December 12, 2017

For me it all began here a looong time ago, Cuba

Cuba Cuba Cuba Cuba Cuba Cuba Cuba Cuba Cuba Cuba CubaIn continuing my saga of remembrance of my life’s corners and meandering places I now take you back to where it all began for me a looong time ago, Cuba. As a holder of four passports, the first one was Cuban.

I was born there in the town of Punta Brava, a once historical town of Cuba,where the war of Independence from Spain saw one of our greatest hero fall in combat. Now with the new revolution, all that history is gone and hardly ever mentioned. Cuba has change a lot ,it is not the same and for me it will never be the same.

Now, only memories lingered, and some places of share family values and love. Far far away, it seems difficult to even write that upon my latest visit in 2012, the area where I grew up seems different;;;well unrecognizable;;; well poorer. It seems to me like I was not from there. It required some days of adjustment for things to come back again.

This post is to all and especially to me as  a reminder of what it was, a lingering space in time of a once upon a time place call Punta Brava, city of Havana metropolitan area, Republic of Cuba.

Enjoy the stories, I read them myself once in a while just to keep my feet on the ground. Glance the photos some are new some are very old, all meaningful as a source of my DNA. Enjoy the pictures, and feel the people when visiting , they are the main things, the regular guy on the street. Cheers

My previous entries on Cuba in my blog are here:

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/04/20/my-trip-to-the-roots-where-all-begun-cuba/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/01/22/san-cristobal-de-la-habana-havanacuba/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/09/09/the-torreons-of-havana-los-torreons-de-la-habana/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/02/25/havana-la-habana-a-beautiful-postcard-of-vintage-beauty/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/23/cathedral-of-havana-or-la-habana/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/message-to-havana-la-habana/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2010/11/28/havana-nights-and-more-of-la-habana/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/22/habana-hilton-or-libre-and-yara-or-radiocentro/

  

 

December 11, 2017

Madrid, well it’s a love affair from childhood and forever!

Ok , as the nostalgic season is continuing and I am on the mood of remembrance, I need to tell you about Madrid. I arrived on December 30 1971 and left on May 10 1974, it was a shocking beautiful experience.

After years been told by my family that were from Tenerife and speaking to me about Spain that elusive far away country I came to dwell on its customs and food and tradition, finally I was on the land of Cervantes. Lucky enough in life to be able to come back and visit often, and from 2003 every year at least once. Never enough.

I was thinking of writing something and put some photos up for the remembrance post. However, I decided to link all my previous post in my blog on Madrid. Hopefully , I found them all here. You tell me if there is another aspect of Madrid I left out, and will reply.  Enjoy it, or we say, From Madrid to heaven in a hole on the sky to look down on it everyday!! it probably was from Ernest Hemingway but not sure.

Here is all of mine on all or most of Madrid:

https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2010/11/28/my-life-in-madrid-spain/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/12/madridpuerta-de-alcala-and-fuente-de-cibeles/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/09/madrid-ventas-and-the-bulls/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/01/07/real-madrid-the-greatest-club-in-footballsoccer/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2010/12/26/best-shopping-my-shopping-in-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2010/12/18/my-restaurants-and-bars-of-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2010/12/18/getting-in-and-around-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2010/11/28/37/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2010/11/27/el-clasico-in-spain-real-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/25/the-sierras-around-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/14/real-madrid-on-the-march/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/10/wax-museum-of-madridmuseo-de-ceras/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/10/madridthe-bulls-of-san-isidro/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/08/real-madrid-forever/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/03/14/the-districts-of-madridneighborhoods/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/03/01/madrid-sights-and-smells/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/03/01/madrid-sights-and-smells/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/21/madrid-puerta-del-sol-y-cibeles/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/21/madrid-other-plazas-and-fountains/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2013/11/10/is-time-to-talk-about-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2013/02/23/madrid-to-heaven-and-a-hole-in-the-sky-to-look-down-on-it-every-day/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/09/22/madrid-madrid-walking-and-memories-of-teenager-always-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/04/13/my-madrid-alcala-how-can-i-forget-you/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2012/03/28/nostalgic-madrid-to-heaven-and-a-hole-on-the-sky-to-look-down-on-it-every-day/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/11/04/my-latest-encounter-with-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/04/26/the-temple-of-debod-in-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/06/12/update-shopping-in-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/05/30/a-new-look-at-my-best-souvenir-of-madrid-retiro-park/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/05/29/iglesiasjardines-y-plazas-de-madrid-or-churches-gardens-and-squares-of-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/05/29/the-museums-triangle-of-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/05/29/arrival-in-madrid-always-heaven-on-earth/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/05/28/eating-in-madrid-is-heavenly-in-your-plate/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2015/07/04/madrid-is-a-lot-more-than-a-city-for-me/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2014/02/07/madrid-is-like-home/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2013/12/06/more-of-madrid-spain/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/04/16/why-not-the-temple-of-debod-egyptian-and-very-much-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/02/12/santa-maria-la-real-catedral-de-la-almudena-in-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/02/06/puerta-del-sol-of-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/02/04/plaza-mayor-of-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/02/01/madrid-and-my-calle-alcala/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/08/31/madrid-never-can-get-enough-of-you/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2016/08/21/madrid-well-is-more-than-a-word-for-me-always-nostalgic-to-be-back/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/09/03/faro-de-moncloa-and-puerta-de-moncloa-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/09/03/what-else-can-i-tell-you-on-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/09/01/biblioteca-nacional-de-espana-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/09/01/basilica-de-jesus-de-medinaceli-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/09/01/and-i-came-back-home-madrid-is-it-again/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/06/28/a-love-affair-with-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/05/01/one-more-time-retiro-park-madrid/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/05/01/madrid-and-my-bernabeu-and-elipa/

 https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2017/04/30/and-again-madrid-never-enough-madrid-to-heavens/

 There, now do enjoy Madrid to the fullest, as in Spain, everything is under the Sun.  Plenty of photos above, I leave you with my id photo while living in Madrid ::) Cheers!

 Madrid

 

Tags: , ,
December 10, 2017

The wines of Portugal ,and the best Porto

I will talk about the wines of Portugal and especially about Porto. I have tried several Portuguese wines over the years and in Portugal. My best souvenirs have been drinking the porto wines. This post is about them.The wine producing Douro region is the third oldest protected wine region in the world.  In 1756, during the rule of the Marques de Pombal the Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro or C.G.A.V.A.D., also known as the General Company of Viticulture of the Upper Douro or Douro Wine Company, was founded to guarantee the quality of the product and fair pricing to the end consumer.

https://www.ivdp.pt/

Port wine  or vinho do Porto (Portuguese) are fortified wines produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It comes in sweet red wine often served as dessert wine although it came come as dry semi dry and white varieties. The wine produced is then fortified by the  addition of aguardente (an eau de vie from sugar cane or grapes) in order to stop the fermentation, leaving residual sugar in the wine, and to boost the alcohol content.  The fortification spirit is sometimes referred to as brandy ,but it bears little resemblance to commercial brandies. The wine is then stored and aged often in barrels stored in a Lodge (meaning “cellar”) as is the case in Vila Nova de Gaia just across in the douro river ,before being bottled. Also, in the area around Pinhâo and Sâo Joâo da Pesqueira considered to be the center of port production, and is known for its picturesque quintas— estates clinging on to almost vertical slopes dropping down to the river.

The area is sub-divided into three official zones: the Baixo (lower) Corgo, the Cima (higher) Corgo and the Douro Superior. Over a hundred varieties of grapes (castas) are sanctioned for port production, although only five Tinta Barroca, Tinta Câo, Tinta Roriz (tempranillo of Spain), Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional are widely cultivated and used. The Touriga Nacional is widely considered the most desirable port grape but the difficulty in growing it and the small yields cause Touriga Francesa to be the most widely planted grape. White ports are produced the same way as red ports, except that they use white grapes such as Donzelinho Branco, Esgana-Câo, Folgasao, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Rabigato and Viosinho.

Briefly as much as possible the varieties are Ruby port is the cheapest and most extensively produced type of port. Aged tawny ports (my favorite) are wines made from red grapes that are aged in wooden barrels exposing them to gradual oxidation and evaporation. As a result of this oxidation, they gradually mellow to a golden-brown colour. The exposure to oxygen imparts “nutty” flavours to the wine, which is blended to match the house style.

A Colheita Port is a single-vintage wine fortified and aged in tawny style for at least seven years. Instead of an indication of age (10, 20, …), the actual vintage year is mentioned. However, Colheita Port should not be confused with Vintage Port (see below): whereas a Vintage Port will spend only about 18 months in barrels after harvest and will continue to mature in bottle, a Colheita may have spent 20 or more years in wooden barrels before being bottled and sold.

