Ça Sent Bon
All weekend long it seems I kept repeating the words “ça sent bon!” First, it was on Saturday afternoon in the far right corner on the 3rd floor of the BHV (Bazaar de l’Hôtel de Ville) where they hold their “Ateliers Cuisine.” David Lebovitz, author of “Room for Dessert” and new resident of Paris, was baking up cookies with huge chunks of chocolate in front of a substantial crowd seated on benches facing his work station. The powerful aroma of hot gooey chocolate could be noted from most any part of that level of the store. Watching wasn’t nearly as interesting as smelling. Visit http://www.bhv.fr/index.php?id=7 to learn about the upcoming demonstrations.
La Nuit Blanche started off with dinner at Chez Omar. The couscous is great, the grilled meats and fish (I think) even better, but nothing outdoes the fabulous atmosphere — it’s got a vibe like no other Paris bistrot. Omar’s got the hospitality down to a personal science. A simple, but delicious and inexpensive meal was topped off with traditional Moroccan fresh mint tea. Ça sent bon! (Chez Omar, 47 rue de Bretagne, 3rd, 01.42.72.36.26 and tell Omar I sent you.)
Saturday night the streets were packed for the 3rd annual Sleepless Night — so crowded that we opted out of waiting in long lines to see some of the major attractions. One in particular, however, open to everyone, captivated us for a long period of time. Projected on the wall on the building adjacent to Place Igor Stravinsky (the whimsical fountain by Niki de Saint-Phalle and Jean Tinguely next to the Centre Pompidou) were a succession of images — photographs of stone plaques on buildings all over Paris commemorating writers, artists and cultural contributors, both well-known and lesser-known, created by Santiago Reyes. It was lovely, haunting and fascinating. Hundreds of people were sitting around the fountain with their eyes glued on the wall. A shame the fountain wasn’t lit or functioning…it’s one of my favorite spots in Paris.
Sunday, the moment we entered the Fondation Cartier on boulevard Raspail, I again exclaimed, “Ça sent bon!” On display only until October 10th, I’m ashamed to admit it took so long to get there to see Jean Paul Gaultier’s Pain Couture exhibit. The buttery doughy aroma wafting up from the make-shift bakery on the lower level is overwhelming as you enter the contemporary glass structure. And the creative clothing designs, constructed from breads and baked goods of all kinds, is as delightful as it is ingenious. You will marvel at the innovation and playfulness. Luckily, fresh breads of many kinds are on sale there, redesigned using the classical Gaultier stripes, created by using non-flavored food coloring. For more information, visit
On a more practical note, Jean Taquet’s October Q and A column talks about getting working papers — something near and dear to the hearts of many of us trying to find a way to stay in France and earn a living. We publish it monthly, so to read it in its entirety, click on /parlerparis/practicalanswers.html
In line with that same topic, I’ll be speaking Wednesday night at Paris Network on “How to Make Your Dream to Live in France Come True — Being a Creative Thinker and Making a Place For Yourself Here.” I’ll be sharing some of the secrets I share during my one-on-one personal consultations…the kinds of secrets that can’t be published! To reserve, contact Patricia Laplante Collins at 01.43.26.12.88 or email her at: [email protected]
Hope to see you there.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]
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P.P.S. A special welcome to Dale Novick Gaber, long time New Orleans friend and new Parler Paris ‘Assistante Extraordinaire!’ She can be reached at [email protected] for any assistance you may need regarding your subscription.