Paris, the City of Light, is the only city I have visited more times than I can count and the city I have also called my home for 2 years. It is a place where I can be brought to tears by the pure beauty of the city. The food, the art, the culture, the streets, the people, the markets, the wine; it always excites me.
One of my favorite times in Paris is in the early morning. When I lived and worked there, I would take the Vélib to teach my first pilates client of the day. Riding to work in the mornings, I am virtually alone on the streets except for the street sweepers. Who, by the way, still open valves of water to clean the gutters with brooms! As I ride my bike, I am immersed by the smell of baking bread and the quiet expectation of a new day. I feel like the city is mine. My daily commute would take me along Canal Saint Martin past République, the Pompidou, Notre Dame and across the Seine to the 7th arrondissement. Definitely beats sitting in LA traffic.
Paris always inspires me to take a moment to reflect on life and how one should be living it. The time spent with friends enjoying an apèro after work or visiting a new exhibition reminds you to live in the moment. There is also the joy of preparing for a summer holiday where people can actually take 3 weeks away. And the joy of having a 3 hour dinner where no one is on their phones or the hostess is not asking you to leave because they need to turn the table for the next reservation.
The French hold a special place in my heart – with all the good and the challenging. Believe me there were many days in Paris when I would have to suck in the tears or the frustration when dealing with them and not knowing the language. But I truly think those are the moments when you become more connected to a city and what it means to be a foreigner. A lesson many of us could use these days.
Each time I visit I always want to explore something new. Paris is changing quite a bit right now and there is much to see. But rest assured I always stop by my favorite boulangerie – Du Pains et des Idées or the most amazing chocolatier – Jacques Genin. This past trip I tried several new restaurants that were superb. For a more rustic, off the beaten path, I tried Vivant Cave in the rejuvenated 10th arrondissement. It is an intimate space with just the chef, Pierre Touitou behind the bar and two servers offering delicious organic wine and “bar” food that blew me away. As we left the restaurant Pierre handed us some dark chocolate out of his pocket to take for the road. And just so you know, it was delicious!
The other notable meal was at Restaurant David Toutain. This young chef is unreal! He was awarded a Michelin star last fall and I have to agree the lunch was exquisite. The space is modern and clean and the service is unparalleled. The creativity of the food and the attention to detail without being fussy was perfect.
For my trip to Paris this July, I was the travel concierge for two of my dear clients from NYC. They asked me to meet them in Paris and create an itinerary including lunch and dinner reservations, museum exhibitions and walks throughout the different neighborhoods. I took great pleasure in showing my Paris to them. It was a blast! They got to explore the city in a way that they never would have on their own.
As you know, travel and discovering a new city gives me the greatest joy. With my fitness concierge service Jette Sette, I can not only provide you with all of your fitness needs, but I can also curate a trip full of adventure just for you. Reach out with any questions you have!
Challenge me to create the best trip for you!