This week should be titled Friday@Flores, because it sounds so much more espagnol, and last week, while in San Francisco, I stayed in the Spanish speaking part of the city, the Mission District. California started out as part of Mexico, an
d the Mission at Dolores Park was one of the first establishments in the area. The neighbor clings proudly to its hispanic heritage, serving up some of the freshest, most authentic foods, selling wrestling masks, and promoting murals in to the realm of fine art. For All Saint’s Day the Mexican community turns out in force to celebrate Dia de los Muertos.
And in the words of the great Maurice Sendak, “Let the wild rumpus begin
I have not posted for the last two days. No warnings, no advance notice, just *poof* I disappeared. There are no official rules in the blogosphere, but I find this to be ultimate un-cool. My apologies to all. Now for the good stuff. I disappeared to Chicago, then San Francisco where I lost myself in a sun-soaked glorious week of friends and family.
Which brings me to this week’s Friday@Flore. Before the Flore became I regular part of my life’s routine, there was the Dolores Café. Located on a busy neighborhood corner, just below Dolores Park with its historic California mission. There are basketball courts, a high-tech kiddie park, rolling green hills and a spectacular view of downtown, the entire scene perfumed with the aromas of medical marijuana.
I was not falling into hyperbole when I spoke of a sun-soaked SF visit. Its unusual, but it happened and every local with the slightest excuse to procrastinate had hit the slopes. I often joke that I do not know how to dress, because California has no sense of style, but my afternoon spent following the local street fashion scene proves me woefully wrong.
Couples of every combination were putting on their fashionable best – a relaxed adult grandson with his super cool grandma, LGBT trendsetters, woefully hipster couples, true next generation hippies, and vintage vamps. It was a kaleidoscope of style and design that left me feeling like a kid who had just devoured her favorites from her plastic pumpkin Halloween goodie bag. Well, to be honest, I HAD just devoured some of my childhood, but that’s another adventure…
I’m starting this week with the classic Paris shot. Please accept this as my apology for not being able to offer the real deal, because instead of heading the Café de Flore right now, I am sitting on an airplane with M, headed to Chicago to see our much-missed E for Family Weekend at the University of Chicago. there is no French term for Family Weekend. The idea is so foreign that I have to translate it, and then explain the concept, and they still nod at me vacantly.
Through the past six months I have collected more than photos. I have met charming people, like this lovely German couple who met in Paris as students 20 years ago. They were back for the first time, having left a young son at home so they can celebrate their anniversary.
Others don’t wait twenty years, at all. Others come daily, some even at the exact same time, settling into the same spot, sharpening their crayons and drawing their own conclusions of life @Flore.
And not everyone leaves the kids at home. this precious group was traveling en famille, Dad patiently watching the kinder while Mom did a little book shopping at L’Ecume des Pages (excellent bookstore next to the Flore and open until midnight, wahoo!!!)
And then there are those who are out and about exploring the boulevard with man’s best friend, les chiens that even the French understand is (wo)man’s best friend.
I feel like it has been ages since I’ve done a real Friday@Flore, so it felt great to out and back at my favorite haunt, eavesdropping on the Italian gentleman and his very elegant lady friend who was wearing a gorgeous dress that looked like it had walked off the Céline runway on to the Paris streets. She was from Colombia and they were both here to look at the FIAC contemporary art show. Beautiful people doing beautiful things. Sigh…
But the real people were fun to watch, too. The girls in their jaunty scarves, choosing bright colors to stave off the winter blues. It has been grey in Paris, folks. Very grey. So grey we’re all starting to feel like a pair of warm flannel pants rotting away in the bottom of the wardrobe.
And just to give you an idea of how much cheering we’re needing, everyone seemed to lighting up the scene with a splash of red. Of the 36 photos I shot 1/3 had people wearing a bit of red. Who knew? Time to run out and do a little wardrobe cherry picking!
But even more popular than the color red, the true look du jour requires a scarf. Any scarf will do, from the big and bulky cosy look to the light jaunty bohemian style. Because its not just about fashion, it is scarf weather for one and all.
And after all that fashion, I was happy to get this quintessential Paris shot, even if there was no red in sight.
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