Saturday, September 5, 2015

My Birthday Fête - French style

I was born on a Tuesday and growing up my Mom would recite the Old nursery rhyme about the days of the week... Tuesday's child is full of grace. I've truly tried my entire life to live up to that, but over the past few years this is the quote I aspire to be remembered by...

"Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty. They merely move it from their faces into their hearts".
~Audrey Hepburn~

On September 2nd for my Fête d' anniversarie my French carriage for the day up and our drive back from Lambertville, NJ was our restored 1972 DS Pallas Citroën. Lambertville has always had a special tug at my heart. Matter of fact it's where I lived my first 2 years of my life while my parents were custom building their Titusville, NJ home. You might say Lambertville is in my DNA. So before I share my birthday photos of my day I'll share my DNA results that I received, as John still awaits his. 

My Dad was right, I am Polish, well 99% and a 1% trace from Finland or Northwest Russia. With the results gives you additional exact matches to relatives and there are many to comb through. I'm starting to put together my family tree and even though the results weren't a big surprise it's reassuring that what I was told all my life was my actual birth legacy. 

Our dinner plans were for dining at one of our favorite places. Manon is a charming small French Provençal restaurant located at 19 N. Union Street in Lambertville. You would swear you were dining in a small restaurant in the South of France. But before dinner we did a bit of antiquing and we parked in front of the restaurant early and walked around vintage stores with wide opened eyes.

Lambertville is the antiques capital of the Garden State. Right over the bridge from New Hope, Pa which attracts a large tourist trade. John and I have always preferred to idle away a day in quaint Lambertville over the busy pace of New Hope.  Zinc for me is my favorite place to wander through hoping to find a treasure to add charm within our row home. I will share my Birthday shopping experience with many photos of Zinc, located at 74 Bridge Street.

Excitement grows as we approach Zinc, as if driving out of the store a vintage Jeep greets you. In 2013 Zinc won Philadelphia Magazines best home accessories -salvaged and Industrial award. In the Philadelphia area that's a big deal and honor.

It is owned and the delightful merchandise purchased by the husband and wife team of Rod and Tracey Berkowitz. Who just so happened to in the past worked for Restoration Hardware and Antropologie. At the bottom of this post you will find sources for Zinc. Besides an impeccable eye for the unique they excel at product display.

Zinc is unique to say the least. It is 3 intriguing floors of salvaged and industrial vintage furniture and home accents. Rod was there on September 2nd as he greeted us with a huge smile. I asked if he would mind me taking photos of his store to post on my blog, to which he said sure, go ahead. John and I lingered past closing and while trying to capture the essence and spirit of the store I was shopping. hey what can I say, it's an extraordinary shopping experience. 

Love the old Lakeside restaurant wood sign. Charming design made of wood. The Lobster dinner costs all of $2.68, oh the good old days!

Chuckled at the targets on the backside of the clowns. 

Kantha quilts made from vintage saris. 

Intriguing but haunting paintings and more shoe forms then I could count. Love all the big spools of thread. John and I have one displayed just off our a laundry room but ours indeed antique is half the size.

Much humor in this Circus cheerfully illustrated large canvas poster.

About to climb upstairs I noticed John admiring this vintage parts sign. He is almost done the renovation of our tiny garage and he has made a life sized, printed on canvas Izetta micro car for the back wall. I watched John's expression and knew he'd love this parts sign for the side wall. It's a maybe...

I do know I love John to the Moon and Back!

Tempted to squeeze a horn, I behaved and like a child in a candy store I was pulled closer to look at the Swiss army metal 1944 sign. Funny at the bottom it says moisten and seal. So many fascinating items of desire.

Now how cool is this metal locker room bench? I did say a store filled with the unique.
On all 3 floors there are different tables made from salvaged industrial parts and glass placed on top. Pieces like these bring interest to ones home be it farmhouse, eclectic, loft or any home you are looking to add in a signature piece.

Along side the locker hangs this wonderful large clock. Smitten at first sight I couldn't keep my eyes off of it.

If you collect Barnum and Bailey authentic circus prints here's one for you.

On the third floor more magic awaits. Huge bling in the chandelier and check out that antique dough bowl. Textiles are scattered about on all the floors and Zinc has a huge selection of quilts, blankets and pillows.

A lucky child will enjoy this toy aluminum vintage rocking Vespa. 

