Monday, June 25, 2012

Chantons sous la pluie

Singing in the rain for his supper
on Rue Cler. 

And this was Rue Cler's version of a 'light' salad. 
There really is lettuce under there. 

Hope you had a lovely weekend.

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Murder in Passy~ Teaser Tuesday

Murder in Passy: An Aimee Leduc Investigation (Aimee Leduc Investigations)

Hosted by MizB at should be reading.

Here's how to play:

*Grab your current read,
*Open to a random page,
*Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page,
*Please no spoilers!
*Share the title and author.

Today's selection is from Cara Black's Murder in Passy (p. 154):

" Drumming her fingers on the round marble-top table of the cafe overlooking Place Victor Hugo, Aimee watched for Irati. The outdoor rattan cafe chairs gleamed like copper in the mid-afternoon light. Sparse brown-leafed plane trees encircled the spurting fountain. Opposite stood Saint Honore d'Eylau, a narrow toffee-colored stone church. Hemingway married one of his wives here, the story went. She had a clear view of the three streets Irati might use to return to her car. 
A traffic light shone green above the PIETONS ATTENTION sign as a rush of pedestrians crossed the zebra crosswalk. 
She answered her phone on the first ring.

Some days, I find it's better to get lost in Paris and someone else's fictional drama (and murder and mayhem). I love learning a little about how another author inserts place as character (especially when it's Paris!). And she's got one for just about every arrondissement. Try one. And...see you  in Paris. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Who doesn't love Paris!?!

What makes Paris so irresistible? 
It's a love affair! 
It starts with one of the most famous, and romantic, of all symbols:
The Eiffel Tower.

Who hasn't heard the stories of lifetimes together
starting at the top (or even bottom) of the Eiffel Tower. 
I've heard personally of several people who either proposed 
or were proposed to atop the tower or on a boat on the Seine while cruising past. 
for one such romantic love story. 

Then the love affair moves to the Seine,
a river flowing with history, fame and glory. 

One only needs to say the word 'Seine' and the world knows where you are. 

And of course there are the cafes!
The perfect place no matter the weather
be it a chilled kir in the summer
or the ever popular chocolate chaud in  winter. 

And for me,
the affair always includes the open-air markets...

with their vibrant colors,

and tempting flavors,

seasonal freshness,

and delicate seafood.

I love the glitz and fun of the holidays...

...the hidden courtyards,

the doors,

and windows,

And the metro,
night or day...

I adore the bread

and the cheese

of course the wine

and don't get me started on the luscious, decadent sweets...

and hot perfect frites,

...the art,

and architecture,

and the fabulous photo shots,

...don't forget the myriad choices and flavors of
'real' champagne...

...and the ancient finds on every walk. 

But above all else,
the biggest draw for me in Paris
is my very own heart...
My family!

My sister and her children live in Paris 
and it's because of them that Paris shines even brighter for me. 

There's no one in the world like your sister
and mine has given me Paris.
Not sure I'll ever be able 
to return such a favor. 


Be sure to stop by Anita's
Castles, Crowns and Cottages
for the Simply Irresistible Paris Link Party. 

See you there! 

(Photographs copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cara Black at the American Library in Paris

Murder at the Lanterne Rouge: An Aimee Leduc Investigation (Aimee Leduc Investigations)

This Wednesday June 6th, 2012 at 19:30, The American Library in Paris presents-- Evenings with an Author-- featuring Cara Black, award-winning author of the Aimee Leduc P.I. mystery series. Murder at the Lanterne Rouge is Black's twelfth Leduc novel.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, she's been working on the series since 1998. Black will receive the Medaille de la ville de Paris on June 22nd. With titles like Murder in the Marais, Murder in Montmartre, Murder in Passy, Aimee solves crimes in nearly every arrondissement while Cara interviews flics, detectives and cafe owners for research.

Booklist calls her protagonist: "...a delightfully unbuttoned Audrey Hepburn for the twenty-first century..." That one quote in itself makes me want to read every one of them.

Deadly Pleasures says: "...No one does Paris better than Black..."

If I was in Paris this week, you would find me here. If you're in Paris, don't miss it.
Excuse me while I get back to my book!

American Library in Paris  is located at:
10, rue du General Camou
(Just off the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower)
75007 Paris, France
• Tel. +33 (0)1 53 59 12 60

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Above the Clouds in Napa

We recently returned from the long Memorial Day weekend in California's wine country. 
For nearly the last decade,
we've been visiting a B&B in the hills of Napa/Sonoma
overlooking the Valley of the Moon.

We've become friends with the owners
so even after they closed their doors to the general public,
every so often, we come stay just for the friendship, the beauty,
 the Northern California sun and air and a little wine, food and fun.
And, of course, a few games of late-night marbles.

As a perfectly lovely bonus, they've introduced us to their friends and family,
the meadow just below the house sometimes fills with various types of wildlife
and our cell phones don't work on the hill! 

The original house was built in the 1850's but burned completely
save for the chimney. 
The new house, owned by the Fraziers in 1907,
was built around it. 
That tree on the right stood in the earliest photos!

(And that upstairs balcony outside the guest rooms
 holds comfy lounge chairs for resting 
after a day of wine tasting.) 

We try to help out with chores,
and we make each other dinners
but having run the B&B for nearly 20 years,
they do make the best breakfasts.

In warm weather, dinners are often served on the patio
overlooking the meadow and the valley beyond...

...and the days end with the perfect, radiant backdrop. 
It doesn't get much better than this
with people you love. 

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)