Friday, March 14, 2008

Une Randonnée through random thoughts

Last week, I spoke of black in the garden. Here's an example, the dark foliage of sambucus nigra 'Black Beauty.' Even were we to have a freak mid-March snowstorm, spring is unstoppable now. Almost every day, I add another bloom to my list of what's blooming in my March garden (see this list in the column to the right).

At the end of my last post, a collection of randomness, I said there was more randomness to come, this time of the Paris variety: a randonnée of randomness.

1. A regular reader and occasional commenter (originally from Canada, but via Budapest--I love the cosmopolitan connections of the Web) commented in the black blooms post that she was officially my stalker, having now bumped into me twice on Parisian blogs -- a neat coincidence since I regularly read, but seldom comment on, either blog. I wanted to share with Patricia an anecdote that attests to the smallness of the blogging world: Jennifer,the very warm and friendly owner of the hotel we've been lucky enough to discover and stay at in May for several consecutive years now, e-mailed to ask me why I'd never told her about my blog, which she discovered through a friend in Belgium. Apparently, her Belgian friend regularly reads one of my favourite Parisian bloggers, Aimée at PutYourFlareOn. When Aimée posted a photo taken on the Rue Mouffetard, I commented how much I appreciated seeing a scene we've walked past regularly en route from L'Hotel Résidence les Gobelins, also in the 13th. Belgian friend told Jennifer the hotel was being mentioned and the rest is history.

2. I'm nervous to say too much about it, although Jennifer assures me they'll always have a room for us, but if you're looking for clean, attractive, unbelievably friendly, affordable accommodation in Paris, look no further than Hotel Résidence Les Gobelins. You won't be right in the heart of Paris, but within ten minutes' walking you'll be enjoying the lively market sights and sounds of the Rue Mouffetard and then into the Latin Quarter. If you're not the inveterate walkers we are, you can grab the Métro just around the corner. We like the neighbourhood feeling at Jennifer and Philippe's hotel and now have several restaurants, cafés, and brasseries that we go back to, having trusted Jennifer's recommendations and discovered a few of our own. There's no air-conditioning and the rooms are cheery-basic, but we don't go to Paris to spend time in our room. We love getting the opportunity to practise our French with Jennifer (who's very bright, well-read, and articulate in French and English) when she has a minute. Philippe, as well, is patient with our French and seems to appreciate that we make the effort. Both are très sympa.
3. Speaking of PutYourFlareOn and Paris, visit Aimeée's blog and scroll down to the post on The Tangible Dream to read a moving account leading up to some exciting news: This young mom, a Korean-American transplanted to Paris, married to a Frenchman, is taking over a tearoom and realizing her dream of having a Knitting Café in Paris. She takes over April 1st, and her new haven -- in the 13th arr. which is where our hotel is -- will be top of my list to check out when we get to Paris in May. Of course, there will probably be mostly non-knitters there, but I plan to bring along a sock-on-the-needles and knit at least a few rows there, for the photo-op, if nothing else. Not that I can see how she'll ever find the time, but I'm already imagining the book she could write . . .
4. And while I'm imagining, I'm going to picture myself wandering the streets of Paris with this handsome fellow, pausing to admire the ubiquitous public art, here an intriguing metal sculpture somewhere in the St. Germain area.
Here's a frontal view:
and here's a closer look:

Now I'm off to bake up a batch of Oaties so Paul and I will have something to nibble on with our Scotch this weekend. I'll be back tomorrow for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.


  1. Oh Materfamilias, what a cute story, and I'm tickled pink to be mentioned on your blog, thank you! I have also filed the link to your Parisian hotel - my husband and I are hoping to take a trip to Paris in September when our boys are on their school field trips (is it so wrong to leave the country as soon as we are shot of them? ;o) ). Gosh, what a lot of punctuation at the end of that sentence! Anyway, I'll let you know if it all works out. In the meantime I'm looking forward to hearing of your upcoming adventures in Paris. Have a great weekend, Patricia

  2. The hotel looks great, sadly I am already booked into a Best Western over somewhere north of the marais for a couple of nights in April, but will save the web site for the next visit, (there is always a next visit)
    As for the small world, one story I remember was a couple of friends of my ex went trekking in the Himalayas, sitting down for their packed lunch they got talking to another couple and conversation moved to nice places to stay in Britain they both agreed on York, then nice places to eat in York, the couple named my parents restaurant! (sadly no longer open)

  3. Hi! I'm "Jennifer's friend in Belgium"--actually, I'm an American who is living in Brussels for a few years--which means I get to go to Paris more often(!) Actually, there's a chance I'll be at the Residence des Gobelins the same time you are in May, so perhaps we'll meet. Sandy
    p.s.--have enjoyed browsing your blog--I really admire your taste in shoes and must say I've considered buying those very same Cydwoq ankle boots myself!--

  4. Patricia: Not so wrong at all to take advantage of your boys' travels to have some of your own -- you'll return to them much better parents,right?!
    Alison: What a great small-world story!
    Sandy:Lovely to meet you, at least virtually! It would be fun if we also meet in Paris, and meanwhile, I'm pleased you stop by my blog occasionally. As for the Cydwoq boots, I've resisted so far, and now my attention's getting caught by brighter colours and strappier silhouettes -- Ah, spring!


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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