Garrafeira is an unusual and rare intermediate vintage-dated style of port made from the grapes of a single harvest that combines the oxidative maturation of years in wood with further reductive maturation in large glass demijohns. It is required to spend some time in wood, usually between three and six years, followed by at least a further eight years in glass, before bottling. In practice the times spent in glass are much longer.

Reserve port is a premium ruby port approved by the official regulating tasting panel, Rose port is a very recent variation on the market; it is technically a ruby port, but fermented in a similar manner to a rosé wine, with a limited exposure to the grape skins, thus creating the rose color.

White port is made from white grapes and can be made in a wide variety of styles. Lagrima, meaning “Tears”, is the name for the sweetest style of white Port. When white ports are matured in wood for long periods, the colour darkens, eventually reaching a point where it can be hard to discern (from appearance alone) whether the original wine was red or white.

Late bottled vintage (or  LBV) was originally wine that had been destined for bottling as vintage port, but because of lack of demand was left in the barrel for longer than had been planned. Crusted port is usually a blend of port wine from several vintages, although single vintage crusted ports have sometimes been made in the past. Vintage port is made entirely from the grapes of a Declared Vintage year and accounts for about two percent of overall port production. Not every year is declared a Vintage in the Douro. Single Quinta Vintage ports are wines that originate from a single estate, unlike the standard bottlings of the port wine houses which can be sourced from a number of quintas.

The drinking of it Port, like other wine, should be stored in a cool but not cold, dark location (as light can damage the port), at a steady temperature (such as a cellar), with the bottle lain on its side if it has a cork, or standing up if it is stoppered.  With the exception of white port, which can be served chilled, port should be served at between 15-20C(59-68F). Tawny port may also be served slightly cooler. I served mine chilled without ice. Once opened, port generally lasts longer than unfortified wine, but it is still best consumed within a short period of time. Tawny, ruby, and LBV ports may keep for several months once opened; because they are aged longer in barrels, these ports have already been exposed to some degree of oxidation. Old Vintage ports are best consumed within several days of opening, but young Vintage Ports can be kept open for several weeks, if not months when very young.

Cruises and tour official info here: http://ctdouro.pt/index.php/en

The tourist office is here: http://www.visitporto.travel/Visitar/Paginas/default.aspx

Ok so now let me give some houses to look for them when buying porto as my favorites of course.

Fonseca, http://www.fonseca.pt/en/port/

Quinta do Noval , http://www.quintadonoval.com/

Sandeman, http://www.sandeman.com/age-check

Ramos Pinto (my favorite), http://www.ramospinto.pt/Default.aspx

Taylor’s , http://taylor.pt/en/visit-taylors/port-cellars/

Graham’s, http://www.grahams-port.com/wines

Cockburn , http://www.cockburns.com/home.php

Ferreira, https://eng.sograpevinhos.com/visitas/cave/6

Rozes, https://www.rozes.com.pt/

King’s brand name of Nicolas stores for Warre’s, https://www.warre.com/our-port/tawny/8

Some pictures still around and one from the  Ponte de Arrábida over the Douro river that links Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia.

There you have a bunch to enjoy the wonderful world of porto red or white, we drink both. Right now using a Lagrima white Ramos Pinto, and a red tawny King’s. Cheers and enjoy your Sunday.

Porto Porto Porto Porto Porto Porto Porto Porto Porto

December 10, 2017

My travels in the Morbihan, LI

Vannes VannesIt is another weekend in lovely Brittany in my dept 56 of Morbihan. Wintery weather is coming and at nights it goes down to zero Celsius or 32 Fahrenheit ,during the day it goes up to 10C or 50F cloudy , and today rain all day.  Now we have 6C or about 43F and raining lightly.

We had our regular errands day and stay close to home. We head out to get our bakery or boulangerie order for Christmas, all kinds of goodies including a Bûche de Noël cake! this is at our natural bakery boulangerie Delumeau in our town.

We continue to our favorite car dealer Ford Mustiére in Vannes where we are trying a deal (more later). As the negotiation took long and time to think about it; we continue to Vannes city center and got our wines,porto, madeira etc. This is at Nicolas in place du  poids public. Still time; so we headed to our cider provider at the distillerie du Gorvello in Sulniac road N165 exit 22 direction Sulniac. Here all is done homemade, the apples are next to the boutique and tours are given as well as tastings. We load up a case and some goodies to munch such as terrines of pork in algae!

We came back to the dealer and close the offer, now waiting for the bank approval which should be a piece of cake and hopefully will have a new by New Year’s!!!! More later….We stop by Auray to pick up some beers with the boys at V&B Océane, our regular hangout, before…..

On back to Vannes we stop at the fromagerie Kerouzine in place du poids public and got our three favorites cheeses from brie, blue cheese and goat. We took a ride a bit into the ramparts area to see the new laid out in old town, less cars more space for terraces and pedestrian areas! And we got some chocolates from Jeff de Bruges in our local shopping center Carrefour in Vannes.

We finish going home and stopping by the bakery again to get some macaroons at Delumeau. We reach home and onload and now the gang is watching TV and me in the blog lol!!!

I am waiting to watch a TV show call Echappées Belles in channel 5; that will show all about Dublin ,Ireland (been there see my post search for it). And tomorrow is Sunday so another chance of rest and try some of those ciders!!!!

Stay warm,be good, enjoy life, happy travels and be positive, life is beautiful.Cheers!!!

Ah some of the links for above sites:

http://www.pluvigner.fr/contacts/boulangerie-delumeau-2/

http://www.ford-vannes.com/

https://magasin.vandb.fr/766390-v-and-b-auray

http://www.distilleriedugorvello.fr/informations-pratiques/

http://www.fromagerie-kerouzine.fr/Contact.php

https://www.france.tv/france-5/echappees-belles/

http://magasins.jeff-de-bruges.com/chocolats/c-cial-vannes/C5607

Auray Pluvigner Pluvigner Sulniac Sulniac Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes Vannes VAnnes Vannes

Tags: ,
December 9, 2017

New Jersey ,a story of human triumph: My American life!

I think I came up with a poetic title to this post. After running from left and right wing dictatorships I finally landed in democracy. Not an easy adjustment with a totally different culture and language, but we persevered the American dream , and I made it with my parents. American as apple pie and proud of it ,even on further lands we came to know and be part of, we will always be thankful of the New Jersey experience. This is my humble homage on the season to be merrier 2017.

There is so much to tell, I start with the New Jersey official tourist center here: http://www.visitnj.org/

The State Government further information here: http://www.nj.gov/nj/things/

And an external site that offers lots of things to do in the county of Middlesex , State of New Jersey: https://www.funnewjersey.com/upload_user/cool_things_to_do/top_50_attractions/top_50_attractions_in_middlesex_county_nj.htm

Some background info on the State of New Jersey: New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous and the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states! Three geographic regions: North Jersey, Central Jersey, and South Jersey.

Ok so we move on to the county I lived for 13 years of my early life; Middlesex County. Middlesex County or Central Jersey area. Middlesex is part of the New York metropolitan area, and its county seat is New Brunswick. The center of population of the state of New Jersey is located in Middlesex County, in East Brunswick Township, just east of the New Jersey Turnpike. The county was primarily settled due to its ideal location near the Raritan River and was established as of March 7, 1683, as part of the Province of East Jersey and was partitioned as of October 31, 1693, into the townships of Piscataway, Perth Amboy and Woodbridge ; The county’s first court met in June 1683 in Piscataway, and held session at alternating sites over the next century in Perth Amboy, Piscataway and Woodbridge before relocating permanently to New Brunswick in 1778.

Something on Middlesex county official government page on history and things to do : http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/About/Pages/History.aspx

The tourist info is gathered into the Central New Jersey area here: http://www.gocentraljersey.com/Things-to-Do/Historical-Sites-and-Tours.aspx

And now to the town I lived for 13 years and my first contact with the American scene. My English is from here, my last years of middle elementary school, high school, my first driving license, sports, work in parents small businesses as well as industry to save for University studies in Florida. Wonderful early life ,always fondly remember; Perth Amboy Panther forever !!!

Perth Amboy was formed by Royal charter on August 4, 1718, within various townships and again by New Jersey Legislature on December 21, 1784, within Perth Amboy Township and from part of Woodbridge Township. Perth Amboy Township was formed on October 31, 1693, and was enlarged during the 1720s to encompass Perth Amboy city. Perth Amboy Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey’s initial 104 townships through the Township Act of 1798 on February 21, 1798. The township was replaced by Perth Amboy city on April 8, 1844. Perth Amboy served as a capital of the Province of New Jersey from 1686 until 1776. In 1684, Perth Amboy became the capital of East Jersey and remained the capital until the union of East and West Jersey in 1702, and became an alternate colonial capital with Burlington until 1776. thanks for several sites of historical government sites and Wikipedia to gather all the information above.

