Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Urban Jungle

I've been basically living in concrete cities for the past 4 months without much repose, and now I don't even notice the lack of wide, grassy, Texas-like plains. Paris does have some beautiful little inner courtyards and gardens that make you feel like there is some "yard space" if you will...

On a sunny day, I stumbled upon this sleepy street that is full of them. It also houses some "Bains", which were the public bath houses back in the day. So cool!

Then there was this little flash of "Nature's Revenge".

Paris has a reputation of being a somewhat gray and somber city, which can certainly be true. I always get a pick-me-up from soft-glowing electrically lit signs, or warm light that's shed from flats in the early evenings.

I loved this restaurant: "Fountain of Jade". Yesssss.

And every now and then you catch some pink clouds, illuminated by the sunset.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Well, I'm roasting a chicken right now,

so the flat smells like garlic and onions and rosemary and reminds me of home. It's a lazy Sunday morning - puttering around, cooking, doing a bit of work, and FINALLY posting a new blog entry. This week has been all over the place, but now I've got a moment to sit and post!
Yesterday I went to Trocadéro to check out an exposition on colors and the body. It was basically an expo that explored tattoos, piercings, clothing, tanning, make-up... anything that had to do with putting color on the body in some form. It was pretty cool, and I think that the layout of the expo was the best part:
A white tent, completely black inside, with glowing white bodies, each with one colored arm. There was lots of glowing neon in the room, and I was diggin' it!

Then some very cool pics from the Nivea's contribution:

Trocadéro is such an impressive space as well. This was my first time visiting the plaza, and of course I was blown away by the views of Paris and the Eiffel Tower! There are also some fun little temporary sculptures:

What I loved even more about the plaza, though, was the use of the space. There are skateboarders, rollerbladers, breakdancers, tourists, men selling key chains, crazy kids doing this:

It sort of reminded me of the MACBA in Barcelona. Wide open pavilions are just begging skateboarders, BMXers, and rollerbladers to come out and play.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I had plans to go to the Catacomb Museum yesterday, but I ended up wandering around Montmartre, continuing my job hunt, and then stumbling upon a flea market at Abesses:

It was amazing! Booths full of knick-knacks, books, fur coats, vintage shoes, old stock of buttons and ribbon... anything and everything you can imagine! It was a perfect day for a treasure hunt in the plaza - sunny, clear, not too cold. I decided to do a little digging, and found a few goodies:

Some not-so-typical fingerless gloves. It's getting cold here, so they're going to come in handy!

This flinstone-inspired bakelite necklace.

This amazing vest from the 1920's, complete with yellowed stains on the back. I was going to pass it up, so I picked up a friend and we headed to dinner. Then we passed by the stall as the woman was packing up, and she cut me a deal. I couldn't resist.

And a purple diamond-esque ashtray that I'm using to store jewelry in.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Autumn in Paris... these past few days have been sunny and crisp, burnt orange and russet red.
Jardins Luxembourg:

The Tuileries:

The evenings are often drizzly, but I don't mind. Grey, rainy days and nights just make electrically-lit signs stand out that much more. This vintage shop, aka "cavern" may not have an electric sign, but the clothes spilling out onto the street definitely grabbed my attention. It's become one of my favorite haunts as of late:

And a pic of Paris ce soir:

I went to a tiny little jazz club and danced in a cramped room, then walked home and couldn't help but snap a picture of the night. It's one I want to remember!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quoi de neuf?

I spent Saturday at the Luxembourg Gardens here in Paris. They're absolutely beautiful, and I took lots of pics but am too lazy to upload them at the moment. Sunday was a lazy day with nothing exciting to report. And then, there was Monday (yesterday). which ended with another chance encounter, this time while exiting the Metro. As I was walking up the stairs, I caught sight of someone who I met during my little Paris vacay in August, Otman. On my last vacation day here, I was sitting in a park and whining with my travel buddy about not wanting to leave Paris. Two bums in the distance got into some drunken fight, and were slurring in completely incomprehensible French. When one got his cane out, a guy sitting near the bums got up and headed toward my travel buddy and me. He sat near us and started randomly chit-chatting, then somehow ended up giving me a hand massage and telling me that I was dehydrated and that I had lower back problems (all information that he gained from the hand massage). So, um, the massage ended with him popping my back 3 times. He was, like, 16 inches shorter than me, but got behind me and did that back-pop thing where you pick someone up and shake them. 3 TIMES. I was dying, dying, dying with laughter the entire time.
Anywhooo I ran into him again yesterday. Small world. He was really excited and decided to take a picture of us with his camera phone, on the metro stairs...? It kind of made my night.