Be still my heart ... vintage industrial architects surveyor poles from England. 
The wood one on the left came home with me! Happy Birthday to me! Next post I will show it displayed against our exposed brick wall In my post I will title adding rustic charm.

Hungry, carrying the surveyor pole we walk back to Manon for our dining adventure.

Hanging outside is a hand painted French sign.
Manon's building is on the National register of historic places.

The window beckons you in to dine, you feel completely removed from Lambertville, NJ and transcended into a tiny romantic spot in Southern France. I had arrived earlier to capture some snap shots to share with you of the interior which is very intimate and small. 

I respect the privacy of people out for a culinary treat and realize the annoyance of an over zealous person with a camera snapping away while you are just out to enjoy a meal.

Painted on the ceiling is a mural of Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night.

Saffron colored faux painted walls with stenciled Fleur-de-Lis and plenty of wall decoration.

Love the curved roof tiles used as lights. 

Tiny, bright and cheery.

Owner/Chef and Potter Jean Michel Damas
A BYOB restaurant with a small but incredible menu. our dining selections started with a shared warm goat cheese salad with pine nuts. I enjoyed the Bouillabasśe and John ordered fillet of beef with Roquefort sauce. We both indulged in a desert of Crème Caramel and our palate was stimulated by a bottle of a dry French red wine.

Photo of our wine label

The walls are packed with Jean Michel Dumas pottery and there is even a bookcase full of pottery for sale. The restaurant remains unchanged year after year adding patina to its charm but a noticeable change this year was the sanded and refinished wide plank wood floors. 

Back home an earlier birthday present from John of an adorable felted mouse welcomed us after a truly memorable day.

As always I share my poetic expression and below my poem is a photograph of a very indulging and beloved blogging friend birthday gifts. Kris from Junk Chic Cottage was one of my first friends I met as a new blogger in this truly heart warming blogging world. Within a New York minute we became blogging friends. Sharing our family stories and events and our life ambitions and those heartaches that occur in between. I thank and love you Kris, but gosh you made me feel like it was Christmas with your generosity. I love you girlfriend. 

Hopefully life lessons are learned and many adventures are enjoyed as our Birthdays like it or not come and Birthdays go.
With each year there's more candles on your preverbal life cake, as you hope to gather enough breath to spark your wish as you blow. 

Candles ignited and all aglow promising additional wisdom and offering an optimist belief for the upcoming year...
But to be honest those unchangeable accumulating numbers often times fill me with a complete vanity aging fear!

My Birthday falls in my favorite time of the year and always around the celebrated holiday of Labor Day.
When the start of a change beckons your emotional memories recalling the coolness of the skies when often they appear Grey.

The crispness of Autumn and the start of nature's Painted leaves begins its transcendence and starts to fill the air.
I realize for me the autumnal season of nature's shedding is when I deeply care and honesty bare my heart ever so willing to share.

© Vera

All wrapped and tied with lace ribbon excited I opened a soft as can be throw Grey and cream with a diamond pattern, 3 journals for me to write down my poetic ideas and a soy candle with a huge generous fresh scented pour in a recycled wine bottle (French of course)! Next post you will see where I placed the beautiful throw. Thank you Kris.



  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Vera. Thanks for taking us along with you on your outing. Zinc has some great eye candy.

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Vera! Or, BON ANNIVERSAIRE! What a great way to fêter this special occasion! It looks like your area is packed with loads of charm, and that you were treated to a very special outing. What could be more fun than to go to a French restaurants and peruse the antique shops! Happy celebration beloved Vera! XOXOXOX

  3. Oh I had a sneak peek of your divine dinning, yet to see so much more of it, is just nor fair that a French bistro is not of this quaintness close to me...I hope you sat right where you had a birds-eye view of that bank of pottery.
    I now see why you have such a fondness for pottery. I could shop one of each out of that cabinet.

    Your personal driver/hubby was so sweet and kind to gift you another mouse, I love that he has a book of sorts in his hands, perhaps a poetry book, or a journal for your divine works.
    The store Zinc wow!i saw a few pieces. I would have had to bring home with me.
    As for Beautiful Kris, could anyone get any nicer that that blogging gal, she is really good for ones heart all bundled up with love.

    I will return my sweet friend,
    And as I have said over and over enjoy your birthday all month long!

    I almost forgot the sari vintage quilts hung as if I were looking at a spot in Anthropologie, I see the vibe they create.

    Beautiful post, as Hannah once sId to me when she was ten, and I told her I was to old to run, she looked at me and said no your not Mom, your still NEW! VERA, my friend you are still NEW!

