The great thing about living in a city away from home is that your friends will take a trip to visit you. The past weekend, not only did I host my good friend from university, but my oldest best friend also came for the weekend.
When India arrived on Wednesday night, Anna and I meet with a few friends to try out a Jazz bar in the 5th. We walked through a bar and down the stairs to the cellar where Jazz groups were playing live music. We enjoyed two groups of musicians, sipping our drinks and dancing in our seats, as there was no actual dance floor, but nevertheless the performers were good, especially the young girl at the end who sang and played the guitar to modern songs.
The next day I met India for lunch and headed to a local café, Bar de la Croix Rouge in St Germain. India and I can never decide what we want to eat, so if we see two things on the menu, we order both and share, even though they have different tastes, we couldn’t resist!
Anna met us and we walked along La Seine in the direction of the Marais. The Marais is one of my favourite areas in Paris. It has vintage shops, cafés and is filled of young Parisians and not many tourists, except on Sundays, as most shops in that area stay open. One of the shops we went into was a Kilo Shop, which you can find around Paris, but this one was the biggest I’ve been to yet. Whatever you want to buy, at the counter, the items are weighed and you pay the price for their weight. A great concept as you can end up buying a vintage silk shirt for a small price.
Dinner was at Loup on Rue de Louvre with the girls, the first time we were all together since India came to Paris, so it was really a lovely, girly evening. The menu was too appealing which made us all indecisive on what to order. I choose the lamb, which turned out to have a rich sauce, so next time I might go with my first instinct and get the burrata salad. A trendy restaurant, with modern art Deco and dimmed lighting, empty at first when we arrived, but was filling up by the time I left, I would highly recommend it. Cutting my evening with the girls short, I went to Gare de Nord to meet Paula who was coming from London. I took her to Rue de Buci where we had an overdue gossip.
Brunch is becoming a new thing in Paris and almost every café I have been to, there is a brunch board. I try to find different places to go to each time, but the one that I knew Paula would love was a spot in St Germain called Eggs and Co. The brunch menu is served during the week as well, not like other cafes and is reasonably priced for all the food and drinks you get. As we were only two people we got a table straight away and it had busy non-stop service that Friday morning. I must admit I am not always a fan of coffee, however, their coffee was delicious and the freshly squeezed orange was equally tasty and a perfect accompaniment. Eggs were followed by pancakes and fruit salad, we left satisfied and sure to be going back!
After window-shopping around St Germain, we left the 6th and met Masha by the Yves Saint Laurent Foundation. The Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, opened in 2004. The conservation is of unique heritage of 5,000 garments and 15,000 Haute Couture accessories, as well as more than 50,000 drawings and related objects, rigorously preserved in museum conditions. The organization of exhibitions is dedicated to fashion, painting, photography and decorative arts in the exhibition spaces. We saw Hedi Slimane photography exhibition called Sonic California 2007-2014. It was a collection of photographs taken in different locations of different people, depicting various lifestyles, mostly of celebrities in their most iconic postures. All in black and white, they had a stark contrast between light and dark. Close up shots of musicians with cigarettes or of them performing created a theme of rock and roll, at the same time Hedi Slimane captures detailed emotions and face expressions of his different models.
India then joined us and we went to the modern art museum Palais Tokyo, which in 2012 became one of the largest sites dedicated to contemporary art in Europe. A place of encounter between ourselves and the art of our time, it is “enchanted and violent, transgressiveand poetic, sensual and meditative, large and intimate, public and secret” which one can relax and be enthusiastic, attentive and sharp a place where art works on our feelings and we become part of it.
This was literally the case when Masha and Paula went inside a human cocoon…
Even though I was still satisfied from brunch, the girls wanted to go to an Italian restaurant, so we found one just off my street called Chez Bartolo, which is supposedly the first Napolitano Pizzeria in Paris. Seeing the pizzas from the table next to us, I couldn’t resist the gorgonzola and jambon. Drinks were followed at Emma’s house, where it was mostly full of Erasmus English students, so we created our own party in Emma’s room listening to music and chatting, it was a great way to end a busy and long day.