when i lived in manhattan, i managed to make a few weekend trips up to the hudson river valley. during one detour, i discovered a gem of a shop called basic french in a tiny town called red hook. it's full of great french imports, mostly everyday items like elegant housewares, comfy pj's, lovely children's toys, frenchy books and paper goods, and great smelling soaps and toiletries. now that i'm in california, though, i really love their well-edited website - i go there whenever i'm pining for a little paris or provence. the owner also created a blog (which hasn't been updated in a couple of years - oh well) about some of her adventures while summering in a house in the french countryside... it's good for a little vicarious vacationing!