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Archive for the ‘France’ Category

Not to toot my own horn, but I am in lust with this photo right now…I’d say it makes me want to eat those chocolates right off the page, but I already have…

in the order of which they appear (l-r): dark chocolate/espresso, dark chocolate/basil-lemon, dark chocolate/saffron-almond, dark chocolate, dark chocolate/chestnut.

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So, I am very behind on my blogging timeline here.

Because this next string of images is from almost two weeks ago – at the Butte Montmartre.

Montmartre, itself, is a great neighborhood that I recommend you visit if you are ever in Paris – full of old world charm, small shops, and classic cafe’s (aside from the Starbucks of course).  There’s the Red Light district (Moulin Rouge, Le Chat Noir…), the fabric district (I wish I knew how to sew, I would be in heaven), and even the cafe featured in “Amelie” (just looking on IMDB, I guess that is the neighborhood the whole story was based…like I said, great neighborhood).

So the “Butte Montmartre” is kind of the icing on the cake.

Montmartre is north, and is the highest point in Paris (to find out ‘how high’ and all the other technical details, go here).  So when you reach the top, or the “butte”, you can see all of Paris.  Kind of like the Eiffel Tower, except free.

At the top, there is the Basilica Sacre Coeur, a Roman-Catholic church.

and then on down there are a multiple number of stairs to lead your way towards the city…

The most famous being a staircase called, The stairs of Rue Foyatier.

I did not climb these stairs, there have been enough stairs for me to climb since I’ve been here, and I’ve already lost a good pant size as it is…but it looks like a good trek – yes, a good trek indeed.  In fact, if you are unwilling to take the stairs they do have a solution – a gondola-like ride right next to these famous steps (I did not photograph that wonderful eye-sore).

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A sampling of some of my Parisian breakfasts:

moulin

I went to Moulin de la Vierge, where I’ve been told is the best place to try this dessert, Mille-Feuille (“a thousand sheets”).  Almost too sweet for my taste, but delightful none the less.

plumtart

This plum tart, is made with a ‘special’ Parisian dough.  I could have eaten the whole pie.  A mixture of sweet, tart, and savory.

croissant

The classic croissant, buttery, flaky goodness – paired with yummy, thick chocolat chaud.

chocolate_chestnutteehee, and yes, it’s true…I did in fact eat this chocolate/chestnut cake for breakfast as well (note the candied chestnut on top)…perfect for anytime of the day I would say!…you only live once.

Found at La Petite Rose.

 

Luckily I have to walk up a million flights of stairs to go to bed at night…

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One of the things that brought me to Paris (finally!), was an opportunity given to me by the first annual Festival International de la Photographie Culinaire. They asked me to be one of their participating photographers for the event, and I just couldn’t say “non”.
The event started on November 6th and will be running through November 15th.
Here’s an excerpt of some of the details about the juried portion of the event (just because I can barely keep it all straight):

“The inauguration of the exhibition will take place on Thursday the 5th in Bercy Village, and the Awards ‘ Ceremony the following Thursday (12th of November) in the Mobalpa Mansion (the trophies ‘Les Lentilles d’Or’ made by Raynaud will be attributed for the 3 Awards: Public Prize, Culinary Heritage Prize, and the Festival Grand Prize)

The jury of the Festival Grand Prize, chaired by Edouard Cointreau, will count the following personnalities : John Stewart, Bruce J. Seidel, Amy Koblenzer from Gourmet Magazine, etc.

The jury for the Culinary Heritage Prize will be chaired by the senator Catherine Dumas (who is the president of the Club ‘La table Française’), and will be composed by 10 members of the French Parliament acting in the Food Industry and Gastronomy.”

What made me most excited, and then most sad a day later – Amy Koblenzer’s presence from Gourmet Magazine…The day after I got this listing of jurors, Gourmet announced it was closing. It was indeed a sad day.

So far I’ve only been to the Bercy Village location. It’s this cute little outdoor ‘mall’ sort of area with row upon row of restaurants (and at the end of the row there appears to be a movie theatre). The images were outside in these public corridors – for all eyes to see – 37 photographers in total, we each had one image at this location, all sized at 120x80cm. (at the second location, Mobalpa, we have two other images, a bit smaller).

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I’m the fish tail…aka “Rainbow Trout” (thanks Springfield)

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As you can see, I took some ‘snapshots’ of the event – nothing fancy.

On the walls they have these large posters with all of the photographers names listed on them (as the public has the chance to vote as well) – it was kind of neat to see my name in large print like that 🙂

At the opening, they served us champagne, whiskey, freshly shucked oysters (quite literally there were two 18yr old boys breaking a sweat trying to shuck as fast as they could!), some fresh bread and yummy cheese spread, and a table full of Laduree macarons and Belgium chocolates.

champagneetnom

meandmyfish

…and my sad attempt at taking a photo of me with my photo (how adorable…)

Ah yes!  And the program – my favorite part!