Some of the colonial legacy is still around such as the Proprietary House, the home of William Franklin, the last Royal Governor of New Jersey and estranged son of Benjamin Franklin, still stands in the waterfront area of the city. St. Peter’s Church was founded in 1718 by the first Episcopal congregation in the state. Its current building, dating from 1875, is surrounded by a graveyard of early inhabitants and displays a collection of stained-glass windows with religious scenes as well as early depictions of New Jersey receiving her charter and a meeting between William Franklin and his father, Benjamin. Perth Amboy City Hall, first built as a courthouse in 1714, survived major fires in 1731 and 1764 and is the oldest city hall in continuous use in the United States, since 1789.  The Kearny Cottage, moved from its original location, is a remaining example of 18th Century vernacular architecture. The site of a ferry that crossed the Arthur Kill to Tottenville, Staten Island. Regular service began in 1709. This ferry became less important when the Outerbridge Crossing opened in 1928, but continued to operate until 1963. In 1998, the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip was restored to its 1904 appearance.  A replica of the ticket office has been constructed and is used as a small museum. The Waterfront, This is where the city was first settled and one of the few places left in New Jersey that has a historic and marina culture surrounded by water. Local attractions include the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip, two small museums, an art gallery, a yacht club, and a marina. Near the marina lies a park with a small bandshell. And this is the area of my last residence before moving on to Florida.

The Outerbridge Crossing, which opened to traffic on June 29, 1928, is a cantilever bridge over the Arthur Kill that connects Perth Amboy with Staten Island, NYC. Known locally as the “Outerbridge”, it is part of a popular route on NY-440 / NJ-440 from the south and west to New York City and Long Island. The bridge clears the channel by 143 ft (44 m), providing passage for some of the largest ships entering the Port of New York and New Jersey. The Victory Bridge carries Route 35 over the Raritan River, connecting Perth Amboy on the north with the borough of Sayreville to the south. A project completed in 2005 replaced a swing bridge that carried four lanes of traffic with twin bridges, each carrying two lanes of traffic, an outside shoulder and a bike lane. The city has NJ Transit train service at Perth Amboy station. The station provides service on the North Jersey Coast Line to Newark Penn Station, Hoboken Terminal, Secaucus Junction, New York Penn Station and the Jersey Shore. NJ Transit buses serve the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

My schools! The William C. McGinnis Middle School for grades 5–8; and Perth Amboy High School for grades 9–12.  All from the 7th grade onwards , memories never forgotten and fondly remembered.  The school board here: https://www.paps.net/

Finally the city of Perth Amboy page is here http://www.ci.perthamboy.nj.us/

And more on the history of the city of Perth Amboy here http://ci.perthamboy.nj.us/pa-all-about-us.html

harborside marina above link and the bit on the history of the city here: http://ci.perthamboy.nj.us/the-history-of-perth-amboy.html

We came in renting an apartment at 349 Oak Street, then move on to a bigger second floor apartment house at 809 State Street,and finally my parents were able to buy our first house ever at 106 State Street by the waterfront area. My parents had several small businesses in town that I of course help out; from grocery story, men’s clothing store, nightclub with live music and dancers, restaurant, and handyman sales of sundry items all over the State and even into NYC and Philadelphia, PA.

I played baseball on the Babe Ruth World Series sponsored by Chicken Delight restaurant and we won! Played baseball Freshman and JV at High School, intramural Volleyball, and foremost continue my soccer/football paths at the High School as I came over from Madrid, Spain.

All many memories, friendships that I must tell you endure today even after 40-46 years!!! My last visit to the State dates from 2007 for four days! coming there from France.  A blog post or even a blog won’t be enough to cover it all but the heart is on this post. Thank you Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey, USA; from a grateful citizen.

Enjoy some of the pictures still holding on from those days. Enjoy your weekend as here in lovely Brittany, France is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas to all.Cheers!!!

Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Edison Point Pleasant Beach New Brunswick Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Perth Amboy

 

 

December 8, 2017

My Florida , always wonderful memories!

 Tampa  Tampa  Tampa Saint Augustine Saint Augustine Saint Augustine South Miami Port Orange Orlando Orlando Orlando Ocala Miramar Miami Miami Key West Miami Gainesville Fort Myers  Daytona Beach  Daytona Beach  Daytona Beach  Daytona Beach Miami Coral Gables Altamonte Springs

If you search my blog you will see several older posts on Florida. I am in the season to be merrier and reminicent of my previous lives. Read and you will notice I lived for 18 years in Florida in addition to four years of University studies!!!while living in New Jersey ::)

Florida is the Sunshine State incorporated into the USA in 1845. It has about 1,350 miles (2,170 km) of coastlines so a water lovers paradise as well. The earliest settlers were here before those northern claims…. when in 1513 a Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León landed and named it La Florida ( land of flowers) as it was during the Easter season or Pascua Florida.

But enough of that, the tourist office is here: http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us.html

You have several other sources for tourist info depending on the area you are going. I lived in Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach,both in Volusia county, North Miami, Hialeah,both in Miami-Dade county; and Miramar in Broward county.

Beaches and general info on Volusia county is here: https://www.volusia.org/services/public-protection/beach-safety/
Info on their cities is here: http://www.teamvolusiaedc.com/about-volusia/
The main attraction here is Daytona Beach: https://www.daytonabeach.com/

I take you to Miami-Dade county here: http://www.miamiandbeaches.fr/

and moving over to Broward county you have main town Fort Lauderdale here: https://www.sunny.org/

The towns city /town halls are:Miramar
https://www.miramarfl.gov/

Ormond Beach: https://www.ormondbeach.org/
Daytona Beach; http://www.codb.us/

Hialeah is here:http://www.hialeahfl.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11&Itemid=207&lang=en

And North Miami is here: http://www.northmiamifl.gov/
a totally different city than Miami in fact there are about 7-8 towns with Miami on the name including the county!!!

My last town was Miramar, Broward county, before leaping forward to France with after convincing her to live with me in the State for 13 years she convince me to come to France where we are already 14 years here ::) as French. If only the US will leave us alone with filing taxes and providing the treasury dept with our bank accounts, something those living there do not have to do; call it Fatca/Fincen political crap. The US is the only country in the world who do this to its citizen abroad, the other is Eritrea !!!

I will show some pictures many personal ones of our passing in the State some never before shown in previous posts. Eat out at a Cuban resto in Altamonte Springs near Orlando; the train ride outside Fort Myers, the alligator sights at Cypress Reserve in the Everglades marshes; the frozen papaya trees in Ormond Beach, yes it can get cold there like down to 25F (minus celsius 0C =32F).

Go on to watching the Yankees baseball spring training in Tampa, our eating runs into Columbia the oldest Spanish restaurant in the USA since 1905 in Tampa and then we also visited their branch at Saint Augustine, the oldest city in the USA. The fancy French as always great restaurant La Provence in Miami still going strong!! The visits to Magic Kingdom and Epcot center French Pavilion! The visit to the Daytona Beach museum of Arts and Science and the best Cuban arts collection outside of Cuba!!! My university old dorm and apartment house right on Hollywood st off Main St Daytona Beach home of Bike Weeks!!!

The Miami seaquarium and Zoo as well as Mallory square in Key West, the beaches of Daytona and Ormond , the birthplace of speed! (world record automobile in 1902). Picking up wines in Coral Gables from Crown wines, and up to the concerts at Daytona bandshell on the beach. And our last house in the USA at Miramar. All wonderful memories that I like to share with my readers and keep in my blog for the memories,for history,and for passing on down to generations of my family.

Now something more touristic for these unforgetable towns of mine while in Florida.

Some of the things to see in Daytona Beach, other than the beach itself of about 23 miles or 37 kms are :City Island, City Island Ball Park, Daytona Beach Bandshell and Oceanfront Park Complex Seabreeze Historic District , South Beach Street Historic District, South Peninsula Historic District, the Tarragona Tower , Daytona 500 Experience, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach Boardwalk, Daytona Lagoon Water Park, Halifax Historical Museum, Jackie Robinson Ballpark, Main Street Pier , Museum of Arts and Sciences, The Ocean Center.

Some of the things to do in Ormond Beach ,other than the beach are: The Casements is a mansion , famous for being the winter residence of American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. It is currently owned by the city of Ormond Beach and is used as a cultural center and park, Bulow Creek State Park is a Florida State Park next to the Atlantic Ocean. The park is adjacent to Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park, and close to North Peninsula State Park, Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area and Tomoka State Park. Tomoka State Park within the park is the site of the Timucuan village of Nocoroco, located on the Tomoka River. The site was inhabited approximately a thousand years ago ,North Peninsula State Park.

