Advertisements

Paris: The Best Birthday Ever

BRACK Mad Men Tease 1

Place Vendôme at one hair before l’heure bleue Photos by Theadora Brack

 

Librairie du Passage at 39 and 48 Passage Jouffroy (near Grand Boulevard). Open since 1846, it’s in one of the city’s’ classic 19th-century shopping arcades. Rumor has it that Victor Hugo shopped here!By Theadora Brack

By Theadora Brack

With my pointy arrow and swell pocketbook, I’ve decided to kick-off my birthday weekend with a little pictorial, showcasing a few of my favorite things in Paris: Place Vendôme at l’heure bleue, Jambon Beurre Gruyère baguettes, the clocks at the Musée d’Orsay, and the bells of Notre Dame. There, I’ve said it.

And thanks to WordPress, I’m already having a great birthday weekend. Thank you for the bright Freshly Pressed spotlight. This means a lot to me. I was thrilled when they featured my recent “Paris: 5 Iconic Backdrops for Photo-ops” story. What a gift!

Right now I’m off on a working field trip, but over the weekend and throughout next week, I’ll respond to your gorgeous comments and pay more than a few visits. So get ready! But before I forget, I must give a shout-out to my chum Virginia over at Bel’ Occhio for the beautiful birthday post. I’m still grinning. Merci!

Enjoy the weekend and keep on ringing the bells! Clipping from Victor Hugo’s “Notre-Dame de Paris” (aka, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”):

“On that day the air was so fresh and clear that Quasimodo felt his affection for his bells returning. Clapping his hands, he ran to and fro from one rope to another, awakening his six songsters by this voice and his gestures, as a maestro leads his skilled musicians. Well done! Gabrielle! Louder, louder! Hey! You up there, you sparrows! I don’t see you making any noise. What’s the matter with those brazen beaks of yours, that seems to be yawning when they ought to be singing? Come on, work! Sing! There’s beautiful sunshine; we have to have beautiful music!”

"To love beauty is to see light."-Victor Hugo

“To love beauty is to see light.”-Victor Hugo

“Baguette Mixte” at the affordable and cozy Café Palais Royal at 202 Rue Saint-Honoré (with a view) in the afternoon sunshine

Wallace Fountain: “Brasserie des quatre femmes” (brewery of the four women), flaunts four fetching caryatids, symbolizing kindness, simplicity, charity, and sobriety (Notre Dame at dusk view from Shakespeare & Co. Bookshop)

Wallace Fountain: “Brasserie des quatre femmes” (brewery of the four women), flaunts four fetching caryatids, symbolizing kindness, simplicity, charity, and sobriety (Notre Dame at dusk view from Shakespeare & Co. Bookshop)

BRACK Thank You 3

It’s tea time according to the big clock at the Musée d’Orsay

Musée d'Orsay

The Times They Are A-Changin’ (View of the Louvre from the Musée d’Orsay)

Advertisements

125 thoughts on “Paris: The Best Birthday Ever

    • Thank you, David! T. (By the way, I always relish spotting your photography, along with the fabulous Jacques Henri Lartigue quote. Photography IS a magic thing! Laritque has always been one of my favorite photographers. I especially love his portraits of Renée Perle. She had great rings and moody expressions, too.)

      Like

  1. Great photos per usual (and text, too, of course.) Most importantly, have a wonderful, blessed birthday and the best birthday year ever!! Now I have to eat lunch. Those baguettes got to me!

    All the best,

    janet

    Like

    • Thanks, Janet! I appreciate your sweet birthday message. I’ve just returned from my work field trip! YES. I’m a big fan of the sandwich. They’re affordable and oh, so portable. The perfect moveable feast! T.

      Here are a few of my other favorites:

      Baguette Cantal Beurre (Cantal cheese and butter)
      Baguette Jambon Beurre Gruyère (ham, butter and Gruyère cheese)
      Baguette Thon Crudités Oeufs (tuna, lettuce, tomato and hard-boiled eggs)
      Baguette Salami (salami and butter)
      Baguette Poulet Crudités (chicken, lettuce and tomato)
      Baguette Paté, Baguette Camembert (Camembert cheese)
      Baguette Saucisson Sec (cured sausage)

      Like

      • Stop it!!! You’re making me hungry! The best thing is that you can get these lovely things in all sorts of places that aren’t in the least fancy and you can even get rather good sandwiches in the plazas along the highway.

