31 May 2010

French Open in Paris

The French Open is happening in Paris this week and for those not lucky enough to score courtside seats, you can still take part in the fun.  In the city centre at Paris city hall, a gorgeous square of historic buildings called Hôtel de Ville, they've set up a GIANT screen for watching the games and a clay-colored carpet to watch it on.  There are also real clay courts set up for tennis enthusiasts to play in front of an audience.

I stumbled upon this awesomeness on opening day and watched Nadal win a match (yeah!) with a bunch of cheering and booing Parisians. So cool! Tomorrow, a friend and I are grabbing a bottle of wine, a baguette and some cheese to watch matches with a proper French picnic on the clay carpet.

This guy got a front row seat and double-fisted red and white wine bottles... he also lost his shoe in his excitement.

360 degree video
French Open at Hotel de Ville, Paris from teena turner on Vimeo.

Le Super Market

Pretty Gritty friend sent me information about a crafty little shopping fair in Paris over the weekend, called Le Super Market, which just happened to be happening about 3 blocks from my apartment across the street from another apartment I've stayed in for work trips a few times.  Le Super Market was a cute-overload party with all kinds of gifty, crafty, vintage-y, sweet booths with music, food and lots of style.
Some pics!

Le building

Le Poster

My former apartment building!

Le Supermarket booths

Le Super Market also had the most stylish kids I've ever seen in my life. I seriously felt so uncool. ha!

29 May 2010

Family Ties... Part Deux

So... after a WONDERFUL week together, my dad and grandma have returned to California and left me with a full belly, a world of memories, and a smile on my face.  We had so much fun and it was so great to show them Paris, "my" Paris, and laugh the whole time.  So great!

And now, on to les photos!

First, one of my favorite photos of the entire trip.  Grandma Doris looking so elegant and chic as we drank beaujolais in memory of my mom in the Place des Vosges.

It looks like Doris has been living in Paris all her life!
Très belle!

That day, we walked all through my neighborhood, Le Marais, and explored the markets of Montorgueil, picked up a bunch of delicious pastries and smelly cheeses, and enjoyed dinner at Robert et Louise, a little country-rustic restaurant where they cook all of their famed grilled meats over an open fireplace. We had a table on the street and people-watched as we ate.  Perfect!
Another side of Grandma Doris

That night, there was a huge festival happening on the Champs-Élysées called Nature Capitale, celebrating the agriculture and farming and foods of France. It brought a million people together and they filled the entire Champs-Élysées with hundred of native trees, plants, flowers, farm animals, and stalls with local treats and drinks.  We picked up a bottle of "bio" (organic) champagne and my smile got us a basket of incredible strawberries to go with it (haha) and we danced and sipped champagne among 500,000 people at almost midnight. Grandma Doris showed us her awesome dance moves and my dad showed us his wheelchair drinking and driving skills.  It was an incredible night!  So, so fun.

The other greatest pic of the trip: Mother & Son ParisWheel

The next day, we cruised around the city, checked out the Sacré-Cœur and took in the gorgeous views of Paris, ate lunch under a windmill and had an incredible dinner in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés at L'Atelier Maître Albert.  The restaurant is half old stone walls and half modern bistro.  I ate the best soup of my life and we all loved our meal.  After, we had a late-night stroll along the Seine (no wheelchair!) and called it a night.

Next day! The AMAZING Musee d'Orsay, which is housed in an incredible renovated train station. We ate an elegant lunch in the museum restaurant, an opulent dining room on top of the museum, fit for Marie Antoinette! So many chandeliers!  With one of the largest collections of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, the d'Orsay building and the art housed inside it were awe-inspiring.  They are also currently showing a special (dark, gory, shocking and awesome) exhibition on crime & punishment with a special look at the French Revolution with a real guillotine and artist renderings of beheadings and heads.  So cool.  

That night, more good food (including white chocolate wasabi ice cream!!!), a sunset boat cruise on the Seine, and a stroll through the Louvre in the moonlight.  This is really, seriously my life. Pinch me.
(More pics from this awesome cruise for another post)

Ok, closing in on the home stretch...We visited the gothic chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, the most incredible rendering of the story of the Bible made in panels of stained glass from the 13th century. This incredible display of glass and history survived two world wars and almost NINE centuries of life.  The exquisite glass panel storyline, what my dad called "the first graphic novel," was constructed all by hand in the span of six short years. Amazing!

Then, RAIN! And an adorable photo opportunity...

(third favorite photo of the trip)

After a rainy afternoon, it was time to get fancy (very, very, very fancy) for dinner atop the Eiffel Tower in the famed Le Jules Verne restaurant.  We all got chills as we walked in and took in the views of the city.  Our table overlooked the Trocadero and Musee d'Homme and our food was beyond description.  The most incredible meal of our lives.  So special.

Le Fois Gras

L'Asperge Blanche avec Caviar Noir

Le Veloutte de Crustaces

Bon Apetit!

All in all, we had a FULL week!  Grandma Doris rolled like a champion.  My dad and I were able to keep up with her.  We ate and drank more than we ever have in our lives.  We missed my brother and Grandma Laverne.  And my mom was with us every step of the way.  
So much love!