Friday, July 31, 2009

Kids And Teens In Lafitte

Like every summer, Lafitte is packed with children and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 17... They enjoy many activities, such as playing with toys (one of which seems to Benjy...), and are served such desserts as delicious, thin homemade crêpes with sugar or jam...

They are also busy rehearsing a play; it's now a Lafitte tradition to produce a play in the summer. Directed by a couple of experienced adults, who often have a professional background in the theater, the little ones and the big ones rehearse for a few weeks before presenting two performances for friends and relatives who come from all over the region or from Paris to applaud them.
Last year, it was Shakespeare's magical and exquisite Midsummernight's dream, while this year it's The Revizor, a hilarious work by Gogol set in provincial Russia.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lafitte In Green

The trees in the park... Some fresh green beans for lunch... A few of the kids playing soccer.

Just a little green
Like the color when the spring is born
There'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow
Just a little green
Like the nights when the northern lights perform
There'll be icicles and birthday clothes
And sometimes there'll be sorrow

(Joni Mitchell, Little Green)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Patterns At Lafitte

Last summer, I took you with me to Lafitte, a mansion/castle in the South West of France where I spend a few weeks every year. This year, we are going to step into the rooms again, as I wanted to share with you some of the beautiful patterns that brighten up many of the rooms... Come in!
From top:
1. the cotton sheets in my room
2. the wallpaper in the stairs
3. bedspread in the master bedroom
4. a comfy chair in the main living room

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Le Centre de Danse du Marais

Even though I only spent a couple of days in Paris, I managed to take two dance classes at the Centre de Danse du Marais, where my dear teacher, Frédéric Lazzarelli, works. It's always a delight to step into this ancient building, and the largest dance studio, with its hardwood floors and spectacular wood ceiling (top picture), as well as huge mirrors and a piano.
I like being at the window during the barre, for the occasional, welcome breeze, and for glimpses at the building's beautiful facades, looking onto a cobble-stoned courtyard.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

On Staalstraat

With its tiny and hip boutiques, as well as a fabulous cheese store, Staalstraat, in the center of Amsterdam, is one of my favorite streets as well as one of the prettiest. It is guarded by this beautiful statue of a man, whose coat is adorned with birds. I just love it!
Apart from the wonderful art bookstore Nijhof & Lee, where you'll find a large selection of typography books amongst other, one of the highlights of the street is Droog, a design store packed with crazy items, from fun knickknacks to pieces such as the "chest of drawers" by Tejo Remy, below. I bought their Do frame tape to playfully frame some pics and posters back home in Los Angeles.

Finally, I never miss the vintage store at the end of the street, where all kinds of ancient shoes, clothes and accessories are on display.

After all this browsing, I sat in a café at the end of the street, with a view on a canal and its beautiful drawbridge, for a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice - a treat that will set you back about €4.50 in Paris but only costs half in Amsterdam's cafés...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Around Amsterdam

Oh beautiful Amsterdam... While I adore its narrow brick buildings, some prefer to live on houseboats. What would you choose?

And I am happy to present you the New Thalys, which one takes at Amsterdam's spectacular (above) Central Station. With its red and purple seats, and its sleek design details, this New Thalys makes the Thalys even better.

Visit again this weekend, for some shopping on Staalstraat...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

From Paris to Amsterdam

I left the Gare du Nord around 8.25 am on the Thalys...

... with my phone and a heavy book...

... all the way to Brussels...

... Antwerp...


... the Dutch countryside...

... Amsterdam at last by 12.35...

... off the train and onto the tram.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Le Fleuriste Municipal


To fight jet-lag, nothing's better than a walk outdoors, so on Sunday morning I visited the Fleuriste Municipal, an exquisite garden tucked away by the Porte d'Auteuil in Paris. Its many types of trees created mosaics of intensely green textures under the summer sky.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Benjy Travels

Benjy in his little bag at the Los Angeles airport, about to board his flight... Where is he heading?

Some 14 hours later... He's in Paris! Not a bit jet-lagged or tired, he plays around the apartment and its beautiful deck.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Kitchen Reds



Top: plump and sweet cherries in my huge wood bee bowl - which I bought at a yard sale for $2.
Bottom: the tiles in my kitchen are a light, buttery yellow, with bold red tiles along the edges - it's very retro.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Short & Sharp


I've always liked short hair and find endless inspiration in women such as writer Colette, actress Louise Brooks and many more. Also, as an amateur ballerina, I like anything that clears my neck and keeps my head light and sleek.

Candi, at Paper Scissors Rock in Venice, is in charge of my style. The doll pictured below is just one of the many crazy items that adorn the mirrors and walls at this hip and fun salon.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Baby Arthur In California


Nine months ago, I introduced Arthur, a lovely Parisian newborn.
Now Arthur has flown to California for a vacation, with his sunscreen, summer outfits and parents in tow, and I was delighted to meet him again. The little rascal, a genuine baby King Arthur, is handsome as ever. After a snack of ladyfingers, which he gnawed on with his one and only tooth, we took him to the beach in Venice, where he discovered the sand and the ocean for the first time...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

California Sky - Color or Black & White?



Which version of this picture do you prefer? Color or black and white?

Update: an overwhelming majority of you voted for color!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Benjy's LA Diary (2)

Guess what I'm staring at, with my shiny almond-shaped eyes...

...blogging is exhausting, I need a little nap by my MacBook...

... ah, girls! They love me as much as I love them - meet my girlfriend, Stella.

Check out the first installment of my Los Angeles Diary here.

Update: I was featured on Nearness of Distance!!! I'm quite the cyber pooch star.