        Hope you had a enjoyable and fruitful trip.

        janet

        Like

    • Ah! I feel the same way about your photography and site!! I’m still thinking about your Les Parapluies de Seattle” shot. Gorgeous!! T. Now I’m humming the film’s theme song: “I will wait for you.” Oh, dear. . .)

      Like

    • Well, thank you, OUT & ABOUT in the City!! I appreciate your kind words. YES. It was a swell birthday gift to receive during my birthday week. Perfect timing! Confession: After receiving the email from WordPress, I jumped up and down for hours. Maybe days. Oh, la la!! T.

      Like

    • Merci! Merci!! I think you’d love the exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay. I returned for a second and third visit. “L’ange du bizarre. Le romantisme noir de Goya à Max Ernst” (The Angel of the Odd. Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst) opened on the 5th of March, and stay up through the 9th of June.) They even included footage from James Whale’s “Frankinstein” (1931, starring Boris Karloff) and Hitchcock’s “Rebecca” (1940). Fascinating and beautiful! Haunting, too. T.

      Like

    • MERCI. MERCI. Marta!! T. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my birthday week! My grandmother celebrated birthday “months.” Now that’s an idea! T. (I’m still digging your street photography!)

      Like

      • Happy digging, Theadora and I’m looking forward to your next wonderful Paris post:)
        Keep celebrating, I think your grandmother does it properly 😉

        Like

    • Well, merci!! And thank you for all the good work you do for all the little critters in the world. Paws down—you’re the greatest!! T. (And my cats agree!)

      Like

    • Well, hello there, Happy Face!! It wouldn’t be a true birthday week without spotting your sunny words. Positive energy is so contagious. As always, thanks for spreading the joy. 🙂 Merci!! T.

      Like

    • Thank you, Bridget!! I feel the same way about your scrumptious “Bake Affairs” site. Inspirational! Keep on baking!! T. (I’d like to try to create my own macarons. Perhaps this summer I’ll give it a shot. . .)

      Like

  2. Happy birthday, Theadora, and congratulations on being freshly pressed. I enjoy your articles about Paris very much. I love the view from the MUSÉE D’ORSAY, and that wonderful clock. Have an amazing weekend.

    Like

    • Thank you, Lizzie Joy!! The clocks at the Musée d’Orsay are pretty spectacular. I plan to write a full post about the museum. As you probably know, at one time it was a hustling, bustling train station. It was opened around 1900. It’s still a stunner. It re-opened as a museum in 1986. Add it to your Paris list!! T. (And as always, thanks for your kind, kind words!!)

      Like

    • Tee. Hee. Hee. Add a rich and hot coffee, topped with a thick layer of foam. Each and every time, the experience transports me to heaven. It’s all about the little things in life! T.

      Like

    • Thank you, LLTS!! Welcome to Planet Bling. I’m off now to check out your shopping—worldwide site. Interesting times ahead, I’m sure of it! Theadora (And thanks for the birthday wishes! And YES. I did shop during the big week.)

      Like

    • Oh, thank you, Patricia! T. (Say, I’m looking forward to reading your “The Bridge Club” book, along with “The Promise of Provence.” They both look very interesting! Gorgeous cover. Think pink!)

      Like

  3. Lunchtime in Paris. My daughter and I had trod the halls of the Louvre then shopped Yves Delorme, stocking up on linen. We are starving. We passed a small delicatessen. There was a line-up for their baguettes – crusty, fresh rolls filled with cheese and ham. Each one made fresh – just for you. Your photograph brought that wonderful April day back to me. Food really does evoke strong memories Theadora. V.

    Like

    • I loved your story, Virginia. Fragrance and food always evoke strong memories. The smell of steamed shrimp with Old Bay Seasoning always, always sends me to my grandmother Emmae’s row house, each and every time. And the smell of homemade cranberry sauce and sauerkraut sends me to my grandmother Helen’s house. Powerful punch. Virginia, again, thanks for creating such a wonderful, wonderful birthday post. I am STILL smiling. By the way, it inspired me to dust off the keys on my old French typewriting and start writing a line or three! I love the sound of the tap tap tapping shiny glass keys. Like rain. T. (A snaking line out the door is always a good sign. Do you recall the weather?)

      Like

  4. Happy Birthday wishes to you Theadora! Your photos as usual are gorgeous – sunshine croissants and clocks et al and trust there will be champagne for further worthy celebrations.

