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Archive for the ‘Life in general’ Category

l’Etat libre d’orange— that’s the name of the boutique in my building, just 5 floors below my apartment.  I don’t know why, but before today, I never ventured inside, though my interest was definitely piqued by the poster on the window advertising a perfume called Fat Electrician.  I knew right away that this was no ordinary parfumerie.

fat electrician

fat electrician by l'etat libre d'orange

Today i finally decided to check it out and see what the store had to offer besides semi-offensive stereotype scents (i was hoping Fat Electrician didn’t really smell like a, you know, fat electrician).  Once inside, I felt like I was in a modern seductress’ boudoir– black laquered bookshelves containing books of all sexual fantasies, replete with pictures of course, magenta pink ottomans and light jazzy samba music in the background with a suggestive, sweet scent in the air.  now i know that it was no accident the proprietors chose to house their wares at 69 rue des archives. 😉

The lovely salesgirl explained to me that l’etat libre d’orange is made up of independent creators of perfumes who wanted to let their imaginations run wild.  They didn’t want to be harnessed by societal conventions and expectations, as evidenced simply by the names with which they’ve christened their perfumes.  In addition to Fat Electrician, there’s also Putain des Palaces

putain des palaces

putain des palaces- that keyhole looks suspiciously like something else...

(hotel slut), Je suis un homme (i’m a man), and probably the most suggestive of them all, Secretions Magnifiques (magnificent secretions…yes, you read right.)  Obviously, this is not exactly the type of perfume you would get your grandma, unless of course, she’s the cool, hip grandma-type.  The type that wouldn’t take offense to a perfume called Don’t get me wrong baby, I don’t swallow, for example.  Personally, I think my favorite is Putain des Palaces.  It’s a feminine scent with hints of rose, violet, amber, ginger, and rice powder, among other things.

So the next time someone tells me that I smell good and asks me what I’m wearing, I’m pretty sure they’ll never expect to hear, “Hotel Slut, actually” as my reply.  And I’ll just simply smile and walk away, leaving them in a state of olefactory confusion. 🙂

If you want to read more about it, check out their website (sorry anglophones, it’s in french): http://www.etatlibredorange.com

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geez i’m really terrible at blogging. i started this with the intention of writing at the very least, once/week, and i can’t even do that! merde!  mais non, i’m dancing to the beat of my own drum, and there is no official blog schedule, is there? not like this is a newspaper or magazine…but i digress.  for this post i’ve decided to put up a few pictures i’ve randomly taken around paris.

la sorbonne

during one beautiful autumn night, a crowd gathers in front of place de la sorbonne.

the next one is of a couple checking out one of my favorite views of paris.

la belle paris

ooh la la, que bonita paris!

i was walking around my neighborhood and decided to sit and just chill out at place vosges, a quaint little park in the marais.  the next bench over, this guy was so engrossed in his book he didn’t even notice me taking pictures of him with my giant camera 😛

stolen moments

stolen moments of solitude

next is my neighbor from across the street. i was looking out the window one day and noticed his cute little car and just had to take a picture.

vroom vroom

i wonder how old this car is...so cute!

anyhoo, last night carlos and i went to go see the christmas windows at galeries lafayette and au printemps–sooo adorable! i took tons of pix, so will be posting them soon..promise!  til then, bisous!

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So there’s this fad in Paris called a ‘Concept’ store, which I think is pretty cool. It’s basically a store that sells a smorgasbord of goodies~ from clothing, to furniture, housewares, books, etc. from a mix of different brands that cater to specific sets of clientele. It’s like a one-stop shop for the modern, savvy, life-of-lux customer, a Wal-Mart of sorts for the rich and avantgarde.

merci, a charitable concept store

merci, a charitable concept store

Anyhoo, I finally went to check out one such place called Merci, conveniently located in my arrondissement.  The proprietors of Merci are also the ones behind the high-end children’s clothing brand, Bonpoint, except with Merci, they’ve decided to go charity instead of monetary.  All the brands represented at Merci have ceded their profit margin, and a good percentage of the sales go towards various charities.

Shopping for a cause~ what a lovely idea!

i want this couch!

if i could only make one purchase at merci, it would be this oh-so-comfortable couch. Love the color too!

painter's corner

don't know if i would wear floral landscape jeans, but props to the artist for a cool concept.

There was an ‘artists’ corner’ where the landscape on the canvas was also painted onto some jeans, and a really neat-looking chandelier.

chic chandelier

chic chandelier

All in all, merci was a fun concept store, i’m definitely diggin’ the idea.  for a list of concept stores around the world,  check out this blog: http://slowretailen.wordpress.com/concept-stores/

’til next time!

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AAAAAgggrrhhhhh~~~!  Is October really almost over?!  Jeez!  I’ve been such a bad blogger this month, neglecting to update or write- so sorry!  I have no excuses other than that I started French classes with the Sorbonne a few weeks ago, which has been a welcome addition to my day.  Re-living the student life isn’t so bad at all 😛

Anyhoo, I guess I should do a bit of a recap of this month.  The first Saturday of October was La Nuit Blanche, literally translated as “Sleepless Night”.  It was a concept dreamed up and first executed in 2002, as a way to celebrate art and ‘bringing it within everyone’s reach’.  From 7 pm-dawn, Parisians swarm the streets in an all-out, all-nighter celebration.  Everything from museums to art galleries and shops are open later, and most events and exhibitions are free.

An awesome capture of some of the gang. Carlos looks so sinister! In the background, Hotel de Ville.

