Monthly Archives: May 2013

Happy Birthday, Dalí

The Spanish surrealist, born May 11, 1904, spent many of his formable artistic years in Paris, cavorting with the likes of Man Ray, Coco Chanel and Pablo Picasso (whom he personally revered).

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When in Paris, be sure to check out the only dedicated museum to the artist’s lifework, Escape Dalí, in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris.

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There you’ll find a wide collection of his collages, graphics, sculptures and furniture. For more, click here.

La fête des Mères (Mother’s Day)

My mom is one of the primary reasons I fell in love with French culture. She’s half French and always felt a special kinship to her cultural heritage. Clearly, the pomme didn’t fall far from the tree. I’m excited she’ll be in Paris this summer to romance her ancestral roots. Je t’adore, Mom!

When I think of Mother’s Day, or La fête des Mères in France, my mind drifts to brunch. Should you skip the reservation this Sunday, make mom a plate of this delicious baked French toast with strawberries. It’s super easy and as pretty as the picture. Thanks to Brooklyn Supper (www.brooklynsupper.net) for the nifty recipe. Wishing all moms un jour magnifique!

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Baked Strawberry French Toast

1 loaf day old challah, sliced into 3/4” thick slices
1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced, plus more for garnish
4 eggs
3 1/2 cups milk
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh grated nutmeg
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Butter a 9 x 13” baking pan. Arrange the challah slices so that they are overlapping, tearing a few pieces in half if needed. Tuck the strawberries between the slices.

In a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the milk, sugar, salt, nutmeg, zest, and vanilla. Pour over the challah. Make sure that all of the slices are just about covered by the egg mixture–add more milk or rearrange the slices until they are. If refrigerating overnight, cover and chill. Otherwise, cover and refrigerate for a half hour, or longer if you have time.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and take the baking dish out of the fridge. Once the oven is up to temperature, bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until the french toast is a light golden brown and has puffed up nicely.

Slice and serve immediately with maple syrup and sliced strawberries.

Fitzgeralds in France

As Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby hits screens today (critics be damned, I can’t wait for the spectacle) let’s take a look at F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s time spent in Paris. Like many of the “Lost Generation,” the Fitzgeralds packed their newly minted fame and headed across the Atlantic for the artistic avenues found in the City of Lights. Like Berlin and New York, Paris was a cultural Mecca for writers, musicians and artists seeking inspiration, companionship and a just an old-fashioned good time. Scott and Zelda were no exception. In fact, the author completed much of his work on The Great Gatsby while living in France. The couple would also journey to the French Riviera, where marriage woes and Zelda’s mental illness began to surface. These months in France would inspire Fitzgerald’s Riviera-set novel Tender is the Night.

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Tourist Tip: If you should ever be in the Côte d’Azur, take the train from Cannes or Nice to the small town of Juan les Pins. It was here the Fitzgerald’s had their Mediterranean view home. The Hotel Belles Rives, a frequent watering hole of the couple, still exists and pays a loving homage to the American writer. Make a reservation on the patio for dinner overlooking the sea and get a taste of the romantic existence the Fitzgeralds certainly enjoyed all those decades ago. You won’t regret it.

Paris Lives in Your Closet: Mademoiselle C

Carine Roitfeld (former editor of Vogue Paris) continues to play a pivotal role in the creation of inspiring fashion moments, both in magazines and a decade’s worth of her own street fashion.  A documentary about her fashion career will debut at the Cannes Film Festival later this month and is set to be released in September.
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Speaking of September…the man behind the project, Fabien Constant told reporters that Mademoiselle C will be just like his other fashion documentary The September Issue. This pillar of the Parisian fashion community is reportedly to be joined by geniuses Karl Lagerfeld, Riccardo Tisci, Albert Elbaz, Jean Paul Gaultier, Tom Ford and a slew of other celebrities in the film. We cannot wait.

Henri’s Walk to Paris

In honor of graphic design legend Saul Bass’s 93rd birthday (thanks google for the nifty animated reminder), today we spotlight his only children’s book, Henri Goes to Paris from 1962, in collaboration with Leonore Klein.

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I came upon this book for the first time at Skylight Books in Los Feliz and immediately purchased for my adorable niece, Gigi. The plot is this: Henri lives in rural France and dreams of Paris. After reading a book about the sparking metro, he packs a lunch and heads out to see it for himself…on foot. I won’t give away any more details but it’s a wonderful read…for both children and adults. And, naturally, the illustrations are glorious.

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You can find the book at most boutique bookstores, or here.

WC on Wheels

This bicycle meets bathroom caught our eye today. Brilliant crossover design idea here, agreed? Very Parisienne bistro in spirit…with the subway tiles and tiny checker board floor.  Substitute baguettes for towels and, voila!.. Instant guest bathroom. I’m sure there’s some kind of plumbing involved, but we’ll leave the finer details to the experts.

 

PARIS, LA Magazine

Here’s one for the coffee table…

PARIS, LA is an independent print magazine that was founded in 2008 by the editor Dorothée Perret
. Published twice a year, PARIS, LA operates as a creative space to reclaim liberty, singularity, and beauty in today’s culture. Each season, artists, designers, photographers and writers are invited to collaborate and to share their vision in relation to a theme.

Says Perret, “PARIS, LA is born of shared perspectives. It’s a project, like a love story, that comes from the feeling of being in one place, thinking about another. A place between two cities, between scenes, between people, that exists only in the space of our imagination. In Paris, dreaming of the Pacific. Speaking French in LA. And it’s as true as a clear blue sky above us.”

The 9th issue is currently available…for more, visit here.

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