Some of the things to see in North Miami are: The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) ,The Miami Auto Museum with large collection of classic cars, Hollywood cars, mini cars, scooters, motorcycles and bicycles from the collection of Michael Dezer, The Oleta River State Park is the largest urban park in the Florida State Park system. The park is located on 1,043 acres (4.22 km2) – 993 acres (4.02 km2) of land and 50 acres (0.20 km2) of inland water – on Biscayne Bay; the park contains one of the largest concentrations of Australian pine trees found in a Florida state park; and The Arch Creek Park is an 8-acre (32,000 m2) site at the junction of N.E. 135th Street and Biscayne Boulevard ,and offers many opportunities for botanical, historical and archaeological study. It has a museum/nature center modeled after an early Florida pioneer home, displaying Indian artifacts dug from the grounds, and live animals from the nearby hammock. Remains of the original coontie mill are still visible across the creek, and the park exists as the only preserved archaeological site in the County.

Some of the things to see in Hialeah are: Great transport hub served by the Miami Metrorail at Okeechobee, Hialeah, and Tri-Rail/Metrorail Transfer stations. The Okeechobee and Hialeah stations serve primarily as park-and-ride commuter stations to commuters and residents going into Downtown Miami, and Tri-Rail station to Miami International Airport and north to West Palm Beach. The Hialeah Park Race Track is a historic racetrack on a site covering 40 square blocks of central-east side from Palm Avenue east to East 4th Avenue, and from East 22nd Street on the south to East 32nd Street on the north.The Hialeah Park Race Track is served by the Miami Metrorail at the Hialeah Station at Palm Avenue and East 21st Street. Originally opened in 1922 by aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss and his partner, Missouri cattleman James H. Bright, Hialeah Park opened as a greyhound racing track operated by the Miami Kennel Club. The Miami Jockey Club launched Hialeah’s Thoroughbred horse racing track on January 25, 1925. Even Winston Churchill visited in 1949.There are plans for a redevelopment complex but still going on unfinished.

Some things to see in Miramar are : Silver Lakes Sports Complex (where I played softball), Forzano Field (where I played beach volleyball), and SoccerZone Indoor (where I played indoor soccer). The city has over 40 parks, for the entire family.

Cheers y’all, enjoy it as much as I do. Florida, the Sunshine State.

December 7, 2017

The wines of Champagne, oh yes they are just done differently !

Yes, this is another post trying to expand on wines; and of course Champagne have been put into a sort of different category but we talk about wines it should mean Champagne too. They are just done with the sparkle in it you know…

And believe or not, the area which can be call Champagne ,also includes areas in Seine-et-Marne dept 77 ::)  The areas really are The Montagne de Reims (dept Marne 51) with the dominant grape Pinot Noir. The valley of the Marne (dept Marne 51, Aisne 02, and Seine-et-Marne 77) with the dominant grape Meunier; the ladders or hills call côte des blancs (Marne 51) with the dominant grape Chardonnay; and the vineyards of the ladder or hills call côte des Bars (around times of Bar-sur-Aube and Bar-sur-Seine in the Aube dept 10.

All this thanks to a monk , Dom Perignon (1638-1715) cellarmaster of the abbey benedictine of Hautvillers that handle different crus and the control of the must in the second fermentation. Of course, sparkling wine was done way before, but this event is the one that really took off the name and the pleasures of it for all of us. It is done basically with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier grapes. Although some lesser known grapes are authorize but seldom use such as Arbane, petit meslier, pinot gris or fromenteau and pinot blanc; also , the gamay  in the dept 10 Aube.  By towns you can tell the quality as some towns are Grand Crus, and many more Premier Crus and then there are the Autres Crus or others.

There, is also some others like red white, and rosé wines in the coteaux champenois especially in the towns of Bouzy, Vertus and Damery. The Rosé des Riceys produce in the town of Riceys in the Aube dept 10. the sparkler crémant de champagne  with a smaller sparkler and less pressure in the fermentation. The grapes to make champagne is also, use to do an aperitif call Ratafia and hard liquior marc de champagne.

All officially about Champagne you can find here in English and many other languages; https://www.champagne.fr/en/discovering-champagne-region/tourism/cellar-visits-tastings

The tourist offices of the area are http://www.champagne-ardenne-tourism.co.uk/

The main towns for visits ,tastings and just plain Champagne are in Epernay and Reims. Their tourist office are here:

http://www.reims-tourism.com/Discover/Champagne

http://en.ot-epernay.com/

The last year with statistics is from 2016, that indicates that France is still the leader in volume of Champagne with  157,7 million bottles of the total of  306,1 millions bottles coming out of there or simply the French market represent 51,5% of the Champagne production.

Some distinction on how the wines should be drank in a progressive way  from the lighest to the heaviest or richer. We start with a Champagne or body white whine like a blanc de blancs or muscadet and finish with a red wine sharp like Bordeaux or sweet wine such as a Vin Doux Naturel (muscat, rasteau or banyul) . OF course, you can keep the same wine for the entire meal. And as far as temperature goes served the dry whites between 8-10°C (about 50F), the more body whites such as Chablis, Vouvray, Montlouis, or Montrachet between 10-12°C (about 54F), the body fruity red like a côtes du Rhône villages, Chinon, Bordeaux Supérieur between 15-17°C (about 6OF) and the more complex full tannic reds like a Bandol, Côte Rôtie, Haut-Médoc, or Margaux between 16-17°C (about 65F), after decanting.

And some of my favorites in addition to the Mercier,Môet & Chandon, etc etc that we can enjoy here and I believe ,also, abroad are these:

Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée, from the former football/soccer player Michel Fauconnet in the house for 40 years with a mixing of crus avg 15 years and with  50- 55 %  chardonnay, 30-35 %  pinot noir, and  10-20 % meunier,including about 20-30 %  of reserves wines for about 38 €

Drappier Carte d’Or done in the town of Urville,in the border of the Aube and the Haute-Marne with impressive views of the cemetery of  Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises (Charles de Gaulle resting place). In addition to the regular bottle they do a Melchisédech a bottle of 30 liters good for about 150 persons a record of France and the World with an unique bottle for 4295€; the regular bottle is 32€ ; the blend is 75 %  pinot noir, 15 % chardonnay and 10 % meunier.

Leclerc Briant  Brut Premier Cru ; the house became a seller of Champagne of 50 years and settled in Epernay; finally in 2012 it was sold to an American couple that gave the management to the local Frédéric Zeimett. The innovation this year is a line of Classiques . The Champagne has mostly a blend of pinot noir 70 %, coming from three villages of premier crus. They are pioneers in the bio and biodynamic agriculture; bottle goes for about 48 € here.

Perrier-Jouët, Blanc de Blancs, done apart from the cuvees Belle Epoque, and showing the most of the chardonnay; done with a mix of several parcels of land on an extention of 65 hectares own by the house; mostly from Cramant and Avize; bottle goes for about 60 €

Ayala B de B 2010, the house settle in Aÿ from which the mark is not related to the name of the town but to a Colombian diplomat who  married a local and inherited the property. The house was purchased in 2005 by the group Bollinger. The brand is well appreciated in the UK. The winemaking is done by Caroline Latrive that gives it a soft dosage in the blends such as chardonnay that receives 6 grams of sugar per liter.  A blanc de blancs  brought out in small quantities from the best crus such as Chouilly, Cramant, Oiry, and Vertus). Goes here for about 49 €

Gosset Noir and Blanc, the oldest Champagne house since 1584! This year they come out with a Grand Blanc de Blancs brut fine and elegant and a Grand Blanc de Noirs Brut.  Doing an homage to the elegance of the pinot noirs where at least five crus goes into the elaboration of this wine with dominant areas of Ambonnay, Aÿ  ,and Verzy.  The wine spend 9 years in the cellars. the price here is 75 €  for the Blanc de Noirs ; and 54 €  for the Blanc de Blancs.

Piper-Heidsieck vintage 2008, queen Marie-Antoinette one day in 1785 received a bottle from the founder of the brand, and she will appreciate this bottle too. We cannot be sure but the cellarmaster Régis Camus, that blends this wine grape by grape and cru by cru has done a blend to dream of . It comes from 20 crus blending  chardonnay (52 %) and pinot noir (48 %) for about  39 €; one of my favorite Champagnes.

Tsarine Millésime 2012, the brand is of recent making but it comes from an old Champagne house founded by the canon  Frères,created in 1730.  It was purchased in 1991 by Philippe Baijot (Lanson). Tsarine  is done with a pretty bottle in twisted leaves . It is a blend of three grapes the usual ones and the winemaker done it the final twist with the pinot noir to built it , the meunier for the round fruity aromas and the chardonnay  to give it finesse; all for  33 €.

Enjoy the bubbly ,this is the season to be merrier or bubblier ::) Cheers

PS. Some nostalgic pictures I like to add here.

