Friday, March 19, 2010

Girls Day Out - Santa Monica

Ahhh the Power of Shopping!  Somehow two days out shopping this week got me so motivated and energized to take care of all the little jobs at home.  How can it be?  I got so much done!  Apparently my little walk up the hill with hubby yesterday helped too.  Are we liking the new header?????  (Say yes!)  I have been one of those header-challenged people and it was with acute fear and loathing that I anticipated that task of (desperately needed, long overdue) header-tweaking.  Happily the Gods were with me yesterday.  (Les Caprices des Dieux is a little phrase that has been going around my brain like a miniature choo-choo train this obviously all this is meant to be - the shopping too - also yes?!)  Anyway, it worked!  I may yet make some adjustment, but for the moment it will do.  And I learned new things in the process.  SO IMPORTANT!

Anyway, here's a colorful little bonus for you and me......a little toodle around the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica.  I hit my favorite shops.  Just three or four of them.  Santa Monica has the largest J. Crew in Los Angeles so that was a must.  Sadly the colors this spring are mostly pink and beige.  Uggghhh!  SO not for me - rather my Mother-in-laws colors!!!!!  Though I can't really see her wearing J. Crew.

I got some cute t-shirts at Lucky Jeans.  But before we get to all that...............

If I am honest with you, I really mostly go to Santa Monica so I can have a long lazy lunch and guaranteed sunshine.  So far I have not been let down.  (You could also go for a Cera-Gem massage, or Yoga class which many people do, but not - Moi.)  It was a really tough choice between PQ (Le Pain Quotidien) and Anisette.  The last time I went to Anisette I treated myself to lunch at the bar.  Not only did I get their beautifully moist, chewy-AND-cheesy but TENDER sourdough in a basket which I did (yes I did) slather butter on, but I ordered the foie gras parfait that was accompanied by some gorgeous rich brioche.  The foie gras parfait.  Might have to be my deathbed/DeathRow meal. (Channeling Julia:  "It's not something that you eat everyday!")  The word suave was invented for this make-you-delirious-divine confection.  I think there might have been a layer of some kind of jellied consomme on the top of it with a whiff of cognac in it.  "Mouth-feel" also invented to describe this.  No jellyish consistency to it at all.  Just smooth, smooth, smooth.  Smooth!!!  Which somehow enhances the depth of flavor.  Dimensionality.  (Sigh.)

And OK, since it was supposed to be a "lo-cal" lunch my only other order besides a glass of wine and a coffee was watermelon soup.  OH!  MY DEARS!  I die......I died.  And then.  I went to Heaven.

Yellow watermelon pureed and blended into a (best-quality ingredients) vinaigrette.  Salt, white pepper - hardly a sprinkle of each.  Teeny tiny pearls of red watermelon.  (So pretty!)  Garnish with a tablespoon or two of guacamole.  (Their guacamole was rather bland - I might amp up the lemon and the chili peppers and garlic).  Garnish with a tiny sprig of coriander and I think just one halved grape.

Well, let's face it.  What COULD top that experience?  And we're now 18 months into a recession.  (Restaurants, too, are tightening their belts.)  So after close scrutiny of the week's menu at Anisette and no foie gras parfait or watermelon soup in sight, I mosey-ed on over to PQ - barely 20 yards away and settled in for fresh lemonade, tofu salad with black sesame seeds, nori flakes, scallions and three dressings: tomato cumin, pesto and a light creamy mayonnaisey one (herb-y? - they are all so delicious I just devour without considering any more!)  And we know how tough it is for some to devour raw tofu, strictly speaking!  But listen, this tofu.  I inhale it.  It is so good.

So in case you were wondering, I learned to enjoy eating by myself from living in France on my own for a year, and from M.F.K. Fisher ("I Was So Hungry" short story, possibly from "As They Were").  It's o.k. to eat alone.  And I generally enjoy my food more when I eat alone.  Eating with other people, one gets distracted by the conversation. And then I just consume very slowly and politely and try not to talk with my mouth full.  I sort of miss the point of the food under those circumstances.  Unless it is very good, eaten in France or made by a  French person (OK I'll say Italy too), and I'm with someone very near and dear.  But truly, some of my favorite meals ever, I've eaten alone.  And cooked for myself.  Do you like to eat alone?  I know.  Most don't.

But none of that has to do with shopping.  And a blue mood that has crept into my consciousness.  More on that next week.  (p.s. those jams are the fruity biz - one forgets how fruity a jam could taste!)

OK so this classic summer outfit at J. Crew (not pink and beige, whew!)  All the clothes shown in this post remind me of "the wind is in from Africa, and last night I couldn't sleep" or, 

A cabinet I have my eye on, now just a lot wheedling and convincing to be done with Mr. Paradis.....
(Ed.: Why was the camera on a "nighshot" setting?)

 from Zara, songs from the Buena Vista Social Club, and that Sade "Paradise" video.......

here at Anthropologie, lots to see of interest.  (How smart were the Anthropologie guys to produce for America the kinds of goods and source the kind of creativity that we all go to France and elsewhere overseas for?  Why don't more American businessmen figure this out?)

Something reminding me of a cushion I coveted in a fabulous hotel.....

Tea Party - Alice?  MOVE DOWN!  CLEAN CUPS!!!!!

Wouldn't a forest of these just look fabulous on your outdoor dining table?  And yes, in BOTH colors.

And indoors, I could do with a garden of these.

I know someone who found a diamond bracelet on a beach in Hawaii.  I won't tell you any more.  The story is too good left just like that.

I want to know:  Where was I when they were handing these out?

I like the window hangings at the back - they have bands of fabric sewn across with fake flowers stuck into them.  Great visuals at Anthropologie, a prospective dust nightmare at MY house.

These feel as though they are made of silk scarves.  Delicate, you couldn't carry one everyday, it would get dirty and snagged/worn PRONTO but such a lovely idea.  (In my head, my Mother's voice:  Well honey, you could MAKE one of those!!!!  Me: I just might!)  I love the fresh colors.

Sigh!  How quickly those delicious moments careen to an end.  So full, so diverting, so absorbing, so.....eeeks!  In all my goofing off, I forgot to make it to Hashimotos to buy a pot for my roses!  

Et bien voila.  C'est la vie. Ca y etait!

I try not to too much encourage shopping or commercial activity on this site, but let's face it.  I am a female, of the American persuasion.  Nothing wrong with stretching one's legs and having a good look around!

See you Monday!


  1. Mlle paradis,

    where to begin?
    so much loaded onto this exciting trip. can I say I love your new header banner or whatever one calls it?!
    Re: eating alone - can be fine and sometimes highly preferable and as you say one concentrates. In the right venus it is positively charming!
    Anthropologie....... love it from their website...have never been near a store though.
    Love the name, love that tea party set, love the round botanical sculptural thingi... what exactly is it?
    And yes i approve of the cabinet MP...
    have a cheerful weekend,

  2. Hi there, thanks for stopping by my blog earlier and nice to meet you. Your photos are awesome! Seems like, you had lots of fun there! Btw, I love that blue dress so much! I'll scroll around after this. Hope to hear from you more often.
    Have a great weekend.
    Cheers, Kristy

  3. I"m looking at this belatedly...but I'm living vicariously. I've only been shopping in Santa Monica once, but I was in heaven. I am SO in need of a shopping day right now!

  4. Like the top, the scarf bag, the cabinet...
    Anthropologie was the first place to stock my cards so I always have a soft spot for them.
    Loved the Stanley Kubrick story by the way!

  5. What a fabulous day out!! :-) I love days like this - and you captured such gorgeous, inspiring delicious things :-)