Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Impressions

First impressions are always so important. My first few moments in Paris set the stage for a week (well, 5 days ) of continual amazement. I kept exclaiming 'Everything is just so perfect, like a postcard!' and I meant it. I arrived from the airport at 8am to the local RER stop near our first hotel in St. Germain Des Pres, St Michel Notre Dame. I came up the subway station to be greeted by none other than Notre Dame, hence the name I guess -but it was so unexpected! I took the first picture of this post within seconds of my arrival! The other half of the RER stop name comes from St. Michel - the name of the boulevard it's located on. This amazing fountain is located right at the stop - Fountain St. Michel. Can I have asked for a more beautiful arrival point?
Just an amazing fountain! Love those pink marble columns.
I started off down the road along the Seine towards our hotel. This impressive building is on the Ile de La Cite (the official center of Paris, where Notre Dame lies), the Palais de Justice. Funny story from our trip - the Palais de Justice was incredibly huge and impressive and we passed it numerous times each day. Every time Heather would forget and ask 'whats that place?' (sorry Heather, it was too cute not to share!).I was surprised by the scale of the city right off -much smaller than anticipated: human scale. Such a comfortable city and easy to walk around. After living in DC for years, I've grown accustomed to LARGE rivers, but the Seine, at least in this location, is practically a scenic canal.While most of central Paris is very neoclassical, thanks to age and Haussmann, I fell in love with the juxtopositions of the scarce modern with the classical (not a surprise coming from me, right?). Many of these grand buildings along the Seine retain their classical shell but then surprise you with a very modern penthouse apartment on the top. Imagine the views!A classical door surround, again taken within moments of arriving, featuring caryatids. Notice how the building seems balanced but is not symmetrical! I didn't notice this at first!Lastly, I'll leave you with this beautiful old mansion nestled along the Seine. I have to say, St. Germain Des Pres was our favorite neighborhood in the city and you can see why!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's all in the details

I'm suffering from jetlag, but wanted to leave you with some amazing shots of a public bathroom behind Notre Dame. This small little building is built of boring concrete but the details of its construction are amazing. Faux Bois! isn't it intriguing?
Even the roof 'shingles' are concrete (not cement, which is an ingredient IN concrete) and the artisans took great care to create realistic wood graining and details. Little treasures like this are what make Paris so special! Stay tuned!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Maison et objet

I can't believe our trip is nearly over, but we have definitely had a very full trip that I can't wait to share with you in the upcoming weeks!
Today we visited the fabulous maison et objet trade show of products for buyers and press. It was so incredibly huge and we only saw a tiny portion of the offerings over hours! I'm sure a lot of the new items will be seen soon on the pages of our favorite magazines. Heather and I will be showcasing some of our favorite vendors soon (hopefully with a minimum of overlap, although our tastes Are surprisingly similar).
My favorite French store, flamant, was represented with a huge booth. Hopefully they cross the Atlantic very soon!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fabulous Paris!!

Heather and I are having so much fun! One thing I love is that the French support their own. By that I mean everything you see is made in France: glasses, hardware, furniture, etc. A lesson we Americans could strive towards!! So much to share when we are back!! Au revoir!