Paris: Up, Up and Away with the Angels

Up, Up and Away in Paris! View of the Eiffel Tower from the rooftop at Printemps (Photos by Theadora Brack)

Up, Up and Away in Paris! View of the Eiffel Tower from the rooftop at Printemps (Photos by Theadora Brack)

Feeling Groovy among the plants (Elle 1956, T. Brack's archives)

Feeling Groovy among the plants (Elle 1956, T. Brack’s archives)

By Theadora Brack

“Yoo-hoo!” as my Aunt Doris liked to say. Trekking to Paris during the months of December or January? Mad about shopping sprees? This post is for you. ’Tis the season to be jolie, so grab your tasseled handbags and batons. Let’s go conduct some retail business.

Here are a few dates to keep in mind while planning your jaunt to the City of Light. The “Soldes d’hiver 2015” (big winter sales) will launch on Wednesday, January 7, and continue through Tuesday, February 10. Prices start to drop and keep on dropping, so it’s a judgment call as to whether to start early and get the best selection, or go later on and get the best deals. To be perfectly honest, I do both!

That’s not all, Folks: The grand magasins typically launch their “Vitrines de Noël” (holiday window displays) during the month of November. It’s always quite a show. Heads-up: Stay tuned for the report with beaucoup photographs. I always snap the night away.

Lumière! Moteur! Action!

In the meantime, let’s trip the flashback fantastique into another recent window-shopping dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of the mind. That’s right. In celebration of the promised return of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” television program in 2016, let’s get a little surreal with a “damn fine cup of coffee” and a little roll along Boulevard Haussmann, shall we? Hang on to your hats.

Love is in the Air (View of the Opéra from the rooftop Printemps)

Dear Log Ladies and Gents

The windows at Printemps definitely stopped me in my fast-prancing tracks. With glee, I pressed my nose up against the window. Spellbound, heck, I was transfixed by the blitz of zigzags and big bits of broken furniture.

Inspired by David Lynch’s cult classics like Eraser Head, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, and Mulholland Drive, each vitrine rocked a trippy, futuristic vibe, which I fully embraced, along with the asymmetrical skirts—all a flare and oh, so Judy, Judy, Judy Jetson-worthy. Lynch is always a hit with the locals—and with me, too.

Fly me to the Moon

Snapping to it: After eyeballing the space age garb, I then shot up to the rooftop at Printemps. Let me now introduce my current favorite post-shopping haven. It’s true. The wine is affordable and the panoramic view is free. It’s another one of those win-grin-sins.

As the sun set slowly in the west, I was able to hobnob it on the roof with the Tour Eiffel, the Opéra Garnier, and Sacré Coeur, while recharging my spirit, soul, and soles with the dramatic cloud formations, the to-the-horizon boulevards and buildings of Haussmannian architecture, and an endless stream of infectious tunes by Pharrell Williams, piped in on some discreetly placed speakers for the maximum mood set.

Superpower

And as sappy as it sounds, I found myself feeling truly happy, drumming my fingertips in time with the music. Bells were ringing. Tranquil yet revived, I felt like a phoenix or one of those Wim Wenders angels, gazing down on the marvelous mortals below while feeling all cheery and teary in my catbird seat. Where is the love? Trust me. It’s up here by the potted plants. As Edith Piaf would croon, “La Vie en Rose” indeed!

Or, as F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks put it: “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black coffee. Like this.”

Yes. Exactly like this.

I Put a Spell on You (Kenzo L to R: Monster Tools and Eye and Tiger, Printemps)

Up on the Roof with the static and radio (View of the Eiffel Tower from Galeries Lafayette)

Capsule Collection and Vitrines by Kenzo duo Carol Lim and Humberto Leon (Kenzo at Printemps: Monster Tools)

xx

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Diane Von Furstenberg’s La Wrap (Blue Python, GL)

These Boots were made for Gawking (Kenzo loves Printemps, Printemps)

La Wrap in Mellow Yellow (Diane Von Furstenberg: Square Diamond, GL)

My Baby Just Cares For Me (Kenzo L to R: Monster Tools and Eye and Tiger, Printemps)

Phantom Near the Opéra (View of the Eiffel Tower and the Opéra from Galeries Lafayette)

I woke up like this (Kenzo L to R: Yellow Mountains, Monster tools, and Broken Floor)

Green with Envy (Diane Von Furstenberg: Square Diamond, Galeries Lafayette)

Nothing but Blue Skies (View of the Opéra from Printemps)

Nothing but Blue Skies (View of the Opéra from Printemps)

xx

Fire Walk With Me (Kenzo L to R: Red Monster, Fire Coat, and Fire Dress, Printemps)

F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks)

 

 

 

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57 thoughts on “Paris: Up, Up and Away with the Angels

    • AH, Merci. And yet another amazing and thoughtful comment! I feel the same way about your sunset photographs. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. It’s true.

      Cheers!
      ~T.

      Like

    • I know! I know! Pharrell and I had an AB-FAB time. I was very lucky gal. You really can’t go wrong with Pharrell tunes, while chilling on a rooftop at sunset with a view and a glass of wine. Oh. YES. I did weep.
      ~T.

      Like

    • AH, thanks! Yes, I highly recommend both rooftops. I stayed for hours and hours. Wonderful hotspots for snapping photographs and sketching, too.

      Enjoy the weekend!
      ~Theadora

      Like

  1. Nice post … I really enjoy looking at your photos of Paris. Sometime in future, mention some of the places that you have stayed in your trips tp Paris and vicinity. I am sure that you have mentioned them somewhere in your many posts, but maybe an update for 2015. Thanks again … I always look forward to reading your posts … Frank

    Like

    • Hi Frank,

      As always, thanks for your kind words! A few years ago, I inspected and reviewed hotels for Eurocheapo. I’ll create a short list of my favorite hotels. Great idea! (And I always look forward to seeing your photographs. You’ve recently posted some really wonderful vintage shots.)
      ~Theadora

      Like

  2. Well now Theadora if this wasn’t the most delightful post. You are a fabulous tour guide as I imagined the sounds, you provided the wonderful sights. I can’t wait to see your photo’s of the holiday window displays – Paris, the city of lights and love. Thank you for another magical tour ~

    Like

    • Merci, Mary! It was a fun post to create. The digging is always fun. Apparently, Kenzo opened up shop in Paris during early 1970s. And he fashioned his first collections out of scraps of fabric he found at the flea market. I love this tidbit. And YES. Stay tuned for the holiday windows. I’m still in the “Nancy Drew” research phase.
      As always, Have a creative weekend,
      ~Theadora

      Like

    • YES. The Tour Triangle! It was a close vote: 83 to 78. At 590 feet, the “squashed pyramid” would have been the third tallest building in Paris. According to my afternoon digging: The Eiffel Tower is 900 feet and the Montparnasse Tower is 690. Oh, la la.
      ~T.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Window shopping is very exciting activity, unless the person is not subject to the depression of the ability to watch but the lack of capability to buy.
    Theadora, your panoramic pictures of Paris are awesome. The one with the sunset is the winner.

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    • Thanks, Alexander! As always, I appreciate your kind words. OH, yes. I hear you. That’s why I’m bargain shopper.

      My strategy: I usually find inspiration on the streets, and then hit the Sympa bargain bins in Montmartre. For about five euros a pop. History and deals abound! Sympa’s bargain bin shops (which were once dance halls and brothels that Pablo Picasso frequented during his “blue period”) are also where the famed terpsichorean, La Goulue (one of Toulouse-Lautrec’s favorite muses), made her debut. Today it’s another interesting people-watching spot.

      Bargain Shopping + History = Bliss!

      Have a lovely weekend,
      ~Theadora

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date–reading your blog! Love the photos as always, but what’s really uncanny is that this is the second reference to Agent Cooper that I’ve read today…and I’ve never heard of him before this!! Cut the sound track from “The Twilight Zone!” Now I’m looking forward to photos of Christmas windows. Hurrah!!

    janet

    Like

    • Yoo-Hoo, Janet!

      A second Agent Cooper reference? Yes! Cut to “The Twilight Zone” soundtrack, indeed. Funny timing.

      Created by Mark Frost and David Lynch, “Twin Peaks” was on the air from about 1990 to 1991. The dashing Kyle MacLachlan played FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Composer Angelo Badalamenti created the beautiful soundtracks.

      (And speaking of “The Twilight Zone,” Rod Serling’s “After Hours” episode is worth a viewing or two. It takes place at a department store. Eerie with fabulous camera work. Great story. No spoilers here. Whenever I visit a department store, I think of this episode.)

      Enjoy the weekend,
      Theadora

      Like

  5. “It may seem crazy what I’m about to say.” She dusted the silver gray dust from her ruby walking shoes.
    “Sunshine she’s here you can take a break.” Brushed yesterdays memories from her vintage Furstenberg wrap.
    I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space.” Rummaged through the armoire for her roomiest Longchamp shopping bag..
    “With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way.” Closed the door on Pharell’s song and thought. “This is my happy day”. The early morning sun glittered off the gilded Opera domes she disappeared into the wonders of Boulevard Haussman,

    Like

    • Oh. Sigh. Oh. MY. The HAPPY Remix! A Virginia and Pharrell duet!! What a treat. I love it. I love it. Brilliant meshing of minds and prose lines! Gorgeous.

      “The early morning sun glittered off the gilded Opera domes as she disappeared into the wonders of Boulevard Haussmann.”

      (Ruby walking shoes would look pretty spiffy with one of DVF’s vintage wraps. Another fabulous pairing.)

      Big Hugs,
      ~Theadora

      Like

  6. YOU are an angel, too, babe… ❤ merci pour ce formidable post – comme d'hab'! 🙂 been there years ago while we lived in Paris… "o tempora, o mores!" 🙂 have a sunny weekend, like here and HHH = huge heartfelt hugs, Mélanie

    Like

    • Dear Mélanie,
      Your sunny, heartfelt words and photographs always make me smile!
      Enjoy the weekend,
      ~Theadora
      (The rooftops are pretty darn wonderful, eh? I sorely miss Samaritaine’s rooftop.)

      Like

  7. I’ve just discovered your blog and shopping in Paris sounds right up my alley if I can get there for the winter sales or the Xmas windows. I also loved the reference to Agent Cooper – takes me right back to my university days where the talk the next day after an episode had screened was full of Twin Peaks. Great post.

    Like

    • Thank you! By the way, “Les Soldes d’Eté” usually launch during the third week in June, and last about five weeks. Another great time to shop in Paris! ~Theadora (And YES. I’m looking forward to the return of Twin Peaks and the dapper Agent Dale Cooper!)

      Like

  8. That special agent has the right idea! Casting about me for a present right now — your blog post is a present in itself!
    Theadora at her wittiest and snappiest! Love it — a treat as refreshing (well, nearly) as actually coming to Paris might be. (And I would never again think of going to Paris without checking in with the Mistress of All Ceremonies.)
    Merci, Theadora!

    Like

    • HA! Thanks for YOUR gift! Your thoughtful words made me smile. GRIN!! Blush, too.
      ~Theadora
      (Over the weekend, did you find your present. You deserve one!)

      Like

  9. I’m so glad you liked the view from Printemps! Definitely one of my favourite spots in Paris, and I can’t wait to go home for Christmas to see the Christmas windows – Burberry always does everything so well!

    xxx
    Camilla

    Like

  10. Your photos are always sublime, but ohhh, the roof top views are to die for! Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  11. Theadore, Again you capture the “spirit” of visiting Paris. How could anyone resist wanting to visit during this season- beautiful sunsets (Could they also be sunrises?). Also, I look forward to seeing the windows. NYC windows go on display tonight.

    Like

  12. Pingback: Paris: Voyages Extraordinaires | Paris: People, Places and Bling

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