Tag Archive: PARIS !


Fridays in France: Six Decadent Places in Bordeaux

The Decadence Project: Bordeaux France

#1:  The Burdigala Hotel

Burdigala Hotel3First, let’s check into the ultra-chic Burdigala Hotel and let the refined elegance of the five-star oasis cover us like a soft cashmere blanket. Feel that? Ahhhh, that’s relaxation at its finest.

hotelEvery inch of the Burdigala is classy and chic, yet comfortable. No pretenses here, just lovely luxury.

Burdigala Hotel2At La Bacchus Bar inside the hotel, the region’s delicious wines are samples and nibbles served.

Burdigala Hotel4Every room, from the “regular” to the opulent suites, are designed to make you feel like you’ve died and gone to Style Heaven. (yes, I said that. Style heaven.)

#2: The Café Opéra

Cafe OperaDo you like your fries with a side of opulence? Then Café Opéra is calling (singing?) your name! Located inside Bordeaux’s famous Grand Opera House, the lovely cafe is perfect to stop in for a quick lunch on the terrace or inside the chandelier-dripping main dining room.

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#3: L’Autre Petit Bois

L'Autre Petit Bois4

L'Autre Petit Bois2…………….wine bars in Bordeaux are like churches in the Bible Belt: plentiful. But L’Autre Petit Bois is a stand-out that will leave you smitten. Not only do they serve a variety of local tastings, but the decor is unmatched. Chandeliers hang among the tree branches, furniture whispers of Baroque-style France and whimsical elements keep things fun and casual. Sip, sip!

#4:  Bordeaux Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux)

bordeaux cathedralII

BordeauxCathedral3Bordeaux features several stunning basilicas and cathedrals, all with their own charm and history, but the Bordeaux Cathedral (also called Saint Andres or St. Andrews) is a must-see. The Romanesque house of worship was originally built back in 1096 and has been continually renovated over the last thousand years. Dramatic interior architecture, including soaring rib-vaulted ceilings and pointed arches, will take your wine-infused breath away.

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#5: Walk the rue Sainte-Catherine

Rue-Sainte-CatherineI don’t know about you, but I love strolling through French streets. No purpose. No agenda. Just seeing what I might see. That means I’d love the rue Sainte-Catherine. Considered the longest street in Europe (1.2 kms!) it is lined with lovely shops, a fountain, a bell tower, and even a cemetery. Explore quickly, explore slowly, but take time to really indulge in all the little secrets that rue Sainte-Catherine wants to share.

#6: Place de la Bourse / Place Royale

Place de la Bourse

place_de_la_bourseAlthough gorgeous during the day, with it’s symmetry and jaw-dropping architecture, Place de la Bourse (Place Royale) is best seen at dusk. That’s when the square, built in the 18th Century in honor of King Louis XV, begins to glisten. As darkness falls, the surrounding buildings (and famous fountain!) are illuminated, suddenly adding a touch of magic to the monument.

The siren song of Santorini

  • A view of the town of Fira. Photo: Priyadarshini Paitandy
    A view of the town of Fira. Photo: Priyadarshini Paitandy
  • Boats docked at Nea Kameni. Photo: Priyadarshini Paitandy
    Boats docked at Nea Kameni. Photo: Priyadarshini Paitandy
  • The zig zag route to Thirassia. Photo: Priyadarshini Paitandy
    The zig zag route to Thirassia. Photo: Priyadarshini Paitandy

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/travel/the-siren-song-of-santorini/article5006806.ece

Sweeps the culinary vote

Blend of Local Food on a Plate. Photo: Sonia Nazareth

  • Blend of Local Food on a Plate. Photo: Sonia Nazareth
  • Serving Qahwa Outside the Grand Mosque. Photo: Sonia Nazareth
      Serving Qahwa Outside the Grand Mosque. Photo: Sonia Nazareth

There’s much more to Omani cuisine than just sun-dried dates and fresh coffee, finds Sonia Nazareth.

Oman’s reputation as a land of striking contrasts — of desert sands and azure seas — is as well-established as its reputation as a culture of boundless hospitality. Dates and qahwa (strong aromatic coffee that combines a rich blend of freshly roasted coffee beans and pungent cardamom powder) are central to any ritual of welcome.

I remember people shaking their heads at me in despair, at a gesture so uncivilised, as my offering to pay for the aromatic coffee and sun-dried dates in the Bedouin homes I visited.

The capital city of Muscat does the big city thing and offers a variety of international cuisines. But Khargeen Cafe is perfect if you want to try local fare rooted in tradition. The waiter in this low-lit atmospheric restaurant — with its trees glimmering with fairy lights and the music of sizzling kebabs — takes brisk charge to keep pace with the stream of customers flowing in, “You’ll be wanting shuwa, everyone loves our shuwa,” he declares with pride. This traditionally Omani and Eid-celebratory dish of roasted goat or lamb, elaborately cooked in a large fire pit dug in stony earth, lives up to its succulent juicy and exceedingly tender reputation. It needs to be eaten with khubz rukhal, a wishbone-thin bread as light as a feather. Despite the fact that we’re partaking in a meal of shuwa without the accompanying camel races, and dances by men with shields and swords that usually go with this festive food, it sweeps the culinary vote.

The constant in traditional Omani cuisine, whether at home or at a restaurant, is all fresh ingredients and generous quantities. The one meal I ever partook of in an Omani household saw the table shifting uneasily under the weight of the feast upon it. Msanif (small patties of shredded meat, flavoured with a pungent coat of seasonings, covered in light batter and fried), Mishkak (bite-sized pieces of meat, basted in honey or date syrup, marinated in the juice of limes and skewered on date palm sticks); Samak bil narjeel (fish in coconut sauce). Besides being delicious in itself, the fish is a rich reminder of Oman’s sea-faring trade.

………….If scented candles could be made out of the air here, the candles would smell of an enticing mix of cloves, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon and black peppercorns. These spices when ground together are called bizaar. The man selling them, with pride written all over his youthful face, recalls a time when Omani sailors set sail with cargos of frankincense, horses, dates and copper to trade for spices, silk and porcelain……………………….Fresh dates may be boiled to a pulp and strained through muslin to make a honey-like syrup. This is then used as a dip or spread for bread. The pulp is added to rice and other traditional dishes.

To eat or drink ethnic food as close as possible to its cultural context and in the vessels that were crafted for it can transform an everyday encounter into an extraordinary experience. But the feeling of cultural satiation stems from more than good food and drink. It stems from the generosity and kindness, which clearly makes any experience here more than the sum of its parts.

Maison Jules Holiday Lookbook

The Fashion Foot

If you thought your wardrobe for the fall and winter seasons was complete, think again. Recently at Macy’s, a new addition to their women’s contemporary brands is absolutely amazing that you will want to rethink your whole closet. Maison Jules, a brand inspired by style from the streets of Paris is not only versatile for looks in and outside the office, but everything looks so great that you will want to buy out the whole collection. They cover everything from basics to pretty dresses. The brand is priced from $17.50-$109.00, and there is something that everyone will like. You can shop the entire brand on Macy’s website.

lookbook 1

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Written By: Tessa Viole

Photo Sources: 

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Book Club {Paris Street Style} | buddhachic and buttercream.

E from brainpickings

  • http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/09/03/anais-nin-on-emotion-and-writing/         Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, you, par contre, must benefit from the great privilege of youth, which is that you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith.

https://i2.wp.com/www.brainpickings.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/anaisnindiary4.jpg

  •  http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/08/anais-nin-unfamiliar/        Educators do all in their power to prepare you to enjoy reading after college. It is right that you should read according to your temperament, occupations, hobbies, and vocations. But it is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar, unwilling to explore the unfamiliar. In science, we respect the research worker. In literature, we should not always read the books blessed by the majority. This trend is reflected in such absurd announcements as “the death of the novel,” “the last of the romantics,” “the last of the Bohemians,” when we know that these are continuous trends which evolve and merely change form. The suppression of inner patterns in favor of patterns created by society is dangerous to us. Artistic revolt, innovation, experiment should not be met with hostility. They may disturb an established order or an artificial conventionality, but they may rescue us from death in life, from robot life, from boredom, from loss of the self, from enslavement.

