22 February 2011

The Beauty of Montpellier

Normally we are on our way to an appointment or a destination when we are in Montpellier. It is not a tourist spot for us. But yesterday I was in Montpellier for an appointment that was delayed by an hour. Instead of heading for shopping or a cafe, I decided to wander about and just look at Montpellier. It is such a beautiful and approachable city. It is not overwhelming or scattered but there are so many tiny streets and hidden gems that you feel like you see it anew each time you get to meander about in the maze and tangle of the old city center.

This playground is so Dr. Seuss-ish!!

07 February 2011

Les Petites Choses - Champs Elysées

A well placed statue!!

A Nespresso store window...so completely over the top!! Had to fight for a clear photo...a favorite with the tourists!!

Belleville et Canal St Martin - Paris

We decided to be adventurous on this trip to Paris. To eschew the obvious and well trampled neighborhoods for those more unknown and less visited. Thus our treks into Belleville and Canal St Martin.

Belleville is where Edith Piaf was born. Very edgy immigrant working class Paris. Great views and rolling hills. Residents of Belleville were considered some of the most rebellious, resisting fiercely during the "Paris Commune" of 1871, when the Versailles Army came to reconquer the city.

Canal St Martin is nearly deserted in the winter. Somewhat melancholy and cold. During the summer when the trees shade the banks of the canal, it is a thriving area with a multitude of cafes and students napping on the grass.

Monet at Chateau Marmottan

So many paintings and sketches. Every time we finished a room, we thought we had finished only to discover another room full of treasures. The finale was so like the finish to a breathtaking fireworks show...the huge wall filling panels in a somewhat circular room...color filling each one...the strokes getting wilder and larger as the master lost his sight until there were just true "impressions" of images vaguely defined by swathes of color. Magnificent!!

Best Jewish Deli in Paris!!


Oh the pastrami...so thinly sliced it melts on your tongue. The fresh taste of the finest beef heightened by the spiciness of the peppers. The poppy seed bagels...more like a soft homemade delicious pretzel than an American type bagel. The desserts...flaky beyond belief...oozing with slightly sweet poppy seeds. I have found the homeland!!

05 February 2011

San Francisco Architecture

Amazing city...always such a jewel. I am so blessed to have Paris and San Francisco as such good friends...always welcoming me with open arms and surprises with each visit!

R&G Lounge

During the trip to San Francisco in January, the concierge at the hotel suggested a great place to eat Chinese food...R&J Lounge!  It is on the edge of Chinatown and it looks exactly like it's name.  It must have been a true bar lounge and changed hands without changing the name.  The decor is very lounge-ish, but it is a Chinese restaurant through and through.  Freshest ingredients and most delicate sauces...no heavy canned tastes or the salty, greasy hangover feeling.  Watching the two petite Chinese women at the next table attach a pile of fried crab legs was an experience as well!!