Paris recommendations

Reading / Culture / Art

  • Ofr bookstore – hands down my first “spot” in Paris. Stumbled here on a sunny afternoon during my first week or so and was enticed in by all the rare / beautiful / ‘grab me’ publications outside.
  • Galerie Perrotin – my friend Jaimie took me here on a rainy afternoon and I’ve been back to visit the mesmerizing structure itself and works it gingerly holds ever since. Lovely to walk to and from – almost from any direction.
  • Palais de Tokyo – Multidisciplinary contemporary art museum. When I first moved here I saw a large-scale interactive exhibit of international artists, including a giant clear tunnel and hive apparatus stretching across the museum ceiling that people could actually crawl through. Also a real cabin that only rains on the inside.

Dining & Drinking

  • Panama Brewing Company – my first memory here is sitting outside with a new pal Fiona when we cemented our friendship along the canal. The freedom and vivaciousness of the crowd, sprawled across a big deck over the water with boaters drifting by made me glad to be young and of this time/place.
  • Steel Coffee – bicycle shop + coffee is smart and cool, even for us perma-pedestrians.
  • Maria Luisa – this is my go-to take a traveling friend out to dinner spot. It’s not French food, but it might just be something better. Delicious and perfect thin crust pizzas (not too expensive), burrata that melts in your mouth and great wine & dessert list. Plus: I sometimes call this corner the holy trinity because kitty-corner you’ll find Le Petit Cambodge and Le Carillon – two other sweet spots for a bite or drink (respectively).
  • düo – best lunch. So fresh, straight from mama’s kitchen. Juicy chicken with perfectly roasted carrots and a side of quinoa. I love this place on a rainy day. Also, it’s right next to Chambelland, so you can pick up the best bread in the city on your way home.
  • Le Chambre Noire – too many nights. Great music, sexy lighting, good people (or good lighting, sexy people?). Oh, and guest chefs… try a Thursday 😉
  • Cafe Pinson – sweet spot to duck in and get a juice or breakfast combo with yogurt parfait, tartine, coffee and fresh juice for about $10. Also, you can use the wifi and work away during quiet hours.
  • L’Ave Maria – huge and super bomb Caribbean plates is almost always what you really need when the cold hits, or you just feel a bit detached from Earth. Stumbled upon with my mum and sister on a hungry night in Paris 3 years ago.
  • Cafe Oberkampf – new and really, really lovely. Coffee-people, this is your spot.

Shopping (femme)

Dancing

  • La Java – the first night I went out dancing and didn’t get home til 6am since I was a college student was at La Java. Since then, sometimes yes, sometimes nah – but check the schedule because when it’s on, it’s really on.
  • Badaboum – bigger venue and I especially like the cozy upstairs room with couches and usually a hop DJ.
  • Comptoir General – the ghetto museum. Good drinks and music but you go for the atmosphere. It’s magic.
  • La Gaîté Lyrique – this looks like a museum but has an amazing venue, best of both worlds ! You feel like you’ve sneaked in somewhere super nice to throw a party. It’s actually a digital arts and modern music centre where we’ve recently seen the likes of Clara3000, Purity Ring and countless international DJs. Goes all night.

Being outside

  • Parc de Vincennes – my running spot. You’ll find yourself getting lost and running into hounds or horses as likely as people. Feels very much outside the city.
  • Buttes Charmont – picnic spot. Feels very much inside the city. A gorgeous sprawl of gorgeous creatures on a sunny day.
  • Parc Monceau – a romantic place. I had a first kiss here once and you’ll find lovers between the ages of 14 and 90 abound on park benches and grass alike.

Sport

  • Hoops Factory – world class 3×3 pick up gym. My friend and team mate Syra works here and they have some of the biggest names in bball sweep through. Plus the courts are flawless with iPad scoreboard keepers, a state of the art sound system… there’s even a bar. An amazing sub-cultural scene unto itself.
  • Pigalle court – colorful wow moment tucked in between unsuspecting apartment buildings.
  • Michael Jordan Legacy Court – perfect for outdoor 3×3 or pickup games. Plus – it’s fun to play under the image of Jordan.
  • Yoga – there are many sweet studios in the city and you can find the best of the best by checking in on my friend and yogi Klara’s Facebook page here. If you have a chance to take a class from Klara herself, you’ll leave feeling light and blissed (plus a little bit sore).
  • Tennis at Jardin du Luxembourg – bring your own racket & balls.
  • Hammam & Spa de Mosqué Paris – not exactly sport, but good for the body and mind. This is the real deal. Hot, hot and lots of lounge. Mint tea served on wet tiles.

Working inside

  • Le LOFT 50 Partners – I have held an office here for the last 6 months and it is just the loveliest. You can work from the shared table by the day and benefit from the greenhouse meets train station vibe. Lots of startup community building here, plus the location is great – right off Rue Montorgeuil and Chatelet.
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