Friday, December 22, 2006

Le Belle Paris!

Go to for the soundtrack to this post.

Sigh. Paris. The minute I laid foot into that city, I was home. We were staying with Karla's friend and her sister - four single girls in one apartment. It was fabulous and I learned tons of Spanish. Their cousin and his friend and his friends friend were also in town as well as my friend who lived in Paris - so we spent our evenings in a big group.

The night we landed, we decided to go out and get a drink. The only place we could find that was open on a Thursday at midnight was a cafe at Bastille. We got back at around four in the morning.


The next morning we had a breakfast of baguette and coffee and made our way to Le Bon Marché - with a few stops in between.

Shakespeare & Co
37, rue de la Bücherie
75005 Paris
Tel.: 01 43 25 40 93


I bought a pair of brown boots in a miniscule cheapo shoe shop on rue du Four. The street is a shopping haven.

Retro Mod Chausseur
27, rue du Four
75006 Paris


Le Bon Marché is my favorite department store in Paris. It is never as full as Lafayette and the products they carry are always unique. I love wandering through like it is the Louvre, admiring the unaffordable haute couture like they are masterpieces. Their window displays were already up for Christmas and simply devine.

Le Bon Marché
24, rue de Sèvres
75007 Paris
Tel.: 01 44 39 80 00


That evening we went to my favorite sushi place in Paris. It may not be the best but I love it for sentimental reasons, having always gone there when I still lived around the corner. I was so excited to have fried cheese wrapped in meet - a French/Japonese invention.

Ao Yama
22 bis, rue de la Verrerie
75004 Paris


Then off to the Lizard Lounge for drinks - another favorite student hangout.

Lizard Lounge
18 rue du Bourg-Tibourg
75004 Paris


A nighttime walk through my old neighborhood.


The next morning we managed to drag ourselves out of bed at a reasonable time. We had a lot of ground to cover on our last full day in Paris. After a quick coffee and girly conversation at a local cafe we headed off to Kookaï. On the way we passed by my first apartment in Paris.


The Kookaï outlet features clothes from past collections (as well as the current collection at normal prices). They played the entire Pussy Cat Dolls album while we were there, so of course I was dancing in front of the mirror while I tried on the clothes. The shopping day was off to an excellent start.

Kookaï Stock
82, rue Réaumur
75002 Paris
Tel.: 01 45 08 93 69


One of the best teas companies in the world. Try Marco Polo, fruity teas that tastes like bubble gum when you put sugar in it.

Mariages Freres
30 rue du Bourg-Tibourg
75004 Paris
Tel. : 01 42 72 28 11


My old neighborhood again.


Laundromat where I met my friends Leila and Mani. We are still in touch to this day - 5 years later.


Miss Paris puts on her daily show. We sat on a fence at Concorde and watched the sunset; the Eiffel tower sparkle. Everyone around us cheered when the street lights and lamps came on. It truely felt like we were watching a performance. The city put on one color after another, pink, then orange, then a touch of yellow. And we just couldn't move. We just sat immobile, watching.


Off to the Champs Elysee and a visit to Louis Vuitton - the world's most expensive cafeteria for bags and accessories. There was nothing luxurious about being ushered around like a cow. The gorgeous products made up for it though.


Dinner at Entrecôte. They only serve one meal: salad and then beef entrecôte with fries and a special sauce. It was very good.

Le Relais de Venise
"Son Entrecôte"
271, boulevard Pereire
Tel.: 01 45 74 27 97



Our last night in Paris and we had to go dancing. We went to Favela Chic which I had gone to while I still lived in Paris (4.5 years ago). Since then it has grown. We had to wait in line but got in with no problem. The music is a mix of a little bit of everything and the place is anything goes. It can be a little too wild for some people but I love it, especially since I got to bust out my sparkly pink headband.

Favela Chic
18 rue du Faubourg du Temple
75011 Paris
Tel.: 01 40 03 02 66


The next morning we went for a huge brunch at Le Repère. The brunch was delicious but way too much for one person.

Le Repère
29 rue Beaurepaire
75010 Paris
Tel.: 01 42 01 41 20


I dropped Karla off at the train station and walked around the city, listening to music, writing, smoking and crying. I was home and didn't want to leave. I thought about what I wanted to do with my life, my trip, my novel. It was my moment of Epiphany.

One last viewing of the sunset show - this time from the top of the Pompidue. I enjoyed my Costes Cafe Creme and smiled, trying not to worry about missing my flight.

Etage 6, Centre Pompidue
19, rue Beaubourg
75004 Paris
Tel.: 01 44 78 47 99

Time to go back to Munich. After spending hours at the airport waiting for the delayed flight to leave and a bumpy ride back, I was greeted at the airport by a foggy Munich. It was like she was wearing her fur coat. I had a cigarette and enjoyed the silence, the brisk cold on my cheek and the lights behind the cloudy air.

Getting back to reality took me about 3 weeks but I feel like I have finally reintegrated. The trip reminded me of a life I once had and what I want for the future. In terms of finding what I was looking for...I can say that I found some courage, some inspiration and a taste of what I want my life to be like.


Karla, thank you for organizing this lovely trip! I miss you and hope you are well.

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Blogger Adrian said...

I still clearly remember each of the epiphanies I've had in my life. Each time I was alone after having just spent great times with friends. In most cases I was hungover, or still in the process of becoming sober. Strangely enough, waiting for public transport or sitting in Taxis seems to have been a trigger. More important though: each time I felt like I had had an epiphany, it really did go on to rather drastically change my life. So be warned...

3:58 PM  

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