Parc des Buttes Chaumont

16 Nov

Whether or not this park, tucked away quietly in the 19th arrondissement, resembles a balding mountain is irrelevant.

Relevant: wearing your woolliest jacket and leatheriest gloves so that you’re warm enough to skedaddle along the mountainside trails like the billy goat gruff you are.

The Parc des Buttes Chaumont is not as central as that park in New York but it’s also not overrun with bike-taxi drivers and ice cream vendors. Mais non. The Buttes is the real deal – right down to its artificial stalactites and caves.

After all, when you’re converting an abandoned quarry into a park, what’s wrong with throwing in a well-placed grotto?

Skip the lake that doesn’t freeze and head straight to Rosa Bonheur: one of the most underrated eating/funhavens in Paris named after one of the only painters to have officially been given permission to wear pants.

High five to Napoleon III for coming up with the whole quarry-to-park idea. And to the scruffy waitress for drizzling honey so liberally on the chèvre. And to the DJ for his god-awful-wonderful 80’s mix after dark. And to the Parisians for not caring about cutting loose on the dancefloor for once.

And especially to whoever made the rosé labels look so pretty.

Parc des Buttes Chaumont
19e Arrondissement  75019 Paris
http://butteschaumont.free.fr/

Second image from Sprawling Places

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ONLY.

14 Nov

I can’t ollie like Elissa Steamer (or like anyone) but I think it’s still ok for me to love the ONLY guys. Apart from their herring-spangled chapeaus and photo deli, their website also features snaps of NYC from the gold-old-olden days: the 70’s and 80s.

They love New York. You love New York. We all love hotdogs. Whatever. These pictures are cool.



Peruse at your leisure at ONLY. And pick up a mushroom hat for me.

www.onlynylives.com

Experiments…

13 Nov

Trying out some of these newfangled contraptions… So now you should be able to follow Treasure Hunter on Bloglovin! (Can’t tell you how much it hurts me to omit the ‘g’ there. Let’s not speak of it.)

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/2671837/the-treasure-hunter?claim=2vasafhbjej”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

 

Sugarplum Cake Shop

11 Nov

Fact: slow yodeling makes me faint. Actually, being crammed in an underground bar listening to melancholic cowboys sing so slowly they might STOP makes me faint. As in, keel over and black out.

I suspect it’s because I have an attention span that’s about as long as a slice of triple-layer strawberry vanilla cream cake – but not quite as high.

Ok enough with the segues. Let’s talk about Sugarplum Cake Shop.

It’s on Rue de Cardinal Lemoine – conveniently close to the Place de la Contrescapes should you fancy a pression in Orwell’s hood after tea time. And it’s manned by ‘Sugarplums’ who create heart-stopping deliciousness and friendly natter in equal measure.

If the Alice in Wonderland-esque wedding cake displays won’t lure you in, maybe the thought of free wifi, free filter coffee refills and these lathers of frosting will?

Sure the Peanut Butter Yummy Things are tasty, but it’s Sugarplum’s good old fashioned cheer that makes it so appealing.  You know… The fifty centimes discount because the cake was sliced a bit wonkily. The stacks of dog-eared recipe books lying on the communal table. The noisy greetings to the exchange students as they wander through the door in a fug of subjunctive conjugations.

A counter piled high with giant muffins, creamy cupcakes, hearty pumpkin pie slices and a custom-made cheesecake means this is not a place for the faint-hearted.

But the good news? There’s not a slowdeler in sight.

Sugarplum Coffee Shop
68 rue du Cardinal Lemoine

75005 Paris
www.sugarplumcakeshop.com/

Top image from Break Into Paris
Bottom image from Hello It’s Valentine

Musée Rodin

7 Nov

Some days your knees get so cold in Paris that all you want to do is huddle next to a heater and eat salted caramels that get stuck in your teeth.

Other days, there’s free entrance to nearly all the museums in the city and you just need to layer up and get busy.


Even if you don’t have legwarmers and your coat has a button missing, you should definitely go find the Musée Rodin. You won’t regret it. (Unlike buying legwarmers.)

Do you know that the museum building is actually called Hôtel Biron? Do you know that a peruke is a wig? Do you know that a guy called Abraham Peyrenc de Moras made a killing from perukes, and that Hôtel Biron was built for him? TO BE HIS HOUSE ACTUALLY?


Just his townhouse. Whatever.

These days, the parquet in the Hôtel Biron is in need of a solid polish and the ceilings in need of a lick of Antique White USA, but this is understandable given it’s the only national museum in France that does not benefit from a public grant by the State. True story.

Three other things that are true:

1. Rodin was handy with the graphite.

2. You can walk right around nearly all the sculptures to take in every finger nail and perfect vein.

3. You should probably go easy on the salted caramels.

All images from Musée Rodin except the first one. That was me.

L’Arbre à Cannelle

2 Nov

In a city where the most prestigious and talked-about award of the year is for the best baguette, where people forge whole careers sculpting with sugar, and where companies ENFORCE two hour lunch breaks, it seems petty to take issue with anything even remotely food-related.

