Sure, we all know where to go, when planning a trip to Paris. Sure, it takes a lot longer than a week to take in all the beauty (and to visit all the places) and more than a lifetime to actually get enough of it. But if you’re there for a short period of time, what do you have to do?
On your way to the Eiffel Tower, or when you complete the Louvre, or after the ecstasy from Euro Disney wears off, there are so many things to live through so you can actually feel Paris. The small portion of it, bellow. This turned out to be a long post, so it will probably be only part one.
So are we going to Paris?
1. Do look your best when walking Paris streets. First of all, you have to, and second of all, people look great there in general. Why would anyone want to look anything other than fantastic? And of course, you never know when the birth of the most epic Paris photo of you will happen, so, you know, that’s a must.
2. As a result of no. 1, please Don’t wear sweatpants, flip-flops, or God forbid, socks and sandals when walking in Paris. People will hate you, and they will be right to do so. It’s cringe-worthy and bad for you, especially when there are a million types of wonderful shoes you could wear, and none of them will violate French fashion rules. If you like, make them statement, pink-feathered, drag-queen heels (ooh, I just liked me even more now). Just don’t make them one of those three examples above. The image is small so we don’t all go blind from ew.
3. Do pay attention to no-name stores. Yes, Paris is the Mecca of high fashion and home of Chanel, but even the classiest people know that it’s not so much about how expensive it is, but about how good it is, and how you wear it. Remember the golden hot pants Kylie Minogue wore on ‘Spinning around’? They’re supposed to be this 2-pound bargain she found on the street, and that’s Kylie. If she can do it, then you can, after you leave Galleries Lafayette, and finish emptying H&M and Zara, look a little deeper in the streets and find cute no-name stores that probably have those perfect jeans you were looking for since birth. There are so many of them in Pigalle. There is a Tati store everywhere you turn. Go to Tati for hair bands, nail-polishes, cute things to decorate your house with, underwear, best pajamas ever, everything you could ever imagine and stuff like that. Many people say Tati is low quality. A zebra-print bra I bought there in 2011 says otherwise.
4. Do stop to go around street markets. Last time I went, I was waiting for someone at the Pasteur metro station and there was this small market place where they sold cheese, wine, sweets and pastries. People were wonderful, there was tasting, and there was spending money on every possible macaron flavor. By me. The macaron salesman got me a few ‘on the house’ and kissed my hand. PARIS. So, to sum up, markets are a beautiful and a very Parisian experience.
5. Don’t be afraid of the people talking to you in Pigalle. Yes, they don’t look French, and they’re probably not. By all means, be careful all the time, especially if you’re a girl, especially if you’re good looking (which you probably are), but that’s the advice for everywhere. But people giving you compliments on the street, asking you to join them later that night for some parties probably won’t hurt you in a street full of people. One of the most interesting encounters I had was when I was offered a job as a dancing girl, by a very polite gentleman in front of a club. I told him that I would think about it, and I used it in my book. Highlight from that trip, definitely. And no, I won’t think about it, but my point is, excusing yourself and minding your own beautiful business on your way is the thing to do.
6. While we’re on the Pigalle subject, do go in every sex shop you can find there. You’ll find things that you don’t know what to use for, and things you’ll wonder if you actually need. And there are so many colors, products, and above all – happy faces, you’ll lose track of time. Super fun.
7. Do sit down for coffee. Order crepes while you’re there too. Take in the environment, the people passing by, the sassy waiters, the beautiful people drinking wine around you. Paris is not about running around for sightseeing. It’s about this.
That would be it for now, and do come back for part two 😉 I’ll tell you some other Paris secrets and how to make your relationship with the city perfect.