  •    http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/09/24/anais-nin-global-village/  –    on the Dangers of the Internet (1946)    Even more interesting than the striking similarity between what Nin admonishes against and the present dynamics of the internet is the fact that she essentially describes Marshall McLuhan’s seminal concept of the global village… a decade and a half before he coined it.

    The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. It eliminates the vice of procrastination, the sin of postponement, failed communications, failed communions. This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters. meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked. This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.

  • http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/12/14/how-to-avoid-work/No matter what your age or condition or experience, the sooner you find out what you really want to do and do it better, for that’s the only way anyone can avoid work.
  • http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/08/01/anais-nin-journals-paris-vs-new-york/                          Relationships seem impersonal and everyone conceals his secret life, whereas in Paris it was the exciting substance of our talks, intimate revelations and sharing of experience. People’s last concern is with intimacy. No attention is given to friendship and its development. Nothing is done to soften the harshness of life itself. There is much talk about the ‘world,’ about millions, groups, but no warmth between human beings. They persecute subjectivity, which is a sense of inner life; an individual’s concern with growth and self-development is frowned upon. The ivory tower of the artist may be the only stronghold left for human values, cultural treasures, man’s cult of beauty.

The Hindu : FEATURES / LITERARY REVIEW : A moveable commune –  Shakespeare and Company is a bookstore in Paris where one feels like being in one’s own apartment, just exactly how founder George Whitman wanted it to be, says Charukesi Ramadurai.

I know it is fashionable to call it “the end of an era” when someone famous or important dies but in George Whitman’s case, it was definitely so. With him went an age where people loved to read and in his case, lived to read (he once said that he was in the book business since it was the business of life). Sylvia Whitman has been shouldering his legacy since her return from the UK over 10 years ago. “It has been very difficult adjusting to life at the bookshop without this eccentric, witty, wild character at the centre of it… I am still trying to find my way in,” she admits candidly.

.Photos: Charukesi Ramadurai

“Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise” reads the entry to the room, but from all accounts, Whitman’s generosity was never in anticipation of finding the odd angel who would sprinkle blessings on his shop. He was also known to describe it as “a socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore.” Delannet says, “George was serious about this; he wanted his bookstore to feel like one’s own apartment — anybody can come and read all day long in the first floor library and never get kicked out.” Jeremy Mercer, a Canadian journalist who wrote about his stay there in his book Time Was Soft There , says, “The young people I met at Shakespeare and Company were infected by George’s mad, romantic view of the world and they left the bookstore with the passion to do incredible things. And the older people I met there were reinvigorated by it all, ready to go forth and face the world again.”

……………..in modern life, with its furious pace, there isn’t enough time to sit and talk with idle poets and eccentric cyclists. But my six months at the bookstore gave me that time and as a result I have some of the richest friendships possible.”

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-literaryreview/excessively-wilde/article4155259.ece -. The result — both in classical opera and in Wilde — is a kind of lightness in movement that entirely belies the sheer energy and vitality that goes into its creation. The final work is, as Stoppard puts it, nearly perfect. In another letter to Alexander, Wilde wrote, immodestly, but accurately: “The first act is ingenious, the second beautiful, the third abominably clever.” He might well have been describing his life.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/performers-with-a-new-profile/article4155298.ece –Thanks to social media, the mystique of the Carnatic musician has been punctured by finger pointing — with “likes” and “dislikes” and, on rare occasions, the proverbial middle finger, says Kalpana Mohan.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-educationplus/relax-help-is-on-hand/article4158435.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/arts/http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/pursuing-boredom/article4155297.eceart/destination-kochi/article4170978.ece – A uniquely British eccentricity celebrating the prosaic and mundane.

