Thursday, January 29, 2009

Guide Books For Foodies - Italy, Paris

When we were traveling around Italy on our honeymoon, Fred Plotkin's: Italy for the Gourmet Traveler was our bible. Encompassing all of Italy, it covers bakeries, markets, wine bars, restaurants of all price ranges, local cheese shops, regional culinary specialties, and so much more. If you are traveling to Italy and want to eat your way through, I seriously recommend you buy this book. It's hefty, but you'll be so happy you packed it. 

I have been searching for a similar guide for Paris and was not having any luck until I came upon Clotilde Dusoulier's new guide: Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris. If you are not familiar with Clotilde, she is the author of one of my favorite blogs, Chocolate & Zucchini

 And if there is one thing this girl knows, it's food. The new book is organized by arrondissements cataloguing  her favorite bakeries, restaurants, ice cream shops, chocolate stores, cheese shops, cafes, bars, and markets. She even gives tips for French etiquette and ordering. The best part is that you are getting advice from a true Parisian who loves food. C'est bon!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ikram Boutique - Chicago

Like most of America, I spent a large portion of today glued to the inaugural festivities admiring Michelle Obama's wardrobe. By now, we all know her golden shift dress and jacket were designed by Isabel Toledo and her dreamy cream chiffon embellished gown by up and coming designer Jason Wu.

Michelle Obama has a real talent for mixing high and low end items, which is a skill we could all use in these hard economic times. She also has a knack for using belts, jewelry, and other bold accessories to add a modern edge to classic silhouettes.

Apparently, just like the rest of us, she gets a little help coordinating from Ikram Goldman owner of a boutique in Chicago where Mrs. Obama frequently shops.

Ikram is definitely where she gets the high end. If your looking for the low end check out J. Crew.

873 North Rush Street
Chicago, Illinois
Tel: 312.587.1000
Open 10am to 6am Monday through Saturday

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Godard's "Made in USA" - L.A. & N.Y.

For all you Godard fans out there, "Made in USA" is being screened for the first time since 1967 in American theaters. This is Godard's take on the film noir, so don't expect serious suspense (the movie described itself as "Walt Disney with blood"), or the disjointed narrative to make much sense.  Anna Karina, donning a glamorous trench coat, takes on the roles of both femme fatale and Humphrey Bogart, while Truffaut's favorite Jean-Pierre Leaud makes an appearance as a bumbling detective wearing a pin that reads "Kiss me I'm Italian."  

See "Made in USA" for the fabulous fashions, the vibrant pop art colored visuals, and of course the lovely Anna Karina.

Playing in Los Angeles at the Landmark Nuart Theatre January 18th - January 22nd and also at the Film Forum in New York through January 22nd.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Charlotte Moss Travel Accessories

Pagoda ZipLoc Travel Bags (25) - $25.00 & " Mine" Luggage Tag - $25.00

Set of Three Mini books - $85.00 & Lucite Tote - $220

Even though the Charlotte Moss townhouse has closed its doors, I am pleased to report the website is still in full swing and selling new goodies. You can count on Ms. Moss to have stylish travel accessories. After all, there is no reason why even the most mundane items can't be pretty!

Breeze through security with your toiletries secure in her pagoda patterned pouches, or spot your luggage on the carousel with her faux croc. "mine" luggage tag. If you're like me and want to keep track of all the cool new haunts you discover on your adventures, these mini notebooks could come in handy.

Last but not least, it would be a cinch to spot your passport in this see through lucite tote. Although, then you might have to splurge on a fancy passport cover because everyone else will be seeing it too!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Love Paris in the Spring Time...

Happy New Year! I already know 2009 will be a better year than 2008 because I am going to Paris in March! My lovely husband has given me a Christmas gift of a week in Paris and of course I am already planning our itinerary and brushing up on my very remedial French.

After searching endlessly for a non flea ridden reasonably priced hotel, I have settled on the Hotel Sainte Beuve, a boutique hotel situated on a quiet street on the left bank just a few blocks from the Luxembourg gardens.

The hotel lobby was designed by the late legendary designer David Hicks with rooms that look minimally stylish. As an added bonus, they have a real fireplace, which given the Paris weather, might be in operation in March. I came to my final decision to book the hotel based on the fact that they are recommended by Chic Retreats. Having stayed in other hotels listed on their website, I feel I can trust their judgement.

Also in the final running was the Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais, a boutique hotel located in the Marais district with a very reasonable price (140 euros a night). The decor is definitely on the feminine side and may be better suited to a girls' getaway, but Caron de Beaumarchais is the place to stay if you are looking for your Marie Antoinette fix. I figure I'll just get that at Laduree and Versaille instead.