One Thing in a Neesh Day

Merci Paris!

Eiffel

Hello my Neeshies…

Sorry again for the long delay in writing to you.  The Holidays have passed. The New Year has begun.  The days will now become longer.  I’m beginning to get that feeling of hibernation that comes with the post holiday excitement.  So what better time than to share with you my gratitude for the past year and hope for the New Year!

And that includes hope for my adopted City...Paris!  May it continue to offer all the splendor and beauty that exists.  May they continue to preserve a culture that embraces all that is joy; art, music, food, technology, literature, café culture, openness to new thought and diversity, even in uncertain times! 

Through the years I have had the desire and good fortune to spend quite a bit of time in Paris and would love to share with you everything that continues to inspire and astonish me about the city.

I have walked every street in every neighborhood and pretty much know every pastry shop which I happily sample at any given chance. 

Pastries

No more maps needed, no more dinner reservations made in advance, now I can find my place in any neighborhood and am happy with a crepe, salade et un petit pitchet du vin rouges! I can find the best salted caramel, lemon tart, the crispiest crust baguette (bien cuit, as I like it). 

I am a well known “butter smuggler”. I have never known the taste of butter like the bordier butter in France so I have taken to bringing the big freezer bag and stuffing many packets of it in my suitcase hoping the adorable beagle brigade will not sniff me out when going through customs. 

Beagle

 Butter

I only delight in sharing all that I know and love about Paris, so please feel free at any time to ask me anything!  J’adore Pareeee!

I like to stay in the 6th arrondissement, on a quiet little street directly behind the Eglise Saint-Sulpice. I have been staying here for years and now am known by all the staff who are lovely and helpful, and keep an eye out for me when I travel alone.  I look forward to seeing them two to three times a year when I am there!

My room on the courtyard…always a bottle of wine and pastry bag on the table.

Hotel

The hotel is very near the Luxembourg Gardens where I often take a morning jog, or find a table for a glass of wine as the evening begins to settle in.  And the people watching is amazing. Where children are dressed as little dolls!

Little Girl

Not to mention the Dads, who are equally as beautiful!

And the sights!  Everywhere I walk I am filled with a visual feast that creates a memory that nearly takes my breath away!

Breath Away

This is a place where respecting the old is as important as embracing the new.  And then lighting it like a candle on a cake!

All Lit Up

This is a place where a lit street will illuminate a historical masterpiece…and make even a non believer want to enter and light a candle for all.

Street Shot

This is a place where a department store can offer a brilliant idea to turn your books into an occasional transportable table top.  Yes, the French have been way ahead of all in preserving and honoring our environment, and what a way to recycle!

Books

This is a place where a simple crepe becomes a masterpiece—made with bordier butter and delicately sprinkled with cheese, thin slices of chorizo and perfectly cooked fried egg to break the yolk and combine the perfect blend of tastes!

Crepe

This is a place where a building in the middle of a sprawling city can look like a ship that has dry-docked in the middle of a forest!

(New Louis Vuitton foundation in the Bois de Boulogne)

Louis

This is a place where a wall of graffiti inspires and informs one of color, placement, proportion and excitement!

Graffiti

And this is a place where a gentleman can wear a hat and stroll the avenue with confidence and grace.

Gentleman

Another year has come and gone and I would like to offer all of you Neeshies my Sincerest Merci!!!!!  And to share with you my gratitude for your support, and my favorite place in the world, Paris! 

Jamie Got Married!!!

Good Day my Neeshies!

(Our Younger Days)

How did this happen?  It’s November!?  Just when I thought summer was beginning…the days are shorter, the nip is in the air and leaves are tumbling in a tapestry of color!
Oh my!

So, I wanted to share with you a very special and personal story and hope you will relate as I share some real feelings with you.

Jamie got married!  One of the happiest days of my life!

It is hard for me to put into words all the various emotions that I experienced watching my first born get married. 

No, she is not my biological daughter, and no her mom Fran is not my biological sister, but...Jamie is my daughter, and Fran is my sister.  You know what I mean? 

I think you do!

  

 She was the first born of all the young women in my life….and she was a pistol!  From the start, she was “the boss”. She had many “good ideas”, all of which I was invited to participate in.  When she made me watch Babar, and the mother died, I had to hide in the bathroom crying.  We made concoctions in the bathroom, we played “Ninja” and “Tophat Genie”. I saw her graduate from preschool, high school and college.  I saw her plays, her soccer games, her first prom! Even though she lives in New York and I live in Chicago, we spent a lot of time together.

