Bonjour les tous! You may have noticed a lack of regular blogging lately at Paris Parfait. That's because May is a popular month for visitors to Paris. I've been a mad social butterfly, flitting from one rendezvous to another with blogging friends. Within the last ten days, have hosted three small dinner parties and been all over town for lunches, walks, brocantes, shopping and tea(s). What a treat it has been!
I've been spending lots of time with my dear friends Lee Renninger, Susan Gardner Creamer and Di Overton (all have been to Paris several times). I also had the good fortune to meet the fabulous Claudia Strasser - and her lovely friend, also named Claudia - for the first time.
In 1997, I was living in San Francisco, when I picked up a copy of Claudia's book The Paris Apartment at a bookstore in Monterey. Never did I dream I'd someday live in my own Paris apartment - and meet Claudia in Paris! On Tuesday, Di and I had a couple of hours of non-stop conversation with the two Claudias at Merci's cozy book-lined cafe. Such fun!
Claudia now lives in sunny Miami, writes the eye-candy-packed blog The Paris Apartment and often brings clients to Paris to shop for their apartments, whether a holiday home in Paris or elsewhere. Her friend Claudia Tessler is up to all sorts of philanthropic and green projects in New York. Both women are formidable (in the best, French sense).
Earlier that morning, Di and I had tea at Merci, before heading to the Antiquites Brocante at Place de la Bastille. It was rainy and cold and I was wearing a thin top and lightweight coat, which wasn't helped by a partially-collapsed umbrella. We didn't last long at the outdoor venue, before heading to lunch. I did manage to find a rare and beautiful Tibetan book of prayers at Bastille, but the grey miserable weather dampened the urge to browse (probably a good thing).
After meeting the Claudias, Di and I went shopping for dinner ingredients. Later we were joined by Di's partner Harvey and their daughter Charlotte for lemon chicken, whipped up by the resident chef. Before and after dinner, we were riveted to BBC coverage of events related to the UK election: Prime Minister Gordon Brown resigning and David Cameron taking office, after agreeing to a full coalition with Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. It's the first time the UK has had a coalition government since World War II! Interesting times, indeed.
These weeks of socialising have come at a price: I have numerous projects piled up, vying for attention. Am working on those now, as this weekend we head to Amsterdam to see friends and explore areas in which to live. Consequently, blogging again will be sporadic for a few days. But I expect to have lots of news and photos to share upon my return late next week. And two more blogging buddies will arrive!
Meanwhile, the brocante at Bastille continues from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Sunday. Stalls are lined up on both sides of the Canal St. Martin. If you're lucky enough to be in Paris, don't miss the chance for incredible antiques and vintage collectibles! Tickets are available at the door.
Photos at Merci, Paris, 2009.
P.S. El Secreto de sus Ojos - The Secret in their Eyes - is a must-see! After reading reviews for the award-winning film (including a 2010 Oscar for Best Foreign Film), I discovered it hadn't yet been released in Europe. So I ordered the DVD from Argentina, in Spanish (with English subtitles). It's brilliant - interweaving a dark mystery and a poignant story of love too long delayed.