Today is…Thursday? It is so strange to try to keep up with your day there and my day here. As I write this, it’s only 2:00 PM in the afternoon there but it’s 10:00 PM here and I’m understandably tired.
We are in Germany now as I mentioned yesterday (?). Before taking the train here from Paris, I managed to collect two mementos from Paris, a head cold and maybe, I did something awful to my foot. Like, maybe I broke it. No it doesn’t hurt (at all) but it’s many many kinds of ugly. Anyway, Germany is much cleaner than Paris. I know a lot of people are wild about Paris but the smells just become overwhelming. I think a lot of people love Paris because they think they’re supposed to. There’s so many annoying things about it; the frequent strikes over who knows what. Transportation out to both of the trade shows we attended (TexWorld and Premiere Vision) was disrupted by the strike (we never saw any strikers, just no trains). Frankly, it seemed like such a waste to target these two shows specifically. How will that encourage businesses to return next year if they’re already on the fence? If you’re not local, why would you come and endure the hassle? So, does the French transit worker win at the expense of everyone else? Their existing pay, working conditions and benefits are model so it’s beyond me to imagine what they really wanted other than to take a long week off to go fishing. Even the French are frustrated by seemingly random pointless strikes. It’s rumored the new demand will be a 30 hour work week, that the existing 35 hour work week is perceived to be too strenuous for the obviously overly delicate french transit worker. One girl on the train told Eric, “this is Paris, everyone is miserable”. Maybe that’s why we saw so few children. Too much misery, not enough love. Who will care for the elders? It is quite a crisis there.
Anyway, before I went off on the stupidity and questionable utility and efficacy of the transit strike, I was going to mention a few things about Paris. We stayed at this place called The El Dorado Hotel (lousy website, you’ve been warned) in the Place de Clichy district. I’d have no problem recommending this place to you if you’re looking for budget accommodations. Don’t expect the Taj Mahal for 75 euros a night. You can spend less if you get a room with a shared bath. The staff was great, just great. There’s a hostess to greet you in the lobby. She’s a little fattie cat, her name is Pepita. She reminded us of our little fattie, my former shop cat.
The hotel is very quirky, each room is done thematically and decorated with flea market finds. The decor of our room was based on the late 60’s, with circular orange rugs, leather scrap rugs etc. The curtains and bed spread were home made to match in browns and oranges. Our room faced out over the street. The hotel also has a restaurant but we never had anything beyond breakfast (good bread and coffee, not like that Belgian breakfast I declined to mention publicly) there. Also, the hotel says they have Wifi but we never got it to work. The work around is to go next door to the Lush Bar with your computer and buy a beer and they’ll give you access to their connection.
I liked the tile in the entry hallway, don’t know why it struck me.
Next to the Lush Bar is Nathalie’s bakery. Pretty amazing, she’s only twenty eight years old and she supports her family with the business (one kid), living in the two floors above the shop. Her hours are long, 5:00AM to 8:00 PM. We had some miniature onion quiches for dinner that we got from her.
Oh and speaking of eating, I do have one trend report for you but like everything else around here, I’ll do it the long circuitous way. Anyway, we went to this great vegetarian restaurant. Mr. Fashion-Incubator, being just as articulate as I am says the name of it is “something du something” (officially, Au Grain de Folie). He found it on Happy Cow. When we were at that place, I latched onto this lady who was eating outside who I thought looked interesting. It was a bit chilly and I invited her to eat with us inside. I’d gone out there to sit with her and watch the very tame mice traipse up and down the sidewalks -it was late by then. As it turns out, she was also from the U.S. Her name is Tina G. and she’s a singer in Jimmy Buffet’s Coral Reefer band. She does really look like that in real life by the way. Very pretty and nice too. She has four bunnies. I used to have a bunny, they’re nice pets.
Anyway, Tina and I were chatting about what fashion trends we’d seen on the streets, likely to be a big thing in the rest of the world a couple of years from now and we both agreed that ~~ta-dah~~ leggings are in. Yep, they are. I’m vindicated. One particular blogger out there who is convinced her intellect is unparalleled in the fashion community (and doesn’t hesitate to remind readers often) was belittling me last year because I didn’t see the sin of leggings. I like tights, I like leggings, what’s the crime? In Paris, we saw leggings and tights paired with a shorter dress (above the knee) and some calf high boots. Suede boots with a low to no heel seemed to be the most popular. We saw this look every where.
Of course these weren’t the best samples of the look that we saw, just the ones willing to hold still the longest -waiting in line as it was to buy a train ticket -most likely- for the area affected by the transit strike so you know these two girls (together) weren’t going anywhere soon.
Oh and speaking of traveling trends, it seems the mono-butt has arrived in Paris. It was ubiquitous. I tell you, some day I’m going to give all this up to make real jeans again. The market is wide open. I’ll make a killing.