Sunday, September 25, 2005

build-a-bear parisian style

you've seen it in malls across the US-- the cute store that lets you create your very own teddy by picking out his fur, his stuffing, adding a little satan heart, and then watching him get stiched up and come to life. well, enfin, this cuddly concept has arrived in the city of light. galeries lafayette has opened a bulid-a-bear workshop in its haussman store in paris. and if your child should ever loose his/her cherished teddy, the bear has a barcode inside to make sure it gets back to its rightful owner. ahhhh, the comfort of technology.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

chic must: sushiland

now this is customer service-- a new sushi resto opened in my 'hood, and we tried it a few months after it opened. since we have the baby, we decided to see if they do take out, which is rare in paris. sushiland (154 rue Faubourg St. Antoine, 12th; 014.46.28.03.22) happily obliged, had our order ready within minutes, included all the relevant condiments, etc., and gave us free beers because our order was to go [often, in France, you pay a cheaper price for things that you take out-- they gave us free drinks instead, which was fine.] food was great too, which makes it all the nicer. went back again by myself last week for the second time, and not only did the guy recognize me and baby lucie, but sat us down, gave me tea and muchies while he prepared the order! vive la sushiland!

Friday, September 16, 2005

chic bust: airfrance airport lounge

so i am a bit obsessed with baby-friendly things at the moment, but i guess that's what happens when you become a new parent.... anyway, baby lucie had her first trip to the US last week. on the way there, we enjoyed the air france business lounge at the de gaulle airport. decent spread of breakfast goodies, nice chairs, etc. overall, not a bad place to wait for your flight. unless you have a cranky baby. who needs to be changed. would there be a baby changing station anywhere nearby? of course not! do they have showers for weary business travellers? sure. would they have something as simple as a foldable changing station that easily mounts on the wall in the bathroom? no! my husband claims that this is because the lounge is really for 'business travellers'-- but i have to say, there were plenty of kids there and babies have to pay to fly too [lucie even has her own frequent flyer card]....

chic bust: inconvienient baby shopping at Okaidi and BHV

ok, we'd assume that those who design stores for babies and kids would have their parents in mind as well, right, as we are the ones with the wallets!? not so....the other day in okaidi [next to square trousseau, paris 12th], i had my 3 month old in a baby carrier. i waltzed in to the big chain store to peruse their baby clothes. not only did i have to walk through the entire 'big kids' department, but then i had to go down to the basement to see the baby stuff. a bit annoying with the baby carrier, as this baby is getting heavy! [the first time i went into the store i had the stroller with me, got annoyed that the baby department was downstairs, and left!] this time, once downstairs, i begin to realize that i'm getting a backache looking at the clothes-- and i realize that it's because the baby clothes have all been hung at baby height-- i.e., 2 feet off the ground! --bending constantly while trying to keep your baby from falling out of the baby carrier, not a fun thing. and what kind of baby would be down there looking at clothes him/herself anyway? baby lucie is very fashionable, but it will be a while before she is checkng out the racks herself....

and now on to BHV, which i frequent regularly. BHV is in the midst of a major renovation, moving thier departments all around, renovating others, etc. so yeah, it is harder to get around that usual with the stroller. but not only did they make the special kiddie/nursery bathroom a 'public' bathroom [meaning that there is always a huge line now], they also moved their baby stuff from the 2nd up to the 5th floor! now, i've practiced taking the stroller up the escalator a bunch, but 5 flights is a bit much... and even if i had a child who was walking, it would be tiresome dragging him/her through the entire store.

would the store designers out there think about making things baby/mommy friendly? after all, moms buy for baby and but also for themselves....and goodness knows that we need all the help we can get when trying to drag a baby around the city to go shopping!

chic must/ chic bust

after living in paris for 3+ years, i've come to see customer service [or lack thereof] and either a "bust," someplace to completely avoid, or a "must," someplace where i'm sure to get the customer service i deserved for my hard-earned euros....with that in mind, i'm going to post on the musts/busts of my daily life in paris, a vous de jouer.....

Monday, September 12, 2005

"vintage" at printemps

as we have seen in countless magazines featuring mk olsen & sadie frost, vintage is big this fall. so instead of scouring the racks of musty duds at your thrift store, you might opt for an easier (albeit, less fun) route. printemps, one of the big grands magasins in paris, has taken the dirty work out of vintage shopping. their expo, tresors vintage, features patent leather bags and shoes, jackets in worn-in velvet, and embroidered 70s looking duds. from sept. 8 to oct. 8, printemps haussman, 64 blvd haussman, 9th.

your own personal sneaker

ok, so monograms are big-- i mean, in the US last christmas, every little thing from a keychain to a ll bean boat-and-tote to a bathrobe could be found with a big swirly monogram. what is the obsession with having something [or everything?] with your initials on it? maybe it's because it looks chic-er-- like it was made just for you, or at least you had put your mark on it somehow. monograms make something ordinary look unique, or at least a bit different from your neighbors. nike now introduces a way for the bold (and those with a modicum of style sense) to go one step further-- nike id allows you to custom choose the colors and design of your bag/watch/shoes to make something truly unique. top it off with your initials, bien sur, and you have an originial piece of fashion history. at least until they go out of style, that is.

chic sports gear

in the US, former models design yoga & exercise gear for brands such as puma-- in france, they go one step further and have real fashion gurus designing the stuff. nathalie rykiel, daughter of grande dame of fashion sonia rykiel, and famous in her own right for her chic sex-toys sold alongside her titilating lingerie, introduces her version of comfy, elegant yoga and pilates gear. the line is called karma rykiel body & soul, and features yummy items as cashemire wrap sweaters, silk jersey workout pants, and even yoga mats. so the truly chic will never have to sacrifice style for good karma. opens sept. 15 at 6, rue de grenelle, paris 7th.

post-baby blogging

as some astute chic shopping fans have noticed, i've been on a bit of a hiatus this summer--well, more of a maternity leave, actually- after the birth of chic bebe lucie. lucie is now 11 weeks old, and finally allowing her mum some time to get back to the blogosphere, so stay tuned for more regular updates on shopping and customer service in the city of light....