Monday, September 26, 2011

Miss K - Travel Weasel

I know I will get absolutely no sympathy about this, but Paris is feeling a little stale to me right now.  But before you start lighting the torches and sharpening the pitchforks, let me explain why - it's because I haven't left the city in nearly a year.  I got back to Paris just before New Year's Eve, and other than a day trip to Vaux-le-Vicomte (the post on that is yet to come, with fabulous photos), I haven't been outside the city in all these months - for a travel weasel like me, that's a looooooooooooong time to be in one place.  Last year I managed to get to London, Toronto, Monaco and Marrakech.  The year before that: Prague, Bucharest and Istanbul.  I once went around the world in 31 days.  I once went to Egypt in the spring and Jordan in the autumn of the same year. I once spent Christmas in a Scottish castle and then went to Barcelona for New Year's.  And those are just a few examples...  The point is, I used to travel.  

I think part of the reason I have had such a crappy year is that I've got a bad case of cabin fever, and there wasn't anything I could do about it.  Between the nightmare of trying to find places to live and not having any money, I just couldn't go anywhere.  BUT the travel gods have smiled upon me - I am leaving for London tomorrow for a work trip, and will have to go back again for work, probably next week or possibly the week after.  And in between, my whole office in Paris is going off for a corporate retreat in the south of France.  Okay, so all these trips are work-related and they're not very exciting, but I don't care.  I am going somewhere, and when that brief flurry of travel dies down, then I'll be able to appreciate Paris again.  In the meantime, if you could try not to stab me with those pitchforks, I'd really appreciate it...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's a brocante thing (Part 2)

So, gentle readers, yesterday we learned about things you might see at a brocante.  Today is a continuation, along with some handy tips:

1) take cash, it's easier to haggle.

2) try to keep in mind what you need, as opposed to what you want (which will be many things - not good when one is on a budget).  I finally found the perfect wineglasses at this brocante (yes, after three months of making do with the martini glasses I told you about in Apartment, bitches) and restricted myself to those, but if I actually had money to spend?  Dang!

3) if you are a reasonably youthful, moderately attractive female by yourself at a brocante, it may be that the female vendors will be snippy with you, and it may be that the male vendors will try to work some flirting into the haggling.  At a previous brocante, I cheerfully bartered a kiss on the cheek for a few extra peacock feathers (hey, they're expensive!), but I drew the line this time when the guy got a little handsier than necessary when "helping" me try on a necklace.  Just saying...

4) keep your eyes peeled - not only for the cool things around you, but also for people with strollers and tiny dogs - possibly not a tripping hazard for the likes of you, but for anyone as clumsy as Miss K, it's a damn minefield.  

Just a few little tips from me to you, now on with the photos:
The sign is cool enough, but WITH the wooden gorilla looking at it?  Way cooler.
Zillions of teeny-tiny adorable doorknobs. 

Not just books, but books with a big horned animal skull underneath.  Awesome.

Arfully patinated chairs, cool vases, groovy old paintings, pop-art Marilyn AND a little wooden tiger.  Couldn't love it more if I tried.

Love the jaunty sailor painting but REALLY love the totally over-it dog.

Funky tiled table, 4' tall inflatable phone, and freaky puppet head.  No comment.

Very much liked this chest-of-drawers, but REALLY wanted the big metal cheetah.  Ahhh, someday.

Do you see it, at the back, beside the teacups?  A KNIGHT'S HELMET!!!  By the teacups! So. Damn. Cool.

I like these guys, just chillin'.

Putting the giant lion's head on top of the Union Jack stool? Genius. And please note the adorable little dog top of the photo just for added cuteness.
FINALLY!  I can drink wine like a civilized person again - from my €2 glasses, which are crystal, no less!  Worth the wait...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's a brocante thing (Part 1)

One of my very first posts was about markets in Paris (Saturday mornings), and I've written about them since (To market), but I don't believe I've ever written about brocante before. A brocante is a very specific kind of market - not a flea market where you have random guys selling socks and dodgy cosmetics, but a flea market that is full of interesting things - not specifically antiques, just things (which tend to be pretty awesome).  I personally love a good brocante, not so much to shop at them, but to take photos - you have to give the French credit, because at these markets, things are not just piled up on a table, they're all carefully arranged to look damn cool.  So if you ever visit Paris and happen to see a sign for a brocante, try to swing by and see it - you may find a groovy little something to take home with you...

Cricket balls, pipes, police sign, boxes of Christmas ornaments, a wood and iron gate AND a Lenin banner - what could be better?

