Although the plane ride is comparable in time to the flight from New York to LA, when I land in Paris, I feel transported to a completely different world where old a new collide in almost every facet of life. Many of the streets are still made of cobblestone, restaurants are packed with patrons still feasting on lunch at 4pm and fashion is absolutely everywhere. Below I highlighted some of my favorite “things to do” from this past trip . . . I have too much to say on Parisian style, so will save that for my next post!
1. The Grand Palais oftentimes features fantastic exhibits. Through February, they have an exhibit PicassoMania which is a must see. This is not to be confused to be exhibit of Picasso’s greatest works, because that it is not. Rather, it is an exhibit that shoes PIcasso’s evolution as an artist and the ubiquitous impact he has had on the contemporary art world. Picasso’s emblematic work is put alongside those of Hockney, Johns, Lichtenstein, Kippenberger, Koons… etc. in a way reminiscent to how arranged work in his own studio (you’ll notice in my photos a collage of paintings packed together to make up a full wall). The exhibit was short, whimsical, and perfect for a late afternoon activity.
2. Musee d’Orsay is one of the most beautiful Impressionist museums in the world. Housed in a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900 and featuring the greatest Impressionist artists including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir…etc.) The station itself is a sight worth seeing equipped with six story ceilings filled with intricate woodwork a massive glass clock that looks out from the highest point over the entire city
3. Monsieur Bleu is a restaurant and bar located in the Palais de Tokyo with one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower. Ditch the stuffy, classical French restaurant and spend a night at this trendy brasserie for delicious food, beautiful people, and impressive “art-deco decor”. Although I knew I was limited in my time in France, I chose to eat the Miso Black Cod (which is an Asian inspired dish) off the menu and it was truly sensational and came with one of the best tasting Jasmine rice bowls I have ever had. If you are looking for some added fun, head over on a Wednesday, Friday or Sunday night where a DJ posts up as guests are finishing dinner. Although there is no DJ or dancing on on the other nights of the week, there is an amazing terrace to enjoy drinks on every other night when the weather permits.
4. Brasserie Lipp, opened in the 1880s, defines French brasserie style lunch. With patrons oftentimes filling the entryway at all hours of the day smoking cigarettes and sipping on wine, the restaurant is still furnished like an 1880s brasserie with dark wooden walls fitted with mirrors and white, pristine table clothes. The staff mean business – and are shuffling around the restaurant and buzzing in and out of the huge revolving door the way traders swarm a stock exchange. Anyone who knows me, knows that french fries are my absolute favorite food – and I must admit, these are now at the top of my list for the best I’ve ever had. We ordered the sole, (how Parisian?) which was perfectly soaked in butter and browned along the crevices. Prominently sitting on Boulevard Saint Germain, this is the perfect place to grab a – somewhat quick – bite in the midst of shopping.
5. Le Bar du Plaza Athénée is the spot to go for a late night drink. Although drinks are very pricey here – I will admit – the relaxed, lounge atmosphere with the cities hottest DJs is a style I have yet to see in New York (if anyone knows of anything similar in the city, please let me know!!). It is a small room fitted with lush couches and stools where beautifully dressed people gather around different tables laughing and enjoying drinks. The room is never too crowded, making it easy to have conversations with both the people you came with and people you just met. The DJ booth is approachable – I’m guilty of walking up to the DJ a few times to ask what song was playing 🙂 and the servers are incredibly attentive. The bar is impressively designed, but there is no need to wait long for a drink as it is always filled just to the right capacity. There is no chaos here are everyone is lounging around, simply listening to great music and having a good time.