Monday, May 18, 2009

Thank god for the weekends

And thank god for the sun. This morning I woke up to blue skies for the first time in 10 days. It really makes a difference.

That, and a weekend that was everything I needed: equal parts recharging at home and enjoying the city.

It started with a jog on Saturday morning. Actually, the jog was thwarted by a trip to H&M to try on bathing suits. This was not good for two reasons. 1) I was supposed to be exercising. I can’t really afford to skip a workout right now. And 2) ugh, trying on bathing suits?! Is there anything crueler? It wasn’t exactly a boost for my body image.

But it was good because I need a new suit for my two upcoming beach holidays and I’ve been putting off shopping for one. Even though I didn’t find a winner, I tried. Plus, it altered my morning in a positive way, setting me down the path of unexpected explorations and healthy eating.

In addition to Shakespeare and Company, I discovered the original Eric Kayser in the fifth arrondisement—but I only went in to inhale. Owning to my pledge to a weekend of healthy eating, I didn’t purchase anything. Ditto at the most adorable patisserie on the Ile Saint-Louis with the most beautiful rows of the most beautiful cakes in the window, and ditto at the boulangerie with the most delicious looking focaccia that I’ve laid eyes on in France. But I did go to the farmer’s market, where I bought all kinds of salad fixings. (Oh, how nice it is to eat a tomato with actual flavor!)

Then it was onto my hair appointment. Needless to say, I was anxious about this, my first haircut in Paris. What if I couldn’t communicate with my stylist? What if I walked out with lopsided bangs, nicked ears or an afro? Unwarranted nerves, they were—the salon and stylist were great. And the salon has a sister spa right across the street so I had my brows shaped to boot.

Feeling a un peu plus jolie, despite the intermittent rain showers (10 days straight, I tell you!), I journeyed over to the 10th and 11th arrondisements for no other reason than to explore and then back to the Marais, where I finally visited the coolest new store in town, Merci. A combination of Corso Como, Barneys and a Paris flea market, it’s lofty space chockablock with clothes, books, art, housewares, furniture and flowers—simultaneously inspiring because everything is so cool and depressing because you can’t have a nice big loft like that to live in.

After a little more wandering, my feet were hurting so I hopped on a Velib to the eighth arrondisement. Saturday night was La Nuit des Musées, where all the museums are free and open until midnight. It was about 7 when I pedaled up the Grand Palais for the Andy Warhol exhibit—and about 7:01 when I turned around after seeing the crazy line to get in. I just wasn’t going to do it.

But I stuck it out in line at L’Orangerie. When the girls were in town, we went here and discovered the most amazing artist: Didier Paquignon. He was definitely worth waiting in line for 45 minutes. Sated with activity, art and salad, I went home, read and slept for over nine hours. Yesss!

Sunday involved beaucoup studying, which included a great two-hour conversational session with Let Them Talk, a conversational group I found on craigslist. We met at a nearby café, and I was in a group that consisted of another American, an East Indian, an Australian and a Parisian who moderated. It was the perfect level for me - I understood about 85% - and it was really nice to speak French in a relaxed setting and to laugh and commiserate about how freakin’ frustrating it can be living in a foreign country.

And the perfect finale to the weekend? I managed to find a little memory on my laptop to download a new season of Top Chef. Now that is living.


  1. This should help with your bathing suit dilemma...

  2. brilliant! but sacrilegious! no way!

  3. read about merci today and was going to email you - LOVE catching up on what you've been up to. miss you!