Not so sure about the crazy dog in uniform (seriously, wtf?), but loving the rest of the stuff at this stall

Oh, if I had an extra €900 lying around, this bad boy would have SO been coming home with me

Clocks! Lamps! Clocks! Lamps! (and a couple of cool chairs, too)

Chart of the human musculo-skeletal system, anyone? In French, no less.

Furry critters

Freaky hand lamp thingie

Damn cool

So nicely arranged

Yes, that's a chamber pot.  And it still smelled like a chamber pot.

The dancing lady? The Buddha? The metal giraffes?  I wanted them all!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Things you might see in Montmartre #3

Sooo, remember how the other day I posted the photo of what I see walking to work?  Well, this is what I see on the walk back home.  I know, you don't even have to say it: I suck.  Sorry, everyone!  (Please feel free to cheer yourselves up with the thought of how broke I am living here - sure, it's pretty, but dang, it's a good thing the views are free...)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Totally crap outfit of the week #23

Well, Miss K is often not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I'm going to go waaaaay out on a limb here and guess that this lady is somewhat fond of the colour pink.  And hey, I like pink as much as the next gal (possibly more, since I have somehow managed to acquire four pairs of pink shoes over the years, which is probably three pairs more than necessary), but this seems a teensy bit excessive.  And had I managed to shoot this photo from the front, you would have seen that even her glasses were pink.  So, so wrong...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Things you might see on the street #24 (style)

For those of you who don't live in Paris, please observe this sterling example of Parisian style: a fabulous handbag and the unmistakably saucy red sole of a classic Christian Louboutin stiletto.  On a scooter!   Outstanding.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

All they need is an Elvis impersonator...

Well, now I've seen it all: a light-up cross, of all things.  Love it.  The church is so Paris, but that cross is Vegas, baby!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My morning commute

Well, it's been a while since I posted something so smug that it will make you all hate me (at least I think so - it's entirely possible you hate me all the time just for living in Paris, and if so...well, I can't blame you, so have at it), but I really had to show you what my morning commute to work looks like these days.  I know, I suck.  Sorry!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Things you might see on the street #23 (cat)

Hot day.  Flat cat. So flat, in fact, that we had to make sure he was still breathing (he was).  Way to relax, little dude.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Things you might see on the street #22 (coneheads)

Okay, this is terribly immature and I'm sure it was the result of some drunken student prank, but still: hee!!!

Things you might see on the Metro

Guys, it's nice that you went to the souvenir store and those shirts (and the satchel) will be fun for you to smugly wear when you're back home.  But you don't have to wear them when you are still in Paris.  Because, trust me, the Parisians already know you're tourists and they don't care what you think of Paris or anything else.   Just a little tip from me to you...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Penis bread

Gentle readers, did you think I'd forgotten?  Yes, I know it was waaaay back in May when I posted about my local bakeries in the Marais (Crab bread) and promised you a photo of the famous local penis bread, but didn't the anticipation just make it all the more...delicious?  And since you had to wait so long, I'm sizing the photo as extra-large for your added enjoyment.  Oooh la la!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Totally crap outfit of the week #22

Well, where do I even start?  The shiny jeans tucked into the socks?  The inappropriate-for-most-places-but-especially-the-streets-of-Paris wifebeater?  The...thing...he's wearing around his waist (I know it is sometimes referred to as a "fanny pack", but I lived in London for a decade and that is most decidedly not a term I use - if you don't know why, look it up online under British slang), which has the numbers 1971 embroidered on it - sir, that may possibly have been the year when you were in your dubious prime, but I'm not sure I'd draw attention to it, since that day has most decidedly been and gone.  Or, could it possibly be the hair?  I'm aware that hair is not technically part of one's outfit, but when one has a bald spot the size of Jupiter and still insists on wearing what's left of one's greying hair in dreadlocks, well, that's just an invitation to ridicule...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

Paris Pride (slightly delayed)

So I was just looking through my backlog of photos and realized that there are some good ones from a while back that I never got around to posting during my whole moving/no internet/crazy phase, and that I should probably go ahead and post them anyway.  This batch are from Pride Day, which was waaaaay back in June, and yes, I know it's now September, but it's not like you tune into this blog for current events, now is it?  At least I hope not, or you must be horribly disappointed every time...

So on this occasion, I was at Tiny Dancer's place, which has an enviable view onto the Place de la Bastille, and therefore it was the perfect place to capture some of the colourful characters and ambiance.  Enjoy...
Slightly crowded

Honestly, I kind of want purple wings now myself.

Whole truck full of abs. What?  I can look...



Kind of Alice in Wonderland, but I like it

It's a bee thing, I guess

My absolute favourite - check out those boots!

I have no idea.

Blackberry in one hand, beer and whip in the other.  Respect.

And then, it was over...

Thursday, September 1, 2011