Sunday, September 30, 2012

Recipease - With Jamie Oliver

Do we all know who Jamie Oliver is?  (I think so!)  Do we all generally love everything that Jamie does??????  (Leave your answer in the comments section below.)  So tell me what you think about his very latest project - Recipease at Notting Hill.

To be found in the old WH Smiths space at Notting Hill Gate.  Check out  Jamie talking about it in a YouTube vid at the end of this post.  (He looks tired, doesn't he?)  It opened in August.

We - the Paradis family - didn't try anything.  There is a cooking school, and a cafe at the location.  If you want it, it's all here.  Cookbooks, cookery tools, dishes....bread, coffee, and gelato.

I have to admit, I was not quite convinced.  (Really??? Have you ever found me NOT doing a super-enthused food post?)  But this is a very ambitious undertaking, and after a month of being open it seemed that this Recipease was still trying to get all its many moving parts working well together.

(I''m referring to the broken expresso machine and the pond of water on the floor right next to the ineffective, ignored or ultimately tardy bucket-for-said-water.  The situation seemed to be verging on - great English expression - SHAMBOLIC!)

Jamie mentions value for money in the vid.  This huge stuffed chicken must be what he was talking about.  ALL of his similar takeout items come with all the (impeccably fresh looking) fixings in - can you believe it! - their very own Falcon enameled tin baking dishes - for popping straight into the oven.  Considering that the Falcon baking set that my eyes lingered over caressingly at Liberty (several sizes ranging from oven to breakfast dish came out to about about $20.00 per enamel pan if you buy the kit), this truly is a bargain.  Because you get the meal, the labour, the fixings AND the Falcon pan all for about $35.00.  

Now, though, how many pans do you want to collect and/or give away to friends and family over year(s?) and how many taxis do you want to take home, or traffic tickets do you want to risk, coming to collect your chicken at the very busy corner of Notting Hill and Pembridge Road?   I don't know.....because even tho' the Tube station is right across the street, do you really want to be schlepping a 2800 g chicken up and down the Tube escalators or the hills of this part of London??????

Just asking.

The lighting is also weird.  I think it is specially designed to give a cozy retro vibe but as I was struggling with a new camera too, I seem to have only come up with this strange bluey-orange glow.  Sorrys!  

The gelato was tempting.  They give it great names.  There is a cafe above, up a narrow steep stair.

Trip Advisor gives it rave reviews for the cooking schools at the Brighton and Clapham locations.

Have you been?  What did you buy/eat?  What do you think?  Tell me how lovely Recipease is?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Johanna Flyckt - My Very Favorite Photographer

of the moment.......

She is a photographer and "homes" stylist who is (I think!) Swedish.  (Despite watching lots of Maria Wurm, Martin Beck and Wallander on KCET in LA lately, I still cannot tell the difference between Swedish and Danish).   Here is the link to her blog, Vintage - Johanna Flyckt.  Which I've posted here before.

There is always just a little element of something very surprising in her photos.  Her style stays fresh, it alters slightly from time to time, but an elegance and an impulse for investigation is consistent and evident throughout.  L-O-V-E!

So I'm sharing these lovely photos with you cause I have about 1000 photos from my UK visit of the last two weeks. And frankly, having been very lazy for most of that time, I am loathe to work on them.  Just thinking about editing them makes my fingers hurt!

But just so you know, I met a nice sheep, and she licked me.  London was full of refugees from the Middle East.  The Olympics park was closed to the public - sadly because I wanted to visit the Olympic meadow.  Design Week was on. There were at least two antiques fairs on.  Fashion Week was on.  There were MODELS in the streets.  Mr. Paradis realized that they must be on "See-gos".  He obviously does not watch enough "Americas Next Top Model".  (Which he obviously thinks I watch too much of!)

Actually we came back with a model on the plane (and her comedian boyfriend).  She is blonde and has gap teeth in front, and is not too skinny but very healthy looking.  Of course she was carrying a giant orange Hermes Birkin bag.  (Have you EVER seen anyone carry a Birkin bag that they actually lock up?  I haven't!)

