Tuesday, May 08, 2007

it's not what you think.

trips to france (paris, burgundy, provence) have a way of throwing off one's schedule a little bit - the blogging, the sleeping, the working. especially when that trip constitutes the first vacation this keen eye has had in over 4 years. so here i am, offering up a [lame] excuse for falling off the boat here at keen eye...but also promising to pick up the pace, if only just a bit.

you'd think that a trip to the city of lights, the chic-est place on earth, would be a great boon to the keen eye archives, a veritable treasure trove of nesting goodness. and yes, you'd probably be right, only i decided to plan my trip completely wrong this time, and i ended up in paris, staying in montmartre, on 2 different sundays, and the monday following easter. all of which seem like perfectly reasonable days to parisians to close down shop and sit in a cafe all day. and so it happened that nearly every shop i tried to visit was FERME. le sigh.

but, in the spirit of bringing keen eye back to life, and also international travel, i thought i'd share with you a list of shops-i-would-have-gone-to-had-they-not-been-closed.

ok then, allons-y!

first off is French Touche.

described as the rare device of paris, i knew i had to go when i read grace's description of it over at designsponge (though it's located in the 17th arrondissment, not the 18th as she says). as a quick aside, i just have to share my love of rare device - an always rotating stock of home wares, hand bags, jewelry, and clothing, all by local / independent designers - i try to stop by every month or so just to check it out. i went by last week to catch anatomie and loved it. anyway, though, french touche. same idea - tons of small designers and interesting things, clothing, earrings, necklaces, stationary. you can shop online, too, but i have a feeling it's better experienced in person, you think?

next up: L'objet qui Parle. nestled on a side street in montmartre, L'objet qui Parle translates directly into "the objects that speak" but i have graciously made that into "Conversation Pieces" because it seems nice that way. simultaneously an antique store and a junk shop, i was really looking forward to digging through some dusty shelves and boxes - and finding some kind of glorious treasure. oh well...when we strolled by on that sunny sunday, the shop was completely shuttered. here's a glance at what it supposedly looks like inside - hello! i must have that chicken thing!

onwards to Deyrolle, a 170-year old establishment tucked away on the left bank. one glance at their website will tell you all you need to know, methinks, but to give you a taste, calling this place a taxidermy shop would be a complete and utter understatement. while the entry floor may look like your average garden supply shop, the upstairs is a bizarre menagerie of stuffed lions, bears, zebras, and birds, not to mention a beautiful butterfly collection and various other oddities. it pains me to think i missed this nightmarishly beautiful curiosity shop, and i only hope i'll be able to visit some other time.

and before you get all animal-rightsy on me, i know. i totally know.

and finally, a quick peek into a place that i actually did get to visit in montmartre- Emmanuelle Zysman. strikingly red inside and out, this boutique is all nooks and crannies, chock full of scarves, bags, stationary and candles, but the main attraction here for me was the jewelry. everything is carefully, lovingly arranged and aligned - a table in the center of the room showcased some wonderful sterling silver chains with stones and charms, while the shelving on the walls held stark white coral draped with necklaces and glass bell cloches encasing bangles, beads, and earrings. everything was out of my price range (but what isn't when the dollar is so worthless) but it's well worth a look and maybe a splurge or two.

so there we go - it's almost like i'm giving you a live report from paris. almost.

welcome back, i missed you!

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