As the famous words often attributed to Audrey Hepburn go, “Paris is always a good idea.” Being the self-professed Francophile that I am, I constantly have a daily dose of wanderlust for Paris, which is one of my absolute favorite cities in the world. However, the luxury of time or budget isn’t always on my side to plot a getaway. It’s in these instances that I become creative and have mini escapes throughout my day that fondly remind me of Paris. Come join me on une journée Parisienne à New York (a Parisian Day in New York).
Le Petit Déjeuner Chez Ladurée (Breakfast at Ladurée)
Ladurée, one of the most popular bakeries and tea salons in Paris established since 1862, has two locations in Manhattan – a storefront on Madison Avenue in the Upper East Side and a full tea salon in SoHo and their macarons are my kryptonite! For this reason, I skip the typical breakfast fare and head straight to dessert. My favorite flavor is pétale de rose (rose petal), but you can’t go wrong with any of their yummy flavors. They are so good that I never want to leave!
La promenade Place de la Grande Armée (Walk to Grand Army Plaza)
Walking around Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn always reminds me of the famous Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris. Although the Grand Army Arch wasn’t gifted to New York by the French like the Statue of Liberty, the bustling traffic around the roundabout, lush patches of green and surrounding architecture mentally transport me to Champs-Élysées Boulevard and I’m sure it’ll do the same for you too. For an additional dose of a Parisian lifestyle in New York City, head over to Grand Army Plaza on a Saturday to check out its open-air market, Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket for fresh fruit & vegetables, cooking demonstrations, live music and more!
Le Déjeuner à Buvette (Lunch at Buvette)
Buvette located in the West Village is reminiscent of being at a Parisian bistro. There are truly no misses on their menu and you will leave guaranteed with a happy belly as well as memories of very friendly service in a cozy environment. Give one of their delicious croques a try – I highly recommend the classic croque madame!
Flâner vers la Librairie Clic (Window shop at Clic Bookstore & Gallery)
I’m a sucker for photography as well as roaming book shelves and two of my favorite things perfectly meet at Christiane Celle’s beautifully curated shop and mini photo gallery, Clic Bookstore & Gallery in SoHo. The airy space right on the corner of Centre and Broome Streets is an instant rest stop that flies me back to the concept shops of Paris. Items here can carry a hefty price tag due to having quite a few rare as well as autographed editions from renowned photographers such as Peter Beard (huge wanderlust inspiration!) within its shelves however, Clic is fun to browse through and discover up & coming artists being displayed on its lovely walls.
Flâner jusqu’à Bijoux Vintage Pippin (Shopping at Pippin Vintage Jewelry)
I also love window shopping and picking up some vintage pieces at Pippin Vintage Jewelry in Chelsea. Here you don’t have to spend a fortune to easily capture a Coco Chanel-inspired look. Most of my vintage finds here have averaged around the $25 marker!
L’apéro et le dîner à la Maison Première (Drinks and Dinner at Maison Premiere)
Lastly topping off the night with some drinks and dinner at Maison Premiere is always solid. The ambiance and staff’s wardrobe will carry you straight to the French-inspired 1800s plus there’s a sweet garden in the back to boot! I love kicking back and ordering sea scallops while sipping on a glass of red wine though Maison Premiere is most noted for its oysters and Absinthe. If you’re into Oysters, check out their $1 Oyster Happy Hour during the week from 4-7pm. Maison Premiere is a popular Williamsburg hangout so dinner reservations definitely come in handy.
Creative Direction: Khadijat Oseni
Photography: Cesarin Mateo except for Maison Premiere image by Noah Fecks.