Friday, February 24, 2012

Parisian Perspectives #4

This American adventure is winding down, and I have to say that I'm ready to get home to Paris.  I'm hoping by getting back into a routine I will be able to escape the pit of total sloth-fulness into which I have fallen.  It will also be nice not to pack, unpack, and repack a suitcase every 5-7 days - remind me not to plan a trip that involves one plane ride every week for four weeks straight, with multiple destinations after each plane ride.  I was glad that we were still at home yesterday, however, when too much travel + a cold caught with me, and I actually fainted in the kitchen. Get me some baguette, stat!

For the final Parisian Perspectives - at least this round - I'm featuring an American mom of two who lives in the 17th with her American husband.  They both independently moved to France, simply wanting to live in Paris, met, married, and have no plans to move away.

Grand Magasin of choice? Bon Marche
Favorite French luxury brand? Chanel
Favorite perfume? Happy by Clinique
Best baguette in Paris? Depends on the kind of baguette you want.  I can't say as I really have a favorite boulangerie/baguette, though I do frequent several in my neighborhood for different reasons.  Most of the time though, I buy baguettes from Picard, turn on my oven, pop one in, and 20 minutes later (including oven-heating-up-time) I have hot fresh bread (and my house smells delicious too).  My favorite is the "demi baguette aux céréales".  One thing I think every Parisian agrees on is the fact that hot bread is the best--can't get much hotter than your own oven! 
Favorite place to buy souvenirs for non-Paris peeps? Souvenirs de Paris, 4 rue Tilsett 75008
Favorite place to visit in Europe, outside of France? This is a hard one!  I love to travel and have been to many European countries.  I'd probably say Italy because I love their food and wine and, an added bonus now that I travel with kids, Italians love children!  So it's no problem to go out to a restaurant with kids in Italy (vs the frowny look that many French give us when we bring our kids to restaurants).  Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany--I've been everywhere and can highly recommend them all!

Favorite place to visit in France, outside of Paris? Champagne--we're planning to buy a country house near Epernay in the next few years.  Easily accessible by train, or rental car if you prefer, the Champagne region is definitely the countryside, without all of the traffic/tourists (like Normandy--though everyone should go to Normandy at least once), though there is plenty to do (and drink!) when you are a tourist.  The tours at the big Champagne houses are really informative (Moet & Chandon is the best tour, Mercier--and its train--is pretty cool too), but the best thing is to drive around to all of the smaller Champagne producers, sample their wares (bring/hire a designated driver), and you will discover that it's true that the best champagne never actually leaves France!
Favorite dinner spot in Paris? Fajitas (we miss Mexican/Tex-Mex!): 15 Rue Dauphine 75006
Fajitas is run by a Mexican/American couple (Miguel & Amy--she's from Vermont). The margaritas (a tad on the expensive side, at 30€ per liter) are as yummy as the food! 
Favorite pastry? Tarte aux frais avec chantilly
Favorite French cheese? Brie (actually my favorite is something that was only made once--I've actually talked to the guy who made it--so I can't recommend it...brie is my favorite otherwise)

Favorite museum in Paris? Musee Marmottan
Parisian guilty pleasure? Shopping during the soldes - I don't shop otherwise, except for food of course!
3 words that describe Paris? Parks, horns, buses.