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Posts tagged ‘Quai Branly Museum’

No. 361: Roo de Loo



Rue de l’Université has been my home for two years now, and I am going to miss it something fierce.


I will miss the tropical jungle, trendy café and the canned bird sounds that make up the gardens of the Musée Branly across the street. I’ll miss the twinkling reflection of the Eiffel Tower in the museum windows late at night. I will miss the cozy salon de thé down the way, the short cut to the Seine, and the easy access to les berges. I will miss my Vélib stands and le marché d’à côté with their friendly vendeurs who now smile and wave. I’ll miss the gay gardien a few doors down who looks like Mr. Clean and still eyes Taz suspiciously. And I will miss the lost tourists who shyly ask if I know if they are headed in the right direction, realize they are, and then light up with delight when they see the tip of the tower.

I feel like I know every single cobble stone on the final stretch of this street. All the flowers, doors, balconies and pee stained buildings are familiar and comfortable and feel like home.

It didn’t hit me until just a few moments ago that I am really leaving this place that I love so much. My kitchen table with my sparkling view, my winding staircase, and creaky front door, I will miss them all.


Sigh. I am sad. So I am going to sit with that sadness for a while and find a silver lining in the morning.


No. 118-119: Spéculoos and le Musée du quai Branly Combined

Out and about this morning and in search of a birthday gift for Charlotte, my favorite soon to be 4-year-old, I decided to pop into la librairie du Musée du quai Branly and take a peek at their unique collection of gifts. Much to my delight, I came across this in the children’s book section:

Spéculoos! La quête/Spéculoos! the Quest

Spéculoos! La quête/Spéculoos! the Quest

When I first spied it, I thought surely, there must be another meaning for the word Spéculoos that I don’t know. Mais non!


This is actually a tale of an extraordinarily happy, rotund and spoiled princess from a magical far eastern land who is saved by Spéculoos!

The princess leads a grandiose life. When she wakes up, she nibbles cake and pralines. For dinner she gobbles pralines and cake, and for dessert, she savors ice cream with pralines. Mais un jour, la Princesse n’eut plus faim/but one day, the princess was no longer hungry. Well, this certainly makes her very sad and she cries for a very long time. Not one single soul in the entire kingdom can find a cure for her sickness.

But then one day Maurice, le ménestrel de la Cour, who, naturally, is profoundly in love with princess, has an idea. He will go to the sorcière, and ask if he has any ancient potions to cure his secret love. And this is what the sorcerer tells him:

J’ai ce qu’il te faut, une très vieille recette de biscuit, mais qui agit mieux qu’une potion/I have what you need, a very old cookie recipe, that is better than any potion. 

…and the cookie that’s better than a magic potion? Spéculoos, obviously.


So he travels dans des contrées lointaines pour ramener le gingembre, le clou de girofle, la cannelle, la cardamone et la muscade/to distant lands to find the ginger, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Upon hearing about his plan and envisioning the recipe, the princess falls instantly and madly in love with her hero.

From Nigeria to Zanzibar, to India and the red Orient, and onward to Sri Lanka and the Indonesian archipelago, love struck Maurice diligently gathers the indispensible spices.

Upon his return he bakes her the cookies (as can Charlotte, by following along with the simple recipe)…

…et en goûtant le Spéculoos, la Princesse avait retrouvé toute sa gaieté. Mais plus que le biscuit, c’était le courage de Maurice qui l’avait conquise/and upon tasting the Speculoos, the princess’ cheerfulness was restored. But more than the cookies, it was the courage of Maurice that conquered her malady and won her heart.



I have to say, I’ve had some days where Speculoos is as good as, if not better, than any other magic potion to chase away the blues. I’m glad the Musée Branly thinks so too!


But if you don’t like Spéculoos, the Quai Branly Museum has plenty of other nifty and colorful gifts for you to choose from.


la librairie du Musée du quai Branly: the bookshop at the Branly Museum

le ménestrel de la Cour: the court minstrel

Mais non! But, no!

sorcière: sorcerer

No. 115: Le Musée du quai Branly

You know you are a very spoiled museumgoer when you sometimes just need a break from ‘western’ art and want to be reminded that the rest of the world is filled with spectacular art and artists.



That’s where le musée du quai Branly comes in.


I am extremely fortunate because this striking contemporary building and collection is right at my doorstep. Set among a massive diverse garden, the museum showcases and celebrates the colorful and native arts and objects from Oceania, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

musée Branly Quai Branly Museum


le musée du quai Branly: the Quai Branly Museum; 37, quai Branly, 75007 Paris