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A Few Fun Parisian Outings

April 18, 2014 @ 9:37 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Paris graffiti

Street art of Montmartre – Paris

No surprise here that I am instantly attracted to stories and articles about France, so The Culture Trip’s “Top Ten Unusual Things to Do in Paris” caught my eye.  Not only did I enjoy the article, I felt a bit of satisfaction that we have run the list … and then some.   S’il vous plait, allow me to piggyback their treatise with some of my own photos and observations.

Paris Graffiti – what’s not to love in this whimsical/political/devotional/inspirational art form?  Whatever Muse drives the artist, you catch this on-the-fly art on so many streets of Paris.  A tip of the hat to Star Trek and to a whimsical shopper on the back stairs - just a couple we enjoyed.

Canal St. Martin – on a warm August day, we set out to visit the petite atelier of Onaya jewelers.  Beyond the charming artistic creations we found, we were quite taken with the shaded banks, bridges and “Bobo” (BOhemian-BOurgeois) atmosphere along the canal.

Paris street art

Sophisticated graffiti of Bon Marche!

Roman Ruins – Literally just across the rue Monge from our favorite vacation rental in Paris, is the Roman treasure – Arènes de Lutèce.  Though it was built by the Romans around the end of the first century, the arena was rediscovered in the mid 1800s.  No less than author Victor Hugo campaigned to save what was left of the arena, and today the public park and garden greet visitors … and neighborhood children with soccer in mind.

Parties Along the Seine – Whether it’s time for the annual Fete de la Musique throughout a warm June evening or a simple tango along the river, Paris does not fall short of celebratory moments.  One of our favorites – this communal pique-nique, when the whole of Paris seemed to join the fun.

Waterways of Paris

Canal St. Martin, Paris

Paris Roman ruins

Roman arena of Paris

 

 

 

(Special hugs to our dear friends in Paris with whom we have shared so many wonderful moments and memories!)

Seine, Paris

Paris celebrations!

We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

 

Porcelain and Trompe l’œil” in Limoges

April 5, 2014 @ 1:40 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Limousin France


Hôtel de Ville, Limoges

We arrived in Limoges, after a meandering kind of day in the French countryside.  What better place to stop for the night than the veritable throne of porcelain!

As the proud owner of my grandmother’s elegant Haviland Limoges china, I certainly was familiar with the name; yet we had no idea about the character of the city.  We followed our ‘norm’ and visited the Office of Tourism, checked into a hotel and set off to discover the city.

We wound our way down to the Vienne River and along the grassy remains of the town ramparts.  We found our way to the exceptionally beautiful Hôtel de Ville, a 19th-century Neo-Renaissance building, designed by Leclerc, who also was the architect of Trianon and the Palace of Versailles.  A clock with the image of Limoges is in the center of the stately façade, and two figures represent the goldsmith and enamellist.  It is simply one of those breathtaking sights that make you marvel at the combination of intricate design and excellent craftsmanship.

So often the case as we explored a new city or region, we happened upon a delightful square – the historic Place de la Motte, home to the sprawling Les Halles central market.  And what a remarkable view, as we enjoyed lunch beneath a canopy of canvas umbrellas.  Across from our location,  “trompe l’œil” paintings transformed buildings with flat, expressionless lines.  They came to life under the artist’s brush, creating windows and shutters and alcoves that did not exist.  In fact, we enjoyed and felt familiar with this Place; and after more exploring along pedestrian lanes and porcelain shops, we returned for dinner and dessert.

Limoges France

Remarkable “trompe l’œil” in the Place

After spending so few waking hours in the city, we really weren’t able to define Limoges in our minds, as we can with cities we have come to know – like Aix, Lyon, Avignon and – mais oui – Paris!   We will simply have to return for a longer stay, to walk more along the banks of the river, to discover little gardens among the half-timbered homes, to let Limoges reveal her personality.

We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

Le Pâques – Easter in France

April 3, 2014 @ 12:49 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Paris Easter

Gorgeous tulips line Parisian walkways

The Lenten season is a delightful time to be in France, beginning with the grande Nice carnavale and ending with Easter Sunday … and Monday celebrations.  A blend of Spring awakening, religious and cultural traditions leave you twirling about in a sensuous overload!

Tulips explode from the soil like elegant dancers in the bold jewel-toned colors.  Window displays never fail to evoke a smile for the whimsical characters and settings the creators deliver.  Absurdly delicious chocolates abound.  Children gather with parents in the parks, and elder stroll arm in arm before the Eiffel Tower.  Whether you celebrate the Resurrection of Christ or the happiness of the Easter season, the sights and scents are glorious.

Paris Easter chocolates


Stunning chocolate creation for Pierre Hermé by Swiss artist Beat Zoderer

One religious tradition in France that differs from the United States is the “delivery” system for all of those eggs and candies that mysteriously appear in homes and around yards.  No rabbit involved in France!  Tradition calls for silencing of all church bells – Les Cloches Volants – in somber remembrance of the death of Jesus.  They are quiet from the Thursday before Easter, when children believe the bells have flown to Rome to see the Pope.  The return of their resonant pealing on Sunday morning signals that the flying bells have returned to deliver chocolate chickens, eggs and bunnies.

Eggs represent another favorite French tradition, symbolizing a departure from the hardship of Lent.  Perhaps no French town or village takes this egg celebration to a greater extreme than in Bessières in the Midi-Pyrénées near Toulouse.  On Easter Monday, the village celebrates with a giant omelette festival. (Watch festival preparations here).

Bessieres near Toulouse

The giant omelette preparation in Bessières

In a phenomenal 12-foot pan, weighing a ton, Chefs create a giant omelet of 10,000 eggs, providing a plentiful meal for all festival attendees.  It is a tradition begun nearly 40 years and has now spread to the United States and Japan.

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@luxeeuro.com

Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

Discover Paris in Photos

April 2, 2014 @ 10:17 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Paris France

The Seine – always a ribbon of life in Paris

I am tired of my own hiatus from France Daily Photo, of my lack of discipline and self-indulgence.  At the same time, I am my own worst critic, as they say.  Regular readers know I had knee replacement surgery in November, and the road to recovery has been riddled with potholes.

YET, this is not my reason for nailing myself today in front of the computer.  I really do miss diving into French culture, history and joie de vivre … and sharing it with you.  I just discovered a show that sounds interesting, one hosted by the Maison Européenne de le Photographie (MEP) on rue de Fourcy in Paris.  In essence, the organization has tasked some the world’s greatest photographers with the unique assignment of capturing Paris in images.  Other photographers have taken up the challenge in years past, but this year the British photographer Martin Parr wandered the streets of Paris to provide his own view.

Paris canal

Canal Saint-Martin

I find it interesting to ponder what people “choose” to see and do in Paris.  Parr’s show includes a plethora of tourist photos  – massing on Notre Dame’s revered steps or taking their own snapshots of Mona Lisa in the Louvre.

My husband and I have a deep and abiding love for Paris; and our own photos and experiences flash before me, as I consider this ‘capture Paris’ assignment… of stunning window displays and the sad sight of homeless men on the cold sidewalks of Paris.  Of the buzz of models and photographers during a shoot in the Galerie Vivienne.  Of the tired old man on a bench in front of the carousel laden with happy children.  Of those little tête-à-tête moments you see in every café, on every corner of Paris.

Seine of Paris

The fishermen

I include a few of our photos and encourage you to re-live your own memories of Paris, as you plan your next trip!

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@luxeeuro.com

Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

Paris France

Sailing in the fountain