Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A day in the life … in Paris


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So what DO you do in Paris all day, Sarah asked me recently, when I told her I was particularly busy and didn’t have time to call the gallery before 11 p.m. Is it all work?

Oh yes, very hard work. Let’s see all the ways:

Well, first I get up, look out the window to check on the weather …

View from our window such a classy apartment building across the street

… and walk to the boulangerie and for a croissant and breakfast. I can’t resist the flowers on the rue Cler, that look like the first peonies of the season:

Ahhh Renunculus

But oh no, at that price .. they are Rununculus, which I guess is a poor woman’s peony. I take them back to the apartment and another oh no:

I don’t have a vase to match.

Oh no this vase is all wrong ... what would Sam Jones do

I do love the way the pink picks up the pink touches in the apartment though. And speaking of which, the pink on the back of the chair looks a little haggard, and I need to get them replaced.

Pink on back of chair looking a little haggard

So my next stop is a trip to the local upholsterer, walking three blocks carrying my chairs in two hands (this is why French women don’t get fat!). The quote to put the fabric on the back, with no welting, is about twice the cost of the chair. Oh well. Do I have a choice? I don’t think so … and I know it will look beautiful.

desk chair

But here’s the problem: It’s going to take him a few weeks to upholster the chairs, and meanwhile, I need at least one more chair … so I hop on the 69 Bus (my favorite!) and head to one of my three fabulous furniture stores on the Rue du Bac, where I spend a small fortune on a “temporary” chair that is going to hold me over until mine are back from the upholsterer. Hmm … is there something wrong with this picture?

Of course while I’m in the stores, I do a little snooping to see what they’re carrying and what the latest trends are in Paris(remember that this is a “work” trip!). And I find at least one product I know we will definitely carry at Huff Harrington Home: a pair of See Up glasses at the counter, enabling people of a certain age (ahem) to read the small print without getting out their reading glasses. So cute, I just love it!!

See Up

I’m actually in Paris with Monsieur and when I tell him the next step is returning the shower faucet to the hardware store across town, there’s a little bit of whining. So here’s the deal: We’ll hop back on the 69 Bus and hope that we can sit discreetly in the back, with our shower faucet. We’ll do our best to return the faucet, and, because the hardware store is right next to the Beaubourg Museum, we’ll stop in there and check out the amazing Matisse exhibit and maybe have lunch at Chez Georges, on the rooftop, non?

Matisse woman in white

Tbe Matisse exhibit is fascinating, and one of the best curated shows I’ve ever attended. I also love all the children, squirming on the floor of the exhibit with their classes …

Kids at Matisse

… and the spontaneous performances of dancers that are not only condoned but actually encouraged, in this exhibit:

Dancing with Matisse

The reward for all this hard work is lunch on the rooftop restaurant at Chez Georges which is a tremendous treat in itself. The views are fab, the inside of the restaurant is a hoot of modern fantasy, and the outside terrace is to die for.

The resto at Pompidou

It’s such a gorgeous day that nobody is sitting inside, but instead …

The view from the top

…taking in the view from the top. A sparkling glass of rose is the icing on the cake.

the perfect color rose

Since we’re in Paris and have had a late lunch, we do what any Parisian would do … we walk. And walk. And walk. It’s a gorgeous day, and we couldn’t be happier, just walking.

Another sunny day in Paris

We cut through some of our favorite neighborhoods, including the Palais Royal …

Paris March 2012 778

… by some fabulous window displays where I get a whole new appreciation for the many uses of lampshades …

My roof had hail damage can I get a new one like this

… and by the Louvre museum, which never ceases to amaze me although this time I am particularly drawn to the roof lines, while thinking how much I would hate to have to replace that roof!

I make a quick visit to my bank, on the Champs Elysees, and think that this is a pretty different experience from the drive- through at Wells Fargo.

HSBC bank on Champs Elysees kinda reminds me of Wells Fargo on Roswell road

And then it’s time to split up: Monsieur wants to visit the Louvre, and Madame wants to go to the Marc Jacobs/Louis Vuitton exhibit at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Monsieur loves the wing of the Louvre with the BIG historic paintings by Jean Louis David, Delacroix and Ingres. Madame is smitten with the Marc Jacobs exhibit and feels like a kid in a candy store surrounded by sumptuous bags. Wouldn’t a wall of Louis Vuitton handbags make such a great display at Huff Harrington Home!

Could anything be better than a wall of LV bags for a bag store like HHH

A dress by Marc Jacobs particularly captures my eye, and I realize why I like it so much:

OMD I love this dress - reminds me of my favorite painting by Ingres

It reminds me of one of my favorite paintings, the Comtesse d’Haussonville by Ingres, which is in the Frick Collection in New York. And then the cultural irony hits me: While Monsieur is at the Louvre viewing paintings by (my favorite artist) Ingres, I’m viewing cutting edge fashion by Marc Jacobs that reminds me of Ingres, in museums a block from each other in Paris. Ahh … Paris.

Ingres Comtesse

We have a date to meet at 6:30 under the Arch in the Tuileries gardens.

I'll meet you under the arch at 7

And then it’s time to scoot over to the Orangerie museum, where we’re attending a free piano concert of Debussy music held in the gorgeous elliptically shaped room that was built to house Monet’s waterlillies.

A Debussy piano concert in the Orangerie surrounded by Monet water lillies

On the way home, we stop for a quick photo by the Place de la Concorde …

He has to propose, doesn't he

… and a must eat Steak Frites at the iconic Relais de l’Entrecote on the rue Marbeuf.

We get home, exhausted, just in time to catch the last sparkling light from the Eiffel Tower show, before we turn out our own lights.

If it's sparkling maybe I can catch some

Am I dreaming or is this Paris?

Oh, and Sarah, did I mention that I was just busy busy working all day? It’s called a reconnaissance trip. Honest!

Ta ta …