Galeries Lafayette is sitting pretty for the festive season. The main store is covered with lit motives on the outside, and it’s looking very Orient to me, both in the styling and also the colours. Sorry though it’s not particularly obvious here. The lighting comes and goes in gradient so trying to catch the whole scene is not easy. As you can see, the “hem” is already dimming and the effect moving its way up.
However, if you start checking out the display windows of this grand magasin, the theme is a lot more rock’n’roll! String puppets in nearly all of them, jamming to some pretty rad tunes – totally capturing the imagination of kids and adults alike but sadly eluded mine. I’ve been expecting something elegant and bespoke (perhaps I’m reminiscing Brown Thomas’ windows in Dublin) and little dolls with crazy head bobbing to a tune is just not quite my thing.
Walking around Paris can bring you to unexpected local areas. I discover this view of Montmartre purely by chance when Alex and I yesteday walked too far along rue St Anne following our late lunch while en route to Jacques Genin. Introducing rue Lafitte in the 9th arrondissement and view number 3 of 36 views of Montmartre.
In the foreground, if you look carefully, you’ll see the Notre Dame de Lorette. Its style is a tad like the Madeline, in neoclassical form. I have yet to visit the interior though. Yesterday’s weather was simply too nice to be suck indoor. We were walking randomly to get acquainted so I now have more ideas of where I can bring my camera to in the next few weeks for photo of the day ;)
Yay, my first opera in Paris!
When I was young, I had this impression that opera are meant for some old and rich couples who don’t know what to do with their free time. That was until I gave it a go at the Arena di Verona. I saw Aida that fateful summer evening, and I was hooked. Since then, I’ve returned to Arena di Verona a few more times as well as watching operas in Dublin and in Vienna. I’ve seen many of the most popular operas.
Most operas in Paris are nowadays shown at Opéra Bastille; Palais Garnier is more commonly used for ballet performances instead. However, Anne and I found out that Mozart’s last opera – The Clemence of Titus – would be performed here instead, and given the reasonable price that we could find, we snagged two seats for tonight. The arias were well sung, the location opulent and indulgent, the set carefully altered at each scene, and the orchestra played beautifully indeed. It was a very good night out.
There will never a short supply of French pastries in this city but for a change every now and again, foreign(-inspired) pastries are much welcomed too. I, for one, could not resist the durian macaron from Pâtisserie de Choisy, or matcha and azuki bean cake from Sadaharu Aoki. Today, I discovered Russian-accented French pastries.
Café Pouchkine can be found at the ground floor of Le Printemps. The cafe may be small – bar/counter seating for about 10 people? – but the pastry selection is solid and they pack quite a flavour in them too. Only two pastry varieties were tested today, so I will be back to check out some others. Hopefully soon.
The food challenge continues and this evening I even managed to round up a few partners-in-crime for a spot of Brazilian food in the northern neighbourhood of Notre Dame de Lorette. It was fun to have a girls’ night out like this, chit-chatting over dinner, and for some, a lot of giggling after the potent cocktails they served – you know who you are ;)
We were also mildly amused with the decor within. A whole lot of thongs hanging from the ceiling – not string underwear thongs but flip-flops thongs, painted murals, bedazzled figures, multi-coloured disco-lights in toilet, carneval footage on (silent) tv screen. And of course, a whole lot of photos of people we don’t know all over the walls. Un peu bordélique…
I do not belong in the world of glittering richesse such as that inhabited by the regular clienteles of Galeries Lafayette. I feel gauche (despite being on Rive Droite for a change) and it was all I can do not to wince each time I see the price tag of the lovely things they sell in this grand magasin. Clad in nondescript pair of jeans and ballerina flats without fancy designers labels on anything that I own (ok, one exception, my bag, which I technically – ahem, assumed possession – from my aunt), all it took was one look to determine that I am the interloper within the elegant establishment (the bag is hopelessly out of season).
Just look at the glass dome adorned by metal frames here – isn’t it fabulous? Inspired by the styles of Byzantine and Art Nouveau, many have come near and afar to admire this lavish dome – it is quite a landmark in its own right. Up at the terrace of the building, one may also have a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate while taking in the view of Paris. Decadent? Bien sûr! It’s their middle name afterall. ;)
Mission: apartment furnishing
Location: household stores
Partner in crime: “Seurann”
I’m devoting my first weekend to a spot of shopping. More precisely, household stuff. Little things to make me feel more at home. First stop of the day was Lafayette Maison, where everything was out of my budget but so pretty to look at. Perhaps another shop then.
As we approached rue St Lazare, across the road, there it was, Église de la Sainte-Trinité. Nestled in the 9th arrondissement, the bright golden clocks on all side of its bell tower are eye-catching and certainly not a sight commonly seen as part of church exterior. I’ll have to add this to the list of churches I’d like to visit. It’s certainly growing fairly rapidly in this city!