Today we headed to the ritziest part of town. I put my best, Chanel shod foot forward onto Rue Fauburg St Honore – the fanciest shopping street in Paris.
In today’s day and age, actually, globalization took some fun out of shopping. No matter where you go, the shops are mostly the same. There are some gems, however, like the famous Collette, an institution more than a shop. The clothes here are presented on mannequins rather than racks. Almost no racks are to be seen – just the artfully outfitted mannequins. The featured designers that attracted my attention were Comme des Garcons, ever avant-garde, and very cool outfits by YSL , which warrants a trip to Woodbury Commons.
Another highlight was a visit to a miniature mall featuring meticulously restored antiques from the Louis XIX period through Art Nouveau and Art Deco – my personal favorites. This place was like a museum of decorative arts, only everything was for sale. That made it so much more exciting than a museum – the fact that all those treasures could be had provided you had enough money.
We drooled, but the antiques were out of our price range, so we walked out and headed to Fouchon where I bought and happily consumed a piece of art of a cake whose taste matched its looks. It consisted of a caramel and meringue heart surrounded by a perfect semi-globe of chocolate sprinkled with some gold powder for the full measure.
From there we walked to Le Marais for another falafel and, I couldn’t resist, some Middle Eastern type of sugar-covered zeppole that called my name out of another amazing pastry shop where the interior was painted with frescoes.
But enough said of the gluttonous delights. My soul needed some nourishment too. That was provided by a visit to the Opera Bastille for the performance of L’Elixir d’Amour with the glorious Anna Netrebko in title role. Her tenor-counterpart, however, was not on par. He screwed up Una Furtima Lacrima, not hitting any of the high C’s and even, to my ear, taking a wrong note. But everyone else was wonderful, the production was very nice, rivaling that at the Met in the inclusion of moving vehicles and one live dog. The opera house is modern, minimalist, even austere, but pleasantly unobtrusive, and the acoustics was superb. Even in our nosebleed section, third row from the back, the sound was perfect and the view unobstructed.
Another great day in this great city.