Let it be known that this design aficionado got to Paris for the first time ever this September! Nice to still have firsts.
With the Maison & Objet international home fashion show as impetus I went on a ten day working vacation. I split my days between work and play. To be more exact, let's say I split my time between walking and looking at a trade show and in the city itself. Despite the great French red wine and goat cheese, and high prices, I managed not to add any poundage to me or my luggage, thanks to all the walking I did!
Here are some impressions related to design and a bit about lifestyle. I was glad to be traveling with a like minded colleague and friend, Kitty, who turns out is also a great map reader. Several American friends of hers living in Paris hosted us at their respective flats for wonderful aperitifs and dinner.
Observation #1: The French (and Francophiles) know how to relax, eat and drink leisurely, and converse. I loved seeing fewer laptops at the cafes and parks (but loathed seeing the cell phones on the Metro). Outdoor market vendors take their lunch break in view of customers. Vendors sit down at tables spread with balanced meals including wine and coffee, oblivious to shoppers.
We witnessed the beginning of the strikes to protest the government's plan to raise retirement age to 62. Shorter work weeks, longer vacations, and earlier pensions there tell me how workaholic we Americans can be. Maybe the French have the right idea.
Observation #2: What the Parisian flats lack in square footage they make up for in ceiling height and charm. It's unusual for me to return home from a trip where my Manhattan apartment looks spacious, but so it did.
Observation #3: Shopping, or should I say "sourcing", was great, but purchasing power minimal. I loved the Puces flea markets and magnificent antique shops. The rhythm in window displays were wonderful whether showing off a fine Art Deco jewelry collection or a row of macarons. Pastries, chocolates, and cheeses were all preciously lined up. For me, walking past the aromatic pain was painful to pass up.
Observation #4: It was truly a joy to see so much of what I've been teaching about, up close and personal...the Eiffel Tower, C&S curves, sgabellos, fauteuils, and bergères all in a row.
Here are some of my images. I hope you'll enjoy and forward this Newsletter to potential subscribers (as well as respect intellectual property rights). Please contact me if you have any questions about these images. Merci!