When you are just too lazy to walk around to see what everyone has done (or can’t speak a lick of French to start-up a conversation), they made a very nice program with all of the photographers inside.  A little blurb about who they are, what they have done (in both French and English), and the three images that they have submitted for the show.

program

lesphotographes

This last set of images is not mine, but a photographer from France whose work caught my eye.  I absolutely loved his large print!  Beautiful work, and very evident that he still uses a 4×5 (I’m slightly jealous).

otherphotographe

There may be more on this topic coming up, as the award ceremony is this Thursday.  So don’t be surprised if you find me posting more images from the other location here in a few days.

I’m truly honored to be in this show full of so many talented photographers from all around the world.  It’s so lovely.

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One of the phrases that I heard a lot from my friends and family before I left for Paris was, “wow! I can’t believe you are FINALLY doing this! For as long as I’ve known you, you’ve talked about going!”

This is a true statement.

I was the teenage girl with Eiffel Towers EVERYWHERE in my room, when I went to college – it only got worse, and even now I have at least one room in my house (usually the kitchen – oddly enough) devoted to Parisian photos and the Eiffel Tower.  I don’t know what it is about that structure, but it just speaks to me.  I love it.

So, having surrounded myself with images, lamps, ornaments, bottles, and key chains of the Tour Eiffel for well over a decade, I was very excited to see it in person – face to face.  I’ve always joked that I would give it a big hug once I saw it.  (…I didn’t…or rather, I couldn’t.)

I decided Monday was the day, to finally meet it in person.  It was an odd phenomenon, coming to terms with making this dream of mine a reality.  I’d finally get to meet this structure that has been in my life longer than most of my friends…that’s a lot of pressure.

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bridge_bird

When I was describing my day to a friend back home, I used an analogy that seemed quite fitting for when I finally saw it in front of me:  “We’ve all had those jobs, retail-customer service type jobs, where you see loads of people all day long, and you have to put on this sort of ‘show’ – and then one day, unexpectedly, one of your good friends walks in – and for a split second you don’t even recognize them, your brain has to reprocess itself so that your eyes understand that who you are seeing is someone familiar.  Well…that is pretty much what happened…”

toureiffel

I was walking by a construction site of all things, and I knew I as close, but I was heading in the wrong direction.  I turned towards the construction site to try to get my bearings, and I see the top of the tower…I thought it was what they were building.  And then it just hit me – that’s it!

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…this was a HUGE goal of mine, to see the Eiffel Tower, and to be in Paris.  And I did it – with help from the most amazing friends and family a girl could ever ask for, I made it here.  Before Monday, the Eiffel Tower was a symbol of my dreams and aspirations – now, it is a symbol of my accomplishments.  It’s an amazing feeling.

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me_eiffel

Hopefully a more food related post next time guys, thanks for humoring me with all of my ‘touristy’ stuff.

 

 

 

 

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moulinrougeIt was a very “Seattle” like day in Paris on Sunday.  The rain made it a bit of a challenge when I went out in search of the Moulin Rouge, but I found another familiar “Seattle” site while I was there…if the lighting fixtures don’t give it away, I don’t know what will…

 

Yay for Chai Tea Soy Lattes!

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Bonjour mon amis!

…well, it’s day two here in Paris, and without going into all of the emotional baggage, it has been hard to adjust.

I always knew that I just knew a little French…but I didn’t know how little that indeed was.  Putting sentences together is not my specialty at the moment.  Sure, I can say all sorts of French things in my head, and they sound absolutely lovely (some of which, I’m not sure what they mean, but they are in there), but once I start to speak, it becomes a mix of stuttering half French/half English babble.

Frankly put, after a lovely but embarrassing dinner party upon my arrival last night, I was a little fearful of going outside on my own to buy food.

It took the morning and most of the afternoon before I decided that my bag of ‘airplane snack’ pumpkin seeds was just not going to be enough substance for the day.  I made a plan, I would only buy things that I knew how to pronounce – took a deep breath – put on my coat and boots – and headed out the door.

In the end, I succeeded in buying all of the things that I set out for, with only a small amount of embarrassment.  Who knew buying produce would be such a task?!…

Here is what I purchased:

Trois Oranges,

roses_oranges

Deux Pommes,

apples

Une Petite Baguette,

baguette

et Une Eclair Cafe (impulse purchase and YUMMY!)

eclair_cafe

And yes, it was very nice to finally get outside, and walk around – just had to let go of that initial fear.

Tomorrow is another day, and I certainly have a lot of time to explore!

I’m pretty sure language lessons are in my not too distant future as well – then perhaps I won’t be just eating fruit and baguettes!?

 

 

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