Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen, Paris

What can you find at the largest flea market in the world?  Probably more on a Saturday than on a Monday.  A lot of the stalls were closed, but we still managed to weave our way through antique shops, sit in cool chairs, photograph lots of tchotchkes, try on ridiculous hats, and ogle vintage dresses.

I would recommend starting at Au Grenier de Lucie, Allée 1, in Marché Vernaison.  The shop owners spoke English, gave us a map of the flea market, and broke down where we needed to go.  They also have an impressive collection of vintage Chanel, YSL, and other designers I’m not cool enough to know.

We hit up Tombees du Camion after.  Most of the following photographs were taken there.

You can also buy this creepy dentist chair with a flat mannequin cut-out.  (I forget which store this was.)

We ate lunch at Ma Cocotte, which I loved.  I thought it had a great atmosphere–although it felt more like it was in Napa, than Paris.  I ordered haricots verts en salade et pignons, and was surprised to find pine nuts instead of pigeon.  But it worked out, my friend and I split the green beans and the poulet fermier de challans à la broche pour moi tout seul; together it was the perfect lunch.  I think the ratings on Trip Adviser are a bit harsh.

The upstairs, which opens at night, looked very nice.

To get to the flea market, we followed these directions, which I’d recommend.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Food Coma, Partie 2

I know, I haven’t been writing about restaurants or bars much.  But don’t worry, I’m still eating and drinking.  (Not that you were concerned.)  I don’t love taking out a giant camera at a restaurant, only to find it’s too dark for my camera to focus, and then standing there awkwardly like a tourist, so I’m giving you a small sampling of places I liked.

Le Taxi Jaune.  This restaurant in Le Marais is amazing, but pricey.  I actually went because it was written up for its “[s]pectacular mussels,” which were unfortunately not on the menu.  However, my friends and I were not disappointed.  After my friend talked us into getting a last-minute reservation (in French), we sat at the last table in the house.  The menu is seasonal–the chef only cooks meats and vegetables in their prime.  My vegan friends would not approve, so I will spare you the details.  However, I think between my friends and I, we counted five different animals that contributed to our meal (some were in the form of cheese).  The chef came to each table and spoke with the guests.  My only complaint was that I heard a lot of English being spoken, but we ordered in French.

L’Atelier Guy Martin Cooking Class.  Okay, so I’m not sure if it was false advertising, or my ignorance of French (I will go with the latter), but I expected my class to be taught by Guy Martin.  I suppose the price (only 60 Euros) should have been my first clue–a spot at his 2 star Michelin rated restaurant can easily run you over 300 Euros a person.  However, I had a great time, and we actually made things I would make again: Carrot gazpacho, duck, and a frozen berry soufflé.

L’As du Fallafel.  Who hasn’t written up L’As du?  (Besides Parisbymouth, see reviews here, here, here, and here.  There are probably more, but I’ll let you scour the Internet for them.)  The first time I went, I walked by, told the guy standing outside I didn’t want any, only to make a full circle around the neighborhood, look at an article on the best falafel in Paris, and find myself standing in front of the very same guy.  Awkward, yes.  However, we laughed and then he got me a chair.  That falafel was delicious.  The eggplant made it–it was hot and super flavorful.  I went back again and it was good, but not as good the first time.  I still finished it though.  Warning: Be prepared to get messy.

Amorino.  This probably isn’t the best ice cream in Paris, but you can find an Amorino conveniently located next to Place des Vosges (and every other tourist attraction in the city).  What’s nicer than ice cream on a hot day that’s slapped together to look like a flower?  I can’t really complain.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Paris, Semaine 8, Partie 2

Jude and I decided to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe for some night photography.  It probably would have been wise if I had charged my camera battery before embarking on the adventure, but I got some decent shots in before my camera died completely.

Once the sun started to go down, the tourists started swarming like bees to watch the Tour Eiffel twinkle.  So we headed towards the Seine for a better view.  We caught the Tour Eiffle sparkling again at 23h, and a glimpse of an amazing orange moon.  Then my camera died.  I liked the blurry photo of the moon the best as it seemed to capture how tired I was at the time.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Paris, Semaine 8, Partie 1

I finally made it to Montmarte!  Took me long enough.  I did a walking tour with my friend and we got some back history, which was pretty entertaining/interesting.  It helped that our guide was hilarious, irreverent, and avoided the touristy areas (for the most part).


We of course had to take the obligatory photos of the front of La Basilique du Sacré Cœur.  It started to rain, which was good–cleared out the people for my photos!


And then it started to pour.  And I mean pour.  We took shelter for a bit and then decided to run through the rain.


I also went to the Centre Pompidou.  I really liked the permanent collection on the 5th floor, which had art from 1905 – 1960.  I discovered this Picasso painting I hadn’t seen before, which I loved.


The views were also amazing.


The art on the 4th Floor and the Mike Kelley exhibition were not my favorite.  Okay, I hated most of what I saw.  I found the bathroom sign to be one of the most interesting things between the two collections, but I’ll let you be the judge.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Paris Plage & DYNAMO

Paris Plage!  If you know me, you won’t be surprised that I have a bunch of questions.  Like where do they get all this sand?  How do they get it to Paris?  The Paris Plage website does not answer my questions, but I learned other useful things, like that I can rent a boat or borrow books.

