Bonjour! Today’s Tuesday Random is about a day of my life in my city : Paris, la Ville Lumière. Paris is beautiful like a post card but these past years, Parisians have been complaining a lot about the state of the town : safety issues, dirtier streets and public accommodations, rude taxi drivers and nicer ones, thefts and intimidation stories… Nonetheless, Paris is still a great place to live in…
… provided one has a large social circle. Many of my international friends confirm, it is quite difficult to make friends or have a lasting relationship in Paris. But isn’t it the same in NYC or in Shanghai?
Today, I am having breakfast with two of my besties. Lucky me, I have 4 close friends living in the same block. Close friends has never been defined this way.
We have our habits in the quartier : the roasted chicken, le Poulet Rôti, must be from Fillion, evening drinks must be at Carette, the baguette must be from Béchu, the Paris-Brest from La Pâtisserie des Rêves, and our breakfast rendez-vous are at Le Pain Quotidien. It did not open long ago in our neighborhood, but it is the only place I can indulge in an affordable gluten-free petit déjeuner.
We meet up between 7 and 8 at Le Pain Quotidien. Usually we are expected at work between 9 and 9:30. I am having a lentil soup and an egg, leaving the soldiers out. Aren’t they yummy though…
…especially with the different spreads. Le Pain Quotidien is a Belgium franchise you can find in many countries today. We do not meet every morning for breakfast of course, but when we one to have an intimate chat, breakfast is the best time.
Then let’s head to La Défense. I have been asked once by a British tourist to show him La Défense. Mmm… I guess it must be an interesting place if you do not work there. It is Europe’s largest business district. Having worked in Canary Wharf and at La Défense, I must admit Canary Wharf has a little more flair, though La Défense is improving.
There is a fairly recent addition called the CNIT with better restaurants and shops. La Défense is at its best during the holidays season when one of the biggest christmas fair takes place on the esplanade. During regular week days, La Défense is about getting in the RER – the fast moving subway – whilst hundreds try to push you out from it, then getting onto one of the very few moving staircases that bring you out of the subway station, and then walking in the cold to get into one of those high rise buildings.
Quality of life is far from bad though. There is one of the largest mall near Paris, les 4 Temps; lots of gym facilities, and best of all, some friends working in other companies nearby. It is not hard to find good friends to have lunch with.
On Fridays, we can usually leave our desks earlier and head for TGIF. Yeah! I am joining friends in one of my favorite Costes restaurants : Le Village. It is near Madeleine, on rue Royale, in the village royal…
… there are some luxury shops in the village royal, such a Chanel and Dior…
… and here is Le Village.
After dinner, we headed for some drinks at the Pershing Hall. Why the Pershing Hall? Some may argue it is an expensive place with lots of escort girls. But my friends and I still find it a very beautiful lounge place in our neighborhood.
And good drinks. I had a delicious Bramble cocktail. If I go into a cocktail bar, I will order a Bramble.
I failed to take a picture of the spectacular feature of the Pershing Hall : its wall of climbing ivy. There were many people in the way, and I do not want to invade their space with my lens. Anyway, the Pershing Hall is worth a visit if you are a fan of Andrée Putman’s work.
The second part of the evening, we went for more drinks at Miss Ko on Avenue Georges V.
Though it is the week end, we had quite a full week and expecting a late Saturday ahead. We called it a night at around 2 AM. See you next Tuesday for la suite!