A Parisian moment

“What is life in Paris like?” is a question I get asked very often. Well, life is…life. It’s wonderful! It has its ups and downs, just like life in any other city in the world. “But you’re in PARIS! The City of Lights!” This is true. This I never take for granted. I attend the Sorbonne; my classes all take place in that historic, beautiful building. I walk by the Seine and the cathedral of Notre Dame on a daily basis. I see the Eiffel Tower every day when I go to the conservatory. I hear French around me every day. These details are not overlooked.

But everything truly sets in when I find myself in a café or restaurant that is so classically French or more specifically, classically Parisian. The red booths and chairs, the dark wooden tables, the smartly-dressed servers…and the steak-frites with a glass of wine. Here I am, post-lecture at the Sorbonne. I always walk down to take the métro at l’Hôtel de Ville. I say au revoir to the Sorbonne, cross over and think “hi!” to the twinkling Seine, wave to Notre Dame and her gargoyles, and continue on my way to the magnificent city hall.

Usually I head straight to the underground, but today was a different case. It has been a wonderful week. I’m finally feeling better after being sick for a few weeks, I had an incredibly sweet surprise yesterday that has left me smiling since and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world, and on top of it all, positive and happy events keep popping up in my life. I was feeling giddy and on top of the world! As I passed the gargoyles, it suddenly hit me, as it often does, tout d’un coup – I live in Paris!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the incredibly historic city where so many renowned public figures and people have been, passed through, and taken place. And I live here! Me! My family is so incredibly supportive of my dreams and my passions that I now LIVE here! This realization had me almost skipping. I turned and saw a restaurant, Le Parvis Notre Dame, that I’ve been wanting to try for almost a year. I told myself, “Why not?? Today is the day!” And in I went.

It is a quiet Thursday night in the neighborhood, but there are still a few couples in the quaint restaurant. I know what I want; I’ve been craving it for days now. “Un steak-frites, s’il vous plaît!” “Avec un verre de vin rouge?” asks the server. “Oui, pourquoi pas?” I smile back. There it is, a fully French meal. A steak-frites with a glass of red wine is on its way.

My glass of Bordeaux arrives first. As I take my first sip, I am reminded that this is, indeed, my favorite wine. Shortly afterward, my meal is served. The presentation is typical, save for the cute little metal basket that the fries are in. The sauce smells incredible! I cut into the steak, and it is perfectly medium rare and a light pink, just the way I like it. The sauce is even better than it smells; in fact, it is the best sauce au poivre I have ever had! The meat is tender and savory, and the fries are golden. I was hoping there would be a side salad, and they did not disappoint. En plus, it had just the right amount of dressing (and I am quite picky when it comes to dressing). I had to tell myself to slow down and savor each bite. It was SO good! And with the smooth red wine to accompany the meal, I am in heaven. I believe I have truly found the perfect steak-frites here at Le Parvis.

Even the staff is lovely! Forget what you hear about the awful service in France. Here, they are kind and attentive – AND they smile!! Every person on the staff has come by and chatted with me, checked that my food was all right, and asked how my wine was. The manager is charming, and the server is very knowledgeable about their menu and wines. I was both serenaded and entertained during my stay! To experience both a truly French meal and the renowned French charm, stop by this restaurant and see for yourself.

Happily full and more than satisfied, I sit back and bask in the music of Patrick Bruel that plays on the radio. His light baritone rolls the r, à la Edith Piaf, and the music is so wonderfully French. A delicious meal, a nice glass of wine, and a relaxed ambiance – this is what life in Paris is like.

Yes, there are days when you are crammed in the metro, and others when you ask yourself what people actually do in their offices (if and when they are there). There are also those moments when you feel very alone and foreign and so far from your country. (I have dubbed it Home with a capital h.) But these moments like tonight, THIS is life in Paris. You share delicious meals and wine and cheese with people from all over the world, and you communicate in this beautiful, complex language. You spend time in cafés and brasseries and parks and salons de thé because most students’ apartments are ten meters squared or less – and there’s no way you could all squeeze in there at the same time. You grab a café allongé in the morning at your local stop. And once you come in often enough, you walk in, greet the barman and the morning employees, and suddenly your coffee arrives without your asking for it, without sugar and with a little glass of water on the side because he knows that’s the way you like it. You walk by the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, the Sacre Cœur, the Louvre on a daily basis, you throw on your scarf and breathe in the cold air, and you smile. Because you, my darling, are in Paris.

Le Parvis Notre Dame
3, rue d’Arcole
75004 Paris
01 44 41 14 34

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L’art de Paris: Dominique Fury Exhibit Debut at Galerie Caplain-Matignon

Femininity Encompassed by Art: The Works of Dominique Fury

Thursday, September 28, 2012, marked the debut of the French artist Dominique Fury’s exhibit at Galerie Caplain-Matignon, a chic gallery in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.  Renowned for her use of untraditional canvases and materials, Fury’s works are captivating, stunning, and compelling pieces of art.