Pepper House: Scene of activity. Photo:Thulasi Kakkat Valsan Koorma Kolleri: Rebirth of material. Photo:Thulasi Kakkat

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/destination-kochi/article4179813.ece

Degas and Ballet

BBC programme –  degas and ballet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Degas#Personality_and_politics

http://www.impressionniste.net/degas_edgar.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Petite_Danseuse_de_Quatorze_Ans

La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans
Glyptoteket Degas1.jpg
clothes.

fashion parisian chic

http://www.designmom.com/2011/04/nine-de-la-fressange-haircut/

http://images.rdujour.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Modeinesdelafressangeninexxxx41.jpg

lyon france

lyon

La Croix-Rousse

silk scarves-prelle

cobbled-stoned  streets

want to visit

https://i1.wp.com/www.sfu.ca/person/dearmond/phono/Lyon.cristalis.jpghttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Colline-de-la-croix-rousse-.jpg

paris

http://www.hindu.com/mag/2010/10/31/stories/2010103150310800.htm

One cannot see all of Paris in just one trip…as it seems to reveal a new side each time you visit.

Le Louvre (most famous for Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa) is an art-lover’s paradise
Tourist’s delight: Arc de Triomphe.

I never figured exactly why Paris was called that till I set my eyes on this beauty that they call the most gorgeous city in the world. Ok so officially it is called ‘ The City of Lights’ but I prefer the love name over the lights, simply because love all but ricochets off every square inch of the city. I felt a flutter in the pit of my stomach even before I took off and I had certainly done my fair share of travelling so it had to be pure excitement.

Landing at Charles de Gaulle was an experience in itself; the quirky mélange of a dozen lingoes is so contagious I promptly traded in my jet-lag for lustful observation. Luckily for me my husband Chirag having made visits here several times for work, knew the map by-heart; which truly is the clincher in Paris. Always make it a point to talk at length to people who have either lived there or travelled often to make the most of your Parisian experience rather than just a run-of-the-mill touristy one.

“Breathe Paris into your being like a Parisian” my French teacher would always say and I recalled that standing at baggage claim. The metro at the airport was the coolest thing I had set my eyes on (strange as it sounds). As I drank in my first sight of this magnificent place, my husband whisked me into the metro and we were on our way — Paris was waiting for me to explore!

Parisian-like

For anybody with a limited budget, or not wanting to splurge on accommodation since anyway in a place like Paris you’ re not going to be hanging around your hotel too much — Quartier Latin is your calling. Why it’s perfect is because it’s like this young, hip, artsy corner of the city bustling with students, artists and dancers — with a fusion of languages, music and banter; it’ s a peppy space and any among the string of hotels for you to choose from should suffice.

Street life in Paris and Le Louvre.

Ok so everybody has to make that compulsory visit to one of the seven wonders— so do that, enjoy the view at the Eiffel Tower and once done head to other destinations most tourists don’ t get the pleasure of. Le Louvre (most famous for Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa) is an art-lover’s paradise. Even me, who doesn’t have one artistic bone in my body, spent like two full days just glancing at the etchings by world-famous names.

Also try and visit other lesser known ones like Arc de Triomphe or Chateau de Versailles (only if you’ re someone with an artistic eye though). But what truly stood out for me was taking the night cruise on the River Seine (which cuts across the city) then uncorking a bottle of blush right by the river thereafter.

There is a ‘Paris by Night’ option for the ones whose wallets go deeper. Basically though just wake up early and use your feet in Paris, you just never know what majestic sight you might stumble upon. It is a city of layers; she’ll only unravel to you if you really probe.

Wear it, eat it, drink it

Now what’s Paris synonymous with? Fashion, right?! Gosh if I thought I had seen it all as a fashion writer, Paris was my mother ship.

So Champs-Elysees; as though a fashion collection set up just for moi sent me on this delightful trip, with my husband reminding every minute, no, every second that we couldn’t afford even a shoe lace from there so to waste precious time. But was it worth just the peeping or what?!

Another thing that you must do for sure, is visit at least a couple of bistros (Parisian cafes) daily and just spend some time basking in the sunrays and observing Paris walking by; it’ s the perfect way of imbibing the true soul of this city. As for your taste buds, Paris is a gastronomic delight; meat lovers can sample away! A must-try is this meat chain called Hippopotamus (ironic as hippos are veggies) but the succulent noises coming from the hub, showed me how delicious the preparations must be.

Also there being such a heavy influence of Lebanese and Moroccan don’t miss this cuisine that will drive your taste-buds insane with its delectable delicacies.

Friends of the carnivores like me do have to look a little further for vegetarian, but the host of Indian restaurants makes it easier, and if you’ re not fussy the salads are yummo! But it’s always a smart choice to carry some dry munchies just in case. Oh, and even the weight-watchers absolutely ‘ have’ to bid adieu to their diet charts and dip their fingers into the sinful fondue that Paris is oh-so-famous for; don’ t worry your daily walkathon will take care of the calories. Don’t come to Paris and miss this ‘magic in your mouth’; my personal nickname for it. Yes it’s that good!

Paris comesm to life

Paris is a city with no agenda; you have to assimilate into the feel of the city. The metro here is a masterpiece in itself; public transport due to this becomes a piece of cake.

Easy connectivity to every nook makes the city completely accessible even to first-timers. But what’s really worth a mention; the aspect that highlighted itself in the city (and not just because I’ m high on the green cause) is the ‘bicycle drive’; this intricate network of bicycle stands all over the city that one can rent from any point up to any destination of their choice; making transport just so convenient for citizens and tourists alike. I just pray more cities would have the sense to undertake such an initiative, only to battle global warming if nothing else.

Now I know the secret behind the voluptuous French women (who were the object of my constant envy); they practically walk or bicycle for a living, no wonder! The smell of freshly baked bread even today will always transport me to the streets of Paris; the patisseries (bakery) leave me speechless!

The concept of stepping into a bakery even if to bite into a soft, warm freshly baked piece of bread is alien to the rest of the world. I could’ve survived on just the bakery products in the city, if not for the terror of my trainer back home. Paris is simply ‘unique’ in the true sense of the word; if it is at all possible to contain this maze of wonders in one word.

A passionate globe-trotter, incidentally a travel host today when referring to this city always recounted ‘You can never fully explore Paris; she will open up a new side to her persona with each visit’.

I was overwhelmed with my first one and I honestly can’t wait for adventure number deux; whenever that might be. Paris; je t’ aime beaucoup; I add.

PARIS TOP 5

* Travel

Paris is a city best seen on foot, it lets you discover a maze of wonders evasive to most who don’t probe. But the metro makes public transport a blessing for longer distances. Also their meticulously organized bicycle stands across the city is an option for the planet lovers.
* Lodging Quartier Latin – this hip yet affordable part of the city is your solution.
For the ones with the bucks, Paris is your haven, But since most of us are on shoe-string budgets.

* Must-see

The French romantic cabaret ‘Moulin Rouge’ is a spectacular experience in itself. This internationally famous show that threw its doors open in 1889 is unquestionably one of the highlights of your Paris tour.

* Must-munch

Paris a gourmand’s rapture, presenting every kind of delectable cuisine. But it’s the Parisian bistros that are the hidden treasures. Eat your way around these innumerable bistros that dot the city.

* Shopaholic’s delight

So Paris is for the shopaholics. And granted it is criminal to indulge in retail therapy here. But still, for those with a penchant for fashion; save on something else and do take back a style souvenir from the glam capital of the world!

Museums and galleries

* Le Musee des Arts Decoratifs
* Carnavalet
* Centre Georges Pompidou
* Cit‚ des Sciences et del’Industrie
* Cluny
* l’Eglise du Dome
* Delacroix.
* M‚morial de la Shoah
* Jacquemart-Andre Museum
* Picasso Museum
* Les Invalides
* The Louvre
* Mus‚e de l’Orangerie
* Mus‚e d’Orsay
* Mus‚e Marmottan
* Mus‚e National de la Marine
* Rodin Museum
* Mus‚e en Herbe

Don’t miss

* Chartres – The 12th century cathedral of Notre Dame
* Versailles – The Sun King Louis XIV’s magnificent palace
* Giverny – The house of the painter Claude Monet
* Disneyland Resort Paris – In the suburb of Marne-la-Vall‚e
* Fontainebleau – Historical town south of Paris

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/9-overrated-tourist-destinations/

Paris, London, and Rome in the summer-These are all great cities, but not in the summer. Most Parisians leave their city in August, and they have the right idea.