And one totally unrelated pic to make this blog entry less blah:

RICK OWENS (photo courtesy of Love him, love him.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ma chambre

I thought I'd give everyone a peek of my room here in Paris. I haven't done anything spectacular with it, as this has been my 5th apartment move in 3 months and I don't have the energy to go crazy with it quite yet. Either way, I've covered the walls in things that inspire me, so... yeah.

I picked up these old astronomy guides at an antique book market right before I left Barcelona. I'm kind of obsessed with stars and waning moons, so I was pretty excited about finding (especially after digging through piles of dusty, random papers).

Some posters that I got off the streets of Barcelona, and some cheap-y, sorta cheesy Paris posters. I'm embarassed to admit that I dig 'em, but I do. My jewels hanging nearby!

Retro pics of family, my hats, and some fash mag pics.

My Grace Kelly paper doll. She makes me happy 'cuz she is workin' that pose and those outfits. I'm going to rhinestone them on some rainy day.

On another note, my latest rainy day project (it's not that impressive)

I sewed this crazy little rabbit onto an H&M tunic/top. I picked this appliqué up in Lisbon, and have been dying to sew it onto something and rock the Bugs Bunny cuteness. I think I'll wear this top tomorrow so he can make his debut.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chance encounters

This week has been full of ups and downs, high highs and low lows. I had a bad case of the Mondays for the first half of the day, then met up with a new French friend and had a really good night. Tuesday was a kind of normal day - French classes, errands, yoga. Wednesday began with a 3 hour ordeal at a French bank as I attempted to open an account and was followed by a doctor's appointment at a pretty shady clinic. On my way home from the clinic, I was feeling spent... emotionally spent.

As I walking, I eyed a window display of vintage watches and decided to take a peek, tired of always checking my phone for the time. Once I got into this little shop (it was literally the size of a small bathroom), I realized that it was full of all kinds of vintage goodies - charms, brooches, necklaces, rings, you name it. The man who owned the shop, Samson, started chatting with me, asking where I was from, etc. Then he told me that he is a Romani from Romania, and that he WALKED to Paris with his 2-year old son on his back 20 years ago. There was a revolution, his wife was murdered, so he put his son on his shoulders and walked to Paris. Now, he owns this little shop where he makes his own jewelry, repairs luxury watches, and replaces stones in vintage jewelry. He basically told me that he understands how hard living in Paris can be - the language, the culture, etc, and that his home is my home. He made me sit down on a chair and recount my time here and tell him about my problems! Customers were coming in and out of this cramped little shop and I was tearily telling this Romanian guy my issues. It was great.

I ended up picking out a watch and a necklace that is one of Samson's creations. THEN, he gave me FOR FREE another watch, 2 Christian Dior brooches, a giant Kenzo charm, and a random charm. He cleaned all of the jewelry with Hermes perfume, which I thought was badass!
Some pics...

a random charm that he let me pick out. I loved this drooping cat - that was me on Monday.

my new crazy CD brooches! They're giant. I can't wait to play around with them.

The Kenzo charm,

the watches that started it all,

and Samson's creation.

I definitely got heaped with blessings on Wednesday. I came home, did some yoga, met a friend for drinks in Le Marais (all decked out in my new necklace and watch), and came home with a strong urge to revisit Rick Owens' and Ann Demeulemeester's ready-to-wear shows of yore. I'll have to do a post with all the pics that I dug up!

Friday, October 3, 2008


I haven't blog in a while. Just been trying to settle in and figure things out... Anywhoooooo I have lots to tell! First of all, I am in love with Paris, vraiment. This move has admittedly not been as easy as I had expected, and the transition hasn't been as natural as I assumed it would be. Even so, I feel like I "fit" here in Paris, and I am so excited to be here.
In some ways, Paris is just as I expected - crisp, noir, somber, serious, big - and I'm beginning to pick up on other aspects. The urban fabric is unravelling... café culture, whimsical design details, a reallly noir palette, and moody skies.
And the fashion, of course. French style is makin' me crazy with jealousy! I'm trying to break it down and figure it out. A few key things that I'm picking up on are: monochromatic palettes with pops of colour, unexpected shapes (in pants, jackets, tops, EVERYTHING), minimal accessorizing, and oversized bags. They're crazy about fur vests right now, as well as low-crotched pants and booties.
Blah blah, some pics:

p.s. Just to make everyone jealous, I met a French actor today (eek!) - the doctor in 2 Days in Paris, and I saw one of the actresses from the film on the street yesterday! 2 Days in Paris is seriously one of my favorite films, so I'm kind of on Cloud 9 at the moment.