Epernay Epernay Epernay Epernay

 

 

 

 

 

December 4, 2017

Some news from France CLXXVII

And back to tell you all about my belle France. Times has change cold is here regularly now ,even some snow, but now back to 10C or about 50F and cloudy, the Autumn leaves looks beautiful on the shades. I am cruising for the Holiday season, and expect to go over the family in Seine-et-Marne dept 77 as well.

Now for the news here it is:

Météo France, of course the weather is in the news! Now it is estimated to be back next weekend as well; it will start next Friday to Sunday period. Therefore, if driving in France like me be careful of the icy roads. Méteo France here:  http://www.meteofrance.com/accueil

And you may have heard, read, watch the troubles again with the SNCF signalization and automation system at the train station or gare Montparnasse. A new system to allow control more platforms and more trains arriving. There were delays as much as four hours and the SNCF do reimburse you for lateness, see photo. The trains to Tarbes, Poitiers, Brest and Bordeaux were all late at least an hour! The issue was the same for the local express train TER and the Intercités ; to Le Mans, Granville to  Montparnasse. The situation is said to be under control but this is the second time in a short period that it has happened. So keep an eye on your travels by Montparnasse if need to / I know I go by there now but lucky no more for the rest of the year ! More here http://www.leparisien.fr/info-paris-ile-de-france-oise/gare-montparnasse-trafic-tres-perturbe-apres-une-panne-de-signalisation-03-12-2017-7430418.php
SNCF reimbursement

Gregory Porter, the jazz great is given a free concert in the auditorium of the Paris newspaper Le Parisien today at 10 rue Grenelle at 14h30. His last CD album entitled « Nat King Cole and me », honoring the legend Nat King Cole that he uses as a idol model. He has done work with the English pop group Metronomy, and concerts in festivals like the « Rock en Seine » in Saint-Cloud (Hauts-de-Seine), and recently at the Chorus in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine).  More here:  http://www.bluenote.com/spotlight/gregory-porter-nat-king-cole-me

How about getting into the Seine river at 8C or about 44F in the water and 0C or 32F out! Well I won’t do it but these folks did it last Sunday morning on a paddle ski in the event  Stand Up Paddle. There were 700 participants from the BNF (bibliothéque national de France) all the way to the Tour Eiffel  on the occasion of the 8th edition of the  Nautic Sup Paris Crossing, the biggest course in the world of this specialty. The Nautic event will continue to December 10 2017. More here: https://www.salonnautiqueparis.com/fr/visiter/les-animations/nautic-sup-paris-crossing

The beautiful square  place Clémenceau (8éme),with a wonderful statue of the Général de Gaulle on the side of the Petit Palais is back.  Newly clean sits there for all to see, the only statue of him officially authorized by the family. See it and read on it here: http://www.paristoric.com/index.php/paris-d-hier/statues/autres-statues/3161-la-statue-du-general-de-gaulle

The honey is in at several locations in Paris. Even my group company has ruche in our roofstop and make some for the employees. Now the winner of the contest of honey of the Grand Paris in the 27th Salon de Terroirs ,are from the town of Rueil-Malmaison, (Hauts de Seine 92) ,event held at the racecourse of Saint-Cloud. The harvest is done for  6 years already on a dozen ruches installed around the cemetery of Rueil, and produce about 150 kg per year!. The bees work at their own pace between the flowers of the cemetery , and the forest of Saint-Cloud. More here: http://www.salon-terroir-rueil.com/page/animations

A wonderful digital project is taken place to preserve the information on the fallen in World War I, known here affectionally as the poilu or hairy. It is call « Adoptez un poilu », or adopt a hairy; going on since December 2016 on the archives of the department 78 of Yvelines.  Done on the celebration honoring the Great War or WWI soldiers as they will give new meaning to them. Each participant will have a trace, a history of their efforts and all done by volunteers. Once this work done, it will be kept in perpetual memory for all those who fought from the old department name of Yvelines such as Seine-et-Oise (Yvelines, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-d’Oise). They have already done 82 000 files and need 235 000 and hope to have it all done by November 2018 just in time for the big commemoration of  the 100 year anniversary. The site is in French with a very nice video here: https://www.yvelines-infos.fr/commemoration-de-grande-guerre-adoptez-poilu/

The Kiev in Paris the biggest artistic expression from Kiev are in Paris until next Sunday for the second edition of the festival « Un week-end à l’est ». It is time for the Ukraine to be the guest of honor in Saint-Germain-des-Prés with projections, expositions, lectures, debates, concerts and workshops in the 12 sites of the neighborhood. More in French here: http://www.weekendalest.com/

And let’s talk about Champagne because their biggest time of the year is near; Christmas and New Year period.

One of the grand old brands is the one most favorite of the French, that is ,Ruinart , and this end 2017 is coming out with two special cuvees from their cellars in Reims. They are the Dom Ruinart blanc de blancs 2006 ,and the Dom Ruinart rosé 2004.  Both are aged from than 10 years. You can find them here: https://www.ruinart.com/fr-e/les-vins/dom-ruinart-2006

Veuve Clicquot , the house of the pantone label (Pantone 137C) the most recognizable brand of Champagne. you can tell the bottle right away no matter where. Another of my favorites and you can know more about it here https://www.veuveclicquot.com/fr-fr/nos-champagnes/champagne-brut-carte-jaune

And my favorite and share with family many times is Moët & Chandon , the leader of the brands of Champagne. No 1 in volume and now a new bottle the Moët Ice Impérial. One of my first visited housed of Champagne in the avenue de Champagne in Epernay. More here: https://fr.moet.com/Champagnes-Moet/Moet-Ice-Imperial

OF course, will tell you my first and most memorable Champagne, the one I drank with my girlfriend (now wife) in Paris was Mercier, now part of the same group as Moët & Chandon, the LVMH group. Also, still at Avenue de Champagne in Epernay; more here: http://www.champagnemercier.fr/en/champagne-mercier-brut

And now an anecdote for the road warriors in us::)It used to take 13 minutes to drive the expressway from west to east of Paris that was 60 KPH when it opened in 1967; it was not called yet the voie Georges Pompidou but it was very good to avoid 23 bridges and many red lights doing it going under 7 underground ways. Today, the same road going at 70 KPH will take you 57 minutes from the start of the wharfs or quai de Bercy from the Porte de Saint-Cloud! Of course, assuming there is no traffic jams or special events going on lol!!!

And be merrier in the season with the opportunity to come to those ice skating rings going on at this time in Paris and elsewhere. The ones I have seen and my boys like the most previous years are:

Trocadéro On Ice ; the most romantic at the end of the day and before going for dinner come here for a spin facing the iron lady (Tour Eiffel) an ice skating ring of  300 m2, very nice. Going on from December 21st to January 8th on every day from 11h to 21h. Go in by the  Jardins du Trocadéro – 16éme. Together with a nice Christmas market; more in French here:  https://www.evous.fr/Trocadero-on-Ice-Le-village-de,1142457.html

The rooftop or  toit de la Grande Arche  going on from December 15 to January 14 ,you can come in costume too ,and a panoramic view of 360° of Paris. Skating between the towers of the Grande Arche. More in French here: http://www.ladefense.fr/en/agenda/une-patinoire-sur-le-toit-de-la-grande-arche

The ice skating in the forum des Halles is another popular one. It has the biggest Christmas market at Châtelet, around the fountain or fontaine des Innocents. Grab some hot wine and on the floor, ice skating that is. It will be from December 15 to January 14 with times differences on December 15 from 14h to 19h ; December 16-17 from 11h to 19h and December 18-22 from 14h to 19h and December 23 to January 14 from 11h to 19h; entrance by 101, rue Porte Berger – 1éme.  More here: http://forumdeshalles.com/access

The patinoire du Champ-de-Mars or ice skating under the Tour Eiffel with a nice smallish this year village de Noël or Christmas market with cabins, chalets and of course the ice skating on the  Champ-de-Mars. It will be from December 21th to January 8 2018. Entrance at Champ-de-Mars / 2, allée Adrienne Lecouvreur – 7éme: more here: https://quefaire.paris.fr/40055/le-village-de-noel-du-champs-de-mars

And those looking for the Christmas market on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées look no more there won’t any due to dispute between the organizer’s and the city of Paris. Always looking to get more money from all. However, there are many all over the city, these are. In French: https://quefaire.paris.fr/38452/les-marches-de-noel-parisiens

What the city of Paris is doing is encouraging more natural stuff like beers !!! The city has a project on the harvesting of hops. The city has given about 10 sites to encourage this culture of harvesting. The idea is to plant in Spring and have the first harvest in September 2018; this to do a good Parisian beer. Others have taken the same idea further like the roof or  toits de l’Opéra Bastille that will host a hops maker and a microbrewery to produce about 8000 liters of beer. We can already talk about the Chai de Bercy,  another project to help create microbreweries in Paris , more of this brewery is at Brasserie éphémére du Chai de Bercy, 41 rue Paul-Belmondo, 12éme : and more info on this city of Paris initiative here:  https://www.paris.fr/actualites/appel-a-projet-pour-la-culture-du-houblon-a-paris-5317

Now let’s talk about an area of Paris with few tourists, because it is chic , residential and nice. My favorite area of Paris indeed; just for the ambiance, the cachet, and the good stuff found there many firsts for me and still go there. A bit of well more of the chic 16 arrondissement de Paris.

