April 28, 2010

My Favorite Paris Boutique: 78 rue Saint Louis en l’Ile

If you’ve ever walked along rue St. Louis en l’Ile, you’ll know that it’s filled with many wonderful shops. Call me a tourist, but I LOVE this street. Heck, I love the whole island. I love that every apartment on it has a view of something really interesting. I love its rich history. I love that it’s one of Paris’ best-kept secrets. I love the uniqueness of the shops, the friendly grocer who always recognized me in my big green coat, the florist with her flowers spilling out onto the trottoir… I could go on and on!

I guess it was when I lived on Ile Saint Louis (ah, I still relish in my ability to make such a claim) that I came upon 78. 78 is a charming little boutique with clothes, scarves, jewelry, and bags that fit any budget. It’s the kind of place that gives you a little tingle inside when you find something cute because you know they could be selling it for a lot more. But they’re not, and you’ve just made away with a super cute find.

They change their inventory quite frequently at 78, so there’s always something new to find there. They have everything from t-shirts to jackets to dresses and blouses, and almost nothing is over 100 . It’s a scaled-down version of all those Marais boutiques that we love but can’t quite afford to shop at. Enjoy!

75004 Paris

April 16, 2010

In Love With the Eiffel Tower? It’s Okay, I Might Be, Too.

I once saw a piece on 60 Minutes or some show like that about a woman who was in love with the Eiffel Tower.  Not the kind of “Ahh, I love the Eiffel Tower!” stuff people throw around freely just because they think it’s pretty. No, the kind of love that would have gotten you teased on the playground at school. You know, the old “if you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” This woman was bona fide in lovewith a 1,063-foot metal structure. Loony, right? Craaaaazy. But to be honest, watching her I really didn’t think she was that weird. I mean, as I figured in my head that everyone else in the room had to be thinking what a nut job she was, I was actually thinking to myself, ‘thank goodness I’m not that bad.’ But I am that bad. Well, almost.
You see, I’ve also seen those same TV spots about the human brain’s reaction when a person sees the person he or she is in love with. There’s actual readable and measurable change in the brain activity that is not present when one is visualizing other people for whom they have no feelings. I’m not going to lie; I think I have that physical reaction when I see the Eiffel Tower. In fact, why stop there? I know I have a physical reaction to the Eiffel Tower, and I also have a change in brain activity – albeit lesser – when I see other sights in Paris. Just the act alone of seeing it does it for me, but it’s always augmented when there’s some element of surprise involved. Seeing the tip of it over a building as I’m walking through the city is fail-proof. Seeing its revolving light take its path atop those famous Parisian roofs always brings that tinge of excitement to my gut.  And of course there’s that moment when I come up from the Trocadéro station and walk past the Palais de Chaillot only to have that spectacular view on it and feel, well, love inside me.

Unfortunately, it seems very few people have ever experienced this love for something else – that is, something other than a human being. As tempted as I am to get all philosophical on you here, I will restrain myself and just offer that, contrary to what some of my closest friends and family believe, I do not love that massive collection of metal and bolts more than I do them. Rather it’s more likely that it serves as a concrete representation of me following my dreams. And I sincerely hope the day never comes that that feeling or reminder does not give me a positive physical reaction.