Thursday, 22 November 2012

Sweet Jesus, it's Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2011 Turkey on the Webber is the only way to go for me. It puts all other Turkey cooking methods to shame.

Despite its puritanical roots, Thanksgiving really IS the best holiday for Americans. I love it dearly, if only because it's based not on archaic religious beliefs or traditions, but food. Lots of good, buttery, gravy-soaked food. I know Americans all over the world make an effort to celebrate, with hardships to get around like how they won't slaughter turkeys in France and Italy until Christmas.

Thanksgiving 2011

I'm going to be traveling for a bit but I'll have lots of pictures and stories when I return. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving, wherever you happen to be.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a must-see in the city of lights. Kind of sadly, it holds none of its former glory. What used to be a chic fashion district is now a whole lot of mall shops. There doesn't seem to be anything particularly French about it any more, and a handfull of overpriced tourist restaurants and chains like MacDonalds make it a culinary wasteland. It's not a place I frequent, but it does make for a nice walk if you have guest in town and want to see a lot in an afternoon.


Starting at the Arc d'Triomphe is a good idea since you get a nice gradual downhill walk.


There was beacoup huffing and puffing on the way up, as there are a lot of steep, narrow stairs to navigate to get to the top.

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The Avenue connects a bunch of landmarks, so it's ideal way to get them all in.


A good tip: The Petit Palace is free to get in, and they have a really nice bathroom. A rarity in a city where most people (ahem, men) just tend to pee where they stand rather than be bothered with finding one.

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The fountains at Concorde...

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The Avenue ends at Concorde (where the infamous beheadings of Louis and Marie happened) and then you can take a stroll through the relative quiet of the Tulleries until you reach the Louvre.

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If you've ever had the urge or need to by dozens of miniature eiffel towers, you are in the right place.

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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

La Butte Montmartre


One of my favorite neighborhoods to wander around is Montmartre. There's lots of stairs and twisty steep streets to wind your way up to the top, where it is crowned with a big white basilica.

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The neighborhood wasn't always part of Paris proper, so it became a place of bars and cabarets outside the high taxes and rules of the city. Artist gathered here, and it grew into a fantastic art scene that is still apparent. It still harbors a red light district that gets a little sketchy at night, but is generally an ok place to take a stroll. The hip bars are starting to move in anyway.

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Every October, they have a weekend-long wine festival to celebrate the harvest. Montmartre produces the only truly local Parisien wine.




There's also a great little fabric district at the bottom of the hill. There's a few really high-end shops and a whole lot of discount ones that you really have to wade through the piles to find a couple of treasures.

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Monday, 19 November 2012

FO: Angler's Loop Socks

Now that the wind has a chill to it, a fresh pair of socks are in order.


These are a gift for someone with bigger feet than me, but I happen to be the only foot model around today. I had to do some real awesome yoga poses to get these pictures as well.

The foot is plain, but the back of the leg has a pretty and complex cable.


It's based on the Angler's Loop pattern, with a few modifications. I did them toe-up, and left out the ribbing on the foot. Easy and straightforward, they are a good guy sock, but they could totally be a woman's sock as well. They are socks.


The yarn is a skein I picked up at Rhinebeck a few years ago from the March Hare. It's a superwash merino blended with nylon, and it comes in big 455 yard skeins. It seems like a good, solid sock yarn but I'm not sure if the indie dyer is still producing. The color is "Fiddlehead Fern", which is dear to my heart and stomach. Oh, how I love fiddleheads. I haven't found them in Paris, but maybe I arrived too late in the spring to find them.


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Père Lachaise

I finally got around to finding the final resting place of Jim Morrison. This seems to be the go-to activity for all visiting Americans, and music fans in general.


Despite the masses flocking, it's a perfectly pleasant place to take a stroll. Autumn is as good time as any. While we don't have the fire of the sugar maples setting the landscape alight like it does in New England, we occasionally get some yellows and golds.

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Most of the time, the leaves just turn brown and fall off though.

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That's it.


It's barricaded, so you have to jockey for prime photo-taking position.


Kind of sad, but instead of people leaving their graffiti on the Morrison grave, they now leave it on all the surrounding tombs within reach.

Afterwards, a little pick-me-up.


Crepes and Cidre at one of my favorite places in the neighborhood, West Country Girl. You can get crepes pretty much everywhere in Paris. They are ubiquitous as the New York slice, with stands street-side serving ones with ham and cheese or nutella. It's worth the effort to find a place that's doing a truly extraordinary favor to crepes, especially if they are drizzling them with their homemade salty caramel sauce.