02 Jun2009

Springtime in Paris…

by Marketman


Travel is a luxury. Period. But it is the one luxury that I would work my rear end off again and again in order to afford. While it is nice to ride up front in the plane, where the oxygen levels and personal space make for a far more comfortable trip, if the opportunity to hit Paris and Venice comes up because you find a darned good fare for a perfectly decent seat, we (MM, Mrs. MM and the Teen) are so there. Such was the case on this recent trip to Europe and our first stop was Paris. Springtime in Paris is often characterized by showers and grey drizzle; but in our case, we were fortunate to have four days of clear blue skies and cool to warm weather. I was pleased to see some rose bushes and other flowers in parks and balconies of homes, but most Parisian parks are rather anal retentive and planted with greens rather than bursting with blooms. But that’s okay, since cut flowers were everywhere. On an early walk down a quaint street we ran across this shop which had placed tin buckets filled with roses out on the sidewalk. It was simple and beautiful. And yes, we were thrilled to be in Paris.


The roses were abloom in the small garden behind the Notre Dame Cathedral.


Young leaves had sprouted on all of the trees, including this one at the foot of the Eiffel Tower (which looks much better from afar than right up close).


Peonies were plentiful and exuberant and lush as can be in colors ranging from white to light and very dark pink.


Day old roses were elegant despite being on the verge of being unsalable.


The range of colors of roses on offer at the flower stalls in the Place Madeliene Madeleine was spectacular.


Buckets and buckets of flowers on offer…


…hyacinths, peonies, queen anne’s lace, lilies…


…and many I didn’t even know the names of.


Fresh flowers piled high on a cart, ready to be delivered to a neighborhood florist.


And somehow the special quality of Parisian sunlight made even unusual color combinations seem surprisingly simple…


…and yet so appropriate.


And finally, an unusual shade of pink lilies. The flowers in Paris were stunning. The variety and color range impressive. I didn’t bother to ask the prices of any blooms but it sure would have been nice to have a large vase in one’s hotel room filled with a selection of blooms to bring a bit of the Spring indoors!

Photos 2 and 3 taken by the Teen.



  1. the Teen says:

    photo credits for the second and third photos go to the teen! :)

    Jun 2, 2009 | 10:39 pm


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  3. kim says:

    hi teen … ever planning to be a professional photographer ??? you’re pretty good for such a young age !!!

    i can tell you guys really had a wonderful time … the roses alone are gorgeous !!! never been to europe so will look forward to your future posts & PICTURES … take me there for awhile, will you ? :)

    Jun 2, 2009 | 11:05 pm

  4. artisan chocolatier says:

    With all due respect MM. I believe travel is education. That’s how I justify every trip!!! hehehe

    Jun 2, 2009 | 11:12 pm

  5. Albenia says:

    The pictures are wonderful…It is so inviting..but welcome back…you are right traveling to other countries for pleasure is a luxury few of us could afford but with you filling us in the sights and different scenes…we are transforted there even thou we are where we are at this moment..Thank you..Love it…

    Jun 2, 2009 | 11:14 pm

  6. pegi says:

    What beautiful photos! Teen, you, too, are following your Dad’s amazing “prowess”. Good luck and Take care.

    Jun 2, 2009 | 11:24 pm

  7. k. ramos says:

    Wow, such vivid flowers! I wish I was there. Good thing that the scary AH1N1 flu virus didn’t stop you from traveling, MM.

    Btw MM, there’s no tuna on your poll choices. And Teen, I especially love your shot of the Eiffel tower. :D

    Jun 2, 2009 | 11:27 pm

  8. odette says:

    beautiful photos!

    I try to save on other expenses so I can afford to travel..I’m hoping I can afford to go to Europe soon :-)

    Jun 3, 2009 | 12:10 am

  9. Gina says:

    “Anal retentive” Parisian parks. Haha hilarious observation, MM. There were tulips in the Jardin du Luxembourg in early April, so uniform in height and color you’d think they were artificial; plus smaller flowers that hugged the ground in, yes, “anal retentive” tight little bunches, arranged to perfection. On the right side of Notre Dame, I saw trees completely bedecked in stunning pink blooms–I don’t know if that’s dogwood or cherry blossoms.