    As for Fresh Pressed, congratulations! You will always be a fresh press delight for me!

    Like

    • Thanks, Patti! Your words made me grin. Sunshine, baked goods, bubbly and a few glorious monuments make life wonderful every day of the year. It’s all I need! T. (And gosh, I just discovered your “Street Party” shot. Talk about dancing on air!! Beautiful.)

      Like

    • Thank you!! (And YES. Ice cream was part of the celebration, along with chocolate, fruit and the tunes of Dalida. I agree with you. Gelato is dinner-worthy!!)

      Like

    • Thanks, Elizabeth! YES. Pine. Again, it’s one of my favorite words! T. (Both Oscar Wilde and Zelda Fitzgerald would approve, I do believe!)

      pine
      /pīn/
      verb. languish – yearn – long
      : to yearn intensely and persistently especially for something unattainable

      Origin of PINE
      Middle English, from Old English pīnian to suffer, from *pīn punishment, from Latin poena — more at pain
      First Known Use: 14th century

      (-Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

      Like

    • YES. Our Virginia is pretty darn wonderful!! And so are you!! Safe journey to you, Monsieur Tin Man. I’m already looking forward to reading your Yellow Brick Road reports. Big hugs and take care of your ruby red shoes and flying monkeys! Feed them well! Love, T.

      Like

    • What a thoughtful birthday wish!! I feel the same way about your work. I loved your post about passionate, the dramatic Edna St. Vincent Millay! I should track down her Paris residence! Thanks for the brainstorming! You picked one of my favorites:

      First Fig
      My candle burns at both ends;
      It will not last the night;
      But, ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
      It will give a lovely light!

      —A Few Figs From Thistles (1920)

      Like

    • Thank you, Karen! I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. I always look forward to your inspiring posts. It IS easy being green! Happy Earth Day (April 22, 2013)!! T.

      Like

    • Merci, Meg!! I plan to write a full post about Musée d’Orsay. I took many photographs! It’s one of my favorite places in the city. Plus, there’s a fabulous little perfume shop a hop, skip and jump away from the museum. It’s been there for decades. And so has the manager! She knows scents and people. A matchmaker!! T.

      Like

    • Thank you, Richard!! I always enjoy my afternoons at the Musée d’Orsay. It’s the perfect place to go on a rainy day. The museum had been a train station, so there are many fabulous details to shoot, inside and out. The first “clock” shot was photographed inside the upper level café, and the second clock was shot outside the French Impressionism wing. It’s another great people-watching spot. I love to study folks studying (and sometimes mirroring) the large statues. Fascinating!! T. (Thanks also for your sweet birthday wishes!!)

      Like

  5. Ah, bonne anniversaire, Mlle B!!! May many good things come to you all year, but especially at “l’heure bleu”!

    Love, love these images, the colors of early twilight still sumptuous…and though I’ve just eaten, les baguettes look awfully sumptuous, too! Being ‘inside’ the clock is just too perfect a spot to celebrate!

    Wish I had known the date–I’d have sent a surprise!

    Like

    • Well, Merci, Pal!!

      YES. Especially at l’heure bleue—my favorite time of the day. It moves me each and every time. There’s something so soothing about sunsets and sunrises, too. Why do I love them so? Mulling starts now as I’m hum the “Twilight” song by the Ink Spots and Platters. I’ll report back . . .

      And speaking of clocks and time, your recent shots of the Chicago sunrise through the bare trees are gorgeous.

      B.

      Like

      • Ah, merci, Mlle B.! L’heure bleue is also my favorite, though this evening I fear it will be more of a deep golden gray…so many clouds and much, much rain today!

        Like

  6. Happy Birthday Theadora, I hope you had a wonderful day – if the pictures are a true reflection of your day, then it was fab – love the baguette and the hints on great places to go. Duly noted in my journal for next May! As for being in the WordPress spotlight, you absolutely deserve it – your posts are always brilliant.

    Like

    • Thank you for the birthday wishes!! May is just around the corner. I have a few more restaurants and pâtisseries up my sleeve. Le Potager du Père Thierry at 16 Rue des 3 Frères in Abbesses (18th arrondissement) is very charming. It’s a tiny place, so reservations are required. Here’s the telephone number for you: 01 53 28 26 20. Located just a few blocks away from the Métro Abbesses, it’s a favorite of the locals. After dinner, you’ll be able to stroll up to Sacré Coeur for a fabulous view of the city!! T. (I’m looking forward to your reports!)

