Thu 29
Sep 2016

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Posts Tagged ‘Private Tour’

WARMI: Handmade Knits from the Homeland

WARMI-jaguar-sweater

Snugly stylish sweaters are the most wanted items in a wardrobe. Without them, you may as well spend the winter in bed. That’s why I dream not of sparkly jewels or wads of cash but of owning an army of grannies who send me a steady supply of gorgeous handmade knits from November through March (yes, it’s that cold in Paris).

Turns out my fantasy isn’t all my own. Sylvia Toth, a Columbian designer who moved to Paris eight years ago, dreamed up a way to battle the bitter winter months by hiring a gang of knitters from her homeland. Lucky for us, she shares the handcrafted gems through WARMI, her artisanal fashion label.

Red-sweater
Launched in 2008, WARMI is a Franco-Columbian brand that blends contemporary style with indigenous craftsmanship. Each collection is designed by Toth in Paris then produced in a remote mountainous village in Northern Columbia by a cooperative of women weavers. Though you’d think the name was just a funky new diminutive for “warm,” WARMI means “woman” in Quechua, one of the last living indigenous languages of the Andean region.

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Paris Umbrella Artisan Makes Showery Chic

Gold-rim-umbrella

I write about some pretty unusual talents on this blog, but couture umbrella maker just might be my rarest find yet. That’s why I’m letting Michel Heurtault, owner of the fabulous umbrella shop, Parasolerie Heurtault, tell the story behind his flabbergasting art.
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“I’ve been obsessed with umbrellas from the time I was three. I have no idea why, but I could spend hours breaking them apart and studying how they opened and closed. I collected all of the umbrellas I could find, and by the time I was eight I was repairing them for people in my neighborhood. Needless to say, my parents thought I was nuts.

Portrait-Heurtault
I moved from Toulon to Paris when I was eighteen and began working as a costume designer. I eventually opened my own company, Art ‘Scene, where I made costumes and corsets for film shoots, theatre productions as well as fashion houses such as Dior. I poured the most luxurious elements into my costumes.

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Paris Food and Wine Safaris with Wendy Lyn

Wendy Lyn

A Florida expat with spitfire spunk and a Southern drawl as thick as molasses, Wendy Lyn is not your typical Parisienne (hallelujah to that!). What she is, however, is every foodie’s fantasy come true. For an inside taste of Paris, join this culinary go-to-gal on one of her fabulous food walks.

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When Wendy Lyn moved to Paris twenty years ago she found herself living out a foodie version of the book series, Eloise. Instead of the Plaza hotel, she had the famous Paris bakery Poilâne as her delectable dominion. With the luscious scent of buttery pastries as her alarm clock, she’d run down from her chambre de bonne on the top floor of the bakery to pick up apple turnovers or sourdough country bread fresh out of the wood-burning ovens.

Poilane

Often she’d be invited to join the owners and staff in the adorable dining room behind the shop for breakfast under a bread chandelier. Call it crazy, call it fate, call it freaking unfair, this mouthwatering set-up sparked Wendy’s incurable passion for food—its origins, its producers, its purveyors and its best Paris addresses.

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Private Tour of NYC’s Fourth Ward

183-map-post

Since all of Paris closes shop in August, I’ll be posting “by appointment” discoveries made during my summertime travels back home in the USA this month.  Hope you enjoy this special summer edition with content from New York, Los Angeles and Maine.

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My dad is a newly retired New York City public school teacher.  Since he stopped working a few years back he’s been going a bit stir crazy, and understandably so. Imagine loosing your public after 40 years speaking to a crowd?

So, while emailing with him a couple of months ago about my forthcoming summer visit to NYC I had a revelation. “Hey dad,” I wrote, “have your ever thought of giving private walking tours of Lower Manhattan? You love a rapt audience and know the subject better than anyone. Imagine bringing your maps to life!”

brooklyn-bridge-beach

Ten years ago, around the same time that I moved to France, my father started developing new media tools for the classroom. A research fanatic like me, he’d incorporate esoteric audio files, interactive maps, videos and whatever else interesting he dug up to create original multi-media presentations. He became the school’s resident new media man, and earned a reputation as a self-made savant (a Google representative even wrote to him to praise him for the innovative use of their mapping software).

water-street-manhattan

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