Thankful Thursdays – When One Shop Brightens the Whole Block

Grange aux Belles, 10 Belles, Bleuet Coquelicot fleuriste

Once upon a time, I lived on this block. In fact, in May 2013, I arrived loaded down with luggage at 8 rue de la Grange aux Belles, that red door at the far right of the photo. I had been to the 10th arrondissement plenty of times before, but committing to living there wasn’t easy for me. My experience with the 10th was that it is run down and rather uninteresting, despite the lovely (albeit green-tinted) Canal Saint Martin that runs through part of it. Nevertheless, I signed the paperwork and took the plunge to live there, my to-be landlord assuring me with the help of this document that the neighborhood’s Bohemian crowds and new boutiques popping up, that his neighborhood is the new “it” quartier. The unwelcoming paint-chipped decrepit door and grungy tabac and bar just steps away notwithstanding, he was right… our neighborhood, and even most of our immediate neighbors were nothing short of charming. This area represented a Paris I did not really know yet and was suddenly eager to discover.

Still, there are improvements to be made here and there in the neighborhood. I always appreciated the beautiful florist Bleuet Coquelicot and how they literally spread the beauty up and down the block. What’s not to love about a row of colorful façades and plant-filled pots lining the street? It gives people reason to sit outside the neighboring establishments on even the grayest of days.

**Note: Bleuet Coquelicot, Myrthe Epicerie & Cantine, and Ten Belles are appearing in the latest Airbnb ad.

The French Dog

French dog

How did French dogs get to be a thing, you know, a topic in and of themselves? What is it about them that makes them any different or more interesting than dogs in any other countries? I can’t deny that I have been seduced by a few charming pooches over the years. Perhaps it is the way they join their people for une pause at a café or the adorableness of their little bums sauntering down a charming French road… I think many foreigners are impressed with their characters. I, myself, am often taken aback by their obedience. Rarely have I seen a dog fight (and we know how much time I spend in Parisian parks!) or a dog stealing food off a café table. While I try to figure it out, I think I’ll just keep snapping away.

There is a book I see from time to time called The French Dog by Rachael Hale McKenna. I finally picked it up and flipped through it the other day in a shop and found it just charming. Have you seen this book? I have now added it to my coffee table book list for future purchase!

rachael mckenna

Beautiful and colorful flower iPhone 5 case/cover

Style up your iPhone with this slim iPhone case is made of hard plastic with a glossy finish, is designed to fit an iPhone5 case and covers the back, sides, and corners. It snaps into place over your phone with ease. There are openings for your buttons and camera lens.

The photo is one I took in Paris, France during a stroll past my favorite florist.Paris Florist iPhone case