I know, I know. This time around, I've only seen the tip of the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe not at all, or Place de la Concorde or...name just about any other famous Paris monument. So why did we make a pilgrimage to one of my favourite stores?
Last year, around this time of year actually, we were in Paris. I was researching a story on a shop called "Merci." If I'm doing a story on it, I don't blog about it because, to my way of thinking, that's not really ethical, putting it all out there when someone is paying you for exclusivity.
Anyhoo, Merci is the brainchild of a couple who made a fortune in children's clothing. Long story short, they took over an old wallpaper factory, did it up with great panache and élan and give the profits to kids' charities. Nice.
A transportation strike notwithstanding (although we saw no evidence of it at all) we Metro-ed over to somewhere near Boulevard Beaumarchais, and wandered into the courtyard that's Merci's entrance. A small scarlet car (Fiat? Can't remember) overflowed with flowers last time we were there. This time around, it was furniture from Egypt made, as far as I could see, from split bamboo.
Other things that caught my eye: a vintage Chanel dress (there's a rack of incredibly luscious, very rigorously curated, fashion), an endearing little cupboard faux-painted and distressed to within an inch of its life, a patchwork-covered armchair, and sundry other sundries. The whole place is full of designer moments. Best of all is a Great Wall of Second-hand Books where I found a novel I'd been looking for, for two euros. Come to think of it, all we seem to have bought this week is books.