Back from Vacation: Not-So-Good News and Good News

July 10th, 2007

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Interior of Dushanbe Teahouse, Boulder, Colorado

picture source   

Hello!

I’m back from Colorado, which was beautiful in a dry, stark, majestic mountains in the clouds sort of way, and Kansas, which was beautiful in a humid, lushly green, sipping lemonade by the lake as the sun sets sort of way. It’s good to get away from home once in a while and see what else is out there.

The above picture is of the Dushanbe Teahouse in Boulder, Colorado, a gorgeous traditional Tajik teahouse, or choihona, given to Boulder by its sister of Dushanbe in Tajikstan. All of the parts of the teahouse, from the elaborately carved ceiling panels to the statues in the interior fountain, were made in Tajikstan and shipped over. It’s a stunning, one-of-a-kind place to have a cup of afternoon tea and imagine yourself in ancient Persia – the tea list is excellent, as well as the rest of the menu.

My return from the midwest was supposed to be good news for my sadly non-updated blog, but unfortunately, bad news awaited me: I came home to discover that my computer had decided to break down in my absence (perhaps reprimanding me for my lack of care? I dote lovingly over my kitchen equipment but rather much less so on my poor computer – I guess it got tired of the lack of attention) It is in the process of getting fixed, so some of the posts I had been planning to do on my return may not make it up until next week.

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In the meantime, I’ll share some good news that brightened my return: I found out that Schmap Travel Guides has included some of my food photos in the new edition of their Paris guide. For those of you who haven’t discovered their website, Schmap’s digital guides make trip planning an interactive, surprisingly fun experience. Each city guide is linked with a Google map that shows all of the city’s attractions, restaurants, hotels, and other items of interest so you can easily see where everything is located.

If you look to the right sidebar of this page, you’ll see a Schmap of Paris – you can move around, zoom in, and investigate the listings on the map. If something interests you, say the ice cream shop Berthillon, you can either click on "Photos" to see some images of the store or click "more…" to go the Schmap description of the place. Pretty ingenious, no?

It was a pleasant surprise when Schmap contacted me and asked if some of my photos of Paris could be used for their entries. I am sure it will come as no shock to any of you that all my photos are of food! If you are curious, here are the photos they selected:

Dalloyau – their service is impeccable, their opera cake to die for. Even though I only bought one slice of cake, they wrapped it up carefully and thanked me as politely as the customers buying boxes of macarons and petit fours.

Fauchon – the displays at their store on Place de la Madeleine are always nose-to-the-window fabulous.

Pierre Herme – of course a must visit for every lover of pastry in Paris!

Pierre Herme again – Schmap has currently misattributed this photo to another Paris icon, fashion house Hermès. Honestly, I think I’d rather be spending my money on some of Pierre’s macarons than one of those scarves…

Chez Michel – one of my favorite little bistros in Paris, just blocks away from the Gare du Nord. I had some divine foie gras there, as well as a lovely Paris-Brest.

The photos are all from my trip to Paris a couple of years ago…I was so thrilled to be there and wanted to document every pastry that I saw. The photos were also  how I met the wonderful Carol, who confessed to finding my pictures on Flickr and loving them – now I’m the one who goes to her site and envies her trips to France and the beautiful watercolors she produces! What a lot of magic Paris can produce!

And finally, I learned that the photo I submitted to the June 2007 edition of DMBLGIT won in a couple of categories: tying for second in Edibility and placing third overall!  Many thanks to Bea for hosting – if you go to her post you will see she made cute little bar graphs showing the performance of the top ten in each category – I’m pleased to note I actually did show up in all of the categories. I need to thank Helene for providing the inspiration for the St. Honoré cakes, otherwise I wouldn’t have had the photo to submit!

Back to the kitchen for me…hopefully by next week I’ll be able to share my creations again with you all!

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