Thankful

It shouldn’t be just one day a year that we sit down with those dearest to us and express gratitude for that which is truly important in life. Having each other. Sharing this experience of life. Knowing what a true friend is, and being one. We should express kindness and gratitude daily, through the smallest gestures, even with people we don’t know. After all, kindness is contagious. And I for one am a believer in karma.

I used to write more personally on my blog and will take a moment to share what I am truly grateful for, given that it’s Thanksgiving. I hope you will do the same, today, or whenever you feel the need. Especially when life is dealing you a bad hand, take a look at what IS rather than what ISN’T. You’ll see how blessed you are.

1. My Italian. A man who I can truly rely on and who loves me through all the good moments and the bad.

2. My mom. A strong and loving woman who I admire and look up to and hope one day to have the same relationship with a child of my own.

3. My friends. I often joke that I collect people, but in a way it’s true. There are some of those people that shine more brightly and our bond becomes unbreakable. Whether we live in the same city, or half a world away. These friends are forever.

4. My life. The strength & resolve to create my own life and live it by my own rules, not those set by anyone else.

5. My work. The creative mind and courage to do what I truly love and follow my heart. Designing and writing fill me with SO MUCH, and to be able to share what I create and write, this means everything.

6. My homes. Everyday I wake up and feel blessed to live in Paris, well, almost every day. As tough as the life of an expat can be, I am so much richer for this experience. And calling the Italian Riviera home, my town in Poland, New York City and the Hamptons. I am truly blessed.

7. My travels. One of the best educations is travel. What we experience and learn is something that no one can take away from us and means so much more than any material possessions. At least for me.

I could go on, but it’s soon time to meet some of these friends I mentioned, and spend an evening of gratitude together. Wishing you too, a day filled with thanks.

Yves Saint Laurent in Paris

In early October, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris opened in the 19th century mansion  at 5 Avenue Marceau.  The company headquarters and location of Mr. Saint Laurent’s and his partner Mr. Bergé’s office since 1974, this was also where Yves Saint Laurent would meet his clients for fittings. In 2004, it was transformed into a foundation for public view, with three to four exhibitions annually. It was Pierre Bergé, once the chief executive of Yves Saint Laurent, who decided to dedicate this space to the late designer, and open a museum. Lucky for those of us who admire the work of this visionary man who changed women’s attitudes towards fashion. As Yves Saint Laurent once said, “Fashion fades, style is eternal.”

Not only do we get a glimpse into Yves Saint Laurent’s chic fashion creations, but his design process too.

From collections inspired by artists including Mondrian and Picasso; to faraway travels to Morocco, sub-Saharan Africa, Russia, Spain and Asia; to haute couture gowns, Yves Saint Lauren knew how to dress a woman.

The highlight of the museum is Yves Saint Laurent’s workspace set on the second floor. Here you find his many inspirations as revealed in his collections of books, fabrics and fashion trimmings. A designers paradise!


A dedicated fan of Yves Saint Laurent, my next stop will be the newly opened Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakesh, the location of his and Pierre Bergé’s second home and a place close to their hearts. Stay tuned…

Theatre in Paris

I love a good theatre performance and have had the pleasure of enjoying quite a few during my years in New York. But in Paris? Preferring the ease of my native tongue, I had only seen one show since moving to Paris. That is, until I discovered Theatre in Paris. What is it exactly? French plays with English subtitles. Brilliant!

Paris is famous for its theatre, and now fellow Anglophones can join in the local culture. Theatre in English seeks out the best performances in the city of lights, set within a number of theatres throughout Paris. “From the spectacular architecture of a listed historical monument commissioned by Queen Marie-Antoinette to the glamour of an old Parisian ‘café théâtre’, to the charm of a small oak-panelled neighborhood theatre.” What’s more, they offer over 100 performances to choose from every month. Without compromising the show, English subtitles are viewed on a screen only for those who need them. And seats will always offer a prime view.

One of France’s greatest stars is cabaret singer, songwriter and actress Édith Piaf, often referred to as “The Little Sparrow”. Being a fan of her music, when I discovered the performance “I Love Piaf”, I booked tickets for my Italian and I and we made a French night of it. The play took place in a late 19th century Théâtre Trévise in the 9th district, nearby to the famed Folies Bergère. The performers were impressive as they told the story of the singer’s life. Award-winning accordionist Aurélien Noël was once the best in the world, and singer Caroline Rose captivated us all with her voice. The screenwriter was both engaging and humorous. It was certainly an experience in living la vie en rose!

I’m already looking forward to the next performance and might soon become a regular Parisian theatre-goer.

 

 

Wine by the Glass

October is harvest time in France. In case you’re lucky enough to be in Paris for the annual Grape Harvest Festival in Montmartre, also known as the Fête des Vendanges, you’ll taste your share of wines from all over the country. If not, there are other ways to taste and learn about wine in Paris, and not by ordering copious glasses over dinner. Though you are in wine country after all, so why not. But if you’re curious to learn more about the various wine regions of France and discover your favorites, I suggest a tasting.

