walking the batignolles biologique {organic} market, paris

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As you weave through the stalls, you’ll grow ravenous from the smell of roasting, herbed chicken. You’ll lean into the peonies and wonder how flowers could possibly be so pink. You’ll witness vendors arranging their wares much like designers in an atelier drape garments over lithe mannequins, with care and passion. You might see a duck. You’ll dab a bit of lavender oil on the undersides of your wrists. You wonder where’s kale until you realize it’s not in season. You’ll pause in front of the wine and wish you could have a sip without all the three-piece luggage. You’ll wrap a scarf around your neck but it’s never the way the Parisians do it. You’ll see a man holding a sign that reads: dog for sale. He’s homeless, an interloper, and this is the last hand he can play. You feel the tears well up and don’t know why, but you notice that most of the homeless have pets, companions who are loyal and sleep by their side, and this kills you in ways you never imagined. You’ll realize that fleur del sel is cheaper in Paris. You’ll realize that you were once a girl who bought chickens and cigarettes in bodegas, so how is it that you know the word, fleur del sel? You’ll see men arrange flowers. Women arrange fish heads. Children arranging themselves around one another. You’ll hear, Ça va? over and over again. You’ll suck on an orange rind, and then wonder if it’s dangerous, but you do it anyway. You notice no one thinks you’re American. You leave. You can’t figure out where a certain street is located on your iPhone map until a girl unfolds an accordion map and shows you the way. You think that sometimes it’s good to have something to hold on to.

The Batignolles Biologique Market, 17 éme, is on Saturdays along Boulevard de Batignolles. Metro: Rome or Place de Clichy.

love.life.eat. of the week: in which a woman shakes in her pants in anticipation of her european holiday!

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love.: As most of you know, next month I’m spending three weeks traveling through Italy and France. People who know me well know that I am a woman who likes to be prepared. To that end, I’ve spent endless hours preparing my itinerary of hidden chow spots, tucked-away streets and art that will put my heart on pause. Some of my choice favorites: Localers, a service offering cool day tours by Parisians. At present, I’m swooning over the food trips. Whilst in Paris, I will definitely pass time in these coffee shops, as recommended by Sous Style. After over a decade of traveling to Paris, photographer and writer, Janelle McCulloch, serves up a sumptuous take on her picks for art, architecture, fashion, vintage, food, and all the hidden streets that are a must-visit in her vividly photographed book, Paris: An Inspiring Tour of the City’s Creative Heart. Clearly, any advice Ines de la Fressange doles out I’m certain to follow. So I snapped up her beautifully bound, Parisian Chic: A Style Guide, and it’s chockfull of etiquette, tips and Ines’ picks for the ultimate Parisian holiday. Finally, the Bloggers Guide to Paris is a must-print {while you’re at it, devour all of Pret-A-Voyager’s posts, please!} When in Rome, I plan to follow Twitter friend + travel writer, Erica Firpo’s tips to the letter.

When it comes to apps, I’ve scored David Leibovitz’s divine Paris Pastry Tour, because if David’s writing about it, it’s certain to be DELISH. And to help me with my pitiful French and non-existent Italian, I’ve already downloaded the simple Mindsnacks apps.

**If you have any links, resources of tips for me, please share them in the comments section. I’m headed to Rome, Florence, Siena, Paris, Bordeaux, Biarritz, and possibly Basque country.

Brief aside: Golden Tip Cups. Aren’t they dreamy?

life.: Just as I ceased the endless trip vacillation {Basque country, no, Switzerland!}, do I read about Ashley’s visit to Southern Spain. You will fawn over the rich history, architecture and the sloe-gin vibe. Meanwhile, Jessica’s literary riffs remind me why I’m so delighted to have returned to books, articles, criticism with such fervor. Some days it feels as if I have a tapeworm when it comes to literature, and trust me, this is a good thing.

eat.: Indulging my passion for chocolate + chocolate are these yummy Homemade Bounty Bars. While I’m noshing on this and pretending to be more virtuous I can feast on Quinoa Salad, x3, Carrot Soup + Blood Orange Oil, Sweet Potato + Rosemary Biscuits.

tumbling through the looking glass: portobello market, london

Portobello Market, Notting Hill
There is something wholly winsome about proprietors taking great care with their objects of affection, wares for sale. When my friend Dina told me that I would fall deliriously in love with Portobello Market in London’s Notting Hill, never had I anticipated a two-mile stretch of treasures. Of sweet fruit and heady sausage, camera obscuras and Victorian lace, vintage fur and polished silver, loose teas and warm sourdough wrapped in wax paper, Highland cashmere and leather gloves adorned with pearl buttons.

From the fashion-forward and the razor-edged cool to the vintage and objets d’ art to figs pregnant with luscious flavor, I felt as if I were Alice tumbling through that ubiquitous hole to discover a world rife with treasures.

Not only did I acquire two stunning vintage rings, I manage to chow my way through two miles of delectable food. Should you ever tire of the pomp and circumstance of the touristy spots, I encourage you to spend a day wandering through the market, sifting and digging through its seemingly bottomless trove of epic delights.

In other words, Portobello Market was, as I would say, AMERICA.
Portobello Market, Notting Hill
Portobello Market, Notting Hill
Portobello Market, Notting Hill
Portobello Market, Notting Hill
Portobello Market, Notting Hill
Portobello Market, Notting Hill
Portobello Market, Notting Hill
Portobello Market, Notting Hill
Portobello Market, Notting Hill
Portobello Market, Notting Hill