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January 2008
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March 2008

February 2008

What's "Inn" for New Year's Eve

The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament has wrapped up, but it's not too late to make a note to be in Pebble next New Year's Eve. The Inn at Spanish Bay throws a bash that's worth planning for, even though the details might not be available until after Thanksgiving. On December 31, 2007, the inn threw its most elaborate New Year's event ever, celebrating 20 years of auld lang syne parties with 5 bands and DJs, lavish buffets and terrific fun. Taking advantage of the New Year's Eve package (offered with one- or two-night stays), we settled in at... Read more →

Nick's Cove Bay Area Getaway

The Northern California insiders' new retro getaway is Nick's Cove along a curvy stretch of the Marin County coast. It's hot because its impressario is restaurateur Pat Kuleto (Fog City Diner, Boulevard, Postrio and a host of other signature San Francisco dining destinations), supports the credentials of organic farming and sustainable fishing and is sufficiently out of the way for a cache of remoteness. Plenty of people have gotten the word in the past six months, though -- it's already difficult if not impossible to get a reservation on short notice, although they do have a bar and seat walk-ins.... Read more →

Paris Pearls: Lovely Show to Close Soon

“Pearls: a Natural History,” an exhibit at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, is a truly precious excursion. After a long stay, unfortunately it closes on March 10 (and is closed Tuesdays). Our Womantraveler correspondent lucked out on a b eautiful winter day in the Jardin des Plantes, where the museum’s Grande Galerie de l’Evolution is hosting the show. “Perles” is science, art and fashion. As they here, this view of pearls is "superb." In a darkened chamber, suggesting the depths of the sea, a video intro illustrates a pearl’s formation. Pearl properties are similar to calcium. Grit sucked... Read more →

Carla Watching

I was hoping to see the new French first lady, super model Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, at the Lacroix exhibit, but she’s probably been there-done that. After all, her new home in Elysees Palace is just down the street from the shops of Chanel, St. Laurent, Chloe, Dior and the rest. I notice a twitter of photographers outside the palace’s gates. Will Carla emerge, or is this a normal paparazzi stakeout? The next day I’m asked by some French women about the US presidential race, and I use the occasion to probe for Carla gossip. After all, now married to President Nicolas... Read more →

Christian Lacroix' French Style

A stunning exhibition punctuating the history of French fashion at the Louvre’s Les Arts Decoratifs-Musee de la Mode et du Textile is a must-see before it closes April 20, 2008. The 20th anniversary of Christian Lacroix’s fashion house prompted the designer’s interpretive view of French fashion from the museum collection a long with recent examples of his elegant haute-couture clothing – 500 dresses and gowns in all. Rather than an objective overview, Lacroix said that he chose the outfits that most inspired him – some of which have never been shown before. In this exhibit, he has curated his own... Read more →

Paris Celebrates Simone de Beauvoir

In all my visits to Paris, I’d never ordered an espresso at Les Deux Magots, the iconic Left Bank hangout of ex-pat writers in the heyday of Hemingway and Sartre. So upon hearing of the Simone de Beauvoir commemoration there this year, marking her 100th birthday, I was immediately motivated. Philosopher and feminist de Beauvoir, the author of The Second Sex who died in 1986, for me was always a brave womantraveler. Since I was on a vacation to concentrate on some writing, what better atmosphere than one that inspired so many novelists and intellectuals. Something had been nagging at... Read more →

Thoumieux Tombé

Paris’ Thoumieux restaurant is a busy old-style brasserie that’s on every list – including those of several local friends and Michelin’s Green Guide. Well, forget it. A classic is no longer a classic when the waiters are rude, the food is mediocre and the service blasé. In Paris, where the food is expected to be wonderful, classics set a high standard because they stand up over time. Thoumieux, on the other hand, seems to have fallen. We went there in part because its location at 79 Rue St. Dominique in the 7th Arrondissement offers a stunning close-up view of the... Read more →