Started From The Bottom Now My Whole Team Here: Paris: Day 3 Pt.1

October 25, 2013
(I shall split the events of Day 3 into two blog posts, lest it become too protracted an affair. I'm all for virtual escapism, but even so, 100+ photos from one day is a little tedious even for me)

A door India and I liked, somewhere along Boulevard de Magenta (10th arrondissement). A proper 'outfit post' aka 'What My Whole Team Wore' to come. 

Despite calling it an early evening the night before I didn't actually fall asleep until six in the morning. However I refused to let our last day in Paris end with a meek, demure whimper---we were going out with a bang. If I had to be carried to the Eurostar on a stretcher so be it. It was do or die. Go hard or go home.

With great effort, I rolled out of bed at noon and we began the arduous trek (20 minutes by foot) from the apartment to Merci.

But not before being intercepted by two groups of people on a treasure hunt (?) who wanted pictures with us for a task (I hope I was the 'cool rockstar' on their list and not 'overdressed moron'), even mistaking me for a French speaker. Which happens a lot to me in Paris, so few tourists bother to try beginning a conversation in French that when I roll out a smooth 'Bonjouuuur madame' they think I'm an international sophisticate when really I'm only slightly more literate than the obnoxious foreigner who assumes that everybody everywhere is obliged to speak English to them (it's OK in fancy stores, not so OK when you're stopping people on the street). The only other French I can say is 'Parlez-vous Anglais' and 'Je suis sur la guestliste' but I say it so well. I speak little, but I speak it perfectly. 

It was a breezy day, the cobblestones were still glistening with rain and the air had that 'damp laundry' smell which is not unpleasant at all. Despite the French wind trying to steal our hats away, we made it, in one piece to the Merci canteen. Which I stupidly assumed was part of Merci's cafe, you know, the famous one with the ceiling to floor books. Mon dieu. Je suis une moron. *facepalm*

My kiwi and ginger fresh juice was most invigorating.

The healthiest thing I ate in Paris; mozzarella, speck, and fig salad.

We dusted off the crumbs and rolled out of our seats to go shopping, next door at Merci

What else is there to be said about Merci that hasn't already been said? Tres cool, tres magnifique, tres a la mode etc. Baffled? Don't worry, I won't tell. Just think of it as Dover Street Market on steroids but less 'dark and glossy', more 'rustic and upcycled-chic'
What, you don't know what Dover Street Market is? I have no words.

The outlook at Merci is sunny, indeed it was, how can there be storm clouds and darkness in your heart when there are so many things here begging you to spend your money on? 

The famous cafe that I stupidly missed out lack of attention is really astounding, how could I mistake the canteen for this?

A bath with a view, looking out at the courtyard we entered from.

How on earth to the visual merchandisers get to those shelves? *scratches head* Ah, crazy French people.

There were different 'areas' throughout with distinct personalities. The Aesop counter was a miniature apothecary meets science lab (the redhead lady working there is breathtakingly beautiful!)...

...the walls around the MoMA section were covered in Manhattan and Brooklyn motifs...

3D printer...! Someone print me a townhouse in Eaton Square...?

...and the clothing section (a large chunk of the first floor) had Scandinavian design elements (the minimal rails, shelves, logs). The clothes, to me, were French chic meets enfant terrible, very rock & roll, something classic with an unexpected detail. 

Like this hat that I fell in love with but hastily put back on the shelf when I saw the price tag (€700).

The cozy gardening and home decor section downstairs had the most adorable light-filled cafe that opened out to leafy courtyards. How serene to sip coffee while admiring a verdant view through giant windows, just below street level, in a quiet oasis away from footsteps thundering through the city above...

...the effect was so calming that by the time I made it to 'the barn' upstairs I took a nap.

This is my submission to the Turner Prize, I call this piece "The remains of The Rapture" aka "Beam me up, Yeezus".

I don't know what these are but they look like the kind of misshapened clay things that rich hipsters adorn their living rooms with while fantasising about their homes being featured on Apartment Therapy, so I'm including a photo for that demographic. This is for you, guys. 

India picked up a bunch of gifts for friends and herself. After the spending shennanigans of the day before I had to behave myself, so I did that incredibly annoying thing where I unloaded my shopping basket but put everything back in the wrong places. I did however pick up a present for Sroop---who I will now call Sroop Dog---a giant matchbox featuring the kitsch style of Indian art that influences her own work. I picked this design because look, the alligator is her and the elephant is me! Kee hee hee!

We paid up and hit up the mean streets of Le Marais. So dangerous they deface famous works of art. 
I quake, I tremble in my little Isabel Marant booties. *shakes like a (gold) leaf*

Romain suggested that since we were nearby we should check out L'Etat Libre D'Orange (never mind that they have a store in London in my neighbourhood! Of course I didn't know that!) a subversive perfume label with unusually named scents and interesting backstories. 'Rotting corpse' and 'Builders bum (The smile of the plumber)', anyone? 

