31 October 2010

The houses in my neighborhood have been haunting for weeks, in preparation for tonight's tricks or treats...and in his annual Halloween greeting, my grandpa reminds me that all fear should be fleeting. Happy Halloween, everyone!

27 October 2010

bits of bubbly

Happened upon an envelope of vintage beverage labels during a recent afternoon of bookstore browsing here. Such lovely bits of bubbly, and the perfect anecdote for a rainy afternoon. Now I want to start a collection...

Omnivore Books was cozy and well-stocked, but still, nothing rivals the great Bonnie Slotnick.

16 October 2010

to market

Yesterday I awoke before the sun and boarded a bus towards the San Francisco Bay, to explore the city's infamous bay-front Ferry Building and Saturday morning Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market. After an impeccable coffee, cupcake, and macaroon breakfast from Miette, I headed outside in the crisp sunshine and began my journey through tangled rows of local artisans selling their edible wares. I cannot describe what a joy it was to be immersed in a community of growers, bakers, and makers eager to offer samples with a smile, and discuss their love of food culture in a city famous for its roots in the Slow Food movement. I left with a regained sense of comfort and invigoration, along with a full stomach and a bag brimming with delicious eats. This sometimes solitary and still-new city suddenly felt a little bit more like home.

"In even simpler terms, community is built upon conversations. People like to eat, and they like to talk about it. Ask a stranger anywhere in the world what or where he likes to eat, and chances are he’ll open up..."

Want to continue the conversation? Check out Civil Eats, The Vegetable Express, and my new favorite cooking blog.

04 October 2010

alice détective

Last weekend, while at a nearby yard sale, I happened upon a box full of French children's literature. Upon sorting through the titles I soon discovered to my surprise (quelle surprise!) my much beloved Nancy Drew (aka Alice Détective) amongst the well-worn spines. Turns out the entire Nancy Drew series, by the mysterious Carolyn Keene (Caroline Quine, en France) was published in French in the mid-1900s, shortly after the 1st editions of the series were published in the U.S. Given my love of this female super sleuth, I was positively tickled! Comment magnifique!

I also picked up several other French children's titles, part of collections published by Hachette Books beginning in the early 1900s–Bibliotheque Rose and Bibliotheque Verte. These collections, or systems of classification, were designed to promote reading in children and adolescents throughout France, with Bibliotheque Rose meant for school-age children, and Bibliotheque Verte for pre-teens. I am quite enamored by the simple graphics of this system–check out those beautiful rose-colored spines! Très beau!

P.S. Listen here for more about the beloved books of our youth, and the mysteries of childhood...