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English Muse: December 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Violet Hour

There's a certain time in Paris in the early evening that my friend Elaine calls "the violet hour."  It's when the sky gives way to twilight and the lights of the city start to flicker on.  The beautiful white buildings turn bluish-purple.  Elaine's husband, Jean-Loup, teases her about this "violet hour."  He jokes: "Elaine is the only one who has ever heard of it." But I think Elaine has it aptly described. Recently on the Rue Violet, pictured above, Paris' violet magic was at work. 

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Spiral Staircase

There's something wonderful and even a little mysterious about spiral staircases. This one was in the apartment building where I rented a little flat recently in Paris. The morning light was coming in through the windows above. Later, in the evening, I climbed all the flights to see what the view was like from the top looking down. Beautiful. (more photos on my Flicker page.)

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Marseille


The bathroom in the Paris apartment I rented for a week recently had a large salmon-colored tub from the 20s. On a nearby glass shelf, the landlord had left a bottle of citrus-scented Le Petit Marseillais, the French version of liquid Dove soap. (Only better.) Nothing fights jet lag like a morning bubble bath.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Vintage Viewfinder


My very large black cat, Coco, as seen through a Brownie viewfinder at our home in LA. (I had to take the Brownie apart and clean it to get a clear image.) I was thrilled that this one worked out.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Umbrella Bouquet

I'm always misplacing umbrellas and buying new ones. Finally, in an attempt to get organized, I gathered them all together. I was impressed by how colorful they were, like flowers.

What we found in the teapot...

My daughter and I were about to make hot chocolate in the white teapot. We were very surprised when we took off the lid...

Pink Cape

Vintage Jacques Fath pink cape, complete with leopard print lining. Found at a Paris secondhand store.

Green Velvet Settee


Leave it to the French to design such a perfect piece of furniture. This was in the apartment I rented in Paris for a week recently....I keep thinking about that trip, my little escape from reality. So many of my longtime colleagues are losing their jobs at work and now I feel like a refugee -- still employed but brokenhearted. Somehow posting these pictures here helps me cope, although I know no one but me and three of my friends are reading this. (Hi Elaine darling, I love you.)

I know English Muse is a weird name for a blog by a girl in Los Angeles. But I think it captures my European sensibility. (I hope!) So now I'm going to post more pictures from Paris.

Happy New Year everyone! I wonder what the year will bring.