Paris in Red, Pink and “Love” Tuesday, Feb 23 2010 

It’s a good thing Valentine’s Day is in February. I don’t know about you, but I need some couleur (color) during the winter.

In Paris, the days leading up to this year’s la fête des Amoureux (the Holiday of Lovebirds) were a riot of hues chez les fleuristes, les chocolatiers et les pâtissiers (in flower shops, chocolate shops and pastry shops). Even fabric designers and home decor shops got into the act. While la Saint Valentin is not as commercial as it is in the U.S.—the French get the same memo for an understated Christmas season as well—it is still festive and a great occasion for beautiful window displays and creative uses of red, pink and “love”.

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Yes, it’s hip to use English for all sorts of “marketing” in France. In my Paris wanderings this Valentine’s season, I saw as much “love” as I did amour. Take a peek, see what you think, and enjoy the rouge, rose et amour French-style…

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Ladurée awash in a parade of pinks…Mesdames et messieurs, get your chocolates and sweets here!

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Fauchon near La Place de la Madeleine beckons with its “Electro-Choc” theme…

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And the shop’s back wall screams real neon pink…

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Switching to red, the coeurs (hearts) are heart-warming at Gérard Mulot…

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Ah, the pink and red Ispahan pastry at Pierre Hermé. Note this delectable sweet is trademarked–no copying allowed!

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I think this fabulous pink and red gâteau from Gosselin was my favorite eye-candy, although these non-edible hanging hearts (below) were stiff competition…

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Pensée du jour (thought for the day): May every day be full of color–and hearts!

Paris in the Snow Friday, Feb 12 2010 

It’s been a bit of a winter wonderland in Paris this week. As I landed at Charles de Gaulle airport, also known as Roissy, the surrounding fields were covered with la neige (snow). On the trip from Roissy into Paris, the snow was coming down so fast and thick that normally fearless French drivers slowed down to a crawl. Thankfully, both vehicles and pedestrians could still go about their business, and the léger manteau blanc (light coating of white) made Paris look festive and bright.

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A snowy intersection on the Right Bank… 

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The Banque de France surrounded by snow-dusted trees…

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The Place Furstemberg on the Left Bank…

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Footsteps in the snow by the church of St. Germain des Prés

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Snow covered lions (above and below) at the entrance of the Jacquemart-André museum on the Boulevard Haussmann

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Paris traded its wintry white clouds and snow for sun today. Sunglasses are in order for tomorrow as well, though it’s still pretty chilly. Note to self: keep those hats and gloves handy!