Ah Saint Germain des Pres! The 6th arrondissement, where the jazz movement started, and the heart of Paris art galleries and inspiration to many french authors! Also one of the prettiest districts. The perfect place to spend a day wandering, letting the city guide you.
So we had a little walk before meeting M. for lunch in her new flat, in the heart St Germain. How amazing is this crooked little flat?
After lunch, we stopped for coffee! I'm always surprised by the fact that this neighbourhood isn't packed with tourists, I guess there aren't any monument except for the unforgettable Cafe de Flore. Founded in 1887, this now Art Deco Cafe was the headquarter of Paris literature intelligentia in the 20th century, it is filled with anecdotes and regulars as much as tourists. I wouldn't have dinner there but I like to indulge in a glass of bubbly there if I'm in the area.
Working on our smiles...
After this long pause, we strolled along the bank of the Seine. I love having a look at the vendors along the river, they sell mainly old books and magazines. This is where I found 20th century fashion magazines and ads from the 50's. It's right on the street so it could be a touristy market but actually if you take the time to speak to the vendors, they know their stuff. They specialise in specialties: cosmetics, literature, art, cooking, fashion etc... and if you ask them, they will tell you which vendor to go to for what ever you're looking for. An easy, affordable, accessible way to find little treasures!
Then we headed the other side of the district to catch up with C. How could I explain the concept of the C.... Yes, I don't think about her as a person but more as a concept (read her HOB interview here). She is the essence of the Parisian. She is simple, nuts but in a very distinguish way, she doesn't care about a lot of things except those she loves and her art gallery, she is amused by my "crazy way of living" and, three years later, she is still struggling to understand why in the world I left Paris?!! Our little ritual is for me to visit her at her gallery Perception Park, go to the Mexican restaurant round the corner to get a couple of margaritas, and sip them on the bank of the Seine a couple of meters down or just on the street, by her gallery. This time it was barefoot, in the street!