Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Favorite Spots in Paris - Part Four

  Île Saint-Louis and The Café St. Regis

Well, I'm going to squeeze three different things into my Part Four of favorite spots in Paris.

❤  ❤  ❤

You can't visit Paris and not spend time in cafésbistros, and brasseries.

You can't read a book, or see a movie about Paris, without spending time in cafés, bistros, and brasseries.

And there's a very good reason for all that.

Several excellent reasons.   The food, the ambience, the history, the architecture, etc.


Not all cafésbistros, and brasseries have great food, or great coffee, or even serve cocktails.  Not all of them are beautiful.  


Speaking only for myself, there is a bit of magic in each and every one.

And yes, there ARE differences between a bistro and a café.

 And Annie André is here to explain those differences -


I have had only one bad experience in any of these.  It was in Montmartre.   I have also had lovely experiences in Montmartre, so that was certainly not meant as a blanket criticism.

One of my very most favorite bistros is The Café St. Regis.  The fact that it is located in my most very favorite area in Paris only adds to its charm. 

❤   Île Saint-Louis ❤

My first visit to Café St. Regis was during my first trip to Paris in 2017 with Lesa Holstine, Vickie Smith, and Lisa Butler.

To say I fell in love with Paris almost immediately upon landing at Charles de Gaulle airport is no exaggeration.  You'd be a happy woman too if a handsome gentleman asked very politely if he could carry your suitcase down a steep flight of stairs.

It just kept getting better and better from there.  

Of all of Paris, I fell completely and totally head over heels in love with  Île Saint-Louis. 

stopped in a gallery, Carré d’artistes, on Île Saint-Louis and bought a piece by a mixed media collage artist I had discovered on-line, Karine Romanelli.

This particular piece completely encapsulates Paris and I love it.

Within days of returning home I knew I was far from finished with Paris.

It didn't take long before I had convinced Donald to go to Paris with me, and plans were in the works within the week.

Including finding a very small studio apartment to rent on the Île Saint-Louis.

We arrived back in Paris almost a year to the day after my first trip.

The apartment was tiny and adorable and shared a courtyard with a boulangerie where we woke up in the mornings to the fragrance of baking croissants.

Café St. Regis was a couple blocks away.

We would stop there in the mornings for our coffee before wandering the city.  (It just so happens they have excellent Eggs Benedict).

And we would usually stop there again in the evenings.


There you have it (them).

Three favorite things from Paris.

Île Saint-Louis

Café St. Regis

And another favorite piece capturing those two favorite things painted by a favorite artist, Karine Romanelli

This hangs in our bedroom. 

 I can look at it and almost feel like Donald and I are right back there on the Île Saint-Louis, sitting at a small table in front of the Café St. Regis enjoying a Café Crème, or an evening cocktail, while we gaze at Notre Dame and do a little people watching while a young musician entertains us playing some sultry slow jazz on his saxaphone.


j'espère que vous reviendrez

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Favorite Spots in Paris - Part 3

"We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything."
            - - - Jonah Lehrer

And, my series on favorite spots in Paris continues.

I decided to do this series for several reasons.

1. Many of you have asked me what my favorite places in Paris are.

2. Since we're going back this year, it's fun for me to dream and plan and make lists. This series is actually a list of the places i love and hope to revisit.

3. I love talking about Paris. 😊.

So, here we go.

Like many, I was confused by the choice of the pyramid structure designed by I. M. Pei in 1984. 

After visiting, however, I've become somewhat mesmerized by its beauty and its magic.

 Now it's a favorite spot to stop for a rest, do some people watching, take some pictures, and have a cup of Cafe Marly's delicious hot chocolate.

It's especially magical at night.  

And there aren't nearly as many people around.  

j'espère que vous reviendrez

Friday, January 27, 2023

Happy National Chocolate Cake Day

And i have a hankering to do some baking.



I'm not saying I don't enjoy the days that I'm not eating chocolate cake. But I do particularly like those days when I am eating chocolate cake.

     - - -   Trisha Yearwood

Thursday, January 26, 2023

A thought for the day

 “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

               ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

I love this

Monday, January 23, 2023

A little snow in Meat Camp

 "Some people spend their entire lives seeing the snow without ever seeing the magic in the existence of one snowflake.” —Emily Littlejohn 

Life is good

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Revisiting favorites spots in Paris - Part 2 (edited)

Post edited to include two books that may be of interest:

The Covered Passages of Paris by Guy Lambert

Guidebook- The Arcades of Paris: History, Architecture, Walkways by Patrice de Moncan

* * *

Welcome to Part Two of my series covering places I want to return to in Paris.

People ask me what I love best about Paris, and the list is long.  

On a cold rainy day my favorite thing might include just sitting in a cafe reading, writing, drinking coffee and eating, visiting a favorite museum, or exploring the covered passages. 

Excerpt from Wikipedia - "The covered passages of Paris (FrenchPassages couverts de Paris) are an early form of shopping arcade built in Paris, France primarily during the first half of the 19th century. By the 1867 there were approximately 183[1] covered passages in Paris but this decreased greatly as a result of Haussmann's renovation of Paris. Only a couple of dozen passages remain in the 21st century, all on the Right Bank.[2] The common characteristics of the covered passages are that they are: pedestrianised; glass-ceilings; artificially illuminated at night (initially with gas lamps); privately owned; highly ornamented and decorated; lined with small shops on the ground floor; connecting two streets. Originally, to keep the passages clean, each would have an artiste de décrottage (a shit-removal artist) at the entrance to clean the shoes of visitors.

The passages were the subject of Walter Benjamin's incomplete magnum-opus Passagenwerk (Arcades Project) which was posthumously published."