In about 20 years all the tendance chic of Paris was done on the east side. About 10 years it went to the North, and today it comes back to the west of  Paris. The sixteen or 16 district or arrondissement of Paris is up and well the chic area of Paris not now but made famous now again.  Call it the Snob, new rich or worse the new intellectual and artistic elites had left for the 10éme or 11éme and more daring to the 19éme and 20éme.  However, the embassies, museums, monuments, restaurants and cafés with terraces, the merchants and the street life, the parks, and gardens all dominated by the tour Eiffel; you are looking for a chic way of life, high class, excellent schools and peaceful living away from the noise of the city because the 16éme is a little Paris all by itself and it is big abuot 8 square kilometers  divided in two, south and north with each their own postal code. And divided encore into four neighborhood as Etoile-Trocadéro, Passy, Auteuil and Dauphine.(Paris has 20 districts or arrondissement and 80 neighborhoods or quartiers or 4 by district).

You can do a walk or tour on the Palais de Tokyo,in the marines museum or musée de la Marine ,and end with a dinner on the restaurant du Café de L’homme with its panoramic view of the Tour Eiffel.  The Wednesdays and Saturdays come to the avenue du Président Wilson,to do the market days with colorful stands to mingle with locals and tourists alike. All visitors dreaming of living in one of the apartments overlooking the Seine river and its quais as well as the tour Eiffel.  The Troca as we call it or Trocadéro is full of life with skaters of all ages on the esplanade, terraces cafés with full of students, Parisians and tourists.  There is always a line at Carette for its macaroons famous since 1927, the most sold in the world today!  The young likes to mingle around rue de Passy, for shopping where all the majors brands are.

If New-York has it’s Central Park (been there), Paris ,and more specifically the 16éme has the Bois de Boulogne ,and like the 846 hectares of the woods are not enough the gardeners has planted trees on the big arteries of the district such as the avenue Henri Martin, avenue George Mandel, avenue Foch (the biggest avenue in the city!), boulevard Flandrin,  boulevard Suchet, square Lamartine (with the famous water fountain drinkable! The parc Bagatelle and its flowers, the jardin du Ranelagh (lovely with a statue to La Fontaine) full of families and the prestigious theater or Théâtre de Guignol and its old swings , the greenhouse or  serres d’Auteuil,and its botanical garden or jardin botanique, and the wonderful Jardin d’Acclimatation for the pleasure of kids of all generations of Parisians (mine love it several times in it) , and now the biggest building there the Fondation Louis Vuitton.  The 16éme is the perfect harmony of city and nature.

For the lovers of sports, nothing to stop you from a Sunday morning baskets or jogging around the inferior lake in the Bois de Boulogne or  Lac intérieur du Bois. You can drink wonderful water at the Chalet des Iles (you can access by barge or small boats).  The nice municipal pool Molitor now better and modern has reopen its doors and pool.  The lovers of tennis are in high ground at the Roland Garros or give a shot at the stadium or Stade Jean Bouin.  There are cabins in the Parc des Princes as well.  There are many private roads and mansion houses hiding gorgeous gardens; the mansions or villa Montmorency, villa Saïd , and villa Dupont will make you dream to buy one. The busy shopping streets always vibrant and good neighborhood ambiance such as at rue d’Auteuil, rue de la Pompe ,and  rue de l’Annonciation. Chic my favorite, the 16 is it for Paris,eternal, for lovers of life and beauty. Enjoy it; Cheers.

Have a great start of the week, we are already in December and the season to be merrier is here. Happy Holidays to all.

December 2, 2017

My best restaurants in México

Hey,  I like these posts on restaurants that after doing  a few it’s time to do one on the other culinary delight that is Mexico. I have gone to the country since the 1990’s and from 2011 every year.

This is my treat on the Mexican cuisine, over the latter last few years, restaurants in no particular order or place. These are My favorites! Buen provecho !!!

I had gone to the Wing’s Army bar on Insurgentes Sur to see the football/soccer match between the PSG and Bayern Munich as a French team was playing and won 3×0, the ambiance was nice and plenty of good Miller High Life beers by the liter which have been a long time not drank again, this was neat and the Army hamburger great with good company I later came back in the week and it was equally impressive, definitively will be back here. More here: http://www.wingsarmy.com/mx/cuarteles#

I had another lunch at a great find: Restaurante La Bella Lula , Oaxaqueño style food (Oaxaca) and had a very nice Tasajo de Res con Enfrijoladas with another nice set of local Dos X beers, nice flan dessert to kill for as well. Ah the dish is about four slices of beef with a tortilla spread in black beans soup, delicious! More here:  http://www.labellalula.com.mx/home.php

El Bajio for my first dinner there, nice place if a bit hurry up to get rid of me lol! The lady kept giving me dishes to try and I keep saying no thank you have enough, endless, but the food panoches, chicharones, and the pork dish with black mole and sauce and drinks were good, bohemia black beers or negra bohemia. More here;  http://www.restauranteelbajio.com.mx/bajio_english/locations.php

I had lunch at Los Bisquets de Obregon Ecatepec Edo de México, local cuisine restaurant with a great cecina steak (salted and dried by means of air, sun or smoke) with mashed potatoes, Mexican rice, and mango/papaya juices here ! More here https://bisquetsobregon.com/sucursales/ecatepec/

After doing some walking around safe in DF! lol! I met some old friends at the Olive Garden in the Patio Universidad shopping;  here with ravioli stuff champignon and a great Trapiche malbec Argentinian wine, coffee nice, great memories fun; more here: http://www.olivegardenmexico.com.mx/ubicacionUniversidad.php

On another night went for TGI Fridays hahaha yes very original , I remember this resto from back in USA and love them. Found them here with a nice big burger and try Victoria and Pacifico beers !! This was ,also, in the Patio Universidad shopping!  More here: http://www.fridays.mx/tufridays.php?idres=6

Hoot hoot anyone? well did stop by at another old timer joint, this one in DF; Hooters another of my old favorites ::) Great Indio beer and nachos snacks with cheese and the action was good with friendly crowd. More here: http://hooters.com.mx/sucursales/universidad/

And yes, sometimes you have to eat at the airport, and my good one there is this one at Wings in the Guadalajara airport. Can’ t find webpage but was ok for an introduction before leaving. Guadalajara airport is small and nice ,here is the airport page; https://www.aeropuertosgap.com.mx/en/guadalajara-3/food.html?limitstart=0

Had lunch on the road at Birreria Chololo with goat meat and beers Indio oscura. An institution in the area, they are at Carretera  Chapala Km 17, Tlajomulco de Zuñiga, no webpage but a nice page to describe it a bit further, here: https://es.foursquare.com/v/birrier%C3%ADa-el-chololo/4bf9560b8d30d13a8f010218

A wonderful place for dinner Bistro 77 right in city center of Tepatitlàn, Jalisco,near the wonderful Cathedral and kiosk in the park. Wonderful Pulpo beers and pizzas with hot chili mexican here, great tv screens and wonderful friendly service, more here: http://www.bistro77.mx/

I was introduce to the restaurant Don Kmaron, in Tepatitlàn,Jalisco.  The sport TV all over, the friendly service, good food, good company was all it took; I came back always to eat here!!! It is at Dr. J. Ricardo Alcala Iñiguez 284, Alameda, 47650 Tepatitlán de Morelos Telephone +52 378 715 5140 a web to speak of it is Facebook, here: https://www.facebook.com/grupodonk/

Down in Quintana Roo had lunch as well in Las Tortugas resto in Calderitas just next to Bacalar, along the Bay of Chetumal, wonderful fresh fried fish, fries, sweet bananas, yellow rice, and beers Modelo Especial, nice. More here: http://www.guiacalderitas.com/restaurants/restaurant_12.html

I had my drinks here at Hotel La Laguna in Bacalar (Quintana Roo) gorgeous place with wonderful views of the lake and I was allowed to roam free afterward, the site picture tells it all !! More here http://www.hotellagunabacalar.com/restaurante.html#top