    Lots of love


  4. Happy Birthday Vera! What a grand day this was for you. Manon is such a charming restaurant, and I really enjoyed the Zinc shop. So many beautiful items to see.
    Love your poem Vera, and that mouse... How adorable.

  5. What a wonderful celebration! You certainly deserved it and I'm so glad you chose to share it with us. Such a beautiful area with so much charm! Zinc is fabulous and so much eye candy there. I adore the restaurant! The quaint decor and the food...oh my! I'm so glad to see all the photos.

    I've missed you! Just have had a lot going on here and I haven't been a good blog friend ~ so sorry.


  6. Yes, Fall is an emotional season for me. I lost my mom in September 5 years ago. It doesn't seem that long. But also a time of cleansing with tears and a new beginning. Glad you had a wonderful birthday. That's certainly a place I'd love to visit.

  7. Oh Vera so happy you loved all your gifts. I had so much fun gathering them and sending them off to you for your special day. Love the little town where Zinc is and Manon for a wonderful dinner. What a great birthday having fun shopping and ending with a delish meal. So happy you had a great birthday. When Terry and I come out towards you some day we will have to share a meal at this wonderful place.
    Love ya,

  8. Vera,
    Tuesday's Child is full of grace......ahh, what a special day to be born on. I have always loved this poem, 'Monday's Child" and even did a post about it one time. Happy Birthday to you! These are fun places you went to and celebrated! Van Gogh's painting on the ceiling is delightful. I love all the circus illustrations. And the little felted mouse is so darling hehehe. It sounds like you had a wonderful day.


  9. Thank you for sharing your glorious celebration of your special day with us, Vera! Happy Happy Birthday to one of the loveliest women I have the privilege of knowing through blogging. Lambertville looks and sounds like the perfect place for a birthday shopping and a delicious place to eat with such pleasing ambiance. It's wonderful when a wife is treated like a queen by her dear husband on her birthday!
    Mary Alice

  10. You and John know how to celebrate in style! Happy Birthday, Vera! From your gorgeous 'ride', to the wonderful antiques shop and finally a 5 Star restaurant---you certainly had a very special day. I thank you for sharing it with us. And you have such an eloquent way of making a day into a engaging story.

    Kris is a dear and those are really lovely gifts--what a big heart she has.

    Just wanted to mention that you share a birthday with my father who passed away 3 years ago. A tremendously significant day to me! :)

    Jane x

  11. Dear Vera,
    No, I had not named her as yet... Something to think about.
    Jasper and Zoe are doing well.. Thank you for asking.
    This little felted mouse just makes me smile!
    Love and blessings dear friend

  12. Dear Vera,
    No, I had not named her as yet... Something to think about.
    Jasper and Zoe are doing well.. Thank you for asking.
    This little felted mouse just makes me smile!
    Love and blessings dear friend

  13. Dear Vera, happy birthday sweet friend. You enjoyed the perfect day. Dinner and awesome shopping. What could be better. Love seeing the Starry night painted on the ceiling. Kris is such a dear and gifted you with wonderful treasures. Love the felted mouse from John. So cute.
    Thank you for sharing your special day and the wonderful photos. Love your special poem. Wishing you a blessed year ahead.
    Happy Birthday.
    Love to you, cm

  14. awww, so so glad you had such a wonderful tine. Your olden car is breathtaking...enjoyed all the photos and words...and LUV that cutie pie mouse.
    Happiest Birthday....

  15. Sounds and looks like the perfect way to celebrate a birthday, Vera. I love to browse in shops like Zinc, and then to have a romantic, very special dinner? Yes. Perfect. Kris's gifts are delightful. Happy birthday to you! And I hope John and you are enjoying the holiday weekend. Hugs, Nancy

  16. Dear Vera, you had a very amazing birthday. Just getting to spend it with your partner is so special. I can see just why you lingered in that beautiful shop, so full of stories. I think that is why I love vintage and antique items. Your dinning experience looks like it was to die for. I'm so glad that you had such a lovely birthday. I share the same deep respect and love that you do for our dear friend Kris. She has made very sad days for me happy ones with her love and generosity. Thank you for sharing your special day. With love , Jo

  17. Happy Birthday Vera. Such a wonderful special day. Your day sounds magnificent. Thank you so much for taking us along with you. Love the store with all the lovely treasures. The restaurant sound terrific and the food - WOW. If I am ever that way will stop in for an incredible meal.
    Again. Happy Birthday.

