Header Image


Navigation images

Vantage Paris

Another fun thing about organising my archived photos is the realisation that, over the years, I’ve been very lucky to have seen Paris from many vantage viewpoints around the city. Nearly all of these locations are accessible to everyone all year round, free or ticket-requiring. If you are looking for a place to see Paris from higher grounds (without breaking the bank by hiring private flights), up up you go!

Viewpoints of Paris

1. Eiffel Tower: This is an obvious one, and my last visit there was as a family outing. We were very pleased to have a wonderfully sunny weather, despite strong wind earlier that day which caused closure of the top-most level. It had reopened by then, but the crowd trying to access it was too crazy for us to even consider tackling. The mid-level viewing decks worked perfectly fine for us.

Continue reading »

Tasty surprises at Pierre Sang Boyer

Having read many good things about Pierre Sang Boyer, bolstered by the image that I had of the chef from watching him on the French Top Chef Season 2 (ah, my first months in Paris and watching TC2 was, ahem, “a way to improve my French”), F and I recently found ourselves queueing for dinner in his restaurant in Oberkampf. Not once, but twice, in as many months.

A no-reservation policy (unless party of 6 or more – used to be strictly none) was the main factor that put us off for a long time from dining here, but now that the early days buzz had calmed down somewhat, we found that by arriving a few minutes ahead of opening time got us our table without any problem. Just as well, given the winter weather is not particularly suited for long wait outside.

Dinner @ Pierre Sang Boyer

So here’s the concept of eating at PSB: He’s a champion of the ethics of locavore as well as sustainable fishing. He works with local producers and sources what’s fresh and available according to the market and the season. The menu therefore changes day-to-day, sometimes even within the service if something runs out. This simplifies thing (and cooking), and fret not, guests are enquired shortly after being seated if there are any food restrictions or allergies.

Continue reading »

Project 365: Week 4 – Doré(e)

It’s strange to look at the calendar and to note that January is coming close to an end. Among family and many friends, the chatters of the day revolve around the preparation for the upcoming Chinese New Year, prompting some action on my part to organise a CNY dinner with a few close friends next week. Sadly, it has been years since I spent CNY at home. Ah, those were the golden times indeed… And oh, speaking of golden, that brings us to the word of the week: doré(e)!

* * *

Perfume

20 Jan: Have you ever wonder why perfumes exist mostly in shades of gold? I understand from marketing stand point, of trying to evoke this sense of luxury and wealth, and link it to a certain status bestowed among perfume users, but shouldn’t the fragrant matters more than the colour of the liquid? In my mind, the darker the shade of gold, usually the more off-putting the scent. Too strong, too intense, just too much.

Continue reading »

Paris sera toujours Paris

My first digital camera was bought back in 2004, then a shiny ultra-compact Canon Ixus i – not that I really knew what I was doing and photography was something geared towards typical holiday shots. Here’s me in front of the monument X, and here’s me, again, but in front of the garden Y…

Our move into the new apartment marks a point where a thorough spring cleaning of our belongings makes perfect sense. I throw myself into a massive re-organisation effort, which includes digging up my digital archives stored in various external hard disks. Within, I found a folder named “2005 – Paris” and it has been fun going through the photos, looking at the antics my friend and I were up to during the trip, and to also marvel at how little Paris changes over the year.

Paris

Paris

Continue reading »

Les Pipelettes, café-épicerie

While breakfast meeting is a rare occurence for me, I found myself at Les Pipelettes, bright and early, to brainstorm with fellow volunteers of a scientific outreach programme on this year’s activities that promote collaborative works between high school students in Paris and in Turin. How apt, that we met in a café which name means the chatterboxes, since we chatted for a good couple of hours before wrapping it all up.

Our breakfast was very French, with most of us ordering a “get out of the bed” menu that consisted of a hot drink (hot chocolate with salted caramel for me please!), tartine with beurre Bordier and a basil-based jam (surprisingly good mix of sweet and savoury), and a juice (a combo of carrot, apple and ginger). The service was efficient and friendly, and we felt very much at ease, as if we were working from the home of a friend.

Les Pipelettes

Les Pipelettes

Continue reading »

Project 365: Week 3 – Composé

When I was photographing with this week’s word – composé (composed of, compound) – in mind, I was wondering how much of a stretch can I go in interpreting it? I’m still trying to familiarise myself with my new neighbourhood, and there are still things to be done to turn the apartment into a home. With my head half in the air, certain interpretation may be shaky. If only it’s possible to photograph the compounded stress I was feeling earlier in the week but slowly dissipated as more and more task got struck off the check-list…

* * *

Pastries

13 Jan: You know the whole “stressed spelled backward is desserts” thing? Yes, I sought some sweet cure today, in the form of a mixed box of bite-sized treats. Adorably called the children’s selection, six different desserts have been put together, checking the boxes on: fruitiness (lemon tart), nuttiness (hazelnut tart), chocolateness (chocolate tart), crunchiness (candied choux), silkiness (vanilla slice) and fluffiness (praline choux).

Continue reading »

Coconut and lime cake

F grumbles that I don’t often bake for him. Sadly, that is quite true. Can I blame it on the equipment I have in our very little Parisian kitchen? Or actually, to be more accurate, the lack of equipment. Back in Dublin, I had a wonderful and spacious kitchen, with all kinds of tools and ingredients at my disposal; I kid you not when I say I used to stock 7-8 different types of sugar! Now, we have two: white or brown…

Coconut and lime cake

But the mood does strike from time to time, and my recent kitchen experiment had been met with reasonable success. F adores the moist yet zingy-fresh slices of cake (“perfect for afternoon tea”), and my friends who have tried it have been asking for the recipe too. Last I heard, even their friends are asking for the recipe. I guess that means it merits a blog post, in particular because it’ll make my life easier in event of future recipe sharing.

Continue reading »

Project 365: Week 2 – Bordélique

This week has been completely bordélique and I have pretty much abandoned a whole bunch of things aside to concentrate on the move (although not before completing another MOOC). Packing up our lives after two very comfortable years while accumulating more things than ever was a lot of work, and cleaning up two apartments added to the load too. It appears the previous tenant to our new apartment doesn’t understand the concept of hygiene and cleanliness…

* * *

Brochures

6 Jan: I guess packing could be a whole lot easier had I not been obsessively keen on keeping every single brochure, map, ticket and whats not from our travel. I’ve been meaning to sort them out and save only the most “important” ones in a travel scrapbook, but clearly I’ve been procrastinating… I won’t have time to go through them now but I will definitely get working on the scrapbook as I unpack, so nothing beyond the necessary will stay in the new apartment.

Continue reading »

10 first bites

It is no secret that I love to eat and I always prioritise things that seem unusual when picking from the menu. Sometimes, when there are more options than I can manage on my own, I throw the puppy eyes at my dining companion in hope he/she picks up on my inner plea to order one of them… ;)

Last year, in writing the list of 101 goals, I added “10 things I’ve never tried before” and hope it’ll make food discovery more interesting. However, actually having dishes in front of me often translates to “busy eating, no time to think or take photos” and therefore writing this post had taken a little longer than expected.

10 new food

1. Courgette flower: semi-hidden here between a slice of chorizo and a cherry tomato, the courgette flower is bright to look at and delicate to taste. They don’t transport well nor last beyond a few hours after picking, so it’s not something that can be easily found in Paris (much easier in south of France though). It tasted like, well, courgette, but a “lighter” version. The flower also has a soft velvelty texture, like most edible flowers really.

Continue reading »

It sparkles at Cartier

Hurrah, I finally got round to getting my Grand Palais Sésame 2013/2014 pass! The first exhibition I saw with my all-access pass was that of Cartier, slated to run until 16 February 2014 in the Salon d’Honneur.

I am not one who’s particularly interested in sparkly and expensive jewellery, but still curious enough to want to see what makes others gasp with joy given the beauty of gems and precious metals set into decorative items, both wearable and non-wearable. It is also always interesting to learn the role that Cartier plays in the history of decorative arts, and to take a brief look into the creative process behind some of the exhibited pieces. I must say I still don’t know the topic sufficiently well to try to write about it, but I have some photos that I can certainly share with you.

Cartier

Cartier

Cartier

Cartier

Continue reading »

Project 365: Week 1 – Aléatoire

With seemingly a gazillion and one things happening, this week’s photos consist of a random mix, summing up the chosen word rather nicely: aléatoire. I must admit, photography is low on my priority at the moment, as we dealt with certain apartment-related hiccups, postponed our move by a week, and started to pack (and still packing – how much stuff can one own while living in a small Parisian apartment?!) everything up. Intermittently, there were friends to see, closing exhibitions to catch, and galette des rois to eat.

* * *

Carousel

30 December: Throughout the month of December, all the carousels owned and operated by the city council have been offering free rides to much delights of the children, and perhaps parents/grandparents too, especially those whose young ones normally want to ride it over and over and over and refuse to leave without throwing a tantrum. Afterall, it can get expensive quickly. The danger, of course, is said children in question will continue to seek the same, if not more, number of rides once they are no longer free again…

Continue reading »

To learn and to make mistakes

Index cards

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

Continue reading »


Notify me!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.