Burlesque! Among the five things I heart most about my sejour in Paris.
1. Le Cheri Bibi (15 Rue Andrew Del Sarte), a stylish new restaurant in Montmartre, a find that was completely accidental. To explain: I came to Paris fully equipped—with three lists of restaurants from reputable sources. (I don’t enjoy playing restaurant lottery; I plan where to go.) Still, it was late the other night, and we were in Montmartre, the one neighborhood here for which I had no list. We wandered a bit behind Sacré-Coeur, off the tourist track, and there, on one lonely street, we spotted a buzzing restaurant with über-modern decor. After some hemming and hawing by the hostess—we didn’t have a reservation, the place was packed, we’re tourists and this place is a local—we got a great little table. For 19 Euros each, we had two plates: for me, pepper- and coriander-marinated shrimp, followed by a sauced beef dish similar to beef burgundy. For the man friend, a chèvre salad with fresh figs (figs are on every menu here right now), followed by the biggest side of pork I have ever seen, courtesy of an area butcher named Monsieur Aise, who apparently has his own following.
2. Burlesque! We ended up at a show near Pigalle, courtesy of my friend Elisabeth, the lovely Paris-based blogger behind the Paris Fashion Week Blog and La Coquette. The evening was put together by Gentry de Paris, a lingerie designer, and hosted by the quirky French actor Nicolas Ullmann (look him up on MySpace). The whole Champagne-fueled affair was very cool—we met one of the actors from the Julie Delpy movie Two Days in Paris—and very sultry. Well, everybody else was sultry but me. In the post-event dance party, I slipped on one of the bananas that had been thrown during a striptease.
Andy Warhol screen tests, part of a strange, if cool, new exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo.
3. The Third Mind, the new contemporary art exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo. We went on opening night; the whole thing kicks off with a series of screen tests of non-movie actors—Susan Sontag, Nico (from the Velvet Underground), Lou Reed—all filmed by Andy Warhol.
4. Shopping. I have a major crush on these places: the internationally influential lifestyle store Colette on the Rue St.-Honoré, where I got reprimanded for writing down names of designers (photography was strictly prohibited, of course); Paul and Joe Sister, a chain of namesake boutiques by a French designer; the French store A.P.C., where the credit card got a major swipe; and Comptoir des Cotonniers, a French label that is coming to the states next year.
5. The flea market. I bought the most amazing pair of gloves at the Puces de Clignancourt for 15 Euros.