Monday, January 30, 2012

Steak Tartare? Still not ready...


The gorgeous Steak Tartare. 
Have you tried it?

It's in every restaurant, on every Paris menu
and I'm offered a bite every time it happens to be at my table. 
But so far, I cannot seem to order it. 
This happens to be the Chartier version. 

My brother-in-law, on a visit once to the US,
tried to feed My French Babies (when they were still tiny things)
 barely seared, local hamburger meat at home, pink as the above picture all throughout the middle.
I had to convince him he could kill his children if he let them eat it. 
It took every persuasive power to get him to cook it through
and he swore they wouldn't eat it well done.  They did. 
(He forgot about the magical powers ketchup has on children.)

And me, myself? I still can't bring myself to eat this beautiful medley of colors.
It's tempting, but it's still a non.
Someday I will. And I will celebrate when I do.
But until then, I'll take my Steak Frites.



(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Window Shopping in Paris


Already it feels like ages since I was in Paris 
and I just got back. 
So I make myself feel better with some 
virtual window shopping.  


Thought you might enjoy as well. 


I look at the chocolate above 
and can't believe I didn't go right inside and buy one of everything. 


Was hoping to do lunch at La Duree this visit
but it turns out they had a fire and have been under reconstruction. 
I believe you can still buy their macarons
but I just took pictures of some instead. 


And I let loose and ate my fair share of cheese this time. 
Every meal. Every time. 
Looking forward to the next visit already. 


(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jolie Papier Toilette


While doing research for my novel in Paris recently, 
I made a quick lunch and shopping detour 
in the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris' underground shopping mall
beneath the Louvre Palace and Museum. 

And found I needed a...
what would be the French term for 'Pit Stop'? 


I finally found the Point WC,
an attended restroom with a price: 1 euro 50 c.
The woman at the counter takes your money
 and another (very quickly) cleans every stall after each use,
then greets and directs you to the most recently cleaned. 


Never have I seen so many decorated rolls.



Maybe I just don't get out enough.


I think I like the plain colored variety. 


Afterward I was delighted to find a Fragonard (Parfumerie)
where I bought an Eau de Toilette (really!)
as a gift for an upcoming hostess. 

When in Paris,
stop in the Point WC and pay the price 
just for the experience. 

And then indulge 
in some of the most famous perfume in Paris. 

Carrousel du Louvre
99, rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris
01.43.16.78.00
Mon-Sun 10am-8pm
Metro: Palais Royal- Musee du Louvre

Fragonard Louvre
99, rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris
01.42.96.96.96

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)


Friday, January 6, 2012

Magical Paris Night Walk



While The Chef is in the country hunting lapin,
(or rather tromping through the woods with those carrying the guns 
and enjoying lunch at the hunter's lodge),
I took a magical walk by myself the other night 
from the Louvre, across the Pont Neuf down to Notre Dame.

Love how the roof of the Hotel de Ville now sparkles at night 
just like the Eiffel Tower. 

Life is such a sparkle.


(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cimetiere Passy


Today we walked the Cimetiere Passy 
just across the Seine from us in the 16th Arrondissement
for the first time. 

Have tried to find the entrance once before and gave up 
after much walking around looking. 
But today we found it. 
And some beautiful tombs. 
I found one like I've never seen before:
a two-level with double stairs and stone landings. 
It was like a grand cellar. 

Walking the cemeteries of Paris 
reminds one of how fleeting life is.
And how grateful we should be every moment. 
Grateful for my life exactly as it is.  
And for all of you.


(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen)


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sliding into the New Year!


Happy New Year, Mes Amies!
Back in Paris (after a short, mostly-working vacation in Greece last week)
and this was taken from a postcard at a souvenir shop after lunch today on Rue Cler. 

We celebrated last night at a party with some American friends of my sister's
and walked the Trocadero and Eiffel Tower after midnight last night on our way home!
WHAT a crowd! 
A little scary, interesting, exhilarating, and possibly a dim bulb idea 
but luckily without incident for us. I've been in the Champ de Mars once before on NY's Eve
and it was wild and crazy then too only with fireworks
 (which are no longer allowed in Paris on NY's Eve). 

Hoping all of you had a fun and safe New Year's Eve 
and wishing each of you smooth sailing in 2012! 

CHEERS to the New Year!