If you ever had preconceived notions about Paris – whether it’s the culture in itself, the people and their behaviors, or how you believe you will fall in love over there – I’m sure something has crossed your mind about the city of lights. After my journey to Paris, my personal witnesses has kept some perceptions true and added more definition to what it’s really like in Par-ee. I wouldn’t call myself a French connoisseur just yet, but studying the style before hand and staying there for 7 days with tons of exploration, has widened my eyes on this beautiful town. From the fine arts to the cuisines to the Parisian residents, I want to share my experience with you loves.
(pictured above: top: Cafe Moilien at the Louvre, bottom: Paperboy Paris)
If you’ve ever been to Paris or plan to go, don’t ever worry about finding a place to eat as there are cafes galore! I personally did my research on some spots I wanted to check out such as HolyBelly cafe, Paperboy Paris, and Aux deus Amis, but once I touched down, I became completely overwhelmed with the eatery options. I tried to remain focused, but when you’re working with a limited international data plan, some unexpected stops at unexpected cafes were very necessary. They usually offer free wifi and have outlets to charge your phone, so that’s pretty sweet. So I just sipped my rose, and enjoyed the scenery.
Eating out in Paris can get pretty pricey each day, especially if you’re traveling alone. My typical lunch meals including a specialty non-alcoholic drink I didn’t really need, averaged 21 euros before tip. Maybe that’s not bad to you, but it really adds up. Now ask me if after experiencing the food, was it worth it? Oui! Like my fish plate above from Paperboy Paris was absolutely delicious. It was accompanied by a homemade ginger lemonade that costs about 3.50 euros. My side of potatoes were 2 euros.
For cheap eats, you can always grab a crepe (if you’re into those), a falafel from Les Marais (THE BEST), or those street food vendors aren’t too bad either.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to experience much fine dining. I planned to treat myself to a bomb dinner that was French cuisine, but that never happened. Instead, I went to a place called VietThai in Place D’talie on my last night, which was pretty tasty. So next time, I will certainly try some more food spots.
The french style is effortlessly relaxed-chic. I can easily say that comfort is key for the Parisians. Not necessarily the shabby comfort, but more like they’ve thrown on a great shapely coat and the coolest sneakers for a walk around town. I don’t know how it happened so quickly, but i developed this habit of watching the shoes/sneakers in Paris. For some reason, men and women love adidas (specifically all types of Stan Smith editions, even the kids) and of course Nike. They balance a good mix of flossy and casual. For example, I saw a girl get on the train with a deep, chocolate brown fur hooded cape. It was extremely luxurious, but then she dressed it down with charcoal skinnies, black chunky booties, and a flawless yet messy ponytail. Her makeup was gorgeous and skin was perfect. I was screaming on the inside of how dope she looked, especially over that coat.
And what they say about the frenchies and their scarves is absolutely true. From older ladies to the more artsy types, scarves in all lengths and styles were over the place. The art of styling their scarves is nothing short of fabulous. Their accessories like military style caps, and wide brim hats were spotted and vintage top-handle purses were pretty cute as well. They wear cool drapey ponchos and layering coats for warmth and style. Another thing I noticed was the woman and their pretty-colored manicures.
My perception of French Style: I thought I would see plenty of stripes, fancy heels (which I did see some) and berets. Haha..kind of kidding here, but actually i saw a few berets. The stereotypical idea of what Parisians dress like is partially true. The picture above is a beret on sale at the Kooples (a staple store in Paris).
You’ve probably heard “French people are rude!,” as I have too. But let me clear this up (at least from my reality), the French take pride in their country, especially parisians. They are on the move and want to be in their own world. Some don’t say excuse me because they are just too focused to notice you, or maybe they just think you should move without them asking..ha! I don’t know the answer to that one. I didn’t really let that bother me. I actually think the Parisians are quite charming and friendly. They are helpful even if they don’t speak much English. They’ve helped me with directions, with saying things in French, and even with taking my pictures a few times. They seem jubilee and and care free. I’ve also noticed the children are very adorable. They were always happy and smiling and I can tell their parents were the reason for that. So I guess in essence, this really is the city of love. The smooching and hugs were everywhere I turned and the hand holding was very present on the streets. At times, I was a bit jealous because a single girl yearns for romance like they do in Paris. All in all, it made me smile to see how they interact with each other.
Parisians don’t really seem to be consumed with their phone like Americans. Honestly, I didn’t see too many iPhones over there. They are typically reading a book or novel while commuting to their destination. After having conversations with some of them, they are very socially aware about the world issues, specifically what’s going on with minorities in our country. They seemed really passionate about it. I was really impressed with this.
Another thing I perceived about Parisians were their abundance of smoking. And boy do they smoke! The city caters to the smokers so much, that each restaurant/cafe has heated lamps outside for the outside seating and when you walk by, its mainly 80% of the guests outside and 20% inside. Wow.
If you remember anything from your history classes, then you have to be knowledgable on how old this city is. From the Notre Dame to the Louvre Museum, these buildings and architecture date back to the 12th century. I visited over 10 historical buildings, churches, and museums. I was so amazed by the detail in every place.
Paris is also known for their beautiful bridges and gardens. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to check out many gardens but the selfie above is from the Jardin Des Tuileries which is now apart of the Louvre. I explored the many of the arrondissements and neighborhoods such as Les Marais, Bastille, Chatelet, and more by train and a small cruise around the city. I even got to see where Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI were beheaded. Oh my! My favorite memories from the culture there, was the Roman and African art, the huge cathedrals, old cobble stone streets, and the musical talent on the subways.
(Beaute Congo 1926-2015 at the Fondation Cartier museum)
There is literally art everywhere in France. It doesn’t matter what type of art you are into, you will find it right up under your nose. From the large art galleries like the Musee D’orsay and the Musee d’Art Moderne to the smaller ones like Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, all of them provide great exhibitions with powerful messages. I did a collage of some of the photos I’ve taken over my days in Paris. I also went to the FIAC exhibits and Andy Warhol exhibit but didn’t get to get inside due to the time. (I was pretty bummed about that) Honestly, most of my time and funds went to art exhibitions and museums. It was well worth my time.
The Pleasantries x Desserts
Everywhere you turn, there’s the most beautiful flower or pastry shop. I don’t think i have to say this, but Paris is well known for their delicious desserts. Not only are they quite tasty, they are pretty to look at. I kept being tempted to stop at each one I ran pass. My favorites are the macarons, the mini eclairs and the tarts. I stopped by the infamous Laduree for a box of macarons and they were GONE within a few hours. It’s a shame how decadent they are!
So here is my rundown of my trip and the experiences I had in Paris. Hope you enjoyed and sorry for the looongg post. Stay tuned for some more style posts this week. (top image via) (all images in this post are by moi)
Thanks for stopping by lovelies!