June 21, 2017

Lay of the land

It’s freak’n hot!

Did I say, “I’m tired of the rain and the green?” It’s unseasonably hot in Paris. That aside, I made plans to check out the uber-trendy concept store Colette per my son’s request. The walk took me longer than expected. Did I mention it’s hot out? Needing to stop several times en route to sit in the shade for a few water breaks.

So what’s all the fuss about Colette? Apparently, Balenciaga will take over the store this summer with a unique art installation, including limited edition pieces in the men’s and women’s collections, exclusively for Colette. I ventured inside, not knowing what to expect. I wasn’t the only one to hear about this collaboration. There were a lot of cool T’s, sneakers and hats (I know my son is cringing at my lack of description); honestly, I wasn’t sure what to make of it, perhaps lost on me? I’ll need him to walk me through it when he arrives.

But! I noticed a small boutique, La Collection Privee Christian Dior, across the street. The private collection has been around for a couple of years (new to me), but they’ve introduced a handful of new scents for spring/summer 2017. Sakura (cherry blossom) caught my eye, and voila! I’m in love!

I’ve been a Chanel girl for over 30 years (purchasing my first bottle of Cristalle in 1985 in Cannes). Can I cheat on Chanel with Dior? Is this possible? Sakura is an extraordinary fragrance and is only available in this Paris location. I love it when it doesn’t hit the masses, it deserves to be unique, and it will definitely be on my shopping list before I head home. I didn’t even ask how much, but I’m sure it’s in the budget!

DIOR Collection privée boutique

I finished my sniffing and decided to go home; so thirsty, I’d been out and about for hours and still didn’t need to use the loo. As I made my way back to my apartment, I stumbled upon the Hotel Plaza Athenee (having another “Carrie” moment). If the hotel name doesn’t ring any bells, it’s where Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw stayed with her luver Alexsandr Petrovsky, aka Mikhail Baryshnikov (did we think she would end up with him?)

Well, it had to be done. I was drawn to the gorgeous patio at Plaza Athenee. I decided a cool refreshment was in order, not to mention my feet were exhausted. I’m seated near the misters, spraying full force; soooo refreshing. But, holy shit! 26 euros for an Aperol Spritz?

I scan the terrace; a group of loud businessmen are seated beside me. I listen in; they’re here for a Jet convention. Is that even a thing? One fellow said he sold 6 787’s to the Egyptians, could have sold more, blah, blah, blah!

I just paid stupid money for a spritzer, and I wasn’t going to get up and leave just because these yahoos don’t have any manners. Geez, so annoying!

L’avant Comptoir

I finally make it home, now trying to decide what to do for dinner. I stayed in last night, so I opted to go out—glancing at my list of must-try restaurant choices, á la Anthony Bourdain (don’t you love him?). I wanted something fun, different and inexpensive (since I blew the budget today on a spritzer).

L’avant Comptoir it is! It’s in a great location, on the fringe of St Germain, and less formal than its big sister, La Comptoir. I was pleasantly surprised by the delicious French-style tapas.—definitely nothing ordinary about this place. With fun illustrations of each menu item hanging from the ceiling, you better have your glasses on, but no worries, the friendly staff are super helpful with excellent recommendations. By the way, this is a standing-room-only, and wine is the only beverage of choice, which is fine by me!

While standing at the bar, I met a small group of Harvard law students and a comedian someday soon. We ordered different plates to share, as you do with tapas. It was a great dinner out, enjoyed with friendly people, which makes up for the overpriced spritzer and the loudmouthed yahoos from earlier today.

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