Stop! Before you read any further, you must watch this short (less than a minute short!) video. Please click here.
It’s a delightful confection of a commercial for Dior by director Sofia Coppola, centering around model Maryna Linchuk. Miss Dior Cherie is the fragrance featured, and the song playing in the background is “Moi, Je Joue” (“Me, I Play”) by 1960s personality Brigitte Bardot. Coppola has described the song as “a charming, catchy melody, a little ‘bubble gum.’”
Reminiscent of Coppola’s 2006 film “Marie Antoinette,” the Miss Dior Cherie commercial shows a carefree day in Paris, of fountains and little dog-walking, strolling by the Seine, flower markets, couture, bangs, a perfect pink dress, bicycle-riding, posing, macaroon pastries, sunglasses, significant looks, swinging, floating, falling into white bedclothes, sauntering indoors, skipping outdoors, shimmying downstairs, balloons in the blue sky, smiles, spraying perfume, roses, and kissing your boyfriend—before finally grabbing hold of a bunch of ribbon-tied balloons and taking flight over the city!
Don’t you love fashion?
It was this fanciful advertisement that was the inspiration for the photo shoot for my sister that took place in South Pasadena recently. Who needs to go to Paris when you have South Pasadena nearby? South Pasadena is the home of some very fine French business establishments, conveniently in walking distance from the Mission Street Metro station.
First, there’s Bistro de la Gare, which is very near the station, as the name suggests. The outdoor diners seem to enjoy themselves very much, but the people seated indoors have the benefit of looking out the black painted French windows at a not-too-tended herb garden. For the wonderful ambiance of this place, the menu prices are very reasonable indeed.
Along the path, Autumn happened upon this little dog, called Cosmo. (It’s Cosmo like the “Singin’ in the Rain” character played by Donald O’Connor, not the flower of the same name, the owner informed Autumn.)
Then, you can pick-up some special long pasta or a jar of fine sour cherry preserves at Nicole's Gourmet Foods next door to the Bistro de la Gare. One L.A. Weekly writer said of the place: “Yes, there’s nothing that I can’t live without, and nothing that doesn’t make life just a wee bit better.” You can also choose a French chocolate cake from the glass case.
Next, you can venture a bit north and west, to Jean-Vier Espirit et Creations Basques on Mission Street, which sells mostly fantastically colorful table linens from the southwest region of France. Don’t miss the company’s website here.
Finally, if you are tired and in need of a nap, you might like to set a blanket down on the lush grass at South Pasadena’s Garfield Park. Just walk eastward on Mission Street. As you rest, you might look up and see a couple of ambitious balloons from a child’s birthday party nearby. That might be the moment that you believe that you are in the land of “The Flight of the Red Balloon.”
Please check on Wednesday for our pictures from Pasadena’s Lake District!