Electric Lady by Dominique Fury Galerie Caplain-Matignon

Electric Lady by Dominique Fury

In an enlightening interview with the artist, PatriciaParisienne learned about her adventure into the art world.  Originally a political science student, Fury realized halfway through her studies that she truly wasn’t cut out to be a student of politics.  Her heart and passion were in the arts.  She delved into the world of art and has never looked back.  She has collaborated with many artists around the world, and her works have been exhibited at festivals and galleries around the world, including Kyoto, Shanghai, Brussels, Bogota, Istanbul, and, of course, all over France.

Painting by Dominique Fury Galerie Caplain-Matignon Electric Lady

Regarding her artwork, Fury says (translated from French), “I have always been interested in collaborating with other artists…I have worked on several projects with other artists and especially enjoy working with a variety of materials…like the Americans, who would tell stories of a certain region with different materials. It really tells their story. For me, the starting materials are those that touch your skin, very beautiful gold materials that make a lacquer, that are sexy. Voila. At the beginning, when I would create my paintings, I didn’t want anyone to know that it was a woman who was painting them. So I called myself Fury. And Dominique Fury is a name [that can be male or female]. I would make these enormous paintings. I absolutely did not want anyone to know that it was a woman who was making them. It was more of a masculine work and quite harsh.”

Dominique Fury Galerie Caplain-Matignon Paris Art Gallery Women Artists

Dominique Fury Painting Galerie Caplain-Matignon Paris Art Gallery Women Artists

Dominique Fury with her painting "Tea Time" at Galerie Caplain-Matignon Paris Art Gallery Women Artist

Dominique Fury with her painting “Tea Time” at Galerie Caplain-Matignon

In regards to her choice to become an artist, she states, “Finalement, on fait ce qu’on doit faire.” (“In the end, we do what we must do.”)  Fury’s Electric Lady exhibit shows off this artist’s vast capacity to encompass femininity and human emotions and project them onto a canvas through various fabrics, textures, and materials. An absolute must-see if you’re in the City of Lights.

Dominique Fury Press Poster for Galerie Caplain-Matignon Paris art gallery

Dominique Fury Press Poster for Galerie Caplain-Matignon

We are happy to have this artist back in Paris with us for a short time. Fury’s works will be on display until November 6, 2012.

Check out the exhibit at the Galerie Caplain-Matignon.

29, avenue Matignon

75008 Paris

+33 (0)1 42 65 04 63

Grand Reopening of Compagnie Française de l’Orient et de la Chine

Looking for some Asian-fusion cuisine and deco in Paris?

The newly-renovated Compagnie Française de l’Orient et de la Chine is back!  Though the design store and restaurant officially opens to the public on Saturday, September 22, at 10 a.m., the company celebrated their reopening and opened its doors Thursday night to a gorgeous crowd for a festive soiree.

View of Compagnie Française de l'Orient et de la Chine Chinese dragon dance Paris restaurant opening grand opening Asian-fusion in Paris

View of Compagnie Française de l’Orient et de la Chine

The party began with a Chinese dragon dance from the AFDDLC, Association française de danse du dragon et danse du lion chinois (French Association of the Chinese Dragon Dance and Lion Dance). Very appropriate, as we are in the year of the dragon (yours truly being a dragon herself!), according to the Chinese calendar. Guests were absolutely captivated by the dragons!

AFDDLC Performing the Chinese Dragon Dance at Compagnie Française de l'Orient et de la Chine

AFDDLC Performing the Chinese Dragon Dance on the red carpet at Compagnie Française de l’Orient et de la Chine

Dragons Dancing Compagnie Française de l'Orient et de la Chine

Dragons Dancing at Compagnie Française de l’Orient et de la Chine

The rest of the evening was just as impressive!  On the ground level, the two bars served an assortment of Asian beers and drinks, as well as a variety of delicious teas. On the second and minus one floors, the guests were also treated to fantastic wines and champagne.  It’s not a true French celebration without champagne!

Compagnie Francaise de l'Orient et la Chine window display Stephanie Moisan

The crowd downstairs at Compagnie Francaise de l'Orient et la Chine

Display at Compagnie Francaise de l'Orient et la Chine

The guest list had people from all walks of life and a variety of industries.  At the opening party, we chatted with Stephanie Moisan, the designer of the stunning window displays (scenographer), as well as Héloïse Mérat, the commercial director of la Compagnie Francaise de l’Orient et de la Chine.

Stephanie Moisan for Compagnie Francaise de l’Orient et de la Chine

APR

Some of the APR girls at Compagnie Francaise de l’Orient et de la Chine’s grand opening soiree

Héloïse Mérat - commercial director for Compagnie Francaise de l'Orient et de la Chine

Héloïse Mérat – commercial director for Compagnie Francaise de l’Orient et de la Chine

The event was a huge success, and the room was buzzing throughout the night with excitement and delight. Visit the Compagnie Francaise de l’Orient et de la Chine to spruce up your home or office decor, or to enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner.

Compagnie Francaise de l’Orient et de la Chine

170, boulevard Haussmann

75008 Paris

+33 (0) 1 53 53 40 80