    Here’s a question for you,MM: how do they trim those trees on Champs de Mars so that they are perfectly box-shaped, flat at the crown and on all four sides, all dimensions perfectly uniform from one end of the park all the way to the other end? Talk about anal retentive!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 2:40 am

  10. Apicio says:

    When I see peonies I think of Johnny Carson mimicking his Filipino gardener’s pronunciation, pee-nis instead of pee-uh-nees.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 5:53 am

  11. Diwata08 says:

    Dangwa in Paris… Flowers everywhere… heeheehee… So refreshing to see!!! Nice angles Teen!!!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 6:04 am

  12. sanojmd says:


    Jun 3, 2009 | 6:07 am

  13. chinachix says:

    the flowers are gorgeous!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 6:33 am

  14. millet says:

    love the pink lilies!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 7:22 am

  15. corrine says:

    Lovely!!! Spring time is always exhilirating for the senses. MM, I’ve tried a lot of French restos here for the crepe. I have been toying with it too for a long time but, I can’t seem to find the perfect crepe in Manila…like the ones they do in Paris. Is it the air? the water? I’ve tried using French butter but I’m just at 90% success. hahaha!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 7:38 am

  16. thelma says:

    the best crepe i’ve tasted was the ones served at the french restaurant at the ground floor of the paris hotel in las vegas.
    they also serve a champagne brunch there which is really good.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 8:22 am

  17. Vanessa says:

    Marketman, I’m glad your family had a great trip! Nothing quite like French spring. Versailles is incredible this time of year, too. Last week I felt like there could not possibly be a better time to enjoy picnics and frolicking in the gardens!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 8:34 am

  18. natie says:

    lovely! just lovely!!!!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 8:48 am

  19. ryanclaw says:

    superb captures!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 9:01 am

  20. Lei says:

    nice shot of the Eiffel Tower Teen! =) wow, the flowers are mesmerizing! i really know where part of the lotto jackpot will go should i end up being so randomly lucky one these days hehehe!

    Jun 3, 2009 | 10:58 am

  21. pudgee says:

    nice pictures!
    Teen, nice shots! you are Gifted!!!:)
    love all the beautiful flowers esp. the peonies! :)

    Jun 3, 2009 | 11:09 am

  22. Tony L says:

    Brush up your French, Marketman. It’s La Place Madaleine, not Madaliene! Great boutique hotel nearby, whic I always use-Hotel des Arcades, in the Rue des Arcades.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 11:54 am

  23. Marketfan says:

    Those photos are nice, Teen. I wondered if it was your dad who got down on the ground to shoot those. I figured it must have been done by somebody who was more flexible. :-)
    And did you notice that the Eiffel Tower changes its color in photos depending on what time of the day you shoot it?

    Jun 3, 2009 | 12:23 pm

  24. kroozer says:

    Hi MM, great photos! Never been to Paris but would love to visit it at least once in this lifetime. Just wondering since it’s ongoing while you were in Paris, did you go see a match at Roland Garros?

    Jun 3, 2009 | 12:59 pm

  25. Sanojmd says:

    Bettyq help! Im planning to bake your chocolate cake but the prob is we’re using espresso coffee instead of brewed coffee.. Your recipe calls for brewed coffee though..can i substitute the brewed with espresso? Do i also need to adjust the measurement for that? I also tried your shu mai recipe..it’s delicious.. Thanks!

    Sori MM.. Out of topic. Desperate to bake chocolate cake..