      Like

      • Wow, thanks for the recommendation Theadora – really appreciated and now noted in my journal – as you say, May is just around the corner but sadly our visit is not until May 2014. At the moment, I am nannying for my daughter during her second pregnancy. Baby is due in August and our treat to ourselves post the birth will be our trip to France – it dangles like the proverbial carrot! We wanted to be in Paris in the spring hence the long wait…..but I am so enjoying doing research meantime – where to go, where to stay, what to see etc, so your posts are invaluable.

        Like

  7. Happy birthday!! What great events to surround such a wonderful occasion : ) Congrats on Freshly Pressed. As usual, you’re making me want to move to Paris. Annnd I love your cover photo of the elephant and the Eiffel Tower. Have a great time!

    Like

    • Thank you!! I scored model Monsieur Mammoth at the Porte de Vanves Flea Market!! Our photo shoot took place at the Jardin du Luxembourg later on in the day. A dramatic storm was approaching but he stayed cool as a cucumber. He’s quite photogenic, eh?
      Say, I just read about the your favorite joint. Sigh. What would Hem, Hadley, Zelda and Scott do? Good luck “tapping into your inner F. Scott Fitzgerald.” Great line!! T.

      Like

  8. Wow, congrats on the well-deserved Freshly Pressed! It’s always so much fun to watch the blog stats go completely crazy for a few days, and to grab a bunch of new followers in the process.

    I had no idea you could have tea next to the Orsay clock. My mom’s coming into town soon and I think I’ll definitely be offering this activity while she’s here!

    Happy belated birthday!

    Like

    • Bonjour, Corey! YES. You’ve enjoyed the hustling, bustling Freshly Pressed wheel. Your Montmartre-Abbesses snow shots were so lovely!

      I shot the first clock in the museum café on the top floor. It’s a little pricey but there is no fee to shoot. I shot the second clock outside the French Impression gallery (K). Don’t miss the L’ange du bizarre. Le romantisme noir de Goya à Max Ernst (The Angel of the Odd). The exhibition runs through the 9th of June. Lovely. Haunting, too.

      I’d also take your mother to the affordable garden café at the Petit Palais. What a sweet spot. Heaven!!
      T.

      Like

  9. Love this picture from inside the clock. Bings back great memories of first trip to Paris and has remained one of my favorite spots …and the museum is fantastic. Thanks for the blog sharing your personal favorites.

    Like

  10. T
    A very Happy Birthday… looks like it was a nice weekend of enjoying the occasion. As usual, great pics. I remember my trying to get interesting shots of the clock from inside… I wonder what I did with them?
    Best wishes
    Thom

    Like

    • Thanks, Thom! YES. I am still enjoying my birthday week! Ah, so you also took photographs of the clocks inside the Musée d’Orsay. Let me know if you find them. I’d love to see your shots! T.

      Like

  11. Hi Theadora! Wow! Your blog is growing so beautifully and now you have been Freshly Pressed! I am sooo pleased for you! I love your new banner. Where did you take the photograph? I have to admit the name looks stunning (and I think you know why I love it – tee-hee). This is exactly how my name is pronounced. Have a very Happy Birthday too! Take Care, Thea

    Like

  12. Happy Birthday ! What a fun birthday surprise to be “freshly pressed”. Your pictures are really pretty, and now I would like a baguette mixte 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you, Jennifer!! The timing was perfect. A lovely birthday gift! And YES. The baguette mixte is always the perfect meal or goûter—in my book! Good luck with the upcoming move to France. This is very exciting!! Theadora

      Like

      • Theadora,

        Thanks so much for the well wishes 🙂 Your posts are always spot on. Very cool stuff. Always looking forward to more!

        Jennifer

        Like

  13. Congratulations on the Spotlight! Much deserved! And of course, Happy Birthday! Thank you for always keeping up with us at The Eye of Faith (ever since we were young!), and continuing to follow us. It makes me so happy that a girl with as great taste as you do, can appreciate the world we have to offer.

    Looks like you had a gorgeous day. How can any day in Paris go wrong? I really love those pictures of the clock in the Musee d’Orsay. Absolutely magical. I’d be holding onto that memory forever. . .

    Much love, and sending out good vibes!

    Until we meet again,

    {theEye}
    +

    Like

    • Ah, the always FLY Eye! How great to hear from you. Thank you for the thoughtful words! And YES. This gal (with sublime taste!) has been a long time believer and admirer of your site. It’s true I love how you mesh historical tidbits, vintage clothing, tawdry gossip, and AB FAB images. Bravo!!

