October 31, 2009

Autumn in New York.

Every year I am disheartened to see summer go. I feel like my insides sag a little bit when I know the last really warm day is gone. But then I get a whiff of autumn in the air. That self-possessed, chilly air and the sloping light of the season. I feel the sagging parts lift, at first reluctantly, but then with full animation because autumn really is something to be celebrated, even if the sun has backed down a bit. Autumn on the east coast of the United States is matchless. The leaves are stunners and the blue, crisp sky sets up all the glory.

So here I am, on my run, which was in immediate celebration of landing in New York and of the fall leaves bordering the Hudson.

She was celebrating the trees too. I loved how she was blocking out the whole world with those bulky headphones, her hat and her heavy coat (on a rather pleasant and mild day) and was just totally fixated on that tree.

October 28, 2009


Halloween and Jack-O-Lantern carving with my favorite Frenchies this week. Louise and Jules had never carved a pumpkin before, so they were elated/skeptical/in wonder when Marguerite and I showed up having lugged this 7 kg citrouille in a backpack on the metro (Marguerite was supportive with her words and by being a very nice girl with no tantrums).

Marie inspects our pumpkin.

The kids are ready with their spoons. Here, they are still not sure what use these spoons will be, since they don't have any idea what is inside the pumpkin. I was so excited to crack the chapeau open and show them the gunk inside.

All hollowed out.

Marie and Louise washed and got the seeds ready for baking and loved the salty outcome.

Now we are in New York for the next week. We'll spend Halloween in Provincetown on Cape Cod = lucky us. We'll see lots and lots of Jack-O-Lanterns about.

October 27, 2009

Brocante shopping.

The sea was not our only destination this weekend, we were also on the hunt for bric-à-brac in local brocantes (antique shops) along the way. Xavier's mom was our guide - she too was searching - for an appropriate fabric with which to re-upholster her Louis-Philippe furniture. (I now am adequately conversant in French history to know that Louis-Philippe was the king of the July Monarchy circa 1830...after the French Revolution. At some point, I was under the false impression that the French Revolution was the end of French kings - ah, but decidedly not so). She happens to be a local expert on these shops and we were guided to interesting, out of the way corners of basements and garages and caves in the Loire Valley.

I always like the glass things in places like this.

In old confiserie shops (candy) these jars used to sit.

Classic miniature cars. They beat hot rods, I think.

And an old addition machine from the 1930's.

And then we have the classic Banania chocolate drink - whose logo remains the same today - colonial racism at its finest.

Gossamer à la plage.

October 25, 2009

La Mer.

Today we went to the sea. Well, the Atlantic Ocean actually. I like how the French say they are going to "la mer" in any case. We went to Pornic, which is about 500 km from Paris. It was adventitiously balmy and the sun was beaming. We were warm. There were even people swimming. I really wished that I had brought my swimsuit to join in, but I settled for rolled up pants, bare feet, sweater off and enclave-of-rocks exploring galore.

Xavier's Mother, Paule, was along with us to soak in the warm, salty air and her son's beauty.

And, gladly, we had the blithe little Marguerite as well.

Penumbra Dancing.

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