I promise to not just be the creepy person on the bridge taking photos, I’ll go check it out soon enough.

The Dynamo exhibit at Le Grand Palais ends today.  I was fortunate to be able to go before it ended; however, I probably should have eaten first.  It was a dizzying experience with all the flashing lights and optical illusions.  I waited in line for 30 minutes to go into a room filled with thick blue mist.  I only lasted about 30 seconds before I thought I was going to have a panic attack.  It was totally disorienting and you can’t see anything besides the blue mist directly in front of you.  I stayed close to the walls.  I’m sure the people watching from the monitors outside the room thought I was insane.  Here are some photos I took at the exhibition.

Maybe making shadow puppets wasn’t the most mature approach, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Also, I was recently telling some friends that I thought it was stupid when people take photographs in museums.  Well, I just became one of those people.  C’est la vie.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Paris, Semaine 7 (Le Tour de France)

Paris, Semaine 7 (Le Tour de France)

Since I already posted 3 blog entries for this week, I’m going to focus on Le Tour de France.  I went to watch the end of the final stage with friends and their friends who cycled to Paris from England to watch.  Now, I’m pretty clueless about cycling.  I haven’t even ridden a Vélib since I’ve been here.  These guys (and gal), however, knew their stuff, which made for a much more exciting race.

It’s important to get a good view of the riders, even if it means climbing to the top of a tree, or a sign post.  I used the “stand on my tippy toes” approach and hoped for a view.  I should note that it was hot as hell today and the pavement was literally melting to our shoes, so standing on your tippy toes was no easy feat.

For the majority of the time, we watched the riders race around the back of the Arc de Triomphe.  They made numerous laps, which was good because it gave me multiple chances to attempt to capture the moment!  (The moment still appears to be a bit blurry.  Sorry, low lighting and fast movement do not go hand in hand.)

We moved towards the end.  Although we couldn’t see Chris Froome cross the finish line in person from where we were standing, we watched and cheered our asses off when he crossed on the big screen.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Photography Classes, Partie 3

Here are some more photographs from my portrait and commercial photography classes that I took and/or collaborated on, as indicated below.

Photography and light painting by Sarah Milstein, Christiane Creixell, and Elizaveta Bakunina.  Light source: iPhone.

Photography by Sarah Milstein.  Light source: softbox.

I took the following photograph using a 10 second exposure and popping the flash 3 times.  I did not use any photo editing software on this image, it’s straight from the camera!

Photography by Sarah Milstein.  Light source: softbox.

Photography by Sara Stevanovic and Sarah Milstein.

Photography by Sarah Milstein.

Finally, comic musings of Janine Murphy and me, inspired by Irving Penn.  Technically, this is not from this week — we took this in our introduction class.

Photography by Janine Murphy and Sarah Milstein.

Here are some behind the scene photographs of my food shoot.

© Sarah Milstein 2013

Instructions For Painting With Light

Painting with light is one of my favorite photography techniques that can easily be done at home.  All you need is a flashlight, iPhone, iPad, or any other even-toned light source, a tripod, a really dark room, and a really still subject.

  1. You will want to set your camera on a tripod for a really long exposure (i.e., 8 seconds or longer);
  2. Set a large aperture (i.e., f/5.6);
  3. Set your ISO at 100;
  4. Manually focus the camera on your subject (this is important because the lights will be off when you press the shutter, so the camera will be unable to “automatically” focus);
  5. Turn off all the lights so it is so dark, you can hardly see where you or your subject are;
  6. Now push the shutter and walk over to your subject and literally shine the light where you want the light to appear so as to “paint” in the areas you want to be light.  Voila!  Easy peasy.

It’s best to move the light constantly so as not to get hot spots.  Also, if you point the light at the camera, you will get streaks.

Photography Classes, Partie 2

This week is flying by since I have a commercial photography class every morning, and a portrait class every afternoon.  The commercial class is, sorry to say, pretty boring/frustrating, but I think I have learned a lot and have a new appreciation for photographs of objects in magazines.  Shooting glass, metal, and porcelain are a nightmare.  Getting the camera perfectly parallel to the table, balancing all of the stands, blocking the right amount of light, creating the perfect amount of highlights — these are things that all take a lot of patience.  A quality I unfortunately do not have much of.

The portrait class was really fun and we learned some great techniques.  My favorite was light painting.  This was super easy (well, relatively speaking) and you can even do it at home.  If you want to know how, visit here.  I think my favorite part was that I donned a black cloak while “painting” so as not to get in the frame myself.  Here is one of my “paintings.”  I actually did this in my apartment just now with my iPhone, sitting on my floor, with my camera on the table.  It doesn’t get more ghetto than this!

Finally, you might remember that I mentioned a few weeks back that I was “styling food” on the set.  Here is one of the shots we did.

Photography and styling by Janine Murphy and Sarah Milstein.

More photos to come…

© Sarah Milstein 2013