Oh my GOSH, how good is vacation? We’re back, and I’m keeping the happy alive by smiling as much as I can, and enjoying the catch up tasks. I’ll keep today simple – but it’s worth noting that I missed you guys! Here are 5 dreamy Paris pics to inspire your next getaway – this is definitely our next major trip! Need more pretty? Check out my favorite Parisian indulgences on my Pinterest board here: C’est si bon!!
Bonjour, mon amis!
Happy Monday – and hope you’re having a great one so far. I spent this past weekend running a Sonoma wedding (beautiful), and working on the design/styling of our new home – it’s coming along! Sorry for the brief hiatus – the fam and I are working ’round the clock to pull our little house together.
At the moment, I’m contemplating a Parisian black and white motif in our guest room, to keep things chic and contemporary, while still carrying through a traditional theme. Looking for Parisian inspiration (outside of everyone’s instagrams), I did a bit of research on Parisian culture this weekend. Here are three off-the-beaten-track cultural finds to inspire your next trip to Paris:
Nestled in the 14th arrondissement, the Cartier Foundation’s contemporary art center is the perfect place to find off-beat art installations (like graffiti and street art exhibits and photography series). Bonus for those with little travelers: creative workshops and family friendly guided visits are offered weekly.
One of the most iconic Beaux-arts buildings commissioned for the 1900 exhibition, the Petit Palais is located directly across the street from the Grand Palais in the 8th arrondissement, and features mosaics and stained glass in the rotunda. The structure houses decorative arts, sculptures, ancient and classical art, graphic art, and symbolist murals. The relatively affordable garden café is also a perfect lunch stop! Did I mention that this site is featured in one of my favorite movies (‘The Devil Wears Prada’), when Andy and Miranda are working at Paris Fashion week? Le swoon.
While Rodin’s ‘thinker’ statue is BEYOND popular and well known, the Rodin museum is relatively small and less crowded than other popular tourist destinations in Paris. The interior works are stunning, but the outdoor statue garden is the piece de resistance – particularly when in full bloom! A must visit for art lovers and fresh air aficionados alike.
Yesterday afternoon, more than 3 million people, united for peace in the face of the attacks on Paris last week, marched through the city (making it the largest march to have ever occurred in France). World leaders from across the globe participated, and this peaceful gathering marked the end to a brutal week in Paris (with the death of 17 citizens, and countless more injured) from the terrorist attacks. As reported by CNN, “For everyone, no matter their race, class or ethnic background, signs that said “We are all French” were held up with pride.” Read the full article here: CNN: #ParisMarch for peace
In the days to come, I plan to send some positive energy to the prettiest city in the world, and dwell on the following beautiful images of Paris in the spirit of peace and unity. “We are all French” – a girl can dream!
French cuisine really speaks to my soul on a lot of levels – for one thing, you have a lot of cheese in everything and wine is served at most meals (in the form of Champagne at Brunch, Prosecco with lunch, an afternoon Bellini, or a glass of Pinot with Dinner, etc). For another, there’s a certain air of refinement that comes with a sharply suited waiter and a menu that spans ‘Hors d’oeuvres’ to ‘Fruits de Mer’, and occasionally ‘Des Oeufs’ and ‘Pamplemousse’ – it makes you want to order a few Nutella Beignets (irrelevant of the time of day) and stay awhile. Some go for the L’ognion gratinee, some stay for the French Press coffee, but all can agree: French food is fantastic.
Add in the delightful charm of a lively corner on Union Street in SF, heated outdoor café tables, and those darling black doors and potted hedges, and Café Des Amis is the full package. I first discovered the café when walking down Union Street after a yoga class, and walked straight toward a sign advertising brunch cocktail specials. Over the last four years it’s become a Bourgeois eatery of the very best kind, and since its opening, the Marina and weekend brunching scene (or dinner for that matter, the Steak Frites are exceptional) has been changed for the better.
You can imagine the dismay of myself and ‘Marina Girls’ everywhere when they bumped into THIS article in Eater SF, and learned that the cafe was closing down this weekend: citing chef turnover and landlord woes, it is believed that leadership at Bacchus Management Group (also behind restaurants Spruce and Pizza Antica) were “unable to reach a lease agreement with the building’s landlord that could support a sustainable business in the neighborhood.” Simply put? The Marina is getting too pricey for restaurants to sustain. Where is all the good food going? Oddly enough, this upsetting news was first discovered by my best friend T living in NYC – apparently, bad news travels fast, and our seaboard was not the only one saddened by the closure!
Even with all of the questions popping up for residents of the 94123 (who is going to serve us bottomless bellinis and chef’s choice oysters for brunch now? Who is going to take over the lease for the space?), this weekend’s shut-down of a French gem has certainly plucked at the heartstrings of many, and Cafe Des Amis will be sorely missed. As for me? I plan to soothe my sorrows at the French spot around the corner, the Marina location of Cafe Claude – le repas doit aller sur!
Adieu, Des Amis!