Welcome to Brunette à Bicyclettea collection of thoughts, photos, and videos; my digital scrapbook of the people and places I’ve come to love, wherever I happen to be (currently, that’s Washington, DC).
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Monthly Archives: November 2011
[caption id="attachment_235" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Photo by Walter Watzpatzkowski"][/caption]
I’m absolutely fascinated by this building, although I’ve never actually been inside. I love its art deco feel and the way it stands out in the skyline, recalling an era as equally classic Paris as it is far removed from the Louvre nearby. But more than that, I’m moved by the terrible sadness of it. Up-close, it’s a crumbling mess. Boarded-up and rusting, the only thing moving in and around it is the occasional rat. Despite its role in the city’s history and amazing details like iron work by Gustav Eiffel, it was closed in 2005 for safety concerns — essentially condemned. Yet there it stands on the right bank side of Pont Neuf, resolutely asserting its relevance in the Paris Seine-scape. Continue reading
I spent enough time in Beijing to, in my opinion, consider that I’ve “lived” there. It takes time to get to know a city, and a few months just doesn’t cut it for me. There are still whole neighborhoods between all those Ring Roads that I’ve never even been to, let alone had a chance to explore. Beijing is a huge, unbelievably overwhelming city that hits you like a truck. I spent the coldest winter of my life there, and on my worst days it was a crowded, polluted grind. But, I would go back in a heartbeat. To go into all the reasons why I fell in love with Beijing would take up much more space than I have here. So, let’s just say that I get that itch for all things China; and I want to share with you one of my favorite places to go when that happens (read: often). Continue reading
I have a confession. There’s one thing in Paris that I don’t go a week without eating in the fall and winter. No, it’s not petit salé aux lentilles or pot au feu (although, aren’t they incredible?). It’s a much humbler ingredient: an onion. Before you click away in shock and disappointment, let me tell you that this isn’t just any old onion. They’re oignons de Roscoff, and they’re some of the best cooking onions I’ve ever come across. I won’t tell you how many kilos I’ve gone through since I got back to Paris in September, but suffice it to say that it might be quickly approaching the limits of what one discusses in polite company. I keep them in the top of a stack of steamer baskets that double as my onion, shallot and garlic storage (when your apartment is Paris-tiny and you like to cook, improvisation is key). As the week goes on and my supply of these little, pink beauties dwindles, I count the days until the Sunday market when my can visit my “onion guys,” as I call them.