Bonjour my dear blogging friends!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I missed you. I guess I have an excuse being away overseas. We’ve just returned from two weeks vacation in France and I have more than 2500 images to choose from, to share the best and exciting moments with you.
Plenty you might say, but 10 days of wondering Paris streets I simply couldn’t help it…
And as our apartment happened to be an unfortunate misadventure we tried to spend as less time inside as possible, thus the big catch of the day(s).
What a journey it was! At last I’ve got to places I always wanted and never got around like Art Nouveau marvels by Guimard on Avenue Mozart and Rue de La Fontaine. I savored architectural details grand or barely noticed but always appreciated by my wondering and wandering eyes.
We spent a leisurely boating evening on the serene lake in Bois de Boulogne.
We visited finally the Musee Marmottan with wonderful Berthe Morisot special exhibition, Atget exhibition in Carnavalet, precious Netter collection of Modigliani, Soutine and the Legends of Montparnasse in Pinacotheque gallery on Place de la Madeleine.
The first step is always the hardest. It’s a tough decision where to start. Maybe reflections? A journey through the looking glass…
I found myself drawn to these shiny, whimsical, often distorted street reflections, constantly moving and changing the scene which tripled window shopping fun and added another dimension to reality. Actually it was a bit of a challenge to position myself so not to become a part of image.
Some of them were magnificent like this huge curvatious window in a newly opened Opera Garnier Restaurant. Phantasmagoric space in red and white by a very talented architect Odile Decq. The reflection became the part of a decorating idea.
A gorgeous addition to Palais Garnier.
Grand Palais reflecting Petit Palais.
Some reflected just the opposite side of the street with typical Hausmann building or the square jammed with traffic.
While my husband and junior enjoyed the slow stroll in Tuillerie I spent some time in nearby Jewelry department of Musee d’Arts Decoratife with amazing collection of Lalique and his contemporaries.
We browsed bookstores and had a delicious little picnic in beautiful Parc Monceau.
At last we allowed ourselves to splurge a bit in the few finest patisseries exquisitely selected by Paris Patisserie blogger, immensely talented and utterly pastry obsessed writer.
I followed many of your helpful advices regarding hidden gems for which I’m very grateful.
We took a day trip to carefully restored Rouen where I’d be happy to take you later, and to Chateau de Fontainebleau so overlooked by tourists.
We ended up with 3 days in a beautiful city of Strasbourg even climbed the magnificent Cathedral, and spent a wonderful day in the sweet and tiny town of Colmar. If eye candy means something that was literally it.
Everything will come to you in time.
Paris end of July-August always feels so deserted by locals and succumbed to hordes of tourist nomads. Each time I’m trying to find those Charlottes Gainsbourgs quintessential parisiennes and can’t. Beautiful Clarins girls don’t fluttered around comme les silphides either.
Where are all those mysterious parisiennes we all try so hard to imitate? Slim, confident with clear complexion, epitomes of style and elegance?
Am I always in wrong places even away from beaten paths? There are billions of wise, witty and funny advices on blogosphere how to look and be stylish and even behave like parisienne. Beautiful (propped and styled images) feed our loving and willing imagination but for some reason I start to think it’s all just a playful, amusing myth.
This time we had to use metro a lot, sometimes at rush hour. And parisiennes didn’t look any different by the end of a hot and humid day than New Yorkers or Torontonians. They spoke French though fluently or texted and disappeared in music waves of earphones as anywhere else. Dressed accurately but otherwise unremarkable, no hint of a chic. They look …well… normal, a bit tired, never smile back.
I have to admit, the older ladies are completely different, surrounded by the aura of parisiennesness, even if her Hermes scarf has seen better times, happy to engage in conversation, tolerant to my accent and efforts.
The most funniest thing happened when once I was probably mistaken for a local as I’ve seen a lady from a tourist group pointed at me to a friend commenting and swiftly took a picture. Sad and funny.
What actually did I hope to see? I’m no expert in night life scene, maybe that’s when parisiennes emerge?
But wait a moment, there were a few split seconds, when the girls stop the scouters and take off their helmets and shake their head to fluff the hair, a tiny gesture so simple, sexy and natural. Only Parisian girls can do it that way…But I’m not riding a scouter and still hoped to catch a glimpse of Charlotte Rampling crossing the street with umbrella…Have you seen one?
Saint Germain des Pres.
Hermes window with beautiful reflection.
Shakespeare and Company.
Thank you very much for coming and see you soon.
* All images copyright by Natalie Rapoport