El Paisa, a more rustic restaurant in a working class area with a nice second floor terrace, a very nice welcome with lots of Mexicans families there; nice ambiance and great conversation with many. The area is nice around a corner, and serve in the terrace in the back upper level. One of the places to go when you know the area and want to get away from tourists. Here we had more goodies of the Mexican cuisine such as the alambre with meat and cheese melted sort like a pizza but chewy and yummy, pacifico beers and coffee expresso, first we had some chicharones and all good. More here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/el-paisa-m%C3%A9xico-3

At the corner of Hamburgo and Niza streets, there is El Lugar del Mariachi, its a restaurant with live music pop and mariachis alternatively, and a dance floor !!! This is right smack in tourist central so a bit high price but very good food, secure,and a very good group of musicians playing from pop to bolero to cha cha cha and then a group of mariachi singers playing their songs as well; a very good ambiance with romantic overtones or in family. More here: http://www.ellugardelmariachi.com.mx/zona-rosa.html#

The wonderful Tezka restaurant basque cuisine of Spain and next to the Royal hotel in Amberes street, Zona Rosa close to Chapultepec always good chic reliable international cuisine. The hotel has been my central for many years, and it has an indoor door directly to the restaurant. More here: http://www.tezka.com.mx/

Los Panchos in Condesa, Tolstoi 9, Col. Anzures, open Mondays to Sundays from  9h to 22h authentic Mexican food, I try all different dishes from tacos de carnitas, chicharrones, stuffed peppers , etc etc so much food down with agua de jamaica and agua de leche delicious.  More here: http://www.chilango.com/comida/restaurantes/los-panchos-2/

The Sanborns,is a chain very popular in Mexico, my old firm used to sell to them and we of course stop there many times to eat and also to buy essentials electronics. Always had a wonderful time eating at the Peña Pobre mall, by Av. Insurgentes sur y Av. San Fernando, its a shopping center with many stores and restaurant ; clothing, electronics , music, gifts are sold here too. It is one of many all over the city. There is a sanborns site but the resto is better shown here: https://es.foursquare.com/v/sanborns/4c7ef4c701df3704b0fce4ac

Puerto Lapice, here it was the filete tampiqueño (Tampico) real beef that was the plate with Mexican wine chateau Domecq. Located at Poniente 128 647 ,Azcapotzalco, corner of Norte 45 , hours Monday to Saturday from 13h to 18h. tel (55) 55 67 68 09. More here http://www.chilango.com/restaurantes/vallejo/puerto-lapice

I went north into the Sonora State at Ciudad Obregon, and had my lunch here at Los Arbolitos de Cajeme . A great mero fish with butter here. More info: http://www.mariscoslosarbolitos.com/

Back to CdMex at Cambalache, an Argentine jewel small but all kinds of cuts beef that is, at Insurgentes Sur 1384. More here: http://www.cambalacherestaurantes.com/#insurgentes

Taqueria Senele at Polanco great tacos alambre and taquitos al pastor,,,,calle Leibnitz, Col Anzures, 11590 just at the corner coming out of hotel Camino Real Polanco back door. More here:http://www.taqueria-selene.com/about

I had to have my Spanish even in Mexico! Wonderfully refined great food and wine service of Spain at the Centro Castellano inside the Camino Real hotel,in Polanco where I was staying. More here: http://grupocastellano.com.mx/camino-real/

I had a wonderful lunch while watching a football/soccer game France vs Germany, and really this is heaven around you of natural beauty and the food and cold beers was great; a must. Cenote Azul restaurant in Bacalar , Quintana Roo. More here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/restaurante-cenote-azul-bacalar

Up in CdMex I had repeated good experiences at the steakhouse Angus Butcher House, Copenhage 31 , steaks are big, beers are cold, and the ladies are all beautiful ! Many other locations. More here: http://www.angus.com.mx/restaurante/angus-zona-rosa/galeria/default.htm

Café Paris in the Grand Hotel of Tepatitlàn de Morelos, Jalisco, there is an old world ambiance with the hotel rooms decorated with a theme from Europe like I stayed in rooms Napoléon, and Rangel, and ate at the café, upper floor chic nice refined and all made to order. More here: http://www.grandhotelboutique.com/english/restaurant/

Another wonderful Argentinian resto with huge delicious burgers Angus beef, while looking the nice world going by is El Diego, Insurgentes Sur 1581; more here: http://eldiego.mx/

I am sure there are others but these are the lattest ones in my blog now condense here. Again, the city has a world of food and culinary delights to offer; these are the ones I know from personal experience. Enjoy it, buen provecho and vive la vida!!! Enjoy your weekend. Cheers!!!

Tepatitlan de Morelos Tepatitlan de Morelos Tepatitlan de Morelos Bacalar Calderitas Chetumal  Mexico  Mexico  Mexico  Mexico  Mexico  Mexico  Mexico  Mexico  Mexico  Mexico

November 30, 2017

My Best Restaurants in Paris still around!

Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Paris  Ok this is a heavy issue with Paris been a culinary delight and gastronomic excellence there ought to be a lot of differences of mind in choosing one restaurant. However, I emphasize this is My list ::) I think that visiting the city every month , worked in it for 10 years , while living in royal Versailles put me in a good level to express an opinion on the subject.

I have written similar lists for Madrid, Versailles, France, Brittany and even my old Florida USA in my blog. It’s about time for Paris !!!  And here they are in no particular order, and just contact information for space’s sake.

We step into the La Flamme 6 avenue de Wagram, tel +33 (0) 1 42 27 85 25. It has a colorful ambiance in purple and red, with terrace and French traditional dishes. Right down from the Arc de Triomphe on Avenue de Wagram right hand side. https://www.yelp.fr/biz/la-flamme-paris-2

There is Pizza Pino. The pizzerias are very popular and found in several locations in Paris. My favs are in 57 bd de Montparnasse and the 33 Avenue des Champs-Elysées. More here: http://www.pizzapino.fr/restaurants.php 

Café bar La Marine for a taste of some fish and chips with cold Carlsberg beers and a new taste of  IPA rather sweeter brew; just nice ,,,,as always. Great cozy tables and great sports match ambiance; more here: https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-marine-paris-4

I had always good service at my now routine place ,Brasserie Porte  Océane, inside gare Montparnasse on grandes lignes level for the TGV train. https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpmo/paris-montparnasse/boutiques-et-restauration/brasserie-porte-oceane-0

A wonderful find at   Restaurant A Table in Levallois Perret, right off the rue Georges Pompidou and at 43 Rue Baudin. Service was wonderful and so was the company. webpage here: http://www.restaurantatable.fr/

This is a chain where I have been to the Place de la République and Avenue du Maine locations. The  Indiana Café , great crowd, wonderful service and a great pastrami burger with a good Affligem beers. http://www.indianacafe.fr/restaurants-clubs/46/republique.html

Café L’ Imperiale, 240 rue Rivoli, 75001. open from lunch and dinner long hours,  tel +33 01 42 60 73 27. Metro Concorde or Tuileries lines 1,8,12.  This was and is my stop for a quick meal, coffee or a drink with a magnificent location across from the jardin des tuileries. I used to work nearby so for an after lunch coffee or an after work quiet happy hour it is great. Quick meal on your way to the Louvre too. no web but cant missed it intersection of rue de Rivoli and rue Rouget de Lisle. More here https://www.yelp.fr/biz/l-imp%C3%A9rial-paris-3 

The Charlie Birdie chain by the quais looking at the Seine and Bois de Boulogne,or at Place Etienne Pernet 15éme.  https://www.yelp.fr/biz/charlie-birdy-paris?osq=charlie+birdie

We had our drinks at La Terrasse resto on the place de l’école militaire, all there in the square is good and sublime.  http://www.laterrassedu7.com/

I stop for dinner a few times here at Restaurant Le Carré at 12 pl Saint Augustin; wonderful modern ambiance and inventive fusion food, tops, chic, class, well done. http://www.restaurant-le-carre.com/

It had some personal problems with the owners so some of the chain has closed out I believe this one still open and it was my favorite with the one in Bougival where had my kids birthdays. Chez Clement, 9 Pl Saint André des Arts, just around the corner from the place Saint Michel  .Sublime with nice ambiance, belle epoque deco,and well serve, all perfect.  https://www.yelp.fr/biz/chez-cl%C3%A9ment-paris-36

I can’t tell you enough about this place, I worked in management of the chain Intercontinental Hotels Group and they were and are attach to the Le Grand Hotel at Opéra. Historical, grand and magnificent meals to remember forever. The Café de la Paix at http://www.cafedelapaix.fr/en/

Lastly ,used to work by Montparnasse before moving to Brittany and here the  Cafe Montparnasse was tops More here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/caf%C3%A9-montparnasse-paris

My fav La Gare in the 16éme ; several times here and even some visiting friends taken. It is an old train station several years ago converted into a wonderful resto bar in a great area of Paris chic. More here: http://www.restaurantlagare.com/