An awesome capture of some of the gang. Carlos looks so sinister! In the background, Hotel de Ville.

It sounds really cool, doesn’t it, art for everyone?  Well, cool in concept, not cool when it takes you an hour to walk what usually takes 20 min. because the sidewalks are so crowded you can barely move.  Way not cool when you see passed-out, drunken teenagers sprawled across the pavement, with their faces inches away from their own vomit, or empty beer cans/bottles still in hand.  And where were their friends, you ask? Off to continue celebrating, or staring dumbly down at them unable to react or move.  **Sigh**

Anyhoo, we decided to see the main exhibit this year, which was the giant, suspended-from-a-crane disco ball in the middle of Luxembourg Gardens.  It was supposedly the largest (suspended) ball in the world, so we thought, why not go see it?  We like big balls, don’t we? 😛

crowded

And the cost of seeing this giant disco ball up-close and personal?  More than an hour of waiting in line.  Non, merci.  So instead, I attempted to take a picture of the big ball with my camera aloft, suspended over people’s heads.  I managed a decent, but not great shot..owell.

there wasn't even music~!

there wasn't even music~!

To sum up, La Nuit Blanche means over a million people out in the streets like it’s New Year’s Eve, except the big ball doesn’t include a countdown, or a new year.

What can I say, the French have their own way of doing things sometimes…

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Oh, how i love Autumn. It’s by far my favorite time of the year, when all the leaves change into fiery reds, oranges and yellows, and the air is crisp, making you want to put on cozy sweaters and woolly scarves.  parisautumnFirst full day of Autumn in Paris. (23-09-09)

And with my favorite season also comes my favorite fashion styles. For example, this season, my favorite shoe style is the bootie.  I used to think I couldn’t pull it off, but then I bought a pair, then a second, and I realized, heeeey! I look good in these! hahaha 😛

But I digress. The other day, one of my best friends linked me to a famous blog, http://www.seaofshoes.com, where this 17 yr.old girl showcases her collection of to-die-for shoes. I have no idea where she gets the money to buy them considering the average price of a pair will set you back around$800, but needless to say I’m way jealous.  And so, because I don’t have the wallet or the gumption to buy all the shoes I wish I could, for now I’ll just ogle them from afar.  A sampling of my faves this season:

Prada slingbacksAlexanderMcQueen

Dior

Louboutins

L-R, T-B: Prada, Alexander McQueen, Dior, Louboutins.

Oxford clunkers are also popping up all over the place.  My fave is this Lanvin one:

Lanvins

Such a beautiful, conservative-meets-funky look.     (all shoe pix courtesy of bergdorfgoodman.com, the most dangerous website ever created)

** Sigh**  Ok, so enough day-dreaming about shoes, especially considering the fact that there’s no room in the closet for any more, and I left like 80% of my shoes back in the US. LOL.

Anyhoo, I also finally took the opportunity to walk around Paris and take some pix. Will definitely post a few later, but for now, must get to cleaning the apt!

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so far i’ve discovered my vices in paris are not much different from those in nyc, except for maybe nutella.

top 5 things i can’t live without, in do-0r-die order:

1. nutella– this yummy hazelnut chocolate spread was first introduced into my life in 7th grade french class. we’ve had an on-again off-again love affair ever since, and now i’m afraid it’s nearing obsession.

2. starbucks– when i studied here in fall ’04, there were exactlystarbucks1 4 starbucks in all of paris, and i had been to all of them. thanks to globalization, there are now too many to count.

3. my laptop– do i really need to explain this one?

4. burt’s bees chapstick– every time i put it on, carlos thinks i’m chewing some minty fresh gum, and my lips are saying thank you. thanks for saving my lips from chappiness, burt.

5. colbie caillat– i discovered her when i was still in the throes of myspace, and saw her in concert twice before she came out with her first record and became insta-famous.  i just love her sunny tunes, raspy voice, and sweet love longs. a little bit of california sunshine in the heart of paris.

a few of my favorite things

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Here goes…

birdy sunriseSo I’ve had it on my mind to start a blog for quite some time now, but the thought always seemed rather daunting.  Now that I’ve moved to Paris and have some free time, I finally braved it. And so here goes…

My first week in Paris was a bit surprising. Maybe it was due to the jetlag, or maybe I finally found myself in the right time zone, but during that first week, I somehow became a morning person. Yes, me.  I found myself waking up at 6, 7, 8 o’clock in the morning, and much as I tried to go back to sleep I couldn’t.  So one such morning, I used the beautiful new camera that my mom gave me as a farewell present, and took a picture of the sunrise (see pic above), and even captured the ‘early bird’ that was up with me.  I’ve always been a fan of sunsets, but there’s something about being awake to welcome the sun that’s also quite special. Here’s another view…

Ahhh, *collective sigh*.  Not bad for the first couple shots on my DSLR, right?

Anyhoo, the other surprising thing that happened the first week was that I actually found myself homesick.  Surprising because there I was, finally making the move that’s been years in the making, and yet I was missing NYC something terrible.  I thought the minute I landed in Paris and smelled that French air I would be in bliss.  I never anticipated feeling such a loss; then I realized that in finally living my dream, I had to leave New York and all of its lovely, kooky, snazzy, stylish inhabitants behind.  Friends and family included.

It’s safe to say I felt mixed emotions during the first few days I was here, but now, little by little, sunrise by sunset, I’m getting used to my new life here.  And I have to say, it ain’t bad at all.

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