But despite my penchant for Pastis en terrasse, my fondness for bistros, and my affinity for a three course meal, lately I’ve been hankering for something a bit more low-key: the humble cafe.

Entrez:  L’Arbre à Cannelle.

Just around the corner from the toddler-strewn Jardin des Plantes, L’Arbre à Cannelle is a haven of blonde wood, heavy tea pots and, ah oui, cake.

L’Arbre CALLS itself a salon de thé, but a curious absence of patisseries and a chalkboard full of smoothie suggestions gives it the aroma of a full-blown, meet-your-mum-for-a-quick-coffee-and-a-chat kinda place.

By all reports the food here is hot-to-trot, but the café gourmand offering is worth the trip alone. France’s answer to high tea, a café gourmand is, typically, a cheerful congregation of sweet treats and an espresso, all on the one lavish plate.

At L’Arbre though, the café gourmand pairs a not-too-smooshy berry crumble with a warm slab of chocolate “brownie”, drizzles them both with thick crème anglaise and tops it all off with a piping hot allongée.

It’s not French and it’s not fancy, but for an autumnal sunset snack, c’est parfait.


L’Arbre à Cannelle
14, rue Linné – 75005 PARIS
http://www.larbreacannelle.fr

First image courtesy of L’Arbre à Cannelle

Sky Orchestra

11 Aug

If only this airborne art project had been launched into the London skies a week later than it was.  Singing hot air balloons would put even the most vicious rioter off their looting, right?

The Sky Orchestra consists of seven hot air balloons, each fitted with speakers, to create a moving audio landscape. Created by artists Luke Jerram and Dan Jones, the project’s cameo in London begins the official countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games.

Beats ribbon cutting.

 

Please Don’t Tell

10 Aug

YOU try not telling.  I’m no Peter Pettigrew, but it’s hard not to get a little razzle-dazzled by a suave secret bar hidden in a hot dog joint.

How do you get in?  Try Crif Dogs at St Mark’s. Try the vintage phone booth in the corner.  Try dialing a number on the old-school phone and try NOT squealing when what you thought was the wall swings open to reveal a low-lit bar full of cocktail-swillers.

Speakeasy gimmicks aside, Please Don’t Tell is a sexy place. The cocktails, while steep, are a delicious take on Prohibition classics (Old Fashioned made from bacon-flavoured bourbon, anyone?) and they look pretty-as-hell. And the menu features Crif Dog’s deep fried and sour cream-schmeared classics, as well as a tasty miniburger and the momofuku tribute Chang Dog. Extra kimchee please!

Who comes here? Not the hipsters, thank God, ’cause this place is old news.  Duh. But if you want to impress the out-of-towners, or, um, yourself, then get your ass here because unless you’re stupid, you know that drinking cocktails and eating hotdogs is a Good Thing.

Image courtesy of Please Don’t Tell.

Bedford Cheese Shop

21 Jul

Part Parisian fromagerie and part hipster hang-out, Bedford Cheese Shop is the ultimate cravings-buster for dedicated Brooklyn turophiles, and a tear-jerker to boot…  It’ll have you weeping with gratitude — all over the French pastilles and black, Venezualan chocolate.

Nestled nookily on the corner of North 4th Street, Bedford Cheese Shop is a treasure trove of imported and local hand-made gourmet treats, housing a rather breathtaking bevy of high-grade international cheeses.

Pastel pink packets of caramels, glass bottles of proper English worcestshire, and boxes of crisp German spice cookies line the shop’s walls.  Faded floorboards creak amicably if one kneels to search for Vegimite.* Scores of crusty fresh baguettes poke their heads out of wooden market boxes, and the whole shop is fragrant with Spanish chorizo and smoky saucisson.

The staff are old-fashioned cheese people who not only know their Morbier from their Gruyere (duh) but also know the best things to pop under, smoosh on top or wrap around each cheesey wonder.  Best news: this fromagerie is all about the sampling! But rumour has it you SHOULDN’T bring, and then open, a bottle of wine while you’re doing that.

Let’s cut to the chase. Here’s what’s delicious: their dense Hoch Ybrig.  Their creamy Clochette. Their zesty, sheepy Crozier.  Their pickle selection.  Their hoodies.

If you like your dairy digital, you can even browse their cheese portfolio ONLINE. You should. And someone should also snap up that Chris. His words are as tasty as his Chabichou.

* Calm down, they’re out of stock til next month.

Featured image from Paper and String, last image from Raymond Adams.

Go the F**k to Sleep – Adam Mansbach

20 Jul

If you’re not Australian and the Roger Ramjet theme didn’t mean BATH TIME for you, then the twinkling eye of the wiley madam reading Adam Mansbach’s new masterpiece might not mean much to you.

Just so you know: this is the Australian version of Charlie Sheen in Martha Stewart’s body. Which is BRILLIANT, don’t you know?

If/when the illicit joy of hearing a 1990’s Playschool hero drob f-bombs ever wears off, you’ll even notice that Go the F**k to Sleep is the perfect chilluns story — complete with rhyming couplets, endless repetition, and bewitching illustrations.

Even Mem Fox is on board – though fingers crossed she keeps Hush clean. Possum Motherf**king Magic just doesn’t have the same ring.