Friday, August 8, 2008

p.s. i launched a new blog today . . .

take a look.
(fashion for the masses . . . of men.)

BUSTED: l'eclaireur, hermes, and the lure of paris retail -

oooooooooo k.

this does not look good.
but i can explain.

paris is a city where you can't resist.
whether you stumble into the doors of hermes or l'eclaireur,
it's a city that treats shopping almost like a visit to a gallery
as much as a retail transaction.

every window seems to not so much promise product,

and that makes a world of difference.

every experience
treats you as a customer,
not a consumer.

and there is a difference.

their signage is viewed as an art form.
even when they are closed and under construction, they respect you:

of course,
the product is pretty divine.

and it's a city where you can use that word,
and not feel like an idiot.

you learn tricks though,
on how to multiply your purchasing impact.

cause once the gates open,
it's a little impossible to go home
empty handed.

justification done.

go back about your business.

the doors of paris: a visual musing -

Thursday, August 7, 2008

welcome to the marais. too bad you can't stay, FOREVER -

the marais is perhaps the friendliest of all the arrondisements in paris.
why even the sidewalks are polite:

so on our last day, tim and i fueled up early, and walked the oldest area of the city,
where style and culture clash and re-form on a daily basis:

every where we turned, people were greeting us,
or smiling,
or, at times,
kissing us:

we returned to the places des vosges,
where the chocolatier in chicago got their name inspiration,
were i have drawn inspiration for settings,
where we have purchased winter coats and eaten frites:

it has hidden courtyards OFF it's own courtyard.
so perfect.
so "home".

even modernity gets it's due in the marais:

and i "prayed" a little at the temple of l'eclaireur . . .

'cause you gotta bring back souvenirs!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

la tour eiffel from the seine, and an artichoke the size of your head -

begin day three at the pont neuf,
(the "new bridge", named so when built because it was the first bridge in paris to be built from stone, and the first to not allow shops or homes to be built ON the bridge)
and catch one of the,
tourist boats to see the city from the seine:

ok, yes, i was skeptical.

but i very quickly gave in.
the city continually stuns you,
even more so as you hear it's history,
each bridge with a tale to tell (each is unique, and idea instituted in chicago as well)

like the fact that notre dame took over two hundred years to build.
these days it's hard to get people to make a decision and stick to it for a month,
and they stuck to a church build for two centuries.

finding your favorite woman's name, floating by:

learning that the eiffel tower is repainted, completely, every two years,
or that it was only meant to be up for twenty years, then taken down,
or that it is the only structure to get the legion of honor,
for its' role in defending the city in the war.

or seeing the smallest house in paris,
where both and lived:

back on land, we stumbled into a cafe:

and ate the biggest artichokes we had ever seen:

the lure of the tuileries, the call of stone and bronze in the gardens of paris -

from lunch, we walked the rue de bac,
and the antiques galleries of the left bank:

tim and i crossed the seine, and found ourselves wandering the tuileries,
the grand gardens that lead to the louvre:

the statuary of the grounds are amazing,
all styles, all periods, bronzes that muscled their way to your attention,
begging to be touched
or admired,
or at times, even feared:

front to back, back to front:

the great i.m. pei designed glass pyramids of the louvre's central courtyard
are always a fond touchpoint for us.
for years we would have thanksgiving brunch,
just the two of us,
at the cafe marly, overlooking this glass landmark:

and, as was becoming a habit,
the sun broke through,
just in time to meet lauren and hollis at a cafe in the late afternoon: