Saturday, June 9, 2012

Shop & Show (or) A Spoonful of Parisian Love

Last weekend, while wandering around Troy's Strawberry Festival, I found some little trinkets at a consignment shop. From the outside, the shop looked a little skimpy. Mostly worn country-style ruffled things from the 90's. Upon closer investigation, there were some nice treasures to be found. A return visit is in order. My takes for the day were a little covered brass bowl and a set of 4 vintage place mats. 

The place mats remind me of a set of prints my old roommate, Maia, had. They hung in my first apartment in Uptown in Minneapolis. I can find anything like it on google search. But they were colorful drawings of culinary items labelled in french. 

The brass bowl is now acting as a place to store my matches for the ever-lit candle on my coffee table. I had just been keeping a big box of matches in plain sight. Not so chic (Or safe, if kiddos come 'round!) I just dumped the matches in the bowl, and am storing the strike sheet under the candle itself. I like it's look, though I am not sure what to call it. Any ideas of what this thing is, or it's style origin? 

When I checked out, I stumbled over what to call it and said it was a "doodad" from the 25 cent rack. The fellah working the register thought that was funny and typed it in on the receipt. I love little interactions like that, where someone you don't know at all is playful and friendly. I also like to see people enjoying their work. My friends say he was flirting. I'll take it either way.

Later this week, I took a therapeutic trip to Dayton's Oregon District to have some dinner with gal pals at Lucky's. Of course, I had to go to Omega first to find some new musical friends. No, I don't mean people. I mean the flat, round, spinning types of friends.

The clearance crates continue to be my best friend. I came home with 5 fun albums including a collection of mariachi music perfect for summer a dinner party. Gazpacho and margaritas anyone? The big surprise album for me was the Lovin' Spoonful. 

They had several big hits in the 60's that continue to get air play on oldies stations: "Summer in the City" and "Do you Believe in Magic" & smooth crooning "Daydream". And I hadn't much of a concept of them beyond those songs. I didn't realize that   the song "Darling be Home Soon", which I knew from Joe Cocker's spirited version, was actually a Spoonful song. I think I had expected their music to all have the bubbly saccharin of "Do You Believe in Magic". I was pleasantly surprised to find a whole lot more diversity and depth in their canon. Their sound, song to song, swaps between being a little like Joe Cocker, Simon and Garfunkel, The Rascals, and the Animals. And take a listen to the sweet, Alexi Murdoch lilt of Coconut Grove

As a kid, I remember playing the "Summer in the City" 45 in my dad's collection, mainly because of the bright Kama Sutra label. I don't remember the B-side at all. I guess I didn't give them much of a chance. But I'm about to get to know them a whole lot better. I love their sound and can't wait to collect more of them.


I was also pleased to snag this Maurice Chevalier album. A little dusty, and in need of a cleaning, she still plays pretty. I don't know what it is about french music. I just love it. The accent is so sexy. I love the relaxed way emotional tone just spills from artists like Maurice, Claudine Longet, Edith Piaf, or even contemporary artists like Charlotte Gainsbourg. 

I wouldn't say I'm a Francophile, but I'm surely drawn to the culture. Perhaps it started with my love for old movie musicals. American in Paris, Gigi & Funny Face surely had a hand in my desire to experience Paris someday. Another contributing factor? My mother lived in paris when her father was stationed there soon after her birth. I've heard stories of my grandparent's experiences living in Paris and  think it would be really beautiful to see some of the places they described. And, I mean, the fashion, food, the Eiffel Tower, and The Louvre sound pretty great, too.

For now, I'll settle to listen to a little Maurice and maybe nibble on a baguette.

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