Watch this: A Short Film Inspired by Fragonard

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3 posts in as many weeks! I am on fire. Soon, one could even say I blog regularly. Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we?

You surely know The Progress of Love, the series of Fragonard paintings commissioned by one Madame du Barry, the Mistress of Louis XV? Ghetto Film School, a Bronx-based organization that provides training opportunities in film just launched a very special project. Its students wrote a film inspired by a visit to the Frick, where the Progress of Love is housed, and the experience of gazing upon these charming paintings. It’s a short film about love and what it’s like to truly be in love — something our Du Barry likely knew well.

Watch the film, loves. And know how great art continues to inspire.

 

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I Try It: Laduree’s Marie Anoinette Macaron

Dear hearts, it’s been some time since Laduree first arrived in fair NYC. So long, in fact that an entire second location opened. This is important because the first location is nearly impossible to visit and the lines snake down the sidewalk. The second location, with a cafe, is larger and tucked away in the quiet part of SoHo.

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I think when a macaron presents itself, it is a person’s responsibility to stop and savor it. There is no situation that is not improved by a macaron. And on this day just a few weeks ago, your blogmistress was in desperate need of good cheer. There’s no reason to go into the gory details, but it was complicated by a day of missed meetings and unhelpful train rides and your humble recordatriste needed an escape. Laduree, on the way to the A and C, was an oasis.

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It was this day, this bear of a day in a bear of a week, that your blogmistress discovered Laduree makes a Marie Antoinette flavored macaron. Typically your girl orders the pistachio, but she could hardly resist a flavor that mixed rose and tea and all sorts of other good things. Anyway, it was delicious — so good that when your girl’s cappuccino lid popped off her cup, spilling milk froth all over her sleeves and coat, your blogmistress hardly noticed. It was a terrible day but a wonderful macaron. Understanding the difference is important.

Tell me: What’s your favorite place for macarons and your favorite flavor? 

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We Visit: Brooklyn’s Marie Antointette-Inspired Cocktail Bar

Darlings, I’ve been gone for so long. But gone in blogging, not gone in spirit, which is most important. You, my heart, have been with me at all times.

I return for a very important reason. A Marie Antoinette-inspired bar OPENED IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD. This is a real thing that happened. I come here to give you the highlights.

Upon entering the fine bistro Chez Moi in Brooklyn, you tell the proprietor you are there for Boudoir. They then open a door DISGUISED AS A BOOKSHELF takes you through a hidden passageway. (I don’t make these things up, people).

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Secret Entrance, Courtesy Le Boudoir Brooklyn

Down a flight of stairs is a cozy spot with fleur de lis patterned floors and wallpapers, flickering candles and red velvet banquettes.

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Courtesy Le Boudoir Brooklyn

The space is inspired by our girl’s bedroom, her private space where one only entered by invitation.

Your blogmistress tried the French 75 cocktail, one with cognac, sparkling wine and lemon. Her escort tried the Axel Von Fersen, with bourbon, applejack and caraway seeds.

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There’s also a drink called the Guillotine (with Scotch and honey) and the Intruder, with something called Byrrh Quinquina and aged Tequila.

Darlings, go early, so you can get a seat. The spot books up and by late evening becomes almost a club more fitting in the Lower East Side than Atlantic Avenue, smack dab between sleepy Cobble Hill and respectable Brooklyn Heights. Still don’t miss it if you happen to be in the area. And if you are — give me a holler. We’ll catch a drink.

Question: Should we do a Marie Antoinette meetup at Le Boudoir? Let me know in the comments. 

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H&M’s Marie Antoinette Halloween Costume for Kids

Darlings, It’s almost Halloween. The one day a year where one can fully honor me without reprisal from social conventions.

H&M has an adorable option for children — all benefitting Unicef. Take a look for a good cause.

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How have your costume plans been coming? What will you dress up as this year? (And it’s alright if it’s not me:)

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The Marie Antoinette Cake That Took 6 Months To Make

Darlings, you have to lay eyes on this major confection created by a British mother for the country’s Cake International competition. The cake took more than 200 hours to complete and features sugar eyelashes, something I wish I had back in the day.  To read more about this amazing feat, check out the story in the Daily Mail. But in the meantime, feast your eyes — FEAST!!

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Martin Rose/Eastnews.co.uk Date: April 26 2013 Location: Roxwell, Essex. LET THEM EAT CAKE: Cake maker, Amanda Macleod has made an award winning cake version of Mary Antionette!

