24 January 2011

organic beauty


I'm a sucker for medallion designs on furniture. When I saw this armoire in a store in Vieux Lyon a few weeks ago, I fell in love with it instantly. The armoire itself is very simple, with no elaborate details other than this medallion, which is just the way I like it. It's from the 1920s, one of the proprietresses of the store told me.

The shop is owned by a mother-and-daughter pair. The daughter speaks very good English -- she told me that she restores and refurbishes old furniture, and her mother is in charge of the finishing touches like staining and painting.

This armoire is thoughtfully and sensitively refurbished, especially inside. All working parts move beautifully without anything getting stuck or making squeaking noises. There is a crack on the side, but it doesn't affect the armoire's functionality, and I honestly don't mind it.

The store sells smaller things as well, and it's a delightful gem of a shop. If you're in Lyon and make it there, do go downstairs and look at the beautiful antique cradle. I was told that it can be rented.

21 Rue du Boeuf
69005 Lyon


17 January 2011

from a hundred years ago...

A bit of an update -- see bottom of post!

I've long had a policy of not buying portraits at flea markets. But that doesn't mean I can't browse, and if there is a stack, I always flip through it. 

Yesterday at Les Puces, this group photo made me violate my own policy. I know I'm transfering the blame... think whatever you want to think... but I asked the people in this photo if they would feel bad if I took them out of France (eventually, I mean. We're not moving just yet), and I heard them saying, "No, no, go ahead and take us with you. We're glad you found us."

I swear.

I think it's how these people are standing, some of them looking almost relaxed, instead of standing stiff looking scared (or scary!) and uncomfortable. It didn't feel like a crime to "buy them" and make them mine.

At the bottom is a line of captions that says:

Ecole de Medicine Paris 1910
Mr le Docteur André Castex (The first word looks like "Mr", but the second letter is so tiny I'm not 100% sure it's an "r")
Lucien Wormser Phot 45 Rue du Cardinal-Lemoine

This address is in Paris 5eme arrondissement, not too far from Île de la Cité, just one block from Cardinal Lemoine metro station. I'll keep a few images of this photo on my iPhone, so I can look this place up next time we're in Paris.

Update 18-01-2011: I forgot to note that, between "Ecole de Medicine Paris 1910" and "Mr le Docteur André Castex", the caption also says "Oto-Rhino-Laryngologie." Sure enough, I got a quick note from a friend today telling me that Dr. Castex was a famous ear-nose-and-throat doctor at the time, and that he wrote many books as well. The man in the center in the white lab coat, who looks older than other people in the photo, must be him.

14 January 2011

foggy evening at the park

Everyday world, turned into a scene from a storybook. I waited for a fairy to appear out of the fog, but the moist air made me cold and I had to go home.


12 January 2011

filtered light

After being in this apartment for more than a year, we finally have curtains hanging on our bedroom windows.

They are dark purplish-grey but are made of rough linen, and they don't completely block the light. The sun coming through them in the morning washes the whole room in a soft, muted lavendar color.

I love it.

10 January 2011


Thy word is a lamp unto my feet.