Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I STILL LOVE YOU...


Yes, you Paris, you teaser. What a relief. I was a little apprehensive about this trip to Paris, after my last visit there a couple of months ago. I shouldn't have worried; I always have a completely different experience each time I go. I've experienced on various different visits the romantic Paris, fashion week Paris, tourist Paris, arty cultural Paris, literary Paris, student Paris, ex pat Paris etc etc - you get the picture. Last time I experienced 'cold shoulder' Paris.

But just before I left London this time I realised that I never allow myself to just relax there. Probably because I'm self employed and don't keep 'regular hours' I feel guilty so I always combine any trips with something work related, even though in my case something work related might be finding an interesting new designer or two and going shopping. I even feel guilty about the fact that that is part of my work! I'm starting to wonder who this person is that's judging me. Is it me, my conscience? Or what I think people will think? So even though I already feel guilty for work being something which sometimes gives me access to beautiful clothes and shopping on a huge scale, I kind of approach my Paris trips as if I'm prepping a styling job. I have my lists, and my information, I pound the pavements at such a pace to fit everything in, but I never just chillax, man. Once I worked that out and realised how ridiculous it was I decided to give myself a break. Literally. Even though I love shopping and clothes, for me it is also work. Did I just say the same thing in different ways about three times? Anyway. For me to relax I had to replace clothes with yum, food.

And I had a lovely, lovely time. I strolled about - sometimes looking at window displays, occasionally browsing in a couple of shops. It felt so good not to buy anything (whichever God judges me for buying bags at Vanessa Bruno was very proud) - I seem to have (temporarily I'm sure) cured myself of consumerism after throwing out so much stuff recently. I don't want more stuff. So I meandered and pottered, slowly taking everything in. I sat in cafes and thought about what I'd like to eat or drink next. I bought a couple of little things - a Charlotte Gainsbourg CD and some olive oil, but not some expensive investment piece of clothing like I usually always do. I suppose that's what NORMAL people do when they go on breaks. However I was tempted to buy the most decadent thing I have ever seen. GOLD PLATED PAPER CLIPS from purveyor of haute stationery Calligrane. They were beautiful round swirly ones that don't look like paper clips at all. In the end I bought the brass ones in the same shape because I couldn't stop thinking about all the other uses they could have except as paperclips. I should have kept schtum about that, now when I have my new chain necklace/belt/rings on people will snigger and say "Oh my God, she's wearing paperclips! And they're not even gold."

Pa-ris in fall...isn't that a song? There was no way I could think of to segue smoothly from paperclips...


I really did have a lovely time. Did I mention that? I went to the Balenciaga exhibition with the lovely Elisabeth and was also most honoured to meet the King himself, Negrito of Gritoland, and Mr. PrixdeFlore. At La Perle which has now become more mainstream popular since I first went there over a year ago (cos you know I'm so avantgarde) - still plenty of white jazz shoes but at the weekend lots of 'out of towners' and visitors who've heard about it.

I kept meeting Italian people everywhere which was great because I could actually speak to them in their language and not feel so bad about my hideous French. (At this point any Italians who know me will be thinking, "Lei non capische un cazzo d'Italiano" or something) But actually if someone addresses me in Italian, say at eight in the morning at the Red Kids market when I'm not awake enough for my brain to cut in and go "huh, but this is Paris, oh God am I using the right tense,and shit now all the French and Italian is mixed up, oh God they're gonna know". Then, I can speak Italian. And when I'm drunk of course.

There were also some other very important people I had to visit.


If you ever find yourself on the Quai de la Megisserie, with all the flowers, plants and pet shops please go and say hello to the kittens at Vilmorin. I have to visit them and you know, the staff, they just love me there. Oh how they chuckle indulgently when I play with the little ones through the gaps in the glass even though the entire place is plastered with 'Ne pas toucher, merci' signs. Not. Well what are you supposed to do when they stick their little paws out and want to play? I feel so sorry for them with their 1000 euro price tags, cooped up right next to puppies, yes puppies - how stressful! I used to worry about what, you know, happened to the pedigree kittens because I can't get my head around anyone wanting to actually BUY a cat in the first place. When rescue homes are bursting at the seams with cats that need a home, I really can't imagine that many people have 1000 euro's or more to spare on a kitten. But the man who works there and once, when it was quiet, let me take a little persian kitty out of the cage and hold him, told me they all go to good homes and I kind of really wanted to believe him. Oops I just wrote more about the kittens than anything else in Paris. You may have realised by now that mostly I prefer cats to humans, so there's no point trying to hide it.

I found a new (to me) favourite breakfast place as well. I usually go to Le Pain Quotidien which I love but it seems a bit silly because we have it in London and er, it's Belgian. So I was happy to discover that Heurtier bakery has a little cafe upstairs and they do breakfast. It's on Rue de la Verrerie and overlooks the little square at the end of rue du Bourg-Tibourg just before rue de Rivoli. The cafe has big plate glass windows overlooking the bustling square, and these cute pink and beige boucle tub chairs. The croissants are big and buttery, the tables are just right for notebook scribbling in peace and I was happy to be somewhere where all the other customers were French.


I have so much more to say but I think that's enough for now. So yay, I love Paris again, autumn may just be my favourite season there. I can't think of many things more beautiful than the Place des Vosges on a sunny day when the leaves are turning or the Place Dauphine, below....



6 comments:

l'embrouillamini said...

Oh, I wanted to go and see the puppies in the windows, but we couldn't fit it in among all that macaron eating.

Sounds like you had a lurrrvely time :)

Serena said...

Thanks for making me miss it even more ; )

Bombay Beauty said...

Not only is Paris lovely in all (most) seasons, but the thought of travel is even more wonderful. Now it's true, as you know, that I do my share of travel, but it's the thought of traveling exactly when I should be here at the start of the season, earning my daily bread, that is so seductive, like cutting classes in school. Something I also like about your missives from Paris is that they capture the random beauty of the city. It's not a place where you say, now I will go to the beautiful part of town and see beautiful things. Beauty is peppered there, there, everywhere. I suppose we aren't the first ones to discover this, but then some truths have to be discovered and rediscovered again and again...

Cheers,

BB

negrito said...

It was a real pleasure to meet you, hope we'll do this again, maybe in London ?

eurobrat said...

Merci! I am dying to visit Paris in autumn even more now...

Wonderful that you were able to 'chillax' more than usual!

Btw, yesterday I went specifically to Le Pain Quotidien in NY, and found it papered up and temporarily closed! Non!!!

Julia said...

I'm just so happy for you.

And you're right, there are few things more beautiful than Place des Vosges, any ol' time.