Martin Rose/Eastnews.co.uk
Date: April 26 2013
Location: Roxwell, Essex.
LET THEM EAT CAKE: Cake maker, Amanda Macleod has made an award winning cake version of Mary Antionette!

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Marie Antoinette’s Last Day

Marie Antoinette was taken to the scaffold today in 1793.

She heard her sentence at 4 a.m. when the jurors filed into the hall. She was exhausted from a two-day trial accusing her of everything from espionage to incest. She was weak from  uterine bleeding, little food and lack of sleep. She heard the verdict and showed no reaction. She was likely relieved. She was so tired, she tripped walking down a dark stairwell outside the courtroom. A gendarmerie offered her his arm. He was later arrested.

She returned to her cell to write to her sister-in-law Elisabeth and her children. At 5 a.m. she was still writing this letter when the drums began to beat. Loaded canons were placed on bridges, soldiers with bayonets took to the streets. Marie Antoinette would be taken to the scaffold.

At 7 a.m. Marie was urged to drink a little soup a prison girl had saved for her. She dressed for the scaffold and asked the guard on duty to turn away so she could change the undergarments that had soiled with her constant bleeding. He refused.

At 8 a.m. a juror priest came to hear her confession. Juror priests were those who had taken an oath to the new republic. Marie, whose religion had become increasingly important to her as she grew older, declined her confession.

At 10 a.m., Sanson, the executioner, came to cut her hair for the guillotine. She made no protest.

At 11 a.m. an open cart arrived to ferret away the former queen. This was a deliberate humiliation. Louis XIV had driven to the scaffold in state, in a closed court chariot.

Suddenly she was overtaken by the overwhelming need to relieve herself. Maybe she was sick or scared. Maybe she preferred to deny the crowd the delight of seeing her soiling herself in public. Her request for a privacy was refused. She was forced to attend to her needs in the open, on the street.

The crowd yelled and cat-called to her on her the long ride to square. She sat unmoved on her wooden seat, her mouth closed, her arms still and tied behind her back. Artist Louis David drew a rough sketch of her, a common hag sitting tall with the characteristic pride so often confused as arrogance.

Sanson helped her to the stage as she inadvertently said her last words. She stepped on his foot by accident. She said, “I didn’t mean to do it.”

Before the blade fell, she didn’t scream or beg. Her counterparts had, but she didn’t. She didn’t cry either. She just cooperated in the way the strong do when they are too weak to do anything else. The way the courageous and the damned methodically move towards last resorts.

The blade fell at 12:15 p.m. The cut was clean,  the crowd cheered. A man rushed the scaffold to soak his handkerchief in Marie Antoinette’s blood. Her body was removed to a cemetery that held the bodies of the guards who’d died trying to protect her at the palace and the common people crushed to death during her marriage festivals years ago. The bill for her internment came to 15 livres, 35 sous.

Note: The above post was previously published on this blog. 

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Advice: When Your Mother Shouldn’t Be Borrowing Your Car

Each week, the famed Marie Antoinette of France solves the mere mortals’ problems. Got your own quandary? Let the queen know at whatwouldmarieantoinettedo@gmail.com.

My Queen, 

My mother needs to borrow my car. The problem is it’s her fault her car is in the shop to begin with. She speeds and late one night she was checking her cell phone and didn’t see that a line of construction cones had appeared to close off her lane. I love my mom but I also like my car. What do I do? 

Slow Lane

Darling Slow Lane,

ImageIn my day, I loved to gamble but yearned for bigger thrills. French queens customarily hosted card games, such as lotto and cavagnole, but their small stakes bored me half to death. I was more interested in the high stakes of Lansquenet and faro which were banned for princes of royal blood (after all, who wouldn’t want to play a game that’s been banned?). Louis, my husband, granted permission for me to play these games and I played for high stakes. One session of faro lasted 36 hours. When I lost, as I inevitably did, I didn’t stop or rethink my gambling. I’d ask the king for more money to gamble more. He’d oblige, happy to please his wife. While my losses her modest, the losses to my fellow players were huge and contributed to the reputation that I was a terrible spendthrift. Money in these games had no value outside of the thrill it could provide.

Your mother is a terrible driver. Don’t lend her your car. But there’s no reason to tell her what she’d been told by many before her to no effect. Instead, offer to give her a ride and pretend you’re pampering her. But seriously, never give her those keys. 

What do you think? Did the Queen get it right? Give us your thoughts in the comments. 

 
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