There’s no one better to advise you than wine connoisseur Thierry Givone, whose expertise in wine and champagne extends far beyond his home region of Bourgogne, or Burgundy. (Although Bourgogne wines are some of my favorites.) His passion for wine runs so deep that a few years ago he began holding tastings on a boat on the Seine. These days you can find Thierry at his atelier Wine Tasting in Paris in the charming 5th arrondissement of Paris. Whatever your preference, red, white or bubbly, prepare for a wine education, and comprehensive tasting. Recently, I held one of my bag workshops at Thierry’s atelier; bag painting and wine, a perfect pairing!

If you’re curious to learn the process of local wine production, head over to Les Vignerons Parisiens in the North Marais and take a tour of their cave and try a tasting. Maybe this will inspire you to make your own wine.

To mingle with the locals over a glass of good French wine, head to La Barav where there’s always a vast selection of reds and whites from their next door cave. Here’s a selection of top wine bars all over Paris. Santé!

Co-Working in Paris

What was missing in Paris (in my opinion) was a workspace dedicated to entrepreneurial women pursuing their creative endeavors.  There are many of us! Apparently the female team behind My Little Paris thought so too and opened Mona on October 13th. (Sign up for their newsletter in English for all Mona and Paris related news). Three floors dedicated to women, how fabulous! What’s more, Mona is located in my beloved North Marais neighborhood. Have a look inside…


What’s even more exciting is the menu, bringing a taste of New York to Paris with Maman NYC. The freshly baked chocolate chip cookies are heavenly and they even serve turmeric lattes, in addition to stellar coffee. Lunch options are plentiful too.

Stop by this inspiring workspace if you’re in Paris, open daily from 10-7, but keep in mind it’s only at 118 rue de Turenne 75003 until December 30th. Mona is a pop-up, and certain to appear elsewhere in the future.

If you can’t make it to Mona, here’s a list of my other favorite Paris co-working cafés, published in Bonjour Paris and on the blog.

Paris Picks : Spas

With the summer calm long gone, temperatures dropping and the bustle in Paris ever prevalent, it’s important to take time to relax your mind and indulge your body. Both as a visitor and a local, walking around the city all day will leave you inspired, albeit exhausted. I thought I’d share my favorite Parisian addresses (not connected to hotels) for relaxation from head to toe, foot massage included. Take note of these stellar Paris spas!

Free Persephone feels like stepping into Springtime, regardless of the season. This fragrance day spa features luxurious manicures and pedicures using all organic products, including Priti NYC polishes and all natural lavender scrubs. Scented with the owner’s own perfumes and a menu including tea and aromatherapy massages, you’ll leave beautified and relaxed, floating into the neighboring rive gauche.

Free Persephone // 66 boulevard Raspail 75006 // +33 (0)1 42 22 13 04 //

The first salon dedicated to the beauty of the face, body and hair, Carita was established over 50 years ago by two sisters. This ‘Maison de Beauté’ in the heart of Paris’s fashionable Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, is an address well respected by the beauty elite. Following a rehydrating and lifting facial treatment, your skin will feel recharged with vitality. Simply put, you’ll leave the spa glowing!

Carita // 11 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75001 // +33 (0)1 44 94 11 11

How better to spend an afternoon than in a steamy hammam followed by a body mask of volcanic clay and an organic argan oil massage? Step into this luxurious Moroccan setting in the rive droite, or their first location in Boulogne, and find your bliss. Les Cent Ciels will leave you counting the stars while nourishing your skin and soothing your mind.

Les Cent Ciels // 7 rue de Nemours 75011 // +33 (0)1 55 28 95 75

Your sense of touch will be heightened with a visit to Le Spa Dans le Noir, in the heart of Paris. What makes this sensory experience so special is the fact that you’re being treated in complete darkness (with an option for light), by a sight-impaired or blind massage therapist. Complete relaxation is the priority and the result, regardless of the massage you choose.

Le Spa Dans Le Noir // 65 rue Montmartre 75002 // +33 (0)1 83 95 46 77

Stepping through the portal of Ban Sabaï, you’re automatically transported to Thailand. Whether you choose a foot, hand, head or full body massage with all natural oils, your senses will accompany you on this journey to the Far East. This is the first Parisian address dedicated to traditional Thai massage, with several locations, some specializing in foot massage.

Ban Sabaï // 9 rue Saint Antoine 75004 // 46 rue de la Pompe 75016 // +33 (0)1 45 00 99 99

You can read more about these and other Paris spas in my latest feature in LUXOS Magazine (available in Paris) and find my top five hotel spas in Bonjour Paris. Happy pampering!

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