Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Merci Shop, Paris

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I’m a dreamer; my mind is always wandering of to far off places I’d rather be… sundrenched fields of wild flowers and breezy huts shaded by mango trees. Sometimes I’d wish myself back to the memorable places I’ve loved, and moments when I’ve felt truly content.

I took a short trip to Portland this past weekend, a long scenic train ride that didn’t feel long at all.
I brought my laptop along, finally ready to tackle photos from my vacation last year – and unearthed these photos of our final day browsing the enchanting Merci store and stealing a quick breakfast at the Used Book café.

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Processing these pictures on the train amidst the spectacular landscapes of Pacific Northwest made for such a perfect moment – almost as if I was in two of my favourite places at once, and at that instant there was no need to dream.

I’d heard and read many good things about Merci and I knew I’d like it even before I set foot there.

From the café, we ate hot delicate scones slathered with thick smooth echire butter, and zesty fromage blanc with nuts and honey. And lots of café au lait

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And then we lingered, as one would in a store that carries a little bit of their favorite things, all delightful and covetable – understated and stylish clothes, functional and elegant furnishings and household wares, and dreamy eclectic products that you didn’t even know you needed.

You could wander here and never tire, the displays are beautiful, alluring, they change with the season; artsy and cultural with a dash of whimsy – Ideal for browsing and garnering design inspiration even if priced a little out of range.

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And the staff; attentive and informed, with all sorts of tips – from cute gift ideas to suggestions to check out a chic optical store on rue de Turenne.

The store is a little bit like the city it inhabits, cozy, original and conceptually stimulating.

The Fiat 500 at the entrance is adorable, a theme of minimalist elegance and cheeriness carries throughout the store.

There’s also a unique philanthropy facet to this already awesome store, profits are used to ‘finance acts of human development’

~Hope you enjoy the pictures…

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Merci Shop, Paris
111 boulevard Beaumarchais
75003 Paris

Click through for more photos!

An Apartment in Le Marais

An Apartment in Le Marais

In the few years that I’ve been visiting Paris, I’ve always stayed in apartments; all of them in Le Marais…

There was the tiny ‘apartment’ with huge windows overlooking Rue des Lombards, its cobblestone streets always packed with revellers – it was a busy and noisy area but I loved it!

In a charming courtyard on a quieter part of Rue de Turenne was the bright duplex furnished with vintage suitcases.

We stayed on Rue de Jarente last year, in a quaint old ivy-covered building inside an adorable cobblestone and garden courtyard

An Apartment in Le Marais

We left things too late and almost didn’t get our Le Marais apartment this year, but our friend L. came through for us at the last minute… otherwise, this post would have been about a quaint studio on the Left Bank in the 7th with views of the Eiffel Tower and Champs de Mars – which I guess wouldn’t have been a bad thing, but I prefer ‘the marsh’.

I love Le Marais; it feels very much like my neighbourhood now, I know where to get good bread (Au Petit Versailles Du Marais), a nearby place with fallafel so incredible it’s perhaps the best in Paris, and it’s open till midnight – La’s du Fallafel (except for Saturdays and Jewish holidays).
And, I just found a vegan restaurant (Le Potager du Marais).

This year, we also discovered The Broken Arm for great coffee, and the popular Marche Les Enfant Rouges is always great for lunch in the neighbourhood (try the Morracan food stall).

An Apartment in Le Marais An Apartment in Le Marais

Our apartment this time was on a narrow curved street off of Rambuteau, secluded in a quiet open courtyard on the first floor of a stately 16th century building.

The suite had a bright and open layout with large glass doors and windows, cosy and delightfully furnished offering all the comforts and amenities of home.

I loved the colourful and vibrant accents, and how incredibly efficient these small Parisian apartments are.

And with its proximity to all my favourite places, it’s one of the best parts of my vacation and why I keep returning to Le Marais.

But wait, I have more photos!

A Parisian Apartment

Appartement Parisien

In the very few weeks that I briefly get to live my dream of living in Paris, the tiny apartment is the one thing that truly makes me feel Parisian.

Sure, I tirelessly wander markets and flea market stalls, eat amazingly good food, people-watch from outdoor cafés, and visit museums and gardens and everything else in between, but nothing makes me feel more a part of this dazzling city than coming home to a welcoming little apartment and waking up to the sun streaming through the giant windows, or the views from the window while I sip my morning coffee, or running to the boulangerie for bread. It all feels so natural and exceptional.

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Last October, our apartment was tucked deep behind a second courtyard of Renaissance era building in the 4th arrondissements on a narrow Le Marais street.

We stayed in a beautiful little third floor apartment with lots of natural light and ceilings with exposed beams; outside the cobblestoned courtyards were little green gardens and ivy plants creeping up the building and around giant doors and windows.

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And while it felt like a little countryside cottage inside, outside was bustling with activity – the main gates opened on to Place du Marché Sainte Catherine, a delightful pedestrian-only plaza filled with people, greenery, benches and outdoor restaurants.

Also close were wonderful busy Le Marais streets like Rue des Francs Bourgeois, Rue Vielle du Temple and Rue des Rosiers, and just a minute away from Place des Vosges.

On dull rainy days, I daydream longingly about a Parisian apartment, seemingly more perfect than I remember.

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Other Paris Apartment Posts

Scenes From Atop l’Arc de Triomphe

 
Rooftops

My first visit to Paris was a spontaneous day trip from London; I took the Air France bus from Roissy and got off at the Arc de Triomphe without a map, guide, plan or agenda, I had no idea where I was going.

I walked as far as my feet could carry me, taking few breaks in between – it was exciting and freeing, unlike anything I’d done before.
I spent hours strolling and window-shopping along the Champs-Élysées, explored the Grand and Petit Palais, walked along the Seine and discovered the Louvre.

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I walked and walked, crossing awe-inspiring bridges, found beautiful historic monuments and fountains, and grandiose palaces and mansions.

The one thing I wanted to do was see the city from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
By the time I made my way back, I was exhausted and out of time, “next time” I said.

It did take a while, but I climbed up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe… all 284 steps, took in the city, and remembered that very first time in Paris…

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Musée du quai Branly

 
Remember when I said L’Orangerie was my favourite museum in Paris? Well, I may have spoken too hastily.
I probably should have waited and done a few more museums before declaring a favourite. Or better still, why choose.
I fell utterly in love with d’Orsay, but decided it was too easy to love, with its ornate Beaux-Arts architecture, grand collections and its unique location in a converted historic train station.
Then I couldn’t decide between Petit Palais and Palais de Tokyo this year … just so many and I haven’t even scratched the surface.

But Quai Branly is something else. Located in the shadow of the Eiffel tower, this museum dedicated to collections of indigenous art, cultures and civilizations from the non-western world (Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas) still has my heart.
The museum feels cozy, with each piece telling remarkable stories of traditional cultures past and present. It really is exceptional.
The location is outstanding too; the architecture is contemporary, surrounded in lush greenery with winding garden paths, tall glass walls and views of the Eiffel tower, with the Seine close by.

I didn’t get to visit Quai Branly on this trip, but next year I’m looking forward to PhotoQuai and the ‘Nigeria, Arts of the Benue Valley’ exhibition

Quai Branly Courtyard

Wood Paintings
Stone Wedding Chest

Plants

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Carvings Head
Kente Cloth Carvings

Tour Eiffel

Musée du quai Branly
37 Quai Branly
75007 Paris


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