Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Things I love in Paris this Fall

…And, by “Fall,” I of course mean WINTER since as of this week, Paris has become transformed into a veritable tundra. Please remind me again how I survived winters at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hamphire again? Oh, right. Unfortunately, wearing four pairs of long underwear and sorority buttpants, three turtlenecks under three different layers of North Face fleeces and a puffy coat that bore a strange resemblance to the marshmallow man just doesn’t cut it on the chic streets of Paris. Dear Karl L. and company, how about next fashion week, we bring back insulated coats and earmuffs? Just a thought…
On that note, as Fall ends and winter begins, these are a few of my favorite things (to be sung, bien sûr) …

Anna Rivka

I think I’m a princess. It’s not my fault. I blame Anna Rivka. The French designer makes such beautiful headpieces that my head now feels the need to be crowned whenever possible.
I’m absolutely in love with all of the jewelry in the adorable shop on the rue Vieille du Temple in my new “NoMa” neighborhood. From the original “diadèmes” to more classic earrings, rings, necklaces and bracelets, Anna Rivka really does have a little bit of something for every taste and style. I love the more simple, basic black and white tiny earrings and rings for everyday and also the more colorful, fun pieces that always make a splash on screen or on the red carpet. I love some of the more retro new designs that are a cross between “Mad Men” and a very chic, girly French fille.
My head, ears, fingers, wrists and neck have never been more well-adorned. Plus, all of the jewelry is handmade and unique and, surprisingly, relatively affordable given the quality.
Once upon a time… OK so perhaps I don’t live in a fairytale, but as long as Anna Rivka keeps making gorgeous headbands, at least I can pretend I’m a princess, oui ?

Cézanne at the Musée du Luxembourg

OK, so I’m stalking Cézanne (see my blog about the Steins at le Grand Palais - so what? The man is EVERYWHERE this season.
“The Master of Aix” is featured in a lovely expo at the adorable Musee du Luxembourg titled “Cézanne et Paris” that focuses on the painter’s time spent between Provence and the Ile-de-France region and his relationships with Pissarro, Renoir, Monet and Guillamin.
The exhibition is rather short and sweet, but it leaves ample time for a nice stroll around the Luxembourg Gardens.
The expo runs through the end of February 2012 – definitely check it out if you can.

Sempé at l’Hôtel de Ville

I really loved the “Sempé: A Bit of Paris” exhibition at the Hôtel de Ville. It runs through mid-February and boasts more than 300 drawings from the famous French cartoonist. I was familiar with Le Petit Nicolas series, but the expo also features several other comics that give a great tour of Paris through the eyes of this creative artist. The expo also features Sempé’s drawings from his time in New York and work with The New Yorker. Sempé’s sense of humor and attention to detail are in the spotlight at this lovely exhibition that I highly recommend.

Spain between two centuries: from Zuloaga to Picasso at l’Orangerie

I fell in love with an older man the first time I came to Paris when I was 16 years old. This man was around 120 years old at the time in fact. I’m talking about Claude Monet. There are few things that make me happier than standing in front of the huge paintings of Monet’s waterlilies at l’Orangerie. Now, there’s another reason to head across the Tuileries to l’Orangerie: a great exhibition called “Spain between Two Centuries, from Zuloaga to Picasso 1890 – 1920.” The expo follows the parallel paths of these emblematic figures of Spanish art and runs through January 9th, 2012.

French Cinema

You may have noticed that I have a slight obsession with le 7ème art. In fact, I’ve turned a career into it. This year, more than ever, French cinema is as they say here “en pleine forme” (in great shape). I’ve seen such wonderful films lately that deserve a mention, if you haven’t already heard of them, namely Michael Hazanavicius’ The Artist (watch out for this one at the Oscars), Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s Intouchables (The Weinstein Co will release this in the US for all of you stateside cinephiles out there) and Melanie Laurent’s Les Adoptés (impressive for an actress’ directorial debut). Vive le cinema!


Yes, grass is indeed on my list of favorite things. Don’t worry, I haven’t been smoking herb. Actually, I’m DRINKING it. And…get ready for this… I’m even growing it. Feel free to tell the French authorities – this kind of grass is totally legal, dude. (I just said “dude.”) My grass addiction all began at the Marché Raspail on Sunday at Hermione’s sprouted stand. Well, the STAND isn’t sprouted, but pretty much everything there is. Hermione has become famous in Parisian health food circles for her home-grown herbs, sprouts, plants and wheat and barley grasses. On Sundays, Hermione serves up wheat and barley grass shots and freshly squeezed carrot juice. Her wheatgrass shot mixed with apple and ginger is not only an energy jolt in a tiny paper cup, but it’s also delicious. Since I was finding it hard to wait until Sunday every week, I took it upon myself to grow and make my own wheatgrass juice. And by “myself,” I mean I simply buy a large tray of already-growing wheatgrass from Hermione and then just cut it up to put into my Greenstar Elite juicer, which pretty much makes its own juices its so good. The Greenstar Elite has changed my life after just a few days in my possession. There is literally nothing like a shot of wheatgrass to detoxify and give a huge – caffeine-free, mind you – energy burst. It’s best in the morning on its own, but I personally prefer to mix mine with some spinach, apple and ginger. The grass really IS greener… It IS easy being green… but only if you have this juicer. Trust moi. It also does a lot of other things, but I’m still an amateur so to be continued…
If you’re in Europe, you can order a Greenstar here:

David Wolfe

Holy cow…cao! David Wolfe made a stop in Paris on his European tour and sacre bleu algae was it fantastic. Le Roi du Raw himself, the King of Cru, spent three days in the city to share his vast knowledge about la vie en raw. Wolfe has so much energy (which now I can understand having tasted his cacao) and he radiates light all around him. I was thrilled to meet him and hope he brings his raw rock star self back to la France soon !
…And if you’re looking for a way to keep track of time until he does, check out the Camp Rawnora Raw 2012 calendar at - a delicious way to heat up the new year (as long as its heated under 118 degrees of course).

And Last but not least …
… the launch of REBECOOK!

Rebecook Generic from wikitube on Vimeo.

Want to eat quickly, healthily and deliciously? ME TOO. I’m not a chef, bien sûr, but wanted to show that it’s possible for anyone – even a journalist in a tiny Parisian kitchen with no culinary training (cough cough) – to whip up delicious food that’s not too expensive, not too complicated and not too long, but of course TOO tasty.
Check it out! (Note: it’s still in the beginning stages, so questions/comments welcome!)

Rebeccook Intro from wikitube on Vimeo.

Rebecook Yogurt from wikitube on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

FIACing around

What the FIAC was I thinking? I totally forgot to blog about this. A bit late, but voilà some fun photos from the opening night of MODERN art show le FIAC at Le Grand Palais.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Coldplay and Crash Testing !

Sharing the screen with Coldplay on Canal+!
This week's CRASH TEST movie reviews on LE GRAND JOURNAL!


On France 24 talking about two wonderful films, THE HELP and INTOUCHABLES. Check it out at

Q&A Michel Hazanavicius

Voilà- my interview with THE ARTIST director Michel Hazanavicius in today's THR AFM daily. If you haven't seen THE ARTIST yet, make sure to add it to your movie "palette" !

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Steins at le Grand Palais

I (not so) secretly want to be a Stein. Sure, the Lefflers are great and I’m sure had their fun at the start of the 20th century, but I would have wanted to have been a Stein in Paris circa 1907. Or at least a friend of the family. Gertrude, Leo, Michael and Sarah were the coolest kids on the block (the block being the rue de Fleurus of course). Oh, and they had quite the art collection, may I add. The collection is on display at the moment at Le Grand Palais. The expo is a fabulous mélange of info about the Stein family in Paris and paintings from their collection. The expo really focuses on this extraordinary family who so influenced literature and art during the early part of the 20th century. I would love to travel back in time and attend some of their parties – oh wait, I recently did when I saw Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.” This expo is also a trip back in time, complete with some incredible art from Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, plus Renoir, Manguin, Bonnard, Vallotton, Gris, Masson, Picabia and others. Definitely check out “Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso… The Stein Family” at le Grand Palais if you’re in Paris before January 16th.

Matières à réflexion

Matières à réflexion
19 rue de Poitou 75003 Paris
You know the feeling. In French, they call it “coup de foudre”. In English, love at first sight. It happened to me on the rue de Poitou just a few days ago. I was walking along when, out of the blue, it caught my eye. After only a few minutes, it was true love.
The tiny shop on the rue de Poitou doesn’t even have a sign with the store’s name on it. Yes, it’s THAT cool. Only the coolest nightclubs don’t have a sign on the door. This is le Baron of hip Paris boutiques if you will. Inside, the theme is quality over quantity. The shop makes their own bags – all made from vintage leather. The bags are unique – from a shoulder bag made from old leather pants with butt pockets on the side to more classic messenger bags, there is something for everyone. The jewelry is beautiful too and, in a city with more scarves per square mile than people, their scarves stand out. I also love their shoes from adorable Italian brand Anniel – they’re like walking on clouds (very stylish clouds, for that matter). It’s a very “NoMa” spot (NoMa being short for “North Marais,” copyright Rebecca Leffler 2010, but it’s now spread across the ‘hood) – hippie chic, with a classy twist. The name means literally “Materials for reflection” and trust me, you’ll be reflecting over which materials to buy once you set foot inside.
Check out their website and e-shop: