Thursday, September 24, 2009

Be Happy...Paris

I don't care what anyone says...Parisians were awesome. In 5 days, only two people annoyed the heck out of me; the rest of the time, Parisians were gracious hosts in an absolutely beautiful city. Both occurrences had something to do with a train station so I will happily shrug it off. You also can't smoke in restaurants in Paris anymore so the smoking wasn't even a big deal.

I thought I would finally close my Paris adventure notes with the other two things I came to Paris for: art and shopping.

My 5 favourite places to shop (or window shop...Paris is not cheap!)

1. Uniqlo. Okay, I am stretching a little because Uniqlo wasn't actually open yet but of all the cool things to come out of Japan...this is Japan's chic answer to GAP. The are featuring a Jil Sander capsule collection so vite! vite! vite! 17 Avenue de l'Opéra (Metro: Pyramides)
2. Galleries Lafayette. This is a Paris department store? Oy...way too much good stuff. I thought my head might explode. Printemps, across the street and my friend Celine's preference, has Laduree which might give it the edge but Galleries Lafayette is a classic. 40 Boulevard Haussmann (By the Opera Garnier)
3. Isabel Marant 47 rue de Saintonge in the Marais and 4. Vanessa Bruno 100 Vielle du Temple in the Marais. Both of these are my favourite stores for clothes in Paris. Think cool Parisienne girl's closet. Worth the splurge!
5. Colette. Colette is the place where they decide what is cool and we all buy it up. It is the original "emporium": everything from music to perfume to limited edition trainers. Be schooled here. 213 Rue St Honore

We bought a museum pass and if you really want to see some art I highly recommend it. Like it said in our guidebook, you either have a museum pass or you wait in line! And with 60 sites to visit, if you only feel like seeing the Mona Lisa and then escaping the throngs of tourists - you don't really feel bad because you didn't pay full price...

My 5 favourite sites in far! Maybe not the "insider's view" of Paris but if you are first timer like me, you have got to see these...

1. The Louvre...maddening crowds...worth it for a peak at Mona Lisa's smile
2. Centre George Pompidou...modern style
3. Sacre beautiful, perched above Montmartre
4. The Eiffel Tower...nothing like seeing it up close
5. Champs Elysee...not so much for the gap, nike and adidas...but for the grand boulevard, flanked by the arc de triomphe and the tuileries gardens

Next, on to Provence!

A bientot,
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