Since moving to New York, my closet has slowly transformed from a colorful spectrum to a solid mass of black fabric. Almost every day, I wind up wearing black pants and a black top. If I’m feeling adventurous, I might possibly wear a white shirt.
It’s a lot easier to make outfits when everything is the same color, especially when traveling with a limited portion of my closet. As long as the styles, cuts, and fabrics of the shirts are different, it’s simple to have different outfits every day (while putting in minimal effort). These are the clothes in my closet here in Paris. The intense lack of popping colors is kind of funny.
In high school, wearing all black was considered “alternative” or grungy but the second I moved back to New York, I remembered how much I love wearing black head to toe! It seems like the all-black dress code is the norm in cities across the world as well.
The thing I love most about Paris has got to be the macarons! My favorite shop is Pierre Hermé and some days I can’t resist stopping by after class for one or two (My favorite flavors are Passionfruit and Jasmine).
New York is probably the next best place to find macarons, but it’s no Paris. In New York, Ladurée is as close as we can get. It became one of the most famous brands after being highlighted in Gossip Girl and the movie Marie Antoinette. Personally, I don’t think Ladurée really deserves all the hype it gets. Ladurée sells an experience more than anything else. The light pastels, ribbons, gloved attendants, and everything Marie Antoinette. And I fall in love with it every time I walk through their doors. Their macarons are alright, but Pierre Hermé is on a whole different level. From the way they decorate the macaron shells to the bold, exciting flavors, Pierre Hermé trumps all others.
Absolutely in love with this top I got at the Galeries Lafayette on Blvd Haussmann! It’s from this Parisian brand called SeeUSoon. It’s amazing what a range of vendors they have within the Galeries Lafayette. From Topshop to Sandro to LV, they’ve got it all (and at every price range). I could spend days and days wandering around inside and never get bored.
If you make it out there, be sure to look up! The stained-glass ceiling will make you feel like you’re inside a gorgeous jewelry box.
On my way home today, I got completely lost. My phone died, but I thought I knew the city well enough to get home without it. Just Follow the Seine then turn left at the Marais.
I thought I knew where the Seine was and tried to keep that as a point of reference, but failed miserably. My brain is wired to navigate Manhattan style. In Manhattan, the bodies of water stay in straight lines, making it easy to orient yourself. All the avenues go up and down and all the streets go side-to-side (with the exception on the West Village where I tend to get disoriented and lost). For the most part, it’s the ideal city layout (not that I’m biased or anything).
In Paris, the roads criss cross and shoot out in every direction. There are roundabouts and intersections with over 5 streets. Even worse, the Seine snakes through the city. You have to know which bank you are on (right or left) to get a general sense of where you are.
Anyways, I ended up wandering down Avenue Montaigne and past the stunning Hôtel Plaza Athénée. I had never been on this street before and I was pleasantly surprised to discover it. Avenue Montaigne is like Rodeo Drive minus the fanfare and mobs of tourists reenacting Pretty Woman. Couture designer shops line the street. Chanel, Gucci, Valentino, Prada, LV, Chloé, Fendi, Céline, Ferragamo, Versace, they’re all there. I was too intimidated to enter any of them so I settled for window shopping at Dior and Harry Winston. A girl can dream, right?
Around the corner from the Dior window displays was an office entrance (Dior Headquarters?). Everyone coming in and out was fabulously dressed in what I assume was Dior. I tried walking into the lobby just for the sake of it, but was quickly turned away by security when they realized that I wasn’t an employee, just a crazy tourist.
Let me start by saying that I am a serious coffee drinker.
So are the French, but in a very different way. Their drinks tend to be very strong and very small. They are meant to be enjoyed leisurely over the course of an hour. At cafés, you have to order “American Style Coffee” in order to get a cup that can hold more than five sips. My ideal coffee, however, is a large cup that you can chug on the go. Each morning in New York, I grab my Grande black coffee with cream from Starbucks and head off to class.
Unbeknownst to me, eating on the go is not a concept that the French understand or find acceptable. As my professor informed me, “Food is meant to be enjoyed. It’s not something you rush.” On the Metro, you will never see any Parisians sipping coffee or even nibbling on a granola bar. They set aside time for food in their schedules and sit down for every meal.
There are only 39 Starbucks locations in Paris (compared to Manhattan where there are nine Starbucks stores for every square mile! (yes, I did the research)). So when I passed one on Rue de Rivoli, I couldn’t resist. I may have gotten a few stares, but who cares! I’m a tourist!
This afternoon, I spent a few hours people watching in the hopes of spotting a few fashionistas, but much to my dismay, the Garden was largely filled with American tourists. There were a few uncomfortable moments when people passing by realized that I was photographing them and gave me strange looks. One man saw me pointing my camera, stopped walking, and turned around to figure out what I was trying to photograph behind him! Completely puzzled by my apparent interest in the trash bins, he waited around for a while before giving up. Though today was relatively unsuccessful, I’ll definitely be headed back to give it another shot!