After a month of exile from my beloved Flore, I was rewarded with a visit to the equally historic, just as spectacular Caffè Florian on the Piazza St Marco in Venice, where I quickly discovered that the most important accessory was a partner. Everyone seemed to be a couple, strolling hand in hand, or side by side….
The Florian has been serving caffè to locals since 1720, serving such famous people as Casanova, Lord Byron, Proust and Balzac. With a seductively ornate interior and a sprawling terrace outside, it is the perfect place to stop for a Bellini after a long afternoon spent sight seeing.
At least, it would be the perfect place if you happened to be there during peach season. A true Bellini is Prosecco (Italy’s version of champagne) with crushed peach purée. Most places will be happy to serve you a glass of bubbly with industrial peach nectar. The Florian is NOT most places and refuse to serve Bellini is the peaches are not fully ripe and sweet.
To console disappointed tourists, they offer the Tiepolo, a crushed strawberries version of the Bellini. Less famous, it is infinitely more delicious and I savoured mine appreciatively as Mr French and I watched the world go by.
And a very brightly colored world it was…
And some more sedate folk, as well….
Looking for love?
Could it be her?
Friday@Flore is at work in the ‘burbs, but last Sunday was a gloriously beautiful day. The first of the year, and one of the few in the last 12 months. All of Paris was out reveling in the feeling of the air against their skin. It. was. glorious.
The photos are not great. I had left my camera at home but was so inspired by all the stunning fashion looks that I popped out my iPhone and starting tactile-ing away.
Everyone was seeking out the shade, making it even harder ot get decent shots, but proving how long spring is taking, as the trees remain bare!
I love this woman’s look. Mental note to self; keep an eye out for pleated khakis, ascooped neck indian blouse and a pair of orange shoes!
A un BON WEEKEND tout le monde !
I’ll be working outside the city today, so I actually went to Flore last Monday, thinking I’d get some great shots of people out enjoying Easter. WRONG!!!! Arctic winds kept temps in the zero range and even those who don’t usually mind the cold were generally disgusted with the dismal temps we’ve been having this year. Hey weather gods, up there? Ca suffit!!!
How did I know that everyone was down and out? That I wasn’t simply projecting? The shoes!!! Parisienne’s take great pride in taking care of their shoes. Frenchmen, who participate in very few of the household chores, proudly get out their shoe waxing kits each Sunday and tired, scuffed shoes are simply, NON!
But this week, it was all about comfort knows best and everyone had dug deep into their closet for abandoned old favorites! Les Parisiennes were wearing their walking shoes!
There was definitely a common thread running through it all. In a very brief shoot (did I mention that I was cold? I couldn’t stand there long, especially not with Mr French sitting in the glass enclosed terasse, a traditional hot chocolate steaming in his cupped hands) I saw countless pairs of ankle high boots.
Ankle high boots, and wedgies. Yes, mesdames, I am afraid that wedgies will be the next “thing”. They’ve been popping up for the past few years, but I’d hoped they’d disappear as fast as they’d appeared. I’d hoped wrong. The girls at the office tell me they’re comfortable. I see their point… you get to keep the slimming illusion of a heel with the comfy rubber sole and support of a wedge. And in this gorgeous red tone, who could resist? Hmmm….. time to go shopping?
And at last, a few pair of knee high boots. Oddly enough, we only see the thigh highs around fashion week!?! Loving the jaunty tassel on these boot! I’ll leave you with the chicest of them all… Wishing you a fabulous Friday and a fantabulous weekend. Here’s to a bit of sunshine for us all!
Hitting the streets a bit late with this post today, because Friday@Flore has left the café and headed to the Tuileries gardens where the Issey Miyaki show was going out on to the catwalk in the “tente ephemère” that city officials construct and de-construct each season, for Paris Fashion Week.
The designers are unveiling their Fall 2013 collections just as the kids in Paris head off on their winter break. Having a kid in Paris means that I’ll be missing most of the shows as we head off to the mountains and I do my Mom thing. I know, “We’re going to the alps” sounds oh, so, chic, but last time we went to the this resort I came down from the slopes in an ambulance and spent more time in the hospital than at the hotel!
I am in town long enough to attend at least one show, so I bundled up and headed out to see what the designer of Pleats Please had in mind for us. As always happens during Paris Fashion Week, I saw some really great street fashion along the way.
More than previous seasons, I was shocked by the uniformity of it all. There is definitely an accent color that is “IN” ladies and gentleman, with a second color trailing close behind.
As a pale skinned red head, this does not bode well for me, but everyone else looked simply ab fab in their quirky mustard yellows and warm reds.
Everyone except the star of the day for me, Mr Bill Cunningham, the street fashion reporter for the New York Times and my idol. He was wearing the cooler blues and greys. I am not usually great at recognizing celebrities and I don’t recall ever having seen the man, beyond the tiny photo of him on his bike that they use for the online NYTimes, but I recognized him immediately. And then I stalked him, noticing what he was photographing, and how, adding a street fashion master class to my day at Paris Fashion Week. I can now head for the slopes, visions of silks and laces slaloming in my head.
SMILE everybody, it’s a snow day!!!
These photos were taken over the weekend, when it really was snowing outside and blustery and beautiful. Today we’re back to DIOR grey skies with sub zero temperatures.
Loving the gloves. All that slush and nasty wet stuff on the ground means most parisiennes are wearing practical shoes. Does not happen often folks, so to lighten the moment, fun little touches like these gloves are being slipped on.
Sitting in the Flore enjoying a “noisette” that I dosed with a healthy serving of Mr French’s chocolat chaud, I noticed a lot of gorgeous handbags. I don’t know if this is because all the black coats guaranteed we’d see the bags, or if it is because everyone is desperate for a splash of fashion, which is not easy when bundled up like the Michelin Man.
And just like the crowd leaving the Chanel Haute Couture show, St Germain’s golden youth was getting their fur on. Even the boys.
I loved this lady’s snow day attire, a splash of instant sunshine. I am sure that she has read the poem, “When I’m an old lady I’ll wear purple.” She may have even scoffed at the thought of ever being an old lady herself, despite already being old enough to be my grand mother.
People were staying close together, supporting each other when the going got difficult and generating some mutual warmth. It was a loverly day for a stroll.
I had to stand out in the cold much longer than usual to get these shots, as more people than usual stayed inside. But looking at them now I feel like maybe I need to be thinking about the roll of fur trim in my wardrobe. And I’m going continue wearing that chunky wool scarf that M just knit for me me last week, it is more in than I ever imagined!
Another grey, rainy day in Paris and I’m feeling particularly washed out after last night’s tryptophan rush from all that turkey. Almost didn’t make it to the Flore, but like a true pilgrim, I pulled up my boot straps and headed out the door despite the gloom all around.
And boy, was I glad I did! And no, not because of the cute boys above, but because I discovered I’m not the only one with the November blues. Parisiennes seem to be suffering too, and they are fighting back with fashion. Rumour has it black is eternally “in” and its still just about everywhere you look, but this season, I’m seeing something new.
Color. And lots of it on men, women; young and old. Which color is irrelevant. I saw red coats, orange umbrellas and fushia handbags. There were green trenchcoats and bright blue scarves. Some went for the total look, while others were happy with just a splash of sunshine.
Everyone from the most elegant, sophisticated madames to hipster wanna-bes is having a go at the color wheel these days and it is refreshingly fun and light hearted, inspiring me to head home, take of my boring black sweater and replace it with a plum purple turtle neck. Things are looking brighter already!
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.