  18. So Vera... I LOVE Citroens (I haven´t fount the e with two little dots on top for this). The store is so nice an inspired you.. but... wait.. I have an idea...
    I will mail you something... so see you there in an instance (instat??)... your friend Méa

  19. Happy Birthday, dear Vera! What an amazing day you had!
    Love all of your sweet gifts. So happy to hear that you enjoyed your special so deserve it.
    Much love to you.

  20. Happy belated birthday, Vera! I am glad you had such a wonderful day and fun outing! That shop looks so neat! And the restaurant does, too! (Your ride isn't too shabby, either!!!) What thoughtful gifts Kris sent you. Isn't she the best? Bloggers have such big hearts:) Your little mouse is so sweet, too!

  21. Happy late Birthday to you Vera! What a wonderful day you had. I enjoyed all the sneak peeks! So much inspiration. That mouse is too cute!

  22. Happy belated Birthday, to you, dear Vera; all the very best in health and love and prosperity! Oh, you had a marvellous celebration, from the confirmation of your Polish ancestry, to the lovely and nostalgic visit to Lambertville, with its intriguing antique shops and charming bistros! Very impressive to both tourists and locals, I'm sure, and the sweetest surprise, no doubt, was that fluffy, felt mouse, awaiting your return, pretending to be reading, as he stands in front of the clock, and with every tick tock, hoping that you'll walk through the door!

    Happy Tuesday, my friend!


  23. What fun! I can't think of a nicer way to spend one's birthday than browsing around such an interesting shop and then enjoying a delicious french meal. The pottery on those shelves is just beautiful! Such talent, a chef and a potter as well. What a darling gift from John, another little mouse to keep the other one company! Thanks so much for taking us along and sharing your special day with us. Happy Birthday dear Vera!

  24. Dear Vera,
    Thank you for your most welcome visit..
    I don't know if I am deserving of your generous words, but they are greatly appreciated.

  25. Vera, your blog is a treat for the senses... truly. I loved every moment of this post.

    Thank you so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment. And Happy Birthday :)


  26. I'm late in commenting.

    First ... any adventure in that car would be wonderful.

    2 ... I need to never find a shop like ZINC. I would be broke - that measuring stick is fantastic.

    Three ... the restaurant, your choice of food - fabulous.

    4th ... that mouse ... I'm in love!

  27. Dear Vera,
    I wanted to get back to you on your, my Autumn fairy does not have a name, but Penelope sounds like a delightful one. I can't wait to see the cherub that you change out for all the seasons. I've always thought it was fun to decorate. It fills our home with charming treasures, and brings us a little joy at the same time.

    Have a splendid week, Vera.


  28. Oh! You had me at Citroen, but then....all those antiques! So glorious! It looks like you had a beautiful, magical birthday. Happy happy birthday (quite late) Lidy

  29. Good evening dear friend.
    Why thank you so much! Tell me, is there anything specific about wicked that caught your eye? I thought Mea's suggestion was so great.. I am looking foreword to her thoughts... I don't know if my vision was what she had in mind, but that is what I imagined when she said, dark, wild fairy.. So I thought...
    I will email regarding the print.
    bless you Vera,

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  31. What a beautiful birthday celebration! That is a fascinating shop and restaurant. I love the clown targets and the Van Gogh mural. It's a blessing to have such wonderful people in your life. I took a photo of what I think was a Citron in Paris; I will try to find it for you. Happy belated birthday, dear Vera. xoxo Su

  32. Oh my! I just enjoyed this so much and I will go back when I have more time to really enjoy it more! Full of grace indeed!!! I hope you are enjoying your September!

  33. Oh the Citroen - so fun and a delicious French meal…all sounds heavenly!

  34. First, Happy Birthday! My birthday is also around Labor Day. I have got to get me to Lambertville, especially since I live in NJ, although it's not close. I'm about to go click "follow"!

  35. A wonderful time for a wonderful you, Vera! I'm so glad you had such a great birthday ~ I am smiling for you!

    Thank you for your kind words over at my little blog. Your friendship lifts me.

  36. It all sounds lovely! I would love to visit Zinc kind of store! It's not too far from me but enough that I'd have to make a weekend of it. I would have to go to Manon too then if I do that!

  37. Thank you so much Vera.. How sweet of you to take time to visit, and leave such a lovely note.
    Sending you a warm hug