Do you know who I am talking about?  Do you care about these things?  I think that I don't care too much, but I like to know what is going on in the world.  I can talk about serious things too, as I think you know.  So.....just watch this space!

Oh and p.s., the Duchess of Cambridge was very much in the news.  (Can you tell I'm still trying to indulge my "vacation brain"?)

But let's be clear here.  Unlike SOME PEOPLE I did NOT spend my summer vacation lying around in a pricey Provencal villa, you know......  Like HER!   

I might be too old for that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Went Somewhere

Can you guess?

I'm still polishing up all my pics.  (And doing laundry and fighting jetlag!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

In A Little While........

I will be back.  To tidy up this blog which has been looking like it's wheels were falling off.

And to tell you what I've been up to.  And why I haven't posted for over a week!  

It's hot in L.A. but the sun has crept left on my Western Horizon.

What have you been doing?  I hope to catch up very soon!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

An Arty Place - Barnsdall Park

Where is this?

A breezy hill overlooking East Hollywood and across to the whole of the Hollywood Hills.

From this vantage point you have a direct view to Frank Lloyd Wright's crumbling Ennis House.

There is a museum of Contemporary Art

And a center for art making.

Mostly for kids.

It's a lovely place.  What's the best part about it?  Art making out of doors!

The art center also shares the hill with Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House.  It is owned by the City of Los Angeles and is in the midst a lengthy and much needed refurbishing.  More about it here soon.

Hope everyone is having a good week!  Making any art yourselves?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Still in that Sepia - ish Mood

Haven't done one of these in awhile.....

Hope it's great weekend!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

In Mostly Black and White

I'm always surprised when September comes.

 (Photo: Emily Hadden via All the Mountains)

Because it always RAINS!

(Source unknown this and following pic - sorry!) 

right on schedule.

 Even in southern California.

So here's a post steeped in grisaille.

Have I already posted this cobbley street with its ragged trees?

(can't for the life of me figure out where I found this one and the one pic below)

We must be terribly clever human beings after all these years

to cue our calendars right up alongside the caprices of Nature.

(Photo: Robert Frank)

Because now that it's September, it's hard to imagine that Mother Nature could possibly know

that a human calendar page has been turned, and with it, the summer sandals left behind

(via Iloverainandcoffee tumblr also below)

and heavier, gloomy foul weather gear pulled out of cabinets and closets.

As I sat.  Posting this post.  Big fat drops of rain fell hard on my keyboard.

And Los Angeles was covered in dark clouds.  How does that happen?  Couldn't we fool Mother Nature into thinking that it's still summer a little while longer?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bart's Books, Ojai, California

Did everybody have a good weekend?  Ours was gorgeous here in L.A. and perfectly peaceful.  Aside from the 4,000 acre fire that we can see Southeast of town, in the Angeles National Forest.  It is fire season in California.  This is a "normal" part of life here.  Over the weekend, I saw a truck fire at close proximity that had spread to a hillside.  It's scary.  I don't know if I would still want to live in Los Angeles if I had to experience one of the big fires close up, or felt my home and family threatened by one.  Ditto for earthquakes.  Although we have had a constant succession of small ones in the area all summer.  Anyway, I will let you know if it ever happens!  I will be sure to announce to everybody that "I AM OUTTA HERE!"

But on a much more encouraging and tranquil note, here is a post about the kind of place that you can only really find in Southern California and it might be, you've been looking for one of these your whole life.

You just haven't actually known it until now:  It's an outdoor bookstore!  What do you think?

Bart's Books lure you in with 50 cent hardcovers.

An endless choice of comfortable seating is provided.  It goes without saying the climate will be perfectly perfect.

There are fixings for tea and coffee.

Quiet corners.

Casual company.  And.......

The requisite CATS.   Of COURSE!  The prices are right.  I got a stack of gardening books and a fat Vikram Seth novel all for twenty dollars.  (All gently "pre-owned".)  I was very pleased.

Southern California is not looking sooooo scary now, is it?  Hope all of you are safe and having a good week so far.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Just A Good Pic

It's a quiet weekend around Los Angeles so far.

(but this is London)

There aren't many people about.  How's yours going so far?  Tomorrow is Labor Day in the U.S.