Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Yet Another Stellar Cheese Shop in Paris

Taka and Vermo is a lovely, high quality cheese shop newly opened on the rue du Faubourg St. Denis.  Laure Taka and Matthieu Vermo are the owners and affineurs.  They left other careers three years ago to seriously study cheese and the world of the affineur in France. They worked at top Paris cheese shops and spent months traveling in France and Italy to refine their knowledge and to research small scale artisanal cheese makers.

Laure is Japanese, so she has incorporated Japanese flavors into some of the cheeses. One pungent cheese is flavored with sansho pepper, another is a Saint Nectare topped with candied Yuzu.  Another beautifully decorated cheese was encased in edible flowers. They specialize in classic Roqueforts.

Taka & Vermo work closely with their cheese making colleagues and mature their cheese in the shop's cheese cellar.

The shop also sells a curated selection of wines, all bio dynamic, and organic beer.  There are other traditional fromagerie staples such as eggs, butter, and yogurt.

This shop is a great addition to this stretch of Faubourg St. Denis which remains a little gritty, but, which offers more and more enticing food shops.  All success to Taka and Vermo! Pay them a visit when you are in Paris.

Taka &Vermo
61 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010
Metro: Strasbourg-Saint-Denis

Open Tuesday- Friday 9:30AM-1: 30PM, 4PM-8: 30PM
Saturday- 9:30AM-8: 30PM, Sunday 9:30AM-2PM

Yes. Go to Turkey!

Here is a link to an excellent blog entry on ten top things to do in Turkey for expat visitors.  Now and this year! As the article points out Turkey is a big country, really almost a subcontinent. Yes there are political issues and challenges, but, sadly that state of affairs is all too widespread in Europe, in the US and elsewhere.  And any writer who notes that Turkey is a 'magical' country has my vote... not perfect but endlessly fascinating, hospitable and yes, magical.  And, it is eminently affordable these days.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hearts, Prayers and Healing Wishes go out to Istanbul Following the Murders in Sultanahmet

Once again there has been a horrific suicide bombing sowing destruction and murder, deliberately set in the heart of a great city.  Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet Square, with its centuries of history has seen its share of triumph and tragedies. This latest tragic attack is infuriating in its cowardice and outright evil. 

I join the legions of people of good will who send caring and supportive thoughts, and healing wishes, to the families of the victims, to the people of Istanbul, and to the greater community around the world that loves and cherishes this richly layered city.  This, as with the attacks in Paris, will surely dissuade visitors to Turkey who fear for safety in public spaces. That is of course exactly what the attackers would like to have happen.  I, for one, am planning to head to Istanbul as soon as I can.

Mariage Freres comes to the Rue Cler

The rue Cler in the 7th, hard by the Eiffel Tower, is one of the loveliest market streets in Paris.  The well-heeled neighborhood expects high quality to be de rigeur in their local artisans shops and restaurants.  This is a perfect neighborhood for a lovely new Mariage Freres shop and tea salon. Even if you have the slightest interest in tea Mariage Freres is a mecca for pure, blended, flavored and herbal teas from just about every tea growing nation on our globe.  While their Darjeelings and blends like British or French Breakfast are wonderful, peruse the little booklet of roughly 500 teas and surely you will find one (or several) that fit your tastes.  I, and about half the tea drinking world, love the classic Marco Polo black tea blend.  On recent trips I've purchased Bolero, Imperatrice, Fils de France and other blends, all superb.  There are choices you've likely never dreamed of such as a delicate green tea that has the subtle flavor of cherry blossoms.  Or the heartiest Assam's or Pu Ehr teas.  It is a trove.  Mariage Freres also sells gorgeous tea pots and tea accessories, plus, tea flavored jams and cookies.  There are other shops in the Marais, in the 6th, in the shopping mall underground adjacent to the Louvre and in the 9th.  Definitely a must-visit and fabulous for gifts.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Notable Opera at the Paris Opera

Werther:  A Soul’s Tragedy

From 20 January to 04 February 2016 at the Opera Bastille.  More than a century separates the publication of the novel  from the creation of Massenet’s operatic drama.  The composer remains faithful to Goethe’s personal literary model capturing palpable signs of nascent romanticism. Piotr Beczala, Stéphane Degout and Elīna Garanča perform in this forceful dramatic masterpiece.
(Adapted from the Paris Opera description.  www.parisopera.fr

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Pera Museum Hosts "Bare, Naked, Nude: A Story of Modernization in Turkish Painting"

The Pera Museum, a gem of a small private museum in Beyoglu, is hosting an exhibition that is garnering critical acclaim and support (since many feel it is a brave, even provocative show in the face of the conservative government's grappling with the approved parameters of freedom of expression).

"Bare, Naked, Nude: A Story of Modernization in Turkish Painting" might not seem bold, even radical, in the context of European or Asian art over the centuries where drawing from the nude human figure was a key aspect of learning anatomy and creating art.

 But, for this secular, majority Muslim country the exhibition is bold.  Nude artworks, largely painted since the era of Ataturk's transformation of Turkey into a modern, secular, western-looking state, have been largely held in private collections.  There was not a history of painting nudes... men or women... in the Ottoman era or until the early 1920's.  The show catalyzes the gulf between Turkish traditionalism and 'modern' Turkey in interesting ways.  The artists who painted from the nude figure wanted to show that they were artistically able to capture the form and beauty, that they were in step with the Western World.  But conservative culture does not deem public images of the nude body to  be appropriate.

While at the Pera Museum be sure to see the famed 'Tortoise Trainer' by Osman Hamdi Bey, a cornerstone of the permanent collection. It is quite magical.  There is also a rather extraordinary collection of Ottoman-era weights and measures.  And a lovely very classy café.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Winter Sales in Paris

January is the month (as well as July) for the major sales in the grands magasins and the boutiques.  The Euro is low and sale prices will only further help you to score some memorable fashion and accessories.  Shop on!  Be in touch will Your Great Days in Paris if you would like to arrange a private guide for shopping in January or anytime.  We also have a great source for fashion atelier tours that visits young French designers, and, a fashion tour (small group) focused for teenagers.

Bonne Année!

Useful Travel Apps from The Guardian Travel Section

People who love travel are likely aware of the Guardian's Travel Section.  This British newspaper is a good read (it also runs a culinary column by Yotam Ottolenghi) and the news coverage is tops.

This link to a recent article on Travel Apps that are actually useful and proven to be top choices for travelers may be of use to you.  Seems to me to be a well curated list.