We had a get together at the Institut du Monde Arabe, 1 rue des Fossés Saint Bernard, 5éme; very nice views of Paris and the food is great too. The Zyriab Restaurant that is. More here: https://www.imarabe.org/en/practical-information/restaurants-and-cafe

Casa del Campo,  ironically the one I frequent was at the pl de la Republique and it closed to moved to Bercy Village. Right at 55 Cours Saint Emilion, and tapas and cruzcampo beers . More here: https://www.casadelcampo.fr/contact.php 

The Bistro Saint Ferdinand is part of a group of Bistro run by Dorr ,and it is just around the corner from the Porte Maillot on 275 Bd Pereire.   The concept is simple a fixe menu per person including sharing a bottle of wine for two, entrée, plat, and dessert, plus coffee. the price is ok for Paris , and the food has improved from my first visit here a few years back. http://www.legrandbistro.fr/fr/restaurant-maillot-saint-ferdinand.php#restaurant-maillot-saint-ferdinand.php 

The Moulin à Caffé ,  22 rue de Caumartin ; not far from the Grand department stores at Haussmann. Nice place indeed, recall one day took 10 of my colleagues here and was a bash!!! Very nice service ,great food, funny actics of the owner server, and the fun for everyone nice prices. More here:  http://www.restaurant-lemoulinacaffe.fr/ 

We had to go out with a bunch of colleagues this time to introduce me to this gem, been over and over . The Au Petit Riche, 23 rue Le Peletier,9éme walking from the grand dept stores on Haussmann to rue Le Peletier left , and it was a great choice. We were on the second floor or 1er étage in France, nice view over the window on the street below, and away from the more noisy street level area. More here: http://www.restaurant-aupetitriche.com/en/ 

One local gem à la Americain with nutty entertainment to boot, usual sports bars and great service will do at the American Dream, 21 rue Daunou, 2éme . more here:http://www.american-dream.fr/

The a world beater of the Hard Rock Café , 14 boulevard Montmartre 9éme; good stuff food anywhere with live sports, music TV. More here: http://www.hardrock.com/cafes/paris/

The Le Café des Musées, 49 Rue de Turenne. deco 1900, nice and good views ;1930’s look. more here: http://lecafedesmusees.fr/fr

Go high up the Tour Montparnasse and find the Ciel de Paris , entrance by 23 avenue du Maine, good food too and of course the best view of Paris… More here: http://www.cieldeparis.com/

Then, if you want a bit of Brittany in Paris go by the Little Brittany neighborhood and try Creperie Josselin, 67 rue du Montparnasse, metro edgar quinet line 6. Deco a la Breton, very popular its always full. More here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/la-cr%C3%AAperie-de-josselin-paris

Some exotic try a cigar and mojito ,and salsa at Cubana Cafe, 47 rue Vavin, metro Vavin, line 4 with webpage  https://www.cubanacafe.com/

Montparnasse 1900, 59 bd du Montparnasse, great selection of beers for a happy hour or just chat with friends, good views of the plaza in front.  A historical jewel of Paris.  More here: http://www.montparnasse-1900.com/fr/

You entered the resto by avenue Winston-Churchill, pont Alexandre-III, the resto call the Mini Palais  inside the Grand Palais, with great views over the pont Alexandre III, more here: http://www.minipalais.com/?lang=en_us 

The brasserie Chez Eugene is an old family favorite, my first meal ever at the Butte de Montmartre was here back in 1991! Still going strong… More here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/chez-eug%C3%A8ne-paris-2

O’Sullivans Pubs several all over like by Clichy and rue des Lombards, even visited the St Germain en Laye , however my favorite is the one at the Grands Boulevards, 1 blvd Montmartre, metro grands boulevards lines 8 and 9. sports tv all over, even some music, best second floor up to your left in front of bar counter. More here: http://www.osullivans-pubs.com/en/bars/osullivans-grands-boulevards-cafe-bar/

Le 7éme Vin restaurant,68 ave Bosquet, tel +33 01 45 51 15 97 .  This place rocks ,never a let down all handle by able friendly courteous service by the owner Olivier. Near école Militaire, more here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/le-7%C3%A8me-vin-paris-2

Belushi’s Bar, The Americans in Paris, a chain with many in various cities in Europe. In Paris at 159 rue de Crimée,  inside the Christopher’s hostal 19éme. tel +33 01 40 34 34 40.Metro Crimée line 7 or Laumiére line 5. Five big screen TVs for all the action and great burgers, an American diner in Paris. Now by Gare du Nord as well. More here: http://www.belushis.com/bars/paris/canal

The Great Canadian Pub, 25 Quai des Grands Augustin, 6éme.tel +33 01 46 33 54 20.Metro St Michel line 4. Great ambiance very popular with expats get togethers in Paris.  More here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/the-great-canadian-paris

One of the nice places to eat and dance is at Cuba Compagnie Bastille, 48 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 11éme. salsa ambiance, mojitos, and Cuba. More here:  http://www.cubacompagnie.com/photos/

 Au Trappiste, 4 rue Saint Denis, 4éme. open from 11h to 02h Monday thru Sunday and from 11h to 04h on Fridays and Saturdays. Tel +33 01 42 33 08 50.  metro Chatelet line 4,11. Here you are in Belgium with the monks; lots of good beer, simple good portions of food, moules or mussels and fries,and grill sausages. The first or ground floor is more noisy ,the second floor more calm and better views!of Chatelet. no web but its just by the metro exit and rue Rivoli. Best way is the metro ,the RER is too crowded to get here. More here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/au-trappiste-paris

Au Métro, 18 bd Pasteur, 15éme, Open from 7h until there is nobody in the place ! even Sundays during world cup plays. Tel +33 01 47 34 21 24. metro Pasteur lines 6,12. The cradle of rugby in Paris, if you like beers,and good fun, great ambiance,friendly people and can see a match of rugby than comes here you wont be disappointed. Always something happening.  Great for a start of your evening here and then go for more substantial restaurant or a very late night snack .More here: http://www.aumetro.fr/

This is a good one, closed for a year and now the site says will try to open again, anyway same owners so check it out when it opens again at different location….Agua Limon, (old)12 rue Theophile Roussel, 12éme Metro  Ledru Rollin line 8 or Gare de Lyon lines 1,14. The best Valencian in Paris, the food of Valencia paella per excellence and Horchata drink. Great ambiance and welcome by the owner ,natives of Valencia,Spain. More here: http://www.restaurant-agualimon.com/

La Perla, 26 rue François Miron, 4éme. Open from Mondays to Sundays from 12h to 02h Tel +33 01 42 77 59 40. metro hotel de ville line 1,11. behind the Hôtel de Ville de Paris. Tequila I found you in Paris, great bar, and fast texmex food, huge selection of cocktails and beers. A great chic crowd after work, and a fantastic place to start or end your day in Paris. More here: http://www.laperla-paris.com/

Le Comptoir du Relais, 9 carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006.Open mondays to fridays from 12h to 23h. Tel +33 01 43 29 1 05.  Metro Odéon line 10 or Marbillon line 10. a great location ,great food and great service cant ask for more. People passing spectacle in a nice area; relax after a long walk in Paris or come after work. In the bottom of the excellent Relais Saint Germain hotel. More here: http://www.hotel-paris-relais-saint-germain.com/savourez-les-restaurants.html

 Joe Allen, 30 rue Pierre Lescot,75001. Open  Sundays to Wednesdays from midday to 00h30 ,and Thursdays to Saturdays from midday to 01h. Tel +33 01 42 36 70 13. Metro Chatelet lines 11,4. The New York address in Paris and a great place to meet with me and other Americans in Paris. .Other locations in New York and London . More here:  http://www.joeallenparis.com/joeallenparis.com/Home.html

Bistro Romain, 122 ave Champs-Elysées,75008  open  11h30 to 15h and 19h to 23h weekdays and Saturdays.  Tel +33 01 43 59 93 31 . Metro George V line 1 near Lido.  A nice cozy Italian chain that wont break your bank and allows for a nice family meal. This is the location of my first date with what today is my wife!!!, so its an annual pilgrimage for us too. It was not expensive ::)  Several locations throughtout  . More here: http://www.bistroromain.fr/restaurants-a-paris.htm 

And the latest find in Paris,  Villa Verdi Italian restaurant. Very friendly , got even to practice on my Italian a bit ::) Very nice indeed, and  good reviews by all; More on the restaurant here: https://www.yelp.fr/biz/villa-verdi-paris

The restaurant do have their own webpage here:  http://www.villaverdi.fr/en/

There, I think I remember them all to post here, some already were gone unfortunately, that is the restaurant business anywhere and in Paris we do have our share of out of business.  Enjoy Paris, it has these and a whole lot more to taste and sip::) Some pictures I still found around my hard drive lol! Cheers….

%d bloggers like this: