Paris is beautiful to explore in any season. But springtime is hands down the most beautiful of all, with the magnolias blossom, all the jardins burst into flower and soft blue sky replaces the gloomy grey days. Last month I had the chance to stay for ten days in the beautiful city of light and enjoy the early springtime. Here are the recap from the whole trip. It’s a mix of food, street and architecture … basically my usual obsessions. There are still many more photos that I will post on separate journals in the near future.
This time I stayed in a lovely Airbnb in the 2nd Arrondisement, which was probably the nicest apartment I’ve ever stayed in Paris. Plenty of sunlight, walking distance to restaurants, and a view overlooking the Iron Lady. Can’t ask for anything better than this.
Another great thing about this apartment is because it’s located conveniently close to Rue Saint Anne (the ramen district), and also in the middle of numerous Asian grocery stores and restaurants. Yes, I am the Asian girl who needs to eat my rice at least three times a week. Just look at that photo above. I probably had that Japanese takeaway way too often than I should have.
I have a thing with doors (and passages, alleys and cakes obviously), and Rue Richelieu is basically lined up with some of the most gorgeous doors I’ve ever seen in Paris. With the abundance of photogenic doors, it always took me forever to reach the end of the street.
For a quick breakfast, the Belgian restaurant chain Le Pain Quotidien (5 Rue des Petits Champs, 75002 Paris) is always a no brainer choice. Their Petit Déjeuner menu consists of croissant/pain au chocolat, a basket of organic breads, orange juice and hot coffee/tea. The best thing is actually the selection of organic jams/confitures on the table that you can generously spread on your bread. The fig and apricot are just.. Ahhh. Passer le pain, s’il vous plait.
My other favorite on the menu is their smoked salmon breakfast, and all their pastries. This place is Michael’s favorite and we always dine here (or in their other branches all over Paris) everytime we visit Paris.
I was so happy that the newly renovated Bibliothèque nationale de France Richelieu-Louvois is just a stone throw away from the apartment. I’ve always dreamed to visit The Labrouste reading room / La Salle Labrouste, which is probably Henri Labrouste’s grandest project that continues to garner the most recognition worldwide. After undergoing a major renovation for years, the reading room is finally open for public.
Labrouste (1801-1875) has long been recognised as one of the most important architects of 19th century with his innovative style combined with classical influence and the use of natural light. In this reading room, his innovation appeared mostly in his use of iron, an industrial material that’s constructed into elegance and functionality.
I wished I could see the Oval reading room but it was still closed for renovation. The staff told me it might reopen in 2020. At first I promptly lost hope because the Great Twenty Twenty sounds like a decade away from now! Then she said “It’s just three years away.” Shit, I feel so old. Is it really 2017 already?
Probably the only reason why I love staying at the 2nd Arrondisement is because it’s within walking distance from all my favorite places, including most of the secret Passages of Paris (which is hardly a secret now that I’ve written a long journal about it.) On this trip I still visited them numerous times, one time for a photoshoot and the other times just to relax and have my cafe creme as always.
Another breakfast favorite is this bagel joint also very close to the apartment. Bagelstein (7 Rue Saint-Augustin, 75002 Paris).
Ahh Île de la Cité. Though highly touristy, I can’t help but keep falling in love over and over again with island. Particularly when passing this beautiful gilded clock hung on the Tour de l’Horloge (Clock Tower) of the Conciergerie. This was France’s first public clock ever, built between 1350 and 1353 with the purpose to help Parisians to regulate theirs activities during the day and night.
Aaaaand… we’re back at Cafe de Flore, guys. I totally messed my coffee before taking a decent picture of it. But sometimes even the most devoted instagrammer needs her warm coffee because setting up the perfect coffee shot means leaving it out in the cold.
I think one of the best gifts I can bring people back home is some volumes by their favorite authors, purchased from Shakespeare’s & Co. Of course their stock is just like every other independent bookstore’s (and this place is also a hundred times more touristy). But you will get their stamp on the first page of your book and it’s cute #justification.
How Parisian shop owners put a bunch of Ikea products, arrange and style them in such a brilliant way that it’s photogenic from any direction is always beyond me. Maybe they’re born with it.
Ah the gorgeous Pont Alexandre iii. It is one of those monument I just HAVE to photograph every time I pass it. I probably have more than a thousand photos of it (during any season) in my harddrive, and I’m perfectly ok with it. This time the weather was exceptionally nice. With the beautiful blue sky and the sun slowly setting down on the background, it makes a pretty unforgettable moment.14