Each perfume had an elaborate backstory and concept behind it. We were served by a very attentive, very knowledgable young man---I stupidly forgot to ask his name, but you can't miss him, he's got longish hair and a baby face---whose passion in his job was more than evident which made our shopping session all the more enjoyable. I quite happily sank into the stories he told (as well as the sofa, my feet hurt) and was especially wowed by the concept behind the new fragrance 'End Of The World'. Most people are familiar with the image of the apocalypse from the cinema---wide screens, surround sound, and dramatic explosions in a dark theatre---so the perfume smells of popcorn, to evoke the cinema experience that comes with our understanding of what the end of the world looks like. Wow! Very impressed. End Of The World launches in Paris and London on October 31st, Armageddon coinciding with the day the dead walk the earth, how apt! 

Seeing as I quit my smoking ban "because it's Paris! I can't not smoke!" this perfume was probably made for me. 

I know more than a few men I should give this to. Hint; it's usually the ones who boast about how much the ladies love them, how much they love the ladies, how straight they are, how masculine their interests are, how virile they are etc. You get the drift, the ones who have something to prove. Ha. Stick a finger up their butts and they're out of that closet (but back inside by the next day) faster than you can say "Who's your daddy?" #truestory

India bought 'Baby Don't Get Me Wrong' and I booked an Uber to take us to the museums.

Pacing up and down the street I muttered out loud "Where the heck is our car? I don't even know what it is." 
A Porsche Panamera rolled up and India chirped "There it is!" 
I rolled my eyes at her little joke and moaned "I wiiiiish" (all the Mercs and Beemers were getting a bit boring now).
She nodded and pointed at the driver who was already on the other side to open the door "Noooo it really is!"

And this is why I'm moving to Paris. 

I'm joking. No I'm not. 

Might as well get comfortable.

A little too comfortable.

Our driver was awesome and put on his iPod "I have a song I think you may like!" Next thing you know India and I are lip synching to "Blurred Lines" (like the tune, don't like the lyrics or Robin Thicke). When we reached our destination---Jardin Tuileries---we were almost sad to bid him au revoir, he was so much fun. Oh well, comme ci comme ca.

Sadly we couldn't drive up to the doors of Musee L'Orangerie so for the first time since stepping foot in Paris I had to deal with cobblestones in heels. Merde! (Didn't fall over once, so proud of myself)

I could have fallen and eaten gravel but I wouldn't have cared because I was finally going to see Frida Kahlo's paintings in person! My heart was in my throat, and when I stepped into the exhibition with the rooms painted blue and decked with cacti to evoke the Blue House I wanted to cry! Not because it was packed with some very inconsiderate people who'd step right between me and a painting to have a closer look but because, you know, I get emotional when I see my art hero's works in front of me.

'Fridamania'. It's so strange to think that Frida, while she was alive, was in the shadow of her husband Diego Rivera...all the more astonishing that his work isn't any better or even particularly outstanding. He does have a couple of good 

We exited through the gift shop. I left with Frida postcards (I collects postcards from galleries and frame them like prints) and India got a Monet umbrella. It is spectacular. The whole time I was just pointing out Monet souvenirs and reading out their names. "Monet magnets? Monet pens? Monet bookmarks? How about a Monet sticker? Monet mugs? ♬ Monet over everything, Monet over mind ♬ Yo India, Ima be an art dealer, I need more Monet.  It's all about the Monet, I don't think it's funny-oh-oh-oh " before she hit me with her new umbrella to make me stop.

Look, more Monet!

Look, even more Monet! 
It's raining Monet! 
♬ Cash Rules Everything Around Me. C.R.E.A.M. Get the Monet. Dollar, dollar bill y'all. 

A quick sojourn to Angelina to pick some beautiful, delicate pastries for friends (they ended up squashed thanks to Eurostar customs) and we headed back for a power nap just as the sun began to set over Paris...

...when we woke up it was dark (a half hour powernap turned into two hours, does that make it a superpower nap?) and I had missed an appointment but no matter. We were recharged and ready to storm Paris like it was 1848.

Part 2 to come...



  1. I love your blog. You're hilarious

  2. Your posts amuse me so much! Love the photos, j'adore Paris! Love that history of art thing too. Tres cool.

  3. That baby-faced boy at Etat Libre d'Orange is Thomas -- and he's adorable! I'm the Editorial Consultant, and I'm so happy to have discovered this blog.

    1. Bonjour Marilyn! I'm glad you found my little blog!
      Please thank Thomas for me, he was so wonderful and I really enjoyed his explanation & stories about the perfumes!
      Do tell him I said hi!