 

And then something happened….she fell in love!  She went off to college and before I knew it, there he was!  She was not happy when he was not around.  Her dreams included him.  Her life included him.  Her future included him.

I wasn’t so sure how I felt about this “intruder” entering our lives and affecting her mood, her happiness, her very being!  How was I going to accept this?  Was my heart big enough to share her with someone else?   Would she forget all about us and spend time only with her new family?  I hope that some of you relate to all these rather selfish and fearful feelings.  But feelings are feelings…and there you have it, those were my feelings.

 

And then I met Zach.

His kind and gentle nature, his warmth, intellect, interests, and the way he looked at Jamie…Well, it did not take more than a minute for me to realize that I would love him too! My dreams and life and future were to include him too.  

And now they are married!  As she walked down the aisle with her parents, I felt that I might just bust out of my skin with thousands of feelings and memories that passed through me in a flash.

 

It was August in NYC, the venue was intimate and filled with excitement and surrounded by love, we celebrated with abandon! And danced till we dropped!

  

And so my Jamie, my first born, has found her soul mate, her partner in life....a joyous addition to the family!  A day I will never forget, a feeling I will hold on to the rest of my life.  What a happy memory, what a wonderful day, what a wonderful life.

And now, may I present to you………Jamie and Zach!

60 and…PROUD OF IT!


Good day my Neeshies! For the newest blog post I was all set to write about my cooking adventures in France.  And I promise to share that with you soon. But earlier this month–before it was (-)6 in Chicago–I woke up in the morning, went out for my jog (yes, at 60, I can still jog 4 miles, YAY) and thought about all the many conversations I have had with family and friends on the topic of moving into this new decade.

Yes, it’s true. This past July 4th, I turned 60!  I think that it has taken me these six months to really settle into the idea.  I’m 60, damn it!  And really, quite proud of it!

So here are some of the things I have realized:

1. When I look in the mirror, I recognize the face of a 60 year old woman, and pretty much, I like her. I’m too chicken to have any “cosmetic” work of any sort.  So, the face you see is the face of 60.  No filling, plumping, cutting, pulling or stretching. This brings to mind a great scene in the visually magnificent movie Brazil where they fashioned some sort of futuristic face lift on poor Katherine Helmond, pulling the skin with clips fastened around the back of her head.  Yikes!


2. There is no substitute for experience! I am surrounded by lovely, beautiful, smart and talented YOUNG women.  And I can see the way they look at each other when I say some of the things that “older” people say. They’re thinking “Oh boy, here she goes again, talking about her youth and Viet Nam and Feminism and the lack of passion to make the world a better place, blah blah blah”. I can see it! But I know that life experience can only be gathered by living life.  And the more years you got, the more you know.  So I feel good about that.

3. Inside I feel the same as I felt at 30. OK OK, I know I don’t look it…but I FEEL it.


(Hey, it was the early 80’s when the shoulders and hair could not get any bigger.)

4. There are few more creaks in the joints, but mostly they work well. As Sally O’Malley said at 50: “I can kick and I can stretch and I can kick some more”


5. I have gained confidence. I really no longer worry about how others may perceive me, or look outside of myself for external validation.  I pretty much find it from within these days. And believe me, that took 60 years and my hero Eleanor Roosevelt as my spirit guide!

 
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So, what’s the big deal???  I’ll tell you the big deal…….
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 I’M RUNNING OUT OF TIME!!!!

There is still so much to do and see and create and experience.  How am I going to fit it all in?

When I take a cooking class, I want to cook.  Patricia Wells changed my life.  (More about that in another blog. I cooked in France with her 10 years ago–what a happy memory!)



When I visit a vineyard, I want to grow grapes and make wine.

 
When I knit, I want to make piles of beautiful knitted pieces.



When I take French Class, I want to learn to speak like the natives (though I could live until 110 and that ain’t gonna happen!)


When I visit a new Museum, I want to paint!


How am I going to fit this all in???

Well, maybe I won’t. But I hope to spend every day I have with the desire and curiosity to continue my adventures in living.  I hope you will too!