Mid-year Piano Recital
I finally got around to uploading the videos from Jack and Daphne’s mid-year piano recital. They took piano lessons after school every Tuesday with Rhea. We bought a nice clavier portable for them to practice on during the year and it really was a good idea because their piano progressed considerably. Rhea was patient and demanding, which was excellent. Our favorite part was that they learned a duet, which is the sweetest thing ever.
Without further ado…
Duet: Le Phantome
Jack’s Marionette Spectacle
Daphné’s Dance Spectacle
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Tagged paris, piano
Daphné et Josephine
Daphne’s 6th birthday was February 7, and we had quite a super-fun time. She decided she wanted a “Hello Kitty” theme and chose all of your decorations and party favors accordingly. Monsieur Pinaud of our local boulangerie made a super huge gateau chocolat–with praliné, meringue, mousse au chocolat, and a bunch of other yummy things layered throughout. He also took great care in fabricating a perfect Hello Kitty figure from “pate amandes;” Daphne spared no time in eating the entire little sculpture. A dozen children from Montessori Kids came over, including several older girls from Jack’s class who have been very kind to Daphne from the beginning. Michael trotted out his traveling magic show, which never feels to impress (even Shannon who has seen it repeatedly). Daphne received many wonderful presents from her friends along with lots of hugs and kisses.
Hello Kitty Cake
More pictures from Daphné’s birthday on Flickr.
Marianne Weems, artistic director of The Builders Association, just spent a couple of days with us. She’s working on a project with Shannon and it was great to have her. I (Michael) unexpectedly got to visit with her because my trip to Amsterdam was canceled when my computer bag, containing computer & passport, was stolen. More on her visit in another blog post, but I can’t resist sharing the following text message exchange between the two of us.
Le Fils de la Ferme, in the 14eme, is so far my favorite restaurant in the 25-35 euro range. I’ve eaten here three times (two as part of the 2008 Sakai conference in Paris, once since we moved here) and each time was better than the previous.
The restaurant is small and unpretentious. It isn’t convenient to most of central paris, although it is not far from the charming market street Rue Daguerre and place Denfert-Rochereau, where you can access the Catacombs. Regardless of the surroundings, though, Le Fils de la Ferme is worth a trip, especially for a traveller on a budget.
Shannon and I went on December 5th for dinner. For an appetizer, Shannon had the foie gras creme brulee and I had foie gras in a chestnut bouillon (in December, foie gras is ubiquitous in Paris). Both were sublime and reminded us of the best of our restaurant meals. For main courses, Shannon had sea bass with truffels and I had a venison “stew,” which was very refined and precise–not really a stew at all but a rich, elegant sauce for the perfectly cooked venison. This was all accompanied by a lovely Vacqueyras wine that fit perfectly with our selections (the truffles allowing the fish to harmonize with the rich red wine). Dessert was l’isle flottant and tarte tatine. Neither was particularly innovative but both were perfectly executed.
When I went in July the server (I don’t know her name) was working incredibly hard to keep up. She was (is!) fantastic but definitely fell behind at times. With our latest visit, though, she had some help, which made a huge differance. Her natural warmth was accompanied by an efficiency and attentiveness that wasn’t possible when she was trying to serve the whole resaurant tout seul. We definitely hope that les fils keep the extra help around….it makes a big difference to the diners and, I’m sure, to the hostess.
We don’t hesitate to recommend Le Fils de La Ferme to even the most discriminating diners. It’s very good (dare I say excellent?) and you won’t need a second mortgage.
The cold snap has ended and the rain has brought an “arc-en-ciel”
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Tagged paris, rainbow
There’s been snow on the ground here for the past week or so. And its been cold, very cold. The kids loved the snow and it definitely made things enchanting. But we were all disappointed that they closed the Jardin des Plantes and some other small parks “for our security.” It sounds like something that would happen in the US rather than France…are they really worried about lawsuits from people slipping on the ice? Or is somethine else happening?
In any case, I was able to snap a few photos of our neighborhood in the snow:
Snow in the Jardin des Plantes
After two weeks with my parents over the Toussaint holiday and three weeks with Michael’s parents that included Thanksgiving, we braced ourselves for being without family and long-time friends for Christmas. Montessori Kids started us off well with a lovely holiday fête, including an array of delicious food and a chorale of children singing holiday songs. After a solstice birthday where Jack got to have the food (steak) and movie (Madagascar 2) of his choice, we organized outings and playdates during the Christmas week. We also had a few lovely shopping excursions at the very civilized Bon Marché where we bought presents for American family members. Jack and Daphne wrote to Père Noel in French, asking for Gormiti and Ecole des Gourmets respectively. Instead of buying new stockings, I gave them each a “kitty-themed” hanging pouch that could double later as toy storage (which we desperately need). For Christmas Eve dinner, we had a wonderful goose and an array of new macarons (flavor: buerre salé, hmmm) cooked by Michael and Daphne. When I casually noted that this was the first that the kids had ever had goose, Jack protested, “No, Mommy. We’ve had goose from our traiteur at school,” reminding us that, while the parents nibble on leftovers at home, the kids are having long multi-course French lunches that include all varieties of meat, fish, and fowl.