Friday, January 28, 2011

January Je t’aime

I’ve been distracted from my blog, kind of absent from my usual reading and not leaving many comments lately (my sincere apologies to my dear blogger friends). The truth is, it has been an amazing start of the year, a 2011 that is already feeling like flying by.

From organizing and hosting a bridal shower to my dear cousin on the very same day we’ve lost my beloved pet and loyal friend Verdell (speaking of contrasting feelings and emotions), to attending, enjoying and be part of one of the most amazing weddings I’ve ever been (only comparable to my other cousin’s wedding, the sister of the bride, so I guess good taste, style and hospitality run in the family), all garnished by the fact that I have been working non-stop and was called back to a project I thought was over for me. But you know what the real cherry on top of things was? One week ago, I was offered to cover a 10 day job… in Paris.

…oh yes… in PARIS. It was totally surprising, unplanned and one of those things you know were meant to be: the timing was right, air fares were available within the approved price range and, my husband was willing and available to go with me! It doesn’t get better than that!

So here I am, in one of the most amazing cities in the world, working but also enjoying each night with my perfect travel companion. The weather is extremely cold, yet is not raining or snowing which makes it manageable. Last night we bundled-up and took the RER train to the Louvre…we had not enough time to actually get in, but just the fact of seeing the majestic building illuminated, quiet, superb and above all, un-crowded, made the moment an overwhelming experience. The infamous glass pyramid is surrounded by triangular -shaped water mirrors (not fountains) …the view from the entrance was too much to be described. I felt like crying. We are going back today, this time for real!

It was time for dinner so we looked for a nice cozy place and found just the perfect little restaurant. It was not the typical brasserie or café, but more like a bistro-lounge with that quaint atmosphere only an old building can give. The place was decorated in black-indigo blue and white, candle lights on each black table, walls were painted with unique murals and decorative wall hangings were pretty much merged with tasteful painted details (picture this: a polar bear head framed by black paint simulating dripping blood… a black tree painted on the wall along with a few blue birds caged by antique wooden picture frames…black stilettos nailed up to act as coat racks). The menu was eclectic and the wine list limited but super affordable. We ordered a nice bottle of red (French of course!) and started with homemade foie gras topped with sea salt and a very special rhubarb relish. Hubby got the 7-hour lamb (slow cooked to perfection and served in round medallions of tender juicy meat) with wild mushroom lasagna as a side dish. I ordered the sea bass “a la plancha” grilled with the skin for an enhanced flavor and seasoned with turmeric on top of the creamiest mashed potatoes and turnip sauce…it was to die for!

Our server completed the magic by speaking Spanish with the cutest Spanish accent and a French kick; he was amazingly attentive and generous! The golden seal was of course, dessert: freshly baked waffle with hazelnut ice cream and nutella washed down by a glass of Remi Martin cognac and a sip (yes, a sip was all I could take) of a typical French homemade fruit liquor (vin de fruit), prune I believe, so strong that made my sinuses clear and my ears warm!

Milleneufcentsoixantedixneuf (nineteen seventy nine ) is the name of this jewel, named after the birth year of one of the owners, which objective is to dine and entertain the young adults (30-40’s) with a special environment, delicious modern food, after work drinks and, what do you know, after midnight, it turns in to a hip night club!! We didn’t stay long enough to experience the full concept, but left with the sweet after taste of discovering the right place to spend a cold winter night in the city of lights, holding hands and walking to take the train back to our hotel, finishing the day with a smile and the last trace of jet lag, tired but accomplished… getting ready for more, because the week has just started!

49 RUE BERGER/75001/PARIS/0140410878

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Requiem for a friend...a Magpie Tale

Sad notes floating around, dark elegant tones

Long chords…vibrating and profound.

Steps sounding firmly yet fading, walking away

Along with the wet shadow of our tears,

A bitter feeling of emptiness only filled by

The intensity of your memory left behind.

You decided when…you determined how

Your spirit was grand, hence your departure

honoring your character and equally grand

No suffering…no need for goodbyes.

Crossing other fields now you are

With that legendary attitude

The head up, your sway and style.

Marking other yards…touching other hearts.

Don’t be afraid, never look back…do not hesitate

Little by little we are going to be fine.

This is the end of your time with us

But certainly not your end…just a new start.

This is a Magpie tale - Mag 48 - for other Magpie tales click  Magpie Tales

For my one and only Verdell, our beloved friend for almost 12 years. May 10, 1999 - January 13, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Life according to me, lesson 33

When in doubt between making money or enjoying it, always choose to enjoy; have fun while making a living, embrace the process of living your life…money is certainly needed but not necessary.