Friday, December 4, 2015

Paris Bound

Paris Las Vegas
Paris Las Vegas, Oct 2009

I was going to share my travel plans sooner...But I am going to the real Paris during the Christmas season at the end of the month. My very first trip out of the country of life with my passport I got this year. I'll be staying in 16th arr, deliberately to be just steps away from my wholly grail Baccarat Museum. But it seems they have since opened a 2nd flagship/museum. On my list to check out is Paris Mosque (it has been on my bucket list for many years now), Rick Owens, I'm (not) sorry to say my Dior Homme or YSL of days gone by no longer has appeal, and the obligatory Louvre.

And ahh I have so much to do, still have airport/hotel transportation to book, directions to map out (b/c won't have use of my cell/data network), Euros to order, French to brush up on, and figuring out what the heck I'm going to wear! On top of managing my everyday sht, I've had barely anytime to think about Paris! Oh and with Holiday sale season, I may have to settle for leche vitrine in Paris because I'm buying clothes to wear in Paris. ...Real problems I know.

The one thing that makes me the most nervous is the reputation?? for pick pockets especially in metro...something I don't worry about in NYC for example.

So please feel free to hit me up with tips, tricks, suggestions, insight, meet ups, etc...
And is Rick Owens walking distance from the Louvre?
Would sunglasses in the "winter" be a big no-no?
and many other inane questions...


  1. Dear, dear P, I am so excited for you!

    You will have the most amazing time. I know the Mosque only for their tea salon, and it's...magnificent. A place of such beauty with soothing tea. And the Louvre! Before you wear out your feet there, do make sure to tour the Tuileries, as it's as equally inspiring.

    Tips! First off, I wouldn't worry about Metro pickpockets. If you're fine in NYC, you're fine in Paris. It doesn't hurt to be more careful around places like the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame, but I've never truly given such things a thought in all my times there.

    Sunglasses! Wear them in December, especially along the Seine and in the big gardens. One must protect one's eyes!

    If you mean the Rick Owens in the Palais Royal, that's a skip and a hop from the Louvre. A stunning setting in its own right. Then I suggest walking from there to the Place Vendôme via rue Saint-Honoré to look at all the stunning jewelry, then carrying on to the Madeliene, which breaks my heart inside. After that, pretty much anything in the area is prime material for leche-vitrine activities!

    What else do you want to know? You have my email (and there's always Skype!).

    1. Thank you! Line 1 seems the most convenient to shuttle us to the Louvre and such, but it is the main touristy one.
      What is the Madeliene?

  2. How wonderful for you! I would just make sure to have a couple of really good coats/outerwear, comfortable shoes and a secure bag which all applies for any major city. Generally if you don't look too touristy and walk like you know where you're going even though it's not a fast pace, you won't attract the wrong kind of attention. I never worried about pick pockets. However, since the very recent events, security is extra tight so it may not be the easiest time to visit in that respect. Bon voyage!

    1. I haven't found a coat I like that would be warm but not be ridiculous in the tropic winter, so I'm bringing my Margiela/H&M jacket and layer sweater and tank/tee underneath. I remember being in NYC in the 50s w/o a coat and I survived.

  3. Will you see the Louis Vuitton exhibition at the Grand Palais? It's wonderful!

    I haven't had trouble with pickpockets but they tend to frequent lines I'm not normally on (line 1 for instance). Now there are so many soldiers on every metro line that pickpockets will have trouble conducting business. I feel like it's the safest time to go thanks to the extra security, plus the Eiffel Tower and Louvre have been completely empty lately... no lines!

    One thing with the security is that guards will make you take off your coat and various layers, if they think you have too many. And with the new vigipirate regulations you can't carry a very big bag into most public places.

    1. Thanks Ariana, I saw your post on LV, I will have to see if its near where I'll be. Thank you for the feedback on the subway.

  4. Have a fantastic time, I'm so excited for you! I've been longing to go back since I visited almost 15 years ago. I don't know if things have changed much in terms of pick-pocketing, but when I went, we were targeted 4 times in the 3 days we were there. I actually got kicked by a child because I (and oddly, very calmly) told my mom she was being pick-pocketed when I saw him reach into her purse - her reaction: looked down, and said 'oh!' and just placed her hand over top of her bag; the boy kicked me. Another incident was on the metro when 2 men actually held my dad's foot down pretending to lose something in his shoe, while trying to grab his bags and throw him off balance; I actually felt bad because they definitely targeted the wrong man - my dad's always on high alert and the second he felt someone try to grab his bags, he just clamped down on them under his arms and stood solid and didn't budge (looking back, it was actually pretty funny haha). When they didn't succeed, they got off the train and actually looked back at us and shrugged their shoulders and grinned, and ran off.. it was an interesting experience. Don't wear backpacks, and keep cross-bodies in front of you, and definitely keep everything zipped as there were ppl roaming in and out of train cars; mostly kids. Again, this was 10+ years ago so I hope it has improved! Have an amazing, amazing time!!!

  5. Great news to know that you'll be in town! The 16th is a quiet area. A lot of good tips have already been shared and can only confirm that pickpockets are famously settled on line 1, especially around champs-élysées but between the holidays and the attacks, police presence must be dissuasive. Let me know if you'd like to meet, I should be in town at the time you're visiting.

  6. how wonderful!!! i wish you safe travels and an amazing trip, which i am sure it will be. Paris is always spectacular during the holiday season. on pickpockets, i would echo others that in many ways it is like other big cities- keep your wits about you and you will be fine. do not talk to strangers - yes it sounds like advice your mother would give - but often, someone will ask you for directions, offer to help you, ask you if you lost something (like a gold ring... sort of famous scam esp around Tuilieres), even help you buy a metro ticket... this is generally a distraction or the beginning of a small con. personally i am not a huge fan of the metro, i like to walk walk walk in Paris, and on rare occasion when the distance is too great and/or time is short, a cab, to me, is worth it.
    i love the madeleine area and FSH for shopping - around madeleine there is Saint James, a branch of Laduree, and not far off is FSH is Eric Bompard, Chanel, Hermes. as you walk to Opera there are the Grand Magasins (Galeries Lafayette is always lovely if a bit of a mad house during the holidays). for the museums, i would go at opening so your have the least crowds and can enjoy the art; it stops being fun when you feel hot and jostled. there are many museums, but i would focus on d'Orsay and Louvre as a first pass. and in terms of other sites, the Notre Dame is nice but I like St Chapelle (very near, more elaborate stained glass) better and it was recently restored. well, i am probably stating all the obvious things, don't know if it's helpful. if you want specific restaurant recommendations, let me know.

    1. thank you! I will take any/all recommendations you got!

  7. Hope you have a FANTASTIC time H!!!

  8. I hope this was a wonderful trip! It's been four years since my last visit, but I really and truly love Paris <3 I hope you'll share some stories about your visit!

    Not to perpetuate worry about pickpockets, but a friend of mine lost his wallet on the metro ride from the airport to the hotel in 2011 - and this was his third or fourth visit to Paris for work. It can happen at any time, even if you are an experienced traveler.
    The real aggravation was having to cancel American credit cards from a foreign country, while jet-lagged.

    For that matter, I always keep careful tabs on my wallet and keys, here in Atlanta.


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