    Jun 3, 2009 | 1:15 pm

  26. luna miranda says:

    love the angle of the Eiffel Tower photo. i’m humming to myself cole porter’s “I Love Paris” while admiring the flowers.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 1:18 pm

  27. Raneli says:

    Those blooms surely made me smile. Thanks for sharing springtime in Paris to us.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 1:22 pm

  28. jadedfork says:

    Lovely pictures. Hope to read about where you dined this trip.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 1:50 pm

  29. Marketman says:

    kroozer, we left two days before the opening match at Roland Garros…

    Jun 3, 2009 | 2:36 pm

  30. Marketman says:

    Tony, have corrected the spelling of Madeleine, but YOUR french isn’t too hot either. It is actually Place de la Madeleine, not La Place MadAleine. :) At any rate, I always shortcut the “Place” names to Place Madeleine, Place Vosges instead of adding or remembering all the de la, des etc. You get the drift. Thanks. :) Apicio, hahaha. I hadn’t heard that one. I can just imagine Johnny Carson explaining that on national television.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 2:46 pm

  31. Lex says:

    Thank goodness Johnny Carson isn’t alive today and hosting
    tonight show and viewed locally. His comment would have caused an uproar again like so many recent incidents. We pinoys are so balat sibuyas when it comes to comments like that even though many of them ring true.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 3:59 pm

  32. mardie c",) says:

    gosh, i love the flowers. i can just imagine the smell… ohhh, heavenly. im sure the Teen had fun playing with the camera in Paris. wonderful shots btw, Teen.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 4:48 pm

  33. Cecilia says:

    This post makes me happy.

    Jun 3, 2009 | 7:21 pm

  34. artisan chocolatier says:

    How I wish public places (malls, etc.) here in the Philippines plant or display more flowers like roses and pee-nees (hahahaha, Apicio).

    Jun 3, 2009 | 9:04 pm

  35. suzette says:

    hi mm, care to share where to find “the darned good fare for a perfectly decent seat”? thanks ;)

    Jun 4, 2009 | 2:44 pm

  36. Beth says:

    Kylie Kwong also pronounced it Pee-nees in one of her shows!Welcome back MM and family!Was in Paris too a week ago.Couldn’t get enough of the the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay!Did you get to see the nightly 10minute sparkling Eiffel Tower?It was magical!

    Jun 4, 2009 | 4:30 pm

  37. Marketman says:

    suzette, try KLM on line, we got ours for roughly $900RT to Paris, a steal if you ask me.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 6:03 pm

  38. Gina says:

    suzette: also try Expedia on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We got our tickets at $755 KLM-Air France (Manila-Prague; Madrid-Singapore). Take note, these are the most restrictive tickets: non-refundable, non-rebookable, and you must book fast because they get snapped up in a matter of hours. Why Tuesdays and Wednesdays? I learned from the website that these are when airlines unload unsold seats to travel websites at deeply discounted prices. The best deals from Cathay Pacific can be found on their Hongkong (not Philippine) website. You are taking a risk if you don’t book directly with the airline (in case there are problems with the flight); fortunately for us all the flights we took with KLM and Air France departed and arrived without hitches. Plus their in-flight meals are good.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 7:23 pm

  39. marissewalangkaparis says:

    I always wondered why flowers in European countries look so completely colorful. The hues are so rich and deep. It must be the weather….wonderful in Paris…and in Amsterdam you’d see a SEA of tulips and you’d think they were paintings… they are awesome. In Vancouver,the Butchart Gardens are also wonderful when in full bloom……I wish we could have our version of these flower gardens….I’ve seen flower gardens in Asia but not as awesome as the ones in Europe…although the Cherry blossoms of Japan remind me of a feminine and demure lass….so sweet…..you have to be there at the exact time they blossom. Flowers are God’s wonderful creation unlike anything else….Sigh….

    Jun 4, 2009 | 8:03 pm

  40. corrine says:

    Ms. Gina, that’s a steal. Thanks for the tip! I need to travel to Prague in 4 months. It’s just the h1n1 virus is scaring me.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 9:34 pm

  41. Pandora says:

    To the Teen: Ang ganda! Galing.

    Jun 4, 2009 | 11:14 pm

  42. Gina says:

    Hi MM. If I may respond to corrine: if you take KLM to Prague (and assuming their daily Manila departure sked does not change in 4 months), it’s a non-stop 13-hour flight arriving at 6pm in Amsterdam, then you have an overnight layover in Schiphol. At 7 AM the next day you board a Cityhopper (smaller plane) for the 1.5 hour flight to Prague. This was not a hassle for us because there are so many quiet nooks in Schiphol airport with lounging chairs where you can sleep. Or you could book one of those capsule cabins with ensuite bathroom right there at the airport.

    Jun 5, 2009 | 3:26 am

  43. suzette says:

    thanks mm and gina! i’ll take note of that :) btw, gina are you GAP from SPC? ;)

    Jun 5, 2009 | 10:22 am

  44. Gina says:

    Hi suzette. If those are initials of my name and a school, then no I am not GAP of SPC. Have a good trip!:)

    Jun 5, 2009 | 2:02 pm

  45. Albenia says:

    Help..MM could anyone share the recipe for Betty Q”s award winning chocolate cake? I only have till next month July 8th
    before our company close its door and I am planning to bake the cake ifor our get together before it does close..Please is there anyone with a good heart to help me out…

    Jun 5, 2009 | 11:34 pm

  46. corrine says:

    Thanks for the tips, Gina! Schipol is not bad.

    Jun 6, 2009 | 12:50 pm

  47. pnyorker says:

    MM nice post. Can’t help but recall back memories. Let me just share a bit. I have a friend who has a place in Paris. We swap apartments almost annually for holidays. Call me lucky, i call it “Friend with benefits”. Well, I’m sure he feels the same–he loves New York too. Paris is so beautiful especially in spring but i will not go in summer. I am a little disturb about “anal retentive” analogy though. Medically, the phrase does not really look or smell good.
    Again, love the post.

    Jun 6, 2009 | 6:56 pm

  48. Annie says:

    Hello MM. Just wonderin’ how much do the Parisians sell those queen anne’s lace. Here in Upstate NY they are very wild out in the open fields, streets, meadowns, and side of the street. We just ignore them. They are so pretty to look at though. I have’nt seen any florist shop here that sells them.
    Pretty post. Thanks for sharing.

    Jun 7, 2009 | 9:03 am

  49. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Marketman.have you tried visiting Dangwa where flowers from Baguio etc pour in? When my mom passed away,my siblings and I went there at 4 am and it was a-buzz with activity and oh–despite my grief I could not help but notice the diversity of flowers…and they looked so fresh and beguiling…The early morning sun crept in and the colors of the flowers were impressive…and it looked surreal at 4am. Despite our grief,I was astounded that the place was so busy at that hour. I remembered that when I looked at this post again….also,we have a company here that produces those tin cans for export although I have lost touch with them already…wonderful fotos…
    Riding the fast trains around Europe,you’d see windows with rich purple flowers or bright yellow ones peering from their glass windows…ahhhhh….just like in the movies….

    Jun 7, 2009 | 9:49 am

  50. cibis says:

    If you’ve never visited it, you should go to the Gardens of Claude Monet in Giverny. It’s open from April to October with different flowers every month. June and July is not as spectacular as early spring but it’s still a pretty site.

    Jun 8, 2009 | 6:36 am

  51. hill roberts says:

    HI, again.
    My husband and I were in Paris almost ten years ago. We took the Waterloo Station (London)to Paris Eurostar and had a wonderful time, walked the length and breadth of the city thinking I’d bump into Alain Delon…In Rome, Harrison Ford whistled pastbyme but Rome ain’t Paris. Rome is dirty, dirty, dirty. People are unpleasant and 99percent of the people living there don’t speak English. I have fond memories of this gorgeous city—Versailles, Paradis Latin, cruise down the River Seine, ille de la cite, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, etc. Indeed, we have plans of vising it again next year. As for those beautiful flowers featured in your article, I couldn’t afford the price. Someday, our capital Manila will be the new Paris, after they’ve cleaned up the ancient Pasig River. I keep my fingers crossed, just in case.

    Jun 9, 2009 | 11:49 pm

  52. Yvonne says:

    Can I ask where were the above pictures taken? Is it a flower market? I am planning a trip to Paris and my objectives are flowers n desserts!

    Mar 21, 2010 | 4:09 am

  53. Marketman says:

    Yvonne, there are flowers at the Place Madeleine. And there are shops/markets all over Paris. cibis, yes I have been to Giverny…

    Mar 21, 2010 | 8:46 pm


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