      Sending back BIG love and positive vibes!
      T.

      (The Musée d’Orsay is one of my favorite spots on the planet. You’d love the current exhibition: “L’ange du bizarre. Le romantisme noir de Goya à Max Ernst” (The Angel of the Odd. Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst)!

      Like

  14. Happy Birthday, Theadora!

    I had no idea about the Freshly Pressed! What a great surprise that must have been. I’m also super jealous that you go into the clock tower at the Musée d’Orsay. That’s not open to the public is it? Wow, what an incredible birthday! Then again, you sure deserve it!

    Paul

    Like

    • Thanks, Paul! YES. It is possible to spend some time with the clocks at the Musée d’Orsay. At the time of my visit, the rooftop wasn’t open. Maybe they’ll open it during the warmer months? My fingers and toes are crossed. The first clock is located in the upper level café and the second clock sits pretty outside the always very crowded French impressionism wing. Don’t miss the “L’ange du bizarre. Le romantisme noir de Goya à Max Ernst” exhibition (through June 9th). Perhaps you’ve seen it? It’s wonderful, wonderful! T. (Enjoy the weekend!)

      Like

    • Merci, Julianne!! I loved reading about your Paris trip. You were there one year ago?! Are you still wearing the fabulous pink hat? Say, where did you find it? It was a beauty! T.

      Like

      • Yes, we went last March – I’m impressed that you remember, thank you! – and I’m still pining for it. Still wearing the hat, also, which I got at La Boutique a Chapeaux on Rue St. Honore – will hopefully get more wear out of it now that we’re moving into beautiful summer weather from a rainy Portland winter.

        Like

      • YES. I remember! Your photographs were beautiful. And so was hat! Thanks for passing on the name of the boutique! I’ll have to check out La Boutique à Chapeaux. I’m in need of a summer hat! T. (Enjoy the week!)

        Like

  15. I’m a little bit late but Joyeux Anniversaire ! And congrats for featuring in WordPress’ “Freshly Pressed” !!! Your posts are always fabulous and interesting, so keep on the stunning work !

    Like

    • Thank you, Rasha!! So you’re visiting Paris in July? I love Paris during the summertime months. It stays light outside until about 10 PM. Perfect for photography. How exciting! Feel free to ask questions. Have you started to pack?! Theadora

      Like

  16. Bon anniversaire, Theadora! These photos top them all (and that’s saying something!).
    Where you really got me, though, was at Baguette. Oh, do those look delicious! You and Paris were made for each other —

    Like

    • Merci, Touch2Touch! YES. I do the love the baguette sandwich. It’s true. The Café de la Mairie in Saint-Germain-Des-Prés makes a mean Baguette Cantal Beurre. Baguette Jambon Beurre Gruyère is another winner. I usually pair it with a coffee!

      You’ll appreciate this tidbit! Here is where literary favorites CONNECTED: Saul Bellow, Djuna Barnes, Henry Valentine Miller, Anaïs Nin, and Ernest Hemingway, along with F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Samuel Becket, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and Simone de Beauvoir—just to name a few!

      And it’s one of my favorite places to connect with friends and my sketchbook! Enjoy the weekend!

      Like

  17. That baguette looks delicious. Have you been to Cafe Panis near Notre Dame? Got a creme brulee there that was incredible.

    Like

    • Oh, nice tip, James! The Café Panis has been on my list. It’s also near the Shakespeare & Co. Bookshop. Perfect location with a fabulous view (21 Quai de Montebello, 5th arrondissement). YES. I will try the Crème Brûlée. Thanks for the push!! T.

      Like

  18. Pingback: Un passage à vide | One quality, the finest.

  19. And here it is, the most belated birthday greeting ever. ¡Feliz cumpleaños, nena! Had I not been completely WordPress MIA mid-April, I would have re-posted the “Throw Your Own M@ Birthday Party” in your honor. I hope you Marie Antoinetted the hell out of your special day!

    It’s good to be back with your brilliant photos, tightly-written posts and oh! that bling!

    n*

    ps – if you should happen to have any toile de jouy images in your vast archives that would make for a new blog background, I’d be most obliged!

    Like

  20. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! You deserve it! Happy birthday too as I missed it. Cheers. Thanks for the recent visit to my blog – it was an honor.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: