Swimming in a Pool of Fashion

If you are not six feet tall, don’t have to eat cheeseburgers and French fries for a week just to become a size zero again, or don’t feel comfortable walking around in four inch Jimmy’s all day, better skip the real life catwalk of Avenue Montaigne in the 8th.  The 6th is your style nirvana.  Sure, you may get a little extra attention exiting your exotic, dripping with accessories and escorted by a security detail.  I, however, exiting my Vélib’, dripping with sweat, escorted by my shorts wearing husband and sorbet-stained five year old, still received plenty of largess.

Sonya, Louis, Hermy – all my friends are here.  The end of June also marks the start of the six-week summer sale season.  Oh falling Euro rejoice!  Don’t forget to visit the Hermès boutique (built in an art deco swimming pool) or Bon Marché, Gustave Eiffel’s tower of shopping.  Have your husband (or lover) get a cut and shave downstairs, while you frequent the nail bar on the first floor in preparation for visiting the shoe department under the magnificent dome upstairs.  Need some energy – grab an espresso and pastry at Rose bakery.

After a daylong shopping frenzy, sit with the other tourists (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Gainsbourg, and most of the locals have long departed) at Brasserie Lipp, Les Deux Magots, or Café de Flore, order a café crème and contemplate your credit card bill while watching the world go by.  Or, if you were really successful and are maybe a little homesick, don your new duds, snag a table at Ralph’s and order a Ralph’s burger. 


A Fascination in Furstenberg

If you happen to be in Paris in spring, don’t miss the four extravagantly blooming Paulownias in the charmingly picturesque Place de Furstenberg.  If you are there any other time, don’t skip a visit to the equally charming Yveline.  With a keen curated vision, objets d’art fill the three rooms drawing one to the usual pièce de résistance in the back.  I, as usual, want everything.


Daydreaming at Deyrolle

There are few places in Paris better to enjoy a jet-lagged neural enhancement than Deyrolle.  Somewhat politically incorrect, but entirely mesmerizing and enchanting, this treasure trove of taxidermy is, without doubt, one of my favorite stores - anywhere.  Heart-wrenchingly beautiful fauna from around the globe populates this emporium appearing magically transported from its natural environs and frozen in time. 

Fancy a baby elephant, perhaps a zebra or a gazelle – better grab an extra large basket beside the till.  Special order a giraffe or polar bear, how about a darling baby ocelot or penguin or one of hundreds of a kaleidoscope of songbirds?  Don’t fret, young American, you can’t bring any of these back stateside without risking a full body cavity search at US customs (honest officer, I don’t have any ostrich eggs, would you please stop looking).

I think I may have already ruined my five year old, as she spent about an hour enthralled in the second floor back room.  Here, hundred of specimen cases, display thousands upon thousands of insects with inexplicable precision.  From butterflies and spiders as large as your hand, to centipedes and beetles you could collar and take for a walk, the intricacies of these arthropoda amaze while also giving me the heebie-jeebies.

There are a few other taxidermy specialty stores in Paris including Galerie Chardon, Design et Nature and Claude Nature, but Deyrolle is tops.

The Perfect Prescription

Searching for best remedy to stave off the summer doldrums of Savannah?  How about summer in Paris?  That’s right, while the Parisians are trading city for sea, this Savannahian is trading sea for the city. 

After the past few months of back office backlog, animated accounting, and POS BS, I’m more than ready for a healthy dose of my muse.  Eschewing my penchant for the grande hotel, I’ve instead settled on an apartment in the 6th arrondissement.  My husband is worried that this is my attempt to slowly transition to full-time Paris living, but I know he secretly harbors the same dream.

Up at the crack of noon (okay, so I’m not so good with jetlag), croissant from Polâine in hand (how can butter and flour combine so impossibly), strolling through the plane tree filtered sun of the Luxembourg gardens – ahhh, this is going to be the best summer ever!