scout paris 
The Musee d'Orsay became the place to be during a gala event hosted by the American Friends of the Musee d'Orsay. The night was in honor of the opening of the renovated galleries at the Musee d'Orsay. I love parties where art is the center of attention and people are just having a great time. And, there is something about being in a museum at night. The d'Orsay really shined that evening. Bravo to the American Friends of the Musee d'Orsay. All of the galleries at the museum are now open to the public.
I have always enjoyed the illustrations by Vahram Muratyan in the blog Paris vs New York, a tale of two cities.

So, I was pleased to find out that there is now a book featuring Muratyan's collection.

It's also just in time for the holiday making it the perfect gift for anyone who finds the contrast between both cities charming and humorous.

Paris vs New York by Vahram Muratyan
I am a true city girl, but I get excited when the peonies arrive in the spring or when I pass by a florist's window to find the most exquisite bouquets in the window. I also enjoy spending the day in a park in the city or in the depends on my mood.

I am seduced by flowers--roses, tulips, sunflowers, daisies. During the fall season, the vibrant colors of red, green, yellow, and pink are replaced with orange, gold, and brown. I love the changing of the leaves, but I am more inspired by a beautiful rose garden or a mesmerizing bouquet of tulips.

This upcoming winter makes me dream of my carefree days in the summer reading in the Rodin museum's sculpture garden or visiting Monet's house in Giverny. So, I do what any girl with a blog would do and post some pics. Monet and Rodin shared my passion for florals. These are my two favorite places--one in the city and one in the country--where the most beautiful blooms can be found.
Monet's Water Lilies
Unfortunately, Monet's Giverny is closed during the winter months. But, you can visit the Musee de l'Orangerie to see some of the masterpieces that were inspired by his surroundings in Giverny. You can also visit the Musee Marmottan, which is a museum in Paris entirely devoted to Monet's paintings. Then, when spring arrives book a tour to visit the real thing.

Rodin's sculpture garden in Paris
The rose garden at the Musee Rodin is open daily (closed on Monday) until 5 PM and costs 1 Euro to enter the grounds. The roses may not be currently in bloom, but the grounds are still worth visiting because it has on display many of Rodin's masterpieces. Plan to visit the museum itself, which houses one of the largest collections of Auguste Rodin. There is an extra fee to enter the museum.
If you walk around the city long enough you will notice that Paris is not just filled with classical art and architecture. Intriguing street art is unexpectedly displayed on pristine buildings and cobblestone streets. Street art can be seen in just about every area of Paris.

Just look at these two painted skeletons that I literally stumbled upon while I was walking in front of Invalides in the 7eme. The artist brings an ugly grate to life with a bit of humor and edge. I wish I knew more about the artist who produced them. I noticed several people taking photos and chatting about the installation. We could have been at the Pompidou.

So, the next time you find yourself walking around the beautiful streets of Paris, look for the unexpected in alleys, high above on buildings, and down below on the concrete streets. You never know what you may find...
A summer find...Street art in an alley near Saint Michel.
For those of you who haven't been keeping up with the museum scene in Paris, some of the fabulous galleries in the Musee d'Orsay have been under construction for the past two years.

Well, there is now something new to celebrate. By the end of the month, the renovations of all of the galleries will be complete and open to the public. Bravo!

The American Friends of the Musee d'Orsay (AMFO) will host a gala event on November 12.

Guests of the gala will be given a private tour of the new galleries, mingle with other art lovers, and get a sneak peak of the redesigned Café de l'Horloge--the café is situated within a birds eye view of the iconic clock. The AMFO is planning to infuse a little Americana into the event by bringing in a New Orleans jazz trio. How fun!

I have always loved the museum's collection of Impressionists paintings and the actual building itself, which used to be an old train station. The Musee d'Orsay should be on everyone's lists of art visits when they come to Paris.

If you are interested in attending the gala, here are the details: Tickets: $125 for members and $200 for non-members. You must rsvp. The gala is limited to 300 guests, which I think is quite nice because it offers a personal and intimate evening inside the museum. The museum is located at 1, rue de la Légion d'Honneur in the 7eme.

Inside the Musee d'Orsay
The pleasant staff, warm atmosphere, and delicious French cuisine made me an instant fan of Cafe Constant--a cafe located in the 7eme. The food is reasonably priced for the quality and there is a nice menu selection to satisfy just about anyone. Tip: Reserve a table for lunch, order the artichoke heart salad with mushrooms, along with the sea bass filet and mashed sweet potatoes. Constant's homemade profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce are the perfect ending to a splendid lunch.
Filet of Sea Bass with Mashed Sweet Potatoes at Cafe Constant
The entrees (appetizers) are 11 Euros each, while plats (entrees) are 16 Euros. Chef Constant's set menu consists of a plat and dessert for 16 Euros and a plat, entree, and dessert for 23 Euros. This is an excellent offering and hard to beat, considering the location.

The space felt like a local cafe because the customers looked quite at home chatting with the staff, while they spent the hour or two with family and friends. It's a good sign.

If you are looking for lighter fare, just walk down the street and try Chef Constant's Les Cocottes. It's a bit more casual and modern than Cafe Constant. Cafe Constant is located at 139, rue Saint-Dominique, 75007. Metro: Ecole-Militaire.
I am always enchanted by Hermes. I love looking at Hermes' online magazine Paris Mon Ami for inspiration. The mag features pretty photographs of Paris mixed with images from their collection of gorgeous scarves and jewelry. The brand has also launched their very own blog Ella from Paris. Even though Hermes has been around since 1837, the luxury fashion brand always feels so modern and fresh. Here are my favorite images. 
I rarely talk about 9/11 because it's hard to talk about. Even though it's been 10 years, I can still remember the long walk home over the Manhattan Bridge with my friend Gyna, the horrifying news that my dear friend Chris was at work that day at the World Trade Center, and the orange sky.

I was born and raised in NYC. It's a city that has an energy like no other. The French agree. I have found that when I tell a Parisian that I am from New York, you can see the enthusiasm in their face. Most people have a love affair with New York. And, I can understand why.

I am planning to go to the 9/11 memorial when I go home for a visit. This day is dedicated to Chris who was a true New Yorker--proud to be from the Big Apple and he never considered leaving it. There is no other city like it and I am proud to say that I am a New Yorker.
One thing I have learned living in Paris is that no matter how blue your day may be, there is always dessert. I love my macarons. Not only do they come in the prettiest colors, they are absolutely delicious. 
I just returned from a week at the beach in a tiny town called Larmor-Plage in Brittany, France. It made me nostalgic for my childhood summers spent in Montauk. It has it all if you want to relax--gorgeous beaches and the best creperies around. My friend Erik Swain took this photo above of his vacation in Larmor-Plage last August. It really does capture the simple, lazy days of summer. While most of my friends headed south, I went to Western France. This little slice of heaven is a place where you can breathe, soak in the warm weather, and enjoy the peaceful space. I am so sad that we had to say goodbye, but until next year. A Bientot!

even on a cloudy day, Brittany is beautiful...