Fondation Louis Vuitton, Jardin d'Acclimatation


Two of my friends live in a Haussmannian duplex overlooking Fondation Louis Vuitton. Last year, they called it an abomination, but now that it's open, I think they really like it. Nearby residents may have objected to Frank Gehry-pocked purlieus, but the way they dressed for the inauguration, lingered in the galleries, and snapped nonstop photos belies overwhelming enthusiasm. "We pulled my son out of school... I used a vacation day for this," confessed one mom. I once heard (from my Parisian husband and friends) that Parisians never come out and say when they like something. On the contrary, they disparage it, pretending not to care while secretly being totally enamored. It's part of the affected nonchalance by which we identify the species.

      

The museum features exclusive installations by Olafur Eliasson, Gerhard Richter, Isa Genzken, Ellsworth Kelly, Thomas Schutte, Cerith Wyn Evans, Adrian Villar Rojas, and more. I'm kind of a simpleton when it comes to art, but there was nothing I didn't like. The pieces didn't require a page of explanation filled with phrases like "gleeful ascetism" and "freewheeling anti-capitalism." Everything was colorful, beautiful, interesting, and easily appreciated.  It's worth the trek to Boulogne for the diverse and well-presented collection alone, but Le Frank, the Fondation restaurant, is similarly spectacular. Transparent, reflective fish hang suspended from a light-filled atrium with vintage Louis Vuitton trunks affixed to the walls. I even met the man himself, Frank Gehry, today. In the amusingly xenophobic tone of another era, he asked if I was "that Oriental from the Guardian," and walked away.
Paris to Go

Zero Waste Stain Removal Chart


I wasn't allowed in the kitchen until last year, and my command of French is middling at best, but a lifetime of thrift shopping and being clumsy turned me into a stain removal expert the likes of Heloise. All you need are a few natural ingredients you probably have on hand. Pretreat stains as directed above, then wash with savon de Marseille and cold water- olive oil-based soap is magic on delicate fabrics and greasy stains. Remember, use vinegar and baking soda one at a time, not in tandem!

Our clothes are made from natural fibers, so I don't know if these work on synthetics. If you're wearing synthetic clothing, though, you have bigger problems than stained laundry.  All items can be found in Paris in bulk (salt, cornstarch, soap, wine, carbonated water) or fully recyclable packaging (baking soda, vinegar).
Paris to Go

Gluten-Free Métro Map of Paris


Rimbaud famously said "Je est un autre." I say, "Je est une coeliaque."* Click to download the Gluten-Free Métro Plan de Paris in PDF form. To read the original gluten-free guide to Paris, click here.

*I can't believe I have to explain this to people, but this is a joke. In real life I say "Je suis coeliaque," or "J'ai la maladie coeliaque."

Paris to Go

Private Reopening of Musée Picasso, Le Marais, Paris

 
 

Musée Picasso closed five years and racked up millions of euros of debt only to reopen as a series of climatised rooms with pictures in it, some good- Massacre in Korea- some bad- Verre, Homme à la pipe attablé.  I visited with this New York Times article in the back of my mind. It suggests staring at a painting 20 minutes to three hours for increased well-being, but there was no "flourishing" for me today.

Over 5,000 Cubist works, including sketches, personal correspondence, and sculptures (see Tête de taureau, above) are curated by theme in Hôtel Salé, the beautiful 17th century Baroque residence of Philippe Aubert. I'm purposely not going to explain who that is, because it's very Parisian to name-drop an obscure Louis XIV-era financier and act like everyone should recognize him immediately. Musée Picasso features a wrought-iron staircase modeled after Michelangelo's design, and was a bronze factory and storage facility before becoming a museum in 1985. It was also supposed to re-open three years ago, back when "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" was on TV.

I may not understand the art world, but the Picasso museum does explain why our landlord still hasn't fixed the towel warmer that was broken when we moved in, or why I play cat-and-mouse with French delivery services for weeks before receiving a package, or why it takes three hours to return something at Carrefour, even when I'm the only person in-store. Vive la France! Click here to preview the collection.
Paris to Go

Le Journal Paris Guide


Musée Gustave Moureau

14 Rue de la Rochefoucauld, 75009 Paris


Apartment-Atelier Le Corbusier

24 Rue Nungesser et Coli, 75016 Paris


Fondation Louis Vuitton

8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris


Jardin des Rosiers

35-37 rue des Francs-Bourgeols, 75004 Paris


Kozy Salon Urbain

79 Avenue Bosquet, 75007 Paris (Delicious gluten-free brownies for €3.50, the guys are so nice, I can put whatever I want in my own containers, and the pastry chef is working to make all their baked goods gluten-free)


Musée des Archives Nationales

60 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003 Paris


Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

62 Rue des Archives, 75003 Paris


I don't read blogs regularly, but one blog I can recommend for Paris addresses and beautiful, unconventional photography is Le Journal. Most Paris lifestyle blogs feature the usual suspects: Carette, Holybelly, Clint, etc., all very nice, if you like being around Anglophones. Kumiko Nakagawa highlights favorites among longtime Paris residents, such as Musée Carnavalet, Jardin Anne-Frank, or Les Arts Décoratifs. The photos are natural and unassuming, and I appreciate her taste in shops (Ecua-Andino, Jean Paul Gardil) and street style subjects (vintage clothes on actual old people).
Paris to Go

Our Apartment



We had a photo shoot of our place today. I didn't like the photographer very much and the pictures won't be ready until next month, so that's all I can say about that. In the meantime we'll make do with these. The apartment doesn't look anything like we imagined because a) we were working off Leboncoin finds, b) our renter's agreement limited modifications, and c) the radiators are placed stupidly around the rooms. It may be too spare for most people. For us, it's bright and sunny and we feel good whenever we get home and look at a clean, uncluttered space.

 

We've lived here two years now, but I didn't know our home was "minimalist" until I started this blog. On one side of the entrance is the utility closet and kitchen. On the other side are three built-ins with shelves for coats and shoes, linens, books, and files. Our kitchen is "American style"- open, not enclosed in a separate room.

 

The Nkuku locker room shelves are from La Tresorerie. My husband bought a lot of art before we got married, massive pieces that physically don't fit in the apartment. Instead, we display personal items- photos, cards from friends, and vintage prints with extra hangers or salvaged frames. I love growing, gardening, and having plants everywhere, but the cats can't resist nibbling and get sick.


Our apartment is 70 square meters (around 753 square feet), with an additional 14 square meters outdoor space. We were happy to have lots of closets and drawers under the bathroom sink. This allows us to live with only ten pieces of furniture, which is very freeing.

 

There's homemade mouthwash in the capped bottle and grapeseed oil in the small one. They held Aesop products originally, but now we use bulk soap and oil for everything.


In our bedroom, we have two built-in closets and a TV, which we only got because I lost a fight with my husband. The back balcony overlooks Invalides and Tour Montparnasse. From the front balcony, you can see the Eiffel Tower, Trocadero, and La Defense. 

 

We travel and move often. Things get increasingly tiresome the more you pack them up and carry them around. Everything we own, we use- there isn't any furniture you can't sit on, or decorations you can't touch. In the realm of everyday useful things, both the needs and wants of undemanding persons are easily satisfied, and you don't have to be an aboriginal goat herder to figure that out. For more photos of our apartment, click here or here. To see how we clean and organize everything, click here. Click here to read Parts I, II, and III of our Paris apartment search. P.S. Our home is on Apartment Therapy today.

Sources

Kartell Componibili, vintage from LeBonCoin
Ikea sofa from LeBonCoin, similar here
Habitat Ikebana bed from LeBonCoin, similar here
Rocker, Eames
Linen sheet set, secondhand
Dining table from Leboncoin, similar here
Chairs, LebonCoin, similar here
Thrifted flatware, Arne Jacobsen for Georg Jensen
Copper mugs, gifted
Weck jars, secondhand
Steel spoon, similar here
Steel spatula, here
Paper lanterns, LeBonCoin
Wire shelves, Nkuku


Paris to Go