I had a renaissance weekend, as in rediscovering the city I live in. I go to so many of the same places that I finally decided with a three day weekend I’d take the time to move a block up or a block down, to take in what I typically miss when I’m too busy to discover and continuing my usual routine. While at a favorite spot, Marcos Cafe, underneath the ceiling of suspended umbrellas I perused the often unneeded menu. Glancing above my normal dish my eyes landed on the Bacon and Brie scramble instantly knowing I had found a delicious edible tribute to this weekend of discovery. I feel I could be vegetarian if it were not for bacon and salmon. When finished with my breakfast and latte, I walked up a block from the cafe to Multnomah Village. I looked right, then left and proceeded to meander along the sidewalk allowing myself the time to really look and take it in. If something caught my eye, the magpie syndrome as my ex called it, I stopped, snapped a picture, chatted with the shop owner, allowed myself the ability to let my heart and visual discoveries lead.

 

We can force discovery, we can push the borders of home, go beyond the boundaries of ones state, country, continent… so that every corner, every cafe, every boutique is filled with whimsy and wonder, but too often we don’t even take in our own surroundings. I’ve opened magazines with amazing images foretelling just what an oyster Portland can be if you take the moment to find the little pearls, the local connoisseur’s choice, or the as-yet undiscovered until the feature on the glossy page. I feel a bit of a heel in finding new places to go in the city I live in from a national magazine. Many flock here for vacations and leave knowing Portland a bit better than when they arrived and I wanted to finally be able to connect with that same city. To look and see as if my eyes were opened for the first time. While I was trying out a staycation of rediscovery this weekend, I actually love to travel. One of my favorite destinations is France, or more specifically, Paris.

 

When I was eighteen my parents gifted me with a month-long trip to this country that had won my heart. I had taken french from 8th grade through senior year and couldn’t wait to put my linguistic skills to the test. I spent a few weeks hiking the Alps and a few more in Paris. I discovered majestic chateaus (often weekend homes), my love of scarves, petite fridges as the food is often bought daily and prepared from fresh ingredients, that wine and stinky cheeses are actually delicious when paired appropriately along with trusty crusty baguette, that nothing compares to viewing Monet’s “Water Lilies” in person at the Musee d’Orsay, that the french women know how to put together an chic ensemble, and the quotidian life philosophy of the every-day paired with the tucked-away finery infused in a laissez-faire air key to la vie francais {the french life}. I returned to Paris while in graduate school but have not booked a returning flight since. I have two destinations on my 2013 travel itinerary, Paris and Peru. I’ll likely be expanding why these two particular cities in a later post, as I have distinct halves that make the whole of me.

 

Back to Portland, while in an eclectic shop filled with hand blown glass marbles on mahogany tic-tac-toe boards, decorative hot air balloons fitting for a nursery or fanciful study, and glass depression-esque mint julep soy candles that apparently burn for 100 hours; I stumbled upon this glittering jewel of a book, Paris in Color. The collective colorful photographs lent the direction of my weekend and what I desire to share. Here’s my kaleidoscope view of a few polaroids in time. I hope you enjoyed your memorial weekend and tucked a few memorable moments away.