Sometimes friends will email me and ask for advice on what to do with a long layover in Paris. Or better yet, some friends will deliberately schedule a long layover, just to get a « Paris fix » (it’s like a drug you know)! If it were me, I would certainly schedule a long layover, but I live here so I am lucky to have Paris in my life very day…even the bad days.
Merci to Lucy Miller for the fabulous graphic!
But I am a big fan of fun 24 hour layovers in order to get a glimpse of a city or see a friend, so I have teamed up with CitizenM hotel to bring you the best of Prête-Moi Paris in a 24 hour plan of indulgence in all things Parisian.
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FIVE WEEKS. Five long weeks with a resin made « ball and chain » stretching from the start of my toes to just below my knee. Misery, you would think. And yes while it was cumbersome, and the novelty got old really fast, I like to look on the bright side and have decided to reflect on the perks of wearing a cast in Paris. Call it a version of project optimism…
- People give up their seat on the bus for you. If you are a commuter in Paris, (or in any large metropolis for that matter, you know how coveted seats are. Well a cast guarantees you that someone will get off their derrière and let you pose yours. #WIN!
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Last September, yes I know, nearly a year ago (I’m a bad blogger) in 2013, I was invited to the hotel opening for the new Sofitel Arc de Triomphe in the 8th district of Paris. And this past June I went to a press presentation of the newly renovated Mercure Montmartre in the 18th.
I thought it would be interesting to compare the two hotel openings and how they went about promoting their hotel.
What’s funny about the Sofitel opening is, I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal, just a visit of some rooms and maybe a glass of champagne. Boy was I wrong! I arrived to a swinging party stuffed full of Paris socialites and celebrities. About 800 people were invited to this party. Press people and fashion people. It was aparantly THE event to be at in September 2013.
So when I headed over to the Mercure Montmartre opening in June 2014, I was expecting a party. There was no party. It was a press presentation, and a very organized one at that! We were assigned a group with a few « guides » who brought us through a tour of the hotel, explaining the services and ideas behind the new design and decoration. I have to say, it was rather tedious, especially in the beginning, and we were not offered any refreshment of any sort before or during the tour. Read more →
Parisians may grumble about them, but then tourists grumble about Parisians, so it’s only fair! But I’ll let you in on a little secret… Paris loves its tourists! Really??? you ask? Well, it’s only because they bring an enourmous amount of business to a country that is leaning more and more towards a services industry. Besides luxury, tourism is one of France’s big resources. +70% of the active populatin works in the service industry, which includes everything related to tourism. And Paris, being the most visited city in the world, really needs to open up its heart to tourists. We need them.
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I just wanted to post a quick little « billet » as we say in French, to share and spread the amour. My fellow blogger Nathalie of The Parisienne was featered the other day in L’Express Styles and she was so generous to reference Prête-Moi Paris as one of her go-to blogs of Paris. I felt honored to be mentioned amongst just a few others, while there are so very many wonderful bloggers out there that love to pay hommage to this city that we love so much.
I love when people love Paris without hesitation. (This doesn’t mean they must love everything, because loving Paris also means accepting her with her unpleasant sides too even if we complain about them).
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The Paris love-locks… I know, I know. We have all discussed, photographed and blogged the death out of these little objects… They have a turbulent existence it would seem… All these declarations of passion, desire and commitment have become cumbersome to the city of Paris, but no one wants to discard them.
In a recent article in the Marianne magazine (a leftist French publication) there was an article about these locks and the weight they pull (and place) in the very heart of the city of lights, the city of love.
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Spring keeps teasing us here in Paris. We’ll get a really brilliant sunny day in between several cold and gray ones. It’s almost like you can hear a communal « Aaaaaaah! » throughout Pairs when the random gorgeous day glitters down upon us. and then a disappointed chorus of « Boooooo. » when we wake up the next day and see the drizzle or feel the chill. It was a couple Sundays ago, I think we all returned to work on Monday with a light pinkish hue on our fresh faces. Just about all of Paris was out lounging along the river banks of the Seine. I even ran into Sylvia of Finding Noon.
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Le Clan Des Jules
We found this fantastic little place on rue Brochant in the 17th. It has everything you would want on a cold dreary winter evening when you go out for dinner : warm colored décor, interesting and appetizing menu, friendly service, good wine, and a fun theme to the whole thing!
So the theme is a sort of tongue-in-cheek way of saying it’s a mob owned restaurant. It isn’t, that’s just the theme. From the vintage items strategically placed around the restaurant, to the 1920’s mobster machine gun racked up on the wall, to the bullet casings lined up on one of the shleves; even one of the menu items played into the theme : on the dessert menu the last choice was « Rien, le parrain m’attend 0€ » (Nothing, the godfather is waiting for me 0€).
We were set in a cozy corner, and although when we got there were only the second table to fill, in about 30 minutes there was not a single table empty… (all French people, no tourists) and it was a week night! Thank goodness we reserved. I highly suggested doing the same if you want to head there for a meal.
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Again out on an evening stroll along the Seine, I once more found myself armed with my camera, and free to capture as many shots as my greedy eyes so desired. I have said it before, and I’ll repeat myself over and over, Paris is beautiful during the day (especially when the sun is going at full blast), but NOTHING beats Paris at night. A special glow falls upon her just after the sunset.
I frame all my shots, and take them WITHOUT a tripod. I don’t even edit them, except for a tiny bit of cropping occasionally if my framing is a tad off, but that’s it. I like to keep my images pretty « au naturel » and not doctor them up with a lot of image editing. (Plus that’s time consuming), so I take great care in each shot, I do a lot of breath holding to keep my camera from jiggling when I press the trigger, and I use the functions on my camera do add or subtract light.
Taking pictures (although I do NOT claim to be that good) and my subject (Paris) are two of my favorite things, and when I put them together, I feel giddy with delight. I hope you like them… Read more →
Paris Fashion Week AW14
Post by Paul Waters
It’s a Monday evening and I am standing in line at the Icram center a space more commonly used for music and performing arts, it also forms part of the Centre Pompidou complex. For those of you who don’t know the Centre Pompidou is a very controversial building in Paris that houses and hosts modern art and exhibitions on a yearly basis. It seems a very unlikely venue for a fashion show with its cold white walls, concrete floors and industrial feel. But there I stand clutching my ticket to Luis Buchinho’s show being slowly led by the crowds into the foyer of just such a building. The room is buzzing with excitement fashion lovers appear to be adorned with their most, craziest yet stylish of outfits. Jewels and sequins, textures and colors seem to set the cold room on fire when a set of doors swing open and we are led down into the depths of Paris. Read more →