………. going in the winter can be nice. And even if you do pay in dollars, lodging will usually be cheaper in the late fall or winter…………….

Top 25 Most Liveable Cities 2010

Monocle: Top 25 Most Liveable Cities 2010


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June 16, 2010

Monocle's Top 25 Most Liveable Cities 2010

Monocle Magazine has released its annual Quality of Life rankings for 2010. The judging factors go outside of economics and politics and focus on liveability factors such as restaurants, green space per head of population, response time for emergency services, local entertainment, and even the ease of starting businesses.

munich

1. Munich

Munich claims the number 1 spot in the Quality of Life Survey for its balance between technology, green thinking, and the arts. And while the rest of the world is faced with a shrinking population, Munich is reporting an upswing in birth rate.

copehagen

2. Copenhagen

After playing host to climate change conferences over the year, Copenhagen has set the standard for low-emission urban living and is continuously transforming itself into the eco-capital of the world.

zurich

3. Zürich

The recent financial turmoil has done the city good;  more and more young people are flocking to the area and starting up their own businesses. Pair the new entrepreneurial spirit with stellar educational facilities, and the city has begun to boom.

tokyo

4. Tokyo

Despite the bustling crowds and high-rise buildings, Japan’s capital remains clean and eco-conscious. By 2013 the city is expected to create 200 hectares of green space alongside with 200,000 new roadside trees.

image by Tilton Lane

helsinki

5. Helsinki

This small city provides a welfare system that ensures a high quality of life, free education for everyone, and even free wifi. In addition, the city is connected to major cities – just 8 hour flights to both New York and Asia.

image by Claudia.Ar

stockholm

6. Stockholm

Stockholm boasts Europe’s cleanest air and provides areas where you can swim in clear waters and cross-country ski across forests. Recently, the redevelopment of its docks and new residential projects has helped the city to rank at number six.

image by Claudia.Ar

paris

7. Paris

Recent developments of reconnecting the city with its disenfranchised suburbs and taking back its place in the culinary world has leveraged Paris beyond its postcard-perfect streets and charming cafes.

image by skene

vienna

8. Vienna

Vienna is home to top-ranking health care, a reliable public transportation network, acres of green space. On top of that, the Austrian capital continues its redevelopment efforts for its shorelines and sponsors numerous public cultural events.

image by Kliefi

melbourne

9. Melbourne

Beyond its fun-loving cultural image, Melbourne means business. The state’s average economic growth is 3.3% and job growth is at 2.1%.

image by alistair_35

madrid

10. Madrid

The capital of Spain has taken on a new endeavor titled the Madrid Rio Project, which reclaims 8km of river parkland and urban beaches. Other ground breaking projects include the creation of 16,000 new homes and green space.

image by R. Duran

The rest of the 2010 Most Liveable Cities Ranking are as follows:

11. Berlin
12. Sydney
13. Honolulu
14. Fukuoka
15. Geneva
16. Vancouver
17. Barcelona
18. Oslo
19. Montréal
20. Auckland
21. Singapore
22. Portland
23. Kyoto
24. Hamburg
25. Lisbon

A corsetiere knows all your secrets,” Magda had often said to

Lacey with a wink. “The secrets you keep and the secrets you give away, all the secrets you hide beneath your clothes.

. Her

short curly brown hair, shot through with gray, perpetually resisted

all her attempts at taming it and was now sticking straight up.

Oddly, Magda looked at peace, the jumble of jewels and all.

Magda was probably between sixty and seventy, but looked

older. It isn’t the years, it’s the mileage, Lacey thought. Magda’s

upturned cat eyes had always sparkled with a bit of humor, as they did even now.

The heaviness of death settled on her shoulders, leaving her with a melancholy that bore into her bones. She knew she would cry later, in private.

FASHION BITES
I
Bored With Dress for Success?
Try for Adventuress Instead
You dressed for success, but where has it gotten you? Your
own cubicle next to someone dressed just like you in a cubicle
just like yours? You’ve got the same safe suit, the same knock-
off bag, the same pair of pumps you both snagged at Filene’s
Basement at the same sale. You call that success?
The working world is not exactly the fantasy we dreamed
of in college, is it? Once upon a time we thought life would
be an adventure, exciting, stimulating, fulfilling. Don’t forget
fulfilling. Possibly even fun. Well, it can be, if you approach
it the right way. As an adventure.
But perhaps you feel invisible. Your clothes are fading
away and taking you with them. No one can see you, you’re
so well hidden in your dress-for-success camouflage. Your
shoes match the carpet, your skirt blends into the chair, your
blouse copies the curtains. Where’s the real you concealed
behind the corporate camo? Unless your secret ambition is to
star in a remake of The Invisible Woman, you and your
wardrobe need a shot of pure adrenaline.
Need a little adventure? My advice: Dress like an adven-
turess. An adventuress knows that the right clothes can
change your attitude faster than your attitude can change
your clothes. To find the adventure in life, sometimes all you
need to do is dress for adventure and let it find you. Let’s look
at three basics in every adventuress’s rolling suitcase.
•  A trench coat, of course. Well-worn and rakishly scruffy
or brand-new, it should fit perfectly, whether you’re built
like Ingrid Bergman or Sydney Greenstreet. These days
it even comes in daring postmodern pinks and blues
78  Ellen Byerrum
and greens, not just the traditional World War I khaki.
Long or short, the trench coat is dashing, versatile, and
ready for a trip to the office or around the world. Even
to Casablanca. (“For the waters,” of course.)
•  Sunglasses. Every adventure calls for a sleek pair of
sunglasses. They protect your eyes and keep your se-
crets. No secrets to keep? They’ll even keep that secret,
too. Slip on your shades and voilà! A woman of mys-
tery. Think Thelma and Louise or Kathleen Turner on the
beach in Body Heat. Just try to stay out of trouble this
time.
•  A scarf. A sophisticated adventuress needs a bright
and colorful scarf, and she actually knows how to tie it
cleverly. (Or she fakes it.) Not only does it liven up that
same old suit, it blows in the wind as you speed away
in your convertible up the hills of Monte Carlo like
Grace Kelly with that handsome jewel thief Cary Grant
at your side. Don’t have a Cary Grant type handy? Let
your beautiful scarf fly; he may find you.
Adventure is, of course, whatever you want it to be. Liv-
ing your life on your own terms and with your own style can
be the biggest adventure of all. Just imagine looking the way
you’ve always dreamed you’d look when you open the door
to that big moment and say, “Come on in, I’m ready.” And
imagine a confident, self-possessed woman striding down
the street to meet that big moment, so intriguing that heads
turn as she passes by. Who is that adventurous woman? It’s
you!

And you will not leave me alone until you get your way. Like all Americans. Americans must always get their way. Why? Because they are Americans!” Lacey decided to simply stand there like an American who was about to get her way.

Lacey and Brooke followed, ducking on their way down out of the pale Normandy November sunlight.

The restaurant that Vic had chosen, La Something or Other on  the Boulevard du Montparnasse—Lacey missed the name in the  excitement—was very ooh la la in that dazzling French art deco way, from the huge glass dome over the dining room to its tall painted pillars, their murals painted by artists like Chagall in the Twenties, Vic said, in exchange for drinks. Mosaic tiles covered the floor in intricate patterns. The aroma of fresh bread filled the air. After that amazing afternoon with Vic and a nap in his arms, it
seemed to her like a dream, as if they had walked into a French movie set where Cary Grant was about to romance Audrey Hepburn over an elegant dinner.

You don’t want to miss anything, do you? Especially if we have to meet those two at two thirty at Père-Lachaise.”

”

Attitude, mon cher, attitude.” Lacey wrote a few more notes on her theme that the Frenchwoman had the style war won over the American woman in only one key attribute: attitude. They believe they look great, and this gives them the confidence to look their best, so everyone else believes it too.

Lacey sat on a bench in the darkened circular hall of the Cluny Museum. She was reveling in the exquisite artistry of the brilliant unknown weavers who had created these six vibrant tapestries.