Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Weekend in Carmel

Well hello! 
It's been a while since I've been here. Thought it was time to share some photos.
We recently spent the long Memorial Day weekend in Northern California in the Carmel/Monterey area. 

I'd been there once years ago and we have friends who go frequently and keep talking about it. So we thought it was time to make our own exploring trip not too far from home since the long weekends are the only vacation time we get this summer (other than weekends in Portland).

And just like they say, 
Carmel is gorgeous. 
Filled with beautiful nooks and crannies,
there are shops and restaurants and flowers everywhere. 

We asked in one of the shops for directions to the best cafe for coffee
and she directed us to the Carmel Bakery
where she exclaimed that they had the best pastries. 

I've ever tasted. It was huge, melt in your mouth
and partially dipped in chocolate.

The Chef took one bite to try it 
and said, and I quote,
'Oh. My. God.' 

Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of it. 
But trust me.
The bakery was established in 1899
and is considered one of the oldest buildings 
and definitely one of the oldest running businesses in the village. 

The town itself was once known as a Bohemian artist colony...
which would explain some of the funky small places along the side streets. 

We wandered about and enjoyed poking our heads in sweet little places
and snapping photos. 

We canceled plans to go to Yosemite (long lines and hotel problems) 
so we went to Big Sur that weekend instead. 
Next time I'll have photos of the coastline and Monterey to share. 
Hope you had a good holiday weekend
and kick-off to summer! 

If you go, don't miss Carmel Bakery!
Ocean Avenue (betwn Delores and Lincoln Streets),
Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA. 
Open 7am daily

Monday, March 18, 2019

Grenelle Market in the 15th

I can never get away from Paris 
without taking some photos of our 
fabulous Grenelle Market.
It's our favorite...
partly because it's close to home 
but also because it's large (several blocks long)
and runs under the metro so somewhat protected from the weather. 

And they tend to have a large array of fresh or cooked things to choose from. 
There are always colorful flowers in any season.

Fresh produce and dairy all times of the year
sometimes coming from nearby countries.

And containers filled with plenty of exquisite seafood. 

While I don't do much dairy anymore
I can't miss the cheese when in France. 
It is magnificent
even just to look at. 

I love the Christmas colors of these cheeses 
during the holidays. 

We didn't have as much time as we wanted this visit
to just wander through and people-watch.
We were usually in a hurry and on a mission.
But however you do it, 
it is a gift and a feast 
any way you look at it. 

Hope you enjoyed this Walk in Paris today. 

For more photos of the Grenelle Market,
Click HERE and HERE.

Grenelle Marché
Every Wed and Sun 7am-2pm
Boulevard de Grenelle under the #6 Metro Line
between stops LaMotte Picquet and Dupleix

(All photos copyright: Kirsten Steen
Please do not reproduce)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Restaurants in the 15th Arrondissement

One thing about visiting Paris during the holiday season
is the inevitable restaurant closures in our neighborhood. 
So this visit we returned to a place we haven't been in far too long:
Restaurant de la Tour.

Located close to the Tour Eiffel
(thus the name)
it is owned and run by Chef Cedric Robert
and his wife Carine Robert. 

We went for their lovely New Year's Eve dinner
and to say hello after too long away.

One of my favorite things in Paris is Foie Gras.
I know I shouldn't love it but...
can't help myself. 

We devoured our main courses. 
Not even time for pictures.

And the desserts were as divine as they looked. 

With one of the restaurants we wanted to go being closed,
we finally tried a small bistro close to home for lunch
that we've spent years walking past. 

The Bistro Dupleix is just steps from us
and, while basic traditional French food,
served a perfectly delicious lunch. 

Gotta love the French's idea of a salad,
like this one covered with potatoes, ham, egg and cheese. 

And there's nothing better than sitting and watching 
the French world go by. 

6, rue Desaix
75015 Paris
+33 1.

Bistro Dupleix
62, Blvd de Grenelle
75015 Paris

(All Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)

Monday, January 21, 2019

Eiffel Tower from the Seine

Walking along the Pont de Bir Hakeim (bridge) in Paris 
on the blog today to give you an idea of the neighborhood. 
More night photos!

At not quite the middle of the bridge stands this statue
which I only realized recently was a likeness of Joan of Arc. 
I have a whole new respect! 

The bridge itself runs across the Seine
 from the 15th arrondissement to the 16th,
from the Bir Hakeim metro stop to Passy on the 6 line
which runs over the top of the bridge. 

The statue sits on a small pullout from the bridge
where people often gather to stare at the Eiffel Tower 
and often sip something of their choice
(as evidenced by the empty bottles we frequently find left behind). 

We have on occasion brought guests here
with a bottle of bubbly and glasses
to watch the tower sparkle
as we sparkle. 
(We take our bottle with us!)

From here you can walk along the Seine and the boats
all with a view of the tower. 

I love these boats which are often rented
but I especially love them in the summertime
when people sit out on the decks
in the warm evenings
 sipping wine and eating
while they talk softly and enjoy the view. 

The Pont d'Iena (next bridge over) connects the Eiffel Tower to the Trocadero. 
In the early 1800's, Napoleon wanted a bridge to overlook his Ecole Militaire
(Military School and his offices) located on the other end of the Champ de Mars. 
So from 1808-1814, he had this bridge built and named after
one of his battle victories: The battle of Jena
(apparently the American spelling).

The stairs from the bridge to the river 
are called the Renault Stairs
where James Bond (Roger Moore)
drove a Renault 11 down the stairs in pursuit of an assassin
in the film A View to a Kill.

Christmas in full form 
on the river below the tower. 

I loved the colors here against the fog. 

And the tower doing its sparkly thing.

Hope you've enjoyed this little walk
along a small part of the Seine in Paris. 
Back next time with more of Paris!

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen
Please do not reproduce
Bridge info via: Wiki)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Holidays in Paris

Back to share a few photos of our recent visit to Paris 
over the holidays. 
Above is the department store BHV 
(pronounced Bay-Osh-Vay).

When we lived in Paris for a year,
we rode the metro down here to the Hotel de Ville stop on the 1 line
every single time we needed something for the apartment. 
They have an entire (basement) floor dedicated to hardware and maintenance. 
Now we have a Castorama right in our hood
so when we need something, we only need to walk a couple of blocks. 
Much less expensive too!

For some reason, 
I never truly feel like I've fully arrived in Paris
until I get myself down to the island, 
the place Paris began, 
the oldest section.

And walk in steps others have tread for centuries. 

Pictures are no longer allowed inside 
Shakespeare and Company
so I can only share outdoor photos now
(though I did sneak a few some years back HERE.) 

Loved this quote from Leonard Cohen outside the store. 

And I usually take this pic because I love this shot of Notre Dame 
behind the bicycles that are ALWAYS parked here. 

And of course
the iconic shot of the Eiffel Tower. 
Will be back next time with a few more of the tower
from our bridge on the river. 

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday
and New Year! 

HAPPY 2019!!

(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)