I ♥ PARIS – Wandering the Streets of Paris with Kassy
This is the first in a series of rants on the visual delights of Paris as it heads into the “chaleur” of summer. Kassy Hayden reports from the streets on what there is to see, and be seen in….
Aah, Paris – the city of lights but also of shadows. It is a seductive place where anything feels possible, and is.
As it heads into summer, the hordes of tourists are beginning to descend but there are enough Parisians still in town to really inform my research into what makes French design so, well, French.
I am here purely on a sight-seeing expedition – and by that I mean, I will wander around aimlessly for a couple of weeks with my eyes wide open, taking in the eccentric beauty of this celebrated city.
The presentation of all things ‘design’ is quite unexpected in Paris. At first sight, it seems the old order reigns supreme. But look closer and you will find the new enclosed by the old. The architecture is dominated by traditional forms but housed within these exquisitely-preserved old buildings are some really unique design havens. Visit the quartiers Champs-Elysées, Fauborg Saint-Honoré, and Marais to view acres of these stores lined up side by side. It is heaven for the seasoned shopper.
Clutch onto your wallet if you’re heading this way because you’ll leak money at an alarming rate if you’re not careful. But hey, it’s Paris, and being disciplined probably isn’t the catch-cry of this town.
Case in point. I went out for dinner with a friend and practically got force-fed. He couldn’t understand the concept of stopping eating when you are full. ‘You are not French yet,’ he said. ‘You’ll have to learn to ignore being full and just keep eating.’ Hmm, I am yet to remain convinced. But, having just scoffed a croissant aux amandes, salad, salmon, three espressos, and a box of raspberries, I can hardly claim to bat for the disciplined side. Delicious.
The more I eat, see, touch and hear, the more my hunger grows to really be part of this wonderfully paradoxical city.
What will tomorrow bring?
Illustration and title image crafted by Hanna Lee