Review: Coffee Club

Coffee Club // 87 Rue d’Assas, 75006 // Métro: Luxembourg (RER), Vavin, Notre Dame des Champs (let’s be real, they are all equally far away). // 3 out of 5 stars // €€


While going out to lunch with a friend of mine she suggested Coffee Club, in the 6th. I had never heard of it. She was craving that kind of American food with a healthy twist. Green juice with a side of avocado toast, if you will.

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Review: Coffee Club

Love at L’Eclair de Génie

I know it’s past Valentine’s Day, but I wasn’t able to post it before and I have these beautiful pictures that I don’t want to go to waste. So.

L’Eclair de Génie! I was in the Marais last week. And I dropped by L’Eclair de Génie on rue Pavée. And I saw this beautiful Valentine’s Day creation with LOVE spelled out on the top in sparkly joyful letters and I couldn’t resist. Plus, the flavor was crème caramel, which I adore, so it was a no-brainer really.

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Love at L’Eclair de Génie

actress Michèle Morgan

The actress Michèle Morgan, a star of French cinema, died on December 20th 2016, at the age of 96.

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According to France Culture Michèle Morgan « a révolutionné l’image de la femme moderne » (“revolutionized the image of the modern woman”) and was herself a symbol of French cinema. The original femme fatale.

Her most famous role was that of Nelly in Le Quai des Brumes (or Port of Shadows for American audiences). Quai des Brumes came out in 1938 and is categorized under the French film movement called réalisme poétique (poetic realism), which was the originating influence that birthed American film noir. In fact this film was the first to ever be called  « un film noir » by the French press.

The most famous scene in Quai des Brumes, and one of the most famous scenes in all of French cinema, is the one with the line « T’as d’beaux yeux tu sais ».  In the scene, the protagonist (played by Jean Gabin, a titan of French cinema) has fallen in love with Nelly (played by Michèle Morgan); they are at a carnival and they stop mid stroll to have a romantic moment where he tells her, “You have beautiful eyes, you know”, and she replies “Kiss me” (« Embrassez-moi »):

Le Monde’s obituary reminds us that in that titular scene of Quai des Brumes, Morgan responds to Gabin’s desire with that of her own, demanding “Kiss me”. Demonstrating that « Elle n’était pas seulement un objet de désir, mais une actrice à la sexualité affirmée, formulant ses désirs. Une femme qui menait les débats, c’est-à-dire une star » (“She wasn’t only an object of desire, but an actress that affirmed her own sexuality, formulated her own desires. A woman that dominated conversations, that is to say a star”).

France Culture explains that « Elle est surnommée «les yeux du cinéma français», tellement son regard transperce la pellicule et envoûte le spectateur » (“She was nicknamed ‘the eyes of french cinema’, by reason of her gaze which pierced through the film and captivated the audience”). Le Monde specifies that « Michèle Morgan a dû composer avec son regard toute sa carrière » (“Michèle Morgan must have crafted, with that gaze, her entire career”). But behind those eyes there was a sense melancholiness that pervaded her, she herself having remarked: « la tristesse est mon élément » (“sadness is my element”).

And there is definitely something about her eyes in Quai des Brumes. Her incredible see-through trench coat that she wears in the first scene in which we meet her (by Coco Chanel, how daring for 1938!). Her indomitable spirit in the face of the incredible darkness that permeates the film. Her belief in love. Michèle Morgan’s performance is what makes Quai des Brumes a classic of French cinema. And so much of that performance is contained in her gaze, which does indeed leap off the screen, pinning you to your seat, almost as if she can see right through you.

Michèle Morgan was a force to be reckoned with. We are the poorer for her loss, but we can thank our lucky stars that she honored us with her talent, and left behind such beautiful performances. Merci Michèle Morgan, merci infiniment.

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actress Michèle Morgan

paris instagrammers to follow

I wanted to share with you all some of the Instagram accounts I follow that have amazing pictures of Paris. This post focuses more on bloggers and professional accounts. (I was inspired by this post on Chocolate & Zucchini.) More posts on this topic to come because there are so many awesome accounts to follow and they don’t all fit into one post.

@parisjetaime

The Instagram account for the Paris tourist office. Features all kinds of great photos of Paris from various photographers. You can see photos of monuments (of course) and the streets of Paris, but also of events and places you might not know.

"After the rain, the fine weather" 💦🌂⛅ Lovely picture dear @ruerodier! #parisjetaime #rooftop #rain

A post shared by Paris Je t'aime (@parisjetaime) on

 

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paris instagrammers to follow

giverny

In mid-April I went to Giverny to visit Monet’s house and gardens. I had been wanting to go since I heard about it last spring.

My godparents were in town visiting, and they mentioned that they wanted to go out to Giverny. So I said that I would love to come along, and we decided to make the trip out there Monday morning to beat some of the crowds. The weather was perfect, it was a high of 55 degrees Fahrenheit (about 12 degrees Celsius) with sun and no clouds but also a slight breeze. It was warm in the sun and delightfully cool in the shade. Basically, perfect.

My godparents have French cousins that joined us for our visit to Giverny, the two of them are lovely. It was nice to see them for a second time and to spend some time all together just walking around taking in the beauty of nature.

I took about a billion pictures of flowers, so many things were blooming on our mid-April trip, and it was absolutely magnificent. The riotous color combinations were glorious. And it was so nice to be outside of Paris, in nature, and enjoying the fresh air. The gardens are gorgeous; I could have stayed there all day. Too bad there is no re-entry once you leave, because I would have liked to read all afternoon in the shade surrounded by so many flowers.

There were quite a few people and I am not a fan of crowds (if you feel similarly I would advise avoiding it during high tourist season in the summer) but there were not so many people at this time of year that I was put off, it ended up being fine. It is definitely worth a visit, the water lily pond alone is stunning. I understand, given all the people, why they don’t allow reentry, I think people would stay all day if they could.

I liked it even more than I thought I would. The town has managed to stay somewhat frozen in time. It’s very picturesque. Pure touristy, but in a charming way. And wandering through the gardens you just forget about everything else.

After our visit our group had lunch together. We ate lunch outside on a terrace at a crêperie at the end of the main road, part of a lovely little hotel with a view of hills. It was in the opposite direction of the entrance to the town via bus so there were far less people and crowds, it was very calm and just a really wonderful long lunch spent with some great company.

At the bottom of this post, after the pictures, I have included some tips I picked up during our day trip to Giverny in case they might help you as well.

I did not include pictures of my traveling companions because I don’t believe in blogging the faces of those in my life; that sort of thing I reserve for facebook where we can enjoy the photos together. Weirdly enough, I will take photos of random people, but only in admiration.

If you would like to view the pictures alone, in album format on Flickr, you can find them here. And of course all pictures are copyright to me and are not to be used without my permission.

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small pink flowers on a tree

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giverny