Shopping at “Cap 3000” for Sales (Les Soldes)

To take advantage of the (government regulated) twice-a-year sales (les soldes) in France, I recently went shopping (window and otherwise) at Cap 3000 shopping mall, located just west of the Nice airport in St. Laurent-du-Var.

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There were a lot of shoppers, IMG_0001and it was interesting taking in all the various  window displays.

And of course, lunch was on the day’s menu (see below).

Galeries Lafayette:

Galeries Lafayette windowGL window

Sephora:

There isn’t an American-style food court, but rather, a few restaurants in the mall – popular, as indicated by the line of people waiting for a table. One even provided a nice bench for customers and, withbench efficiency in mind, passed out some menus to look at while waiting in line. I got one of the two last available “plat du jour“: veal with mushrooms, served with melt-in-your-mouth potatoes and courgette flan – delicieux!

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So, what did I buy?  A few pairs of earrings, a small red handbag, a pair of leggings, and this tote to carry my laptop.  Happy Shopping!IMG_0031

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Monsieur Poubelle

The word “poubelle” (meaning trash can) comes from the man who invented it – Eugne Poubelle. He was a bourgeois lawyer, administrator and diplomat from Caen who was the “préfet” of the Seine region of France devoted to introducing methods of hygiene at the end of the 19th century. On March 7, 1884, Mr. Poubelle decreed that owners of buildings must provide three covered containers up to 120 liters to hold household garbage, sorted into perishable items, paper and cloth, crockery and shells. There was resistance at first, due to the expense and the threat to the rag-pickers (“chiffoniers”). By 1890, “poubelle” had become a noun in the Universal Dictionary of the 19th century and “le monsieur” became a household word. (Source/credit: ParlerParis)

In Paris, the street sweepers wear green uniforms, but on La Côte d’AZUR (the blue coast), fashion here dictates a combination of green and blue, bien sûr.  I’m always amused at the old-fashioned brooms, which can also be made of green nylon (color coordination), but after observation, they really seem to work well for gathering all the bits and pieces of street trash and leaves.

What do street cleaners/sweepers wear where you live?

No. 122: Ten French Proverbs Relevant to this almost 50-year-old

This re-blogged article features some great idiomatic expressions to build your French language-learning vocabulary.  Interestingly, I find that I rarely use only a couple, both in English and in French.

No. 122: Ten French Proverbs Relevant to this almost 50-year-old.

The France Show in London

I recently attended The France Show, held annually in London – an exhibition of all things French: flavors of wines and foods, language, iconic products, cancan dancers (video below), travel options, regions of France, properties in France, financial experts, and much more!

Bien sûr, there was an accordian player playing iconic French songs, a boules court, and a huge variety of exhibition stands to visit. Seminars to attend included wine theaters, language presentations, property and tax information, and cooking demonstrations by a Michelin-starred chef.

As I walked around looking at the various culturally-iconic stands, I felt pride and gratitude for living in France, realizing nonetheless that nowhere is perfect.

I also saw the city’s main attractions from the top of a double-decker bus (what else?) and experienced dining in the local pubs, with menu items of “bangers and mash” and “bubble and squeak” (yes, I had to ask too!)

Attending The France Show and enjoying the English atmosphere of London was truly a “Franglish” weekend!

PUB DECO:

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CANCAN VIDEO:

A Nice Visit to Nice

A friend from the U.S., who I hadn’t seen in about six years, recently visited Nice and also visited me. It was great catching up on the latest news of recent life events – wow, life can be hectic & challenging in a short period of time!

Before we started chatting, though, he said to me “You look great – and happy – it exudes from you!”  A nice compliment indeed, and I instantly realized that well….yes, I AM happy. Not that I take it for granted, but I guess I had stopped thinking about it on a conscious level.

What IS it exactly that he saw (other than my happiness about seeing him)? What IS that soulful, bliss that we all seem to search for?  Is happiness an elusive solitary desire OR is it achieved by design?

QUOTES:

“I believe that we are who we choose to be. Nobody’s going to come and save you, you’ve got to save yourself. Nobody’s going to give you anything. You’ve got to go out and fight for it. Nobody knows what you want except for you, and nobody will be as sorry as you if you don’t get it. So don’t give up on your dreams. Stand up and make them happen. You have to dream hard, wish big, and chase after your goals, because no one else is going to do it for you. And even if things don’t work out, you’ll always be able to say you tried.”  (Unknown)

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life, think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” (Swami Vivekananda)

“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.” (Bruce Lee)

INSPIRATIONAL READING TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAM:

“King of Gastronomy” & the Carnaval Queen

Carnaval logo2014 Nice Carnaval
Carnaval programHear Ye, Hear Ye!

His Nice Carnival Majesty will be “King of Gastronomy”. The biggest winter event on the French Riviera, Nice Carnival lasts for two weeks and three weekends, offering a program of unforgettable, daring and original sights. If you’d like a passport to the festivities and a chance to forget the chill of winter, avoid the queues at the ticket offices, book your seats online today and print your E-tickets HERE!

2014 CARNAVAL QUEEN:

“The Carnival Queen, who will be the Ambassador of Nice and its Carnival for a year, will be chosen exclusively by net surfers. Whether they are blond or brunette, all the contestants have been chosen for their charm, elegance and vital statistics. Its up to you to make your choice, vote for your favourite contestant and enter the contest. Until February 2, increase your chances of winning a stay in Nice for 2 by voting at each of the different stages. (candidates’ photos below)

The Nice Carnival is the most important winter event on the French Riviera. The theme of this 130th edition will be « King of the Gastronomy ». A touch of blue and ocre, a zest of charm and lots of sun… Nice in February offers an opportunity for an unforgettable stay! In Nice, during the Carnival, experience all emotions!”

(Source: nicecarnaval.com (link in English)

Behind the scenes auditions for 2014:

WHO WOULD YOU VOTE FOR TO BE THIS YEAR’S QUEEN?

(use comment box to list your choice from these 8 contestants)
queens2 queens1RESULTS:  Angeline was chosen as the Queen of this year’s carnaval.

Château de La Napoule in Mandelieu

American artist, Henry Clews, and his American wife,  Marie,  re-built the medieval fortress/chateau in the 1920’s, as it had mostly been destroyed during the French Revolution (except for an exterior wall and a portion of one of the wings).  Henry was a painter and sculptor, who abhorred the arrogant bourgeoisie (as depicted in the carved wreath of faces photo) and also  made fun of doctors for their sense of superpower and condescension.  He caricatured American critics, not appreciated by Henry, through his animal-sculpted wooden doors.

Henry had tried to follow in his father’s footsteps, by being a banker on Wall Street, but left to become an artist and follow his passion. He had ties with Rodin in Paris, which helped him connect to the Parisian art world.  Both Henry and Marie had been previously married with children; they felt passionate about each other and about art and had one son together.

What’s amazing is that after Henry’s death, Marie stayed at the château through the years of German occupation, having hidden and buried all of Henry’s art work, humbly welcoming Germans to stay at the château as a cover.  Her strength of character and passion for her husband and his works of art helped save the immense collection that is currently on display – a remarkable love story!

Located West of Cannes, this lovely and historical château is well worth a visit.

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