by huge, hand hewn beams with the chisel marks still visible and some of the original, hand-forged flatheaded nails still visible.

It was altogether a great way to start PFW. Pix will follow once I figure out the new tech. Sometimes the 18th century seems more user-friendly than the 21st!



Alert! Happy Ganesh Chaturthi - Parade and Birthday Celebration August 31

54 days ago

It’s Ganesha’s Birthday! Every year, we celebrate the 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi, a moveable feast starting sometime in August-September. This year, the festival started August 29th and will end 10 days from now.

Ganesha is the elephant-headed remover of obstacles, god of beginnings, deva of wisdom and intellect, and patron of merchants. He is the god of letters and learning and is invoked at the start of writing sessions. He should be the god of bloggers, yes?

Ganesha loves candy. He is plump, kind, and humble. Sometimes, however, he places obstacles in the way of those who should be contained in someway.

The Temple of Sri Manickor Vinayakar Alayam in Paris leads the celebration every year. The temple is located at 17, rue Pajol, 75018 Paris. Services start in the morning and the procession will leave at 11:00 am, circulating through the neighborhood until 3 p.m. (15:00).

Check the Temple website for detail:

The streets are garlanded with red, yellow, and purple flowers, there are images, piles of coconuts, fire and light and wonderful foods. It is joyous, religious, and beautiful.

Of course, all festivals are occasions for gifts. To honor Ganesha, share sweets, lights, statues, dried fruits, and gold coins. For examples of such gifts, visit:

Thanks to the generous photographers who posted images to share, we can see a little bit of the festival and of Ganesha. The first image, if it comes through, was posted by Michel Disdero, who has a lovely website of his own.

The second image is a picture of Ganesha himself, originally uploaded by Matthieu Moy at fr.wikipedia on 6 September 2006 and is reproduced here under CC-BY-2.5.

The 18th arrondissement is a neighborhood of working people, who will not be looking at your shoes to see if they are Resort 2015.




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