Monthly Archives: May 2009

Berthillon Glaces

cafe

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As much as everyone raves about Berthillon, it’s important to remember that it really is that good. The first day we were in Paris, I had the chocolate and mango glaces at Le Cafe Gourmand near the Jardin de Luxemborg. The last full day we were in Paris, we went to the Berthillon near Notre Dame, and I had to have the mango again, but with the amaretto praline. And a sugar waffle. It was amazing, again.

Later in the day, we went to Amorino, to compare the gelatto. I had their mango, which was very good, but didn’t really compare to the exquisite taste of the Berthillon. But still a very good treat!

Paris jewel thief takes $8m haul

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Taste test comparison between Michel Cluizel and Pierre Herme macarons. Pierre Herme wins big…

As noted by my husband, we have an alibi for the robbery yesterday, as we had already left the country by then. However, we were in the Place Vendome area last Friday, though, and walked around there in between sessions of our marathon tour of the Louvre on its late-evening day.

Jewellery worth more than 6m euros (£5m, $8m) has been stolen from an exclusive Paris store in broad daylight by a lone gunman, reports say.

The suited robber entered Chopard on Place Vendome and threatened staff into handing over 15 pieces of jewellery, a police source told Reuters.

He calmly walked out of the store after the hold-up, which happened just before 1500 (1300 GMT).

Chopard jewellery is worn by stars at the Oscars and Cannes film festival.

Place Vendome is an elegant old square known for its luxury hotels, and is also home to numerous jewellery stores as well as the French justice ministry.

In December, armed robbers stole jewels worth at least 80m euros ($102m) from a store near the French capital’s famous Champs-Elysees avenue.

As many as four robbers, two disguised as women, raided the Harry Winston’s store and stole nearly all its valuables.

via BBC NEWS | Europe | Paris jewel thief takes $8m haul.

ViedeMerde and FMyLife

The Parisian attitude towards life really is a lot like this — riding on the Metro you could simply see the long-standing suffering in the looks on the Parisian faces, the men standing with their pointy-toed elf shoes that must have been killing their feet, and the women with their beautiful scarves and jackets who didn’t give the least hint how overly warm they actually were on the Metro, just suffering patiently even as I would bail out of my jacket or take off my scarf and stuff it in my bag or whatever. The exception to the ever-tolerant suffering attitude was the young lovers, who were really cute, but even then you could often see young couples arguing very dramatically with scorn on their faces.

Viedemerde.fr (VDM) is a French site devoted to the truth that life is suffering. Vie de merde means — well, use the Babel translator. In the French way, VDM is devoted to offering the truth of suffering as short, tight exemplary narratives that are classified by subject — Amour, Argent, Enfants, Sexe, Travail and my favorite, Unclassable.

Viedemerde often has a rueful or droll touch:

Today I brought my lingerie home from my boyfriend’s place and found some that did not belong to me.

Today I had a big argument with my girlfriend who accused me of being narcissistic. Leaving home, I decided to write a text message to get her to forgive me. Lapse or inattention? I signed off with “I love myself.”

When you post on VDM it is rated with a little benediction: “It’s true it’s a VDM, it’s confirmed.”

Since Americans wanted to celebrate the Buddha’s dark diagnosis of the human condition in their own language, FMyLife.com arose. FMyLifes are postcards from Delusionville, narratives of failed hope, more emo and histrionic than Viedemerde.

Sometimes FMyLife is a miscellany of simple complaints, but the ideal post depends on a mapping problem, an irretrievable misreading of a situation:

Today, I was waiting in the car while my mom went into a store to get beer. A few minutes later, some random guy was knocking on my window telling me to open the door. I started cursing him out, thinking I was getting attacked. Turns out he worked there and was putting the beer in the car.

Today, my brother came out to our family as being gay. My mother starting crying because “She wanted grandchildren.” I told her that I was planning on having children. She started crying harder.

Today, I was on the bus home and on the phone with my best friend discussing my sex life with this new guy I’m seeing. I was telling her all sorts of raunchy sex things we’ve done until someone taps my shoulder and says “I’m sure he doesn’t appreciate you saying this in public.” It was his mom.

The site is intended to prove and even relish the idea that the cards are against you and your life really is a soap opera.

FMLs are rated by clicking on the message, “I agree, your life is f***ed,” which is perhaps taken as empathy, or clicking on “You deserved that one.” FML provides a dose of despairing chaos in case that is what you need to tune your day, your job, your mind. You could say FML’s purpose is consolation by diagnosis — Things are out of whack, dude, which is the first noble truth of Buddhism.

via Shambhala SunSpace » John Tarrant’s “Escape Arts in Delusionville”: My Average Life.

Back in San Diego

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We’re back in San Diego after a long travel day yesterday.

It was a wonderful trip, so much to see and do in Paris and all so much fun. The bunnies at Printemps were so cute! The food was wonderful, especially the macarons and chocolate and bread and yogurt. It was nice to be in a place where people take food seriously. We only had one evening when it was difficult to find something we liked, in Montmarte which was so touristy and we couldn’t find the recommended restaurant and nothing else looked good, but I think I was a bit out of sorts that night anyway. At least Sacré-Cœur Basilica was gorgeous and made up for it, though.

We walked everywhere in Paris, usually several miles in a day. The metro really does go everywhere and it’s pretty easy to get around once you figure it out. Of all the areas we went, I think we enjoyed the Marais and St. Germain areas the most. Some areas you always hear about are so touristy and just not really much fun, so it’s nice to get into the areas of the city where people really live and enjoy life more as a real Parisian. That was where the trip was really enjoyable and we just relaxed and had fun.

Lots of posts and pics to come, but first I have to dig my house out from the mess they boys have made of it (not so bad, really, considering they had friends over pretty much every day and the pets are doing fine, at least)

Au revoir, Paris!

We must leave today — le tragique!

Check the gallery for photos — Notre Dame yesterday and wanderings through the Latin Quarter, ending up at the Jardin de Plantes. Even found a gaming shop my son would like and bought him some gaming figures to replace the ones that Darwin ate while we were away…

Lots more when we get home — it’s really just been too busy to post much here! I am not a good travel blogger, at least not while actually traveling! It’s far more fun to be doing than talking about it all.

Shopping in Paris

Yes, we have shopped in Paris today! Also, shopping on the Champs Elysees is ass — go to Galleries Lafeyette instead.

And I took pictures of the bunnies.

Sadly, I only bought one chemise, which is one fewer shirt than hubby bought… I am not much for haute couture… perhaps I’ll try again after we return from Giverny!

Photos will be posted in the gallery probably tomorrow — check them out!

Just another gorgeous day in Paris

Visited the Center Georges Pompidou Modern Art Musee and the Musee Picasso today — not many pics to add to the gallery since they weren’t allowed in these two museums. Then wandered around the Marais for a while, sat in a cafe and watched the world go by. Quite fun, but we’re exhausted, hot and tired from walking in the muggy weather. So off to get some rest and probably have a nice easy shopping day tomorrow.

au revoir!

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These will be eaten in your honor! Many of them! Dunno if I’ll be posting from Paris, since we’ll be busy and only have a smallish travel laptop that is a bit of a pain to use, mostly bringing it to offlad pictures from the cameras. But there will be lots of pics when we get back!