I love the covered passages!

I love them for many reasons, not least of which is the architecture.  Glass ceilings.  Stained glass.  They're all unique.  Some more elegant than others.  

They're full of history, along with places to shop, places to eat.

The shopping is varied - you can find bookstores, clothes, art, antiques, even a shop carrying nothing but walking sticks, Gallerie Fayet (my personal favorite).   

Bins of antique post cards.  A shop dedicated to needlework.  One for stamps. 

You can browse them on your own, or take a tour.  If you look on-line you can find guided tours, or audio tours to download onto your phone.

This blog includes a map to their favorites - https://www.followmeaway.com/covered-passages-paris/

Here are a few blogs i enjoy and their posts about the passages which include a lot of pictures.




And here's the piece I posted at Meanderings and Muses about our own little exploration.  It  wasn't nearly enough.  I can't wait to do it again.


j'espère que vous reviendrez

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Returning to a few favorite spots in Paris - Part One

First - a little background on this post and those that will follow.  A fellow Francophile and I recently chatted about our favorite things about Paris.  It's easy to go on-line and find the perfect itineraries for your first trip to Paris, or the perfect itineraries for 3 days in Paris, etc.  All excellent.  But we were having a terrific time narrowing it down to a favorite small garden, a favorite place for a cup of coffee or a favorite place to just sit.  Usually it was a particular memory attached that made each place special to us.  And so, as it often happens, I decided to write a little about some of my favorite things in Paris.  Jouir!

# # # 

Yes, yes, yes, I know.  

I remind you of those friends and family members who invited you over so they could share vacation pictures and highlights.

And then set up the projector to flash hundreds and hundreds of slides up on the wall so you could enjoy each and every minute of memories of their trip along with them.

And it WAS fun for the first hundred slides or so . . . 


Welcome to Kaye's version of that vacation slide show.

And it's never ending.

This, in fact, is Part 1 of a several posts I'll be doing highlighting the places in Paris that have special significance to us that we plan on re-visiting.

I know.

I get it.

So this is where you can fix a drink, pull up a kitchen chair and join me, 

or move along.  It's okay . . .

Believe me - I get it.

I haven't traveled as extensively as I would like but it seems whenever Donald and I sit down to talk about "the next trip,' we end up back  in Paris.

I've been across a good bit of the United States, Hawaii (twice), Greece, Amsterdam (many times) and Paris (a few times, not enough).  

Places we still want to go include Italy, Spain and Ireland.  

ONE of these days . . . 

But in the meantime, yes, we're going back to Paris (I may have mentioned it a time or two).  But this trip is the trip I've dreamed of and Donald was more than agreeable when I brought it up.  A river trip down The Seine.

So, in addition to exploring more of France this trip, there are spots in Paris that we fell in love with that are on the list to re-visit.  Because, who knows, this could be our last trip to Paris.  If we want to see more of the world, we need to get busy 'cause we're not getting any younger!

At the top of the list is a visit with one of my favorite works of art, ever.

Ours Blanc (White Bear) by François Pompon

We bumped into this regal creature when we stepped into a small cafe in the downstairs of the Musee d'Orsay and were immediately smitten.

I don't know if that's where he's still hanging out, or if he's meandered off to another part of the museaum, but we're planning on tracking him down to say "hey."

The Musee d'Orsay, in addition to being home to many world famous works of art, is a spectacular work of art in and of itself.  A gorgeous Beaux Arts building which was once a railway station.

When we visited we were looking forward to seeing and photographing "The Clock"

Sadly, we weren't able to because that area of the museum was under construction.

Happily, we'll be able to see (and photograph) it this trip.

And even have a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine while admiring it.

It's now the focal point of the newest d'Orsay restaurant - Cafe Campana


If you enjoyed this little snippet about some of what I love about Paris, stay tuned - there's more to come.

j'espère que vous reviendrez

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

2022 Muses and a Little Meandering into 2023


We spent Christmas at home this year.

It was quiet, and it was peaceful.

And it was, for me, a time of reflection.

As we have gotten older, our Christmases have changed.  And this year brought more change.

The last few months of 2022 saw some family health issues for Donald's family, in addition to his folks moving from their home to a smaller place.

After a few trips to and from Alabama, he arrived back home a few days before Christmas to a wife with bronchitis.  


Better now, but still coughing.

But better.

And getting better every day.

Well enough to start doing some serious planning for our next trip.


Horizon (to Tristan Tzara) by Philippe Soupault

The whole town has come into my room
the trees have disappeared
and evening clings to my fingers
The houses are turning into ocean liners
the sound of the sea has just reached me up here
In two days we’ll arrive in the Congo
I’ve passed the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn
I know there are innumerable hills
Notre-Dame hides the Gaurisankar and the northern lights
night falls drop by drop
I await the hours

Give me that lemonade and the last cigarette
I’m going back to Paris

(translated by Rosmarie Waldrop)

Yes.  We're going back to Paris.  But not just Paris.

This trip is going to include visits to Honfleur, and Rouen, and Christmas markets along the Seine.  

A trip I've dreamed of.

And then a few days in Paris before returning home.

We have a year to dream and plan.

Life is good.

It's not always great, but it is good.

I am thankful for the life I'm living, and the man i love sharing this life with.

I think we're ready for maybe a Happier New Year with fewer challenges, but we will meet them as they come.

I'm not one for New Year resolutions, or even a one word resolution any longer (although maybe this year's word from me to me would be "chill.") 😊

But here's a list of gentle goals that does resonate -

These all seem doable; don't you think?

Wishing you all a good year.

May some dreams come true for you.