Month: March 2012

L’artisanat Monastique

Literally stumbled upon a unique boutique that sells handmade, authentic gifts and goods from monasteries in Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Rennes and Toulouse. A 68 bis, av; Denfert-Rochereau 75014 it is not immediately visible but it is a treasure trove of beautiful products ranging from handmade candles and soaps to embroidered kitchen and living room drapery. It might be a perfect place to pick up authentic French gifts that may not necessarily have the Eiffel Tower on them. Their website seems to be worth a visit as well. Click here

Paris à la seconde (app)

Just discovered an application that provides real time updates on news and events related to Paris. Free and compatible with iPhone and Android, it offers news on cultural events, directions to places of interest and important news (including métro and RER delays). SO far it seems to be living up to its name of giving Paris up to the second, and it worth the sacrificed bytes of space sacrificed from your mobile device. App name: Paris à la seconde Language : French For Android and Iphone

Cire Trudon

It is not everyday that one gets to say that they purchased candles from the same candle maker that served the courts of Louis IX and Napoleon I and the same supplier of candles for the Versailles Palace, yet this is exaclty what I did today. The house of Trudon has built a formidable reputation for its remarkable craftsmanship in the making of candles and has done so consistently since 1643. By some accounts it is the oldest candle maker in the world. As I study under the light and scent of beautiful candles bought from Cire Trudon I could only recommend visiting their store at 78, rue de Seine in the very strongest of terms. It is certainly worth it, particularly for candle and scent enthusiasts like myself. The price range is accomodating, although the very best products come at competitive prices. Well, one cannot possibly put a price upon joining the company of clients such as Marie Antoinette who have enjoyed these high quality candles in centuries past. The blog (click here) also …

Saint-Joseph des Nations,11ème

Religion has had an evident qand significant impact upon the geography of Paris. The several church buildings that mark the city’s skyline attest to tis. This makes it an interesting place to discover the several and diverse workes of religious architecture in each of the arrondissements. More often than not, the unique stories that lie behind these buildings also serve to make visiting sacred spaces in Paris such an interesting and educational experience. Often, one has to pay very close attention to the symbols and heraldry in most of the churches to place each of the buildings into historical conteext and to understand the power and social forces that made each of the cchurch buildings necessary. One such building is Saint Joseph-des-Nations which I visited recently. If one looks closely you can notice sets of coat of arms belonging to the city of Paris, Pope Pius IX and the ‘archevéche’ (archbishop) at the time of the buildings first eucharistic mass in the late 19th century. These traces attest to the roole that religious sites played …

new restaurant in the 11ème

Just heard about “Septime”, a new restaurant in the 11th at 80, rue du Charonne. The concept behind the establishment is interesting, ingredients are sourced locally and significant effort seems to have gone into creating an inviting space. It definitely seems to be worth a visit, especially given its lack of pretentiousness.

Eglise Notre Dame de Lorette

Visited the church ‘Notre dame de Lorette’ for the first time. What an interesting history and background she she holds. Designed by Louis-Hippolyte Lebas, an architect who trained under Percier and Fontaine (Napoleon’s preferred architects), Notre dame de Lorette is an interesting homage to neoclassical architecture. The austere attention to form and structure of its exterior gives little insight into the generously elaborate ceilings and walls within its confines. Plastered with representations of biblical figures and of the Franks who placed French history into motion including Saints Remy, Genevieve and Clotilde, and King Clovis, Notre dame de Lorette also offers an interesting space to study some of France’s founding myths and beliefs. Apparently, the fact that the Lebas chose to build the church ‘on stilts’ is not merely a matter of aesthetic preference. I am not sure how to say this in correct architectural terminology – but the neoclassical design was as much a stylistic choice as it was one made in consideration of the nature of the soil in the area and the need …