scout paris 
Home Autour du Monde at 8, rue des Francs Bourgeois. Metro: Saint-Paul
Home Autour du Monde is a lifestyle shop in the Marais that has it all--urban fashion and modern home goods. 

Designer Serge Bensimon's boutique houses fresh home and fashion that isn't too trendy or sophisticated. 

The modern aesthetics of the store complements the changing inventory of modern crafts, rugs, lighting, tableware, bedding, jewelry, decorative objects, as well as Bensimon's clothing line for men and women.  

The shop is a mix of home and fashion.
The two-level shop showcases Bensimon's clothing and tableware. The cozy, vaulted basement displays most of the store's home collection. 

There is something here for any budget. Pick-up a set of monogrammed mugs for $18 apiece or a scented candle from Autour du Monde's line of 12 scents for $25.

Bensimon's sweaters and tops are on the high-end, but the B. Team line is a bit more affordable with jackets starting at $180. 

up close at home autour du monde....

Crafts, furniture, linens, and decorative objects at Bensimon.
  • Bensimon's Home Autour du Monde is located on 8, rue des Francs Bourgeois. There are 4 other locations in Paris
  • Metro: Saint-Paul or Chemin Vert.
  • The store features furnishings, modern crafts, home accessories, bedding, as well as Benisimon's men's and women's collections.
  • This map should help you find the shop.

A dramatic installation by Karl Lagerfeld
If you love fashion and photography, then make sure to stop by the Karl Lagerfeld photo exhibit at the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie. 

This is the first time Lagerfeld has debuted his images in Paris. The German fashion designer is most notably known as the creative director of Chanel and Fendi

The Paris-based designer's passion for photography began in 1987 when he started shooting for magazines and advertisements. 

The exhibit is a collaboration of this work and his personal images that he shot during his travels.

The show is divided into two areas. The first theme showcases his professional photography that covers fashion, celebrity portraits, landscapes, and architecture. 

The other area features his experimental photographic printing. These installations were quite innovative, unexpected, and fresh. 

The exhibit feels like a personal journey into Lagerfeld's perspective on beauty and style. He is a true visionary who has captured the beauty of places and people.  The exhibit is on view until October 31.

"Photography is part of my life. I no longer see life without its vision."    --Karl Lagerfeld

5/7 rue de Fourcy. Metro: Pont-Marie or Saint-Paul.
  • The photo exhibit is on-view until Oct. 31.
  • Maison Europeenne de la Photographie is on 5/7 rue de Fourcy in the 4th Arrondissement. 
  • Metro: Pont-Marie or Saint-Paul
  • Open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am-8pm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. 
  • Full price for admission is 7 euros ($12). Students under 26: 4 euros ($9). Free on Wednesday after 5pm. 
  • This map should help guide you to the museum.

Artisanal macarons at Pierre Herme
Pastry shops in Paris put New York bakeries to shame. Plan a visit to Pierre Hermé and you will understand why.

A good friend introduced me to the artisanal pastry shop and I will be forever grateful. The pastries are beautiful works of art and absolutely delicious.

You can tell when you walk into the shop that presentation is everything. The store's modern and minimal space is the perfect setting for Hermé's delectable chocolates, cakes, petit fours, jams, biscuits, and macarons. 

The shop's signature pastry is the macaron--a traditional French confection that is absolutely the best stuff on earth. What can be better than two meringue cookies nestled together with heavenly buttercream, jam, or ganache filling? 

Choose from a huge selection of rich flavors like rose, citron, pistachio, caramel vanilla, and chocolate. A box of 12 costs $35. The macarons are  wrapped up in one of Pierre Hermé's pretty boxes. 

Perfection in a box: Pierre Hermé's macarons.

Visit these maps to find both Pierre Herme's locations. 

I can't take credit for these images. They can all be found on Pierre Herme's website. Bon Apetit!
French National Football team (aka soccer team)
The French take football (known to most Americans as soccer) very seriously. I came to this conclusion when I went to see France play against Romania. 

The Stade de France is located in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis. The stadium itself is massive. It's the fifth largest stadium in Europe and holds about 80,000 crazy fans. It's also home to France's national rugby team.

I have to be honest, I am not a huge fan of football (American or European) or any sport for that matter. So, it took a little nudge from my friends to get me to go to a game. Is it a game or a match? Anyway, I felt this was an authentic cultural experience.

The passion, energy, and pride that I witnessed from the crowd at this game was inspiring. I also had a good time.

The crowd applauded when the team almost made a goal--I guess for trying. I even got up and made some noise when they made two goals in the last 5 minutes of the game and won. Before that the game was tied 0-0. I'll be back.

  1. Stade de France is located in St. Denis. Take RER (express train) at Gare de Nord metro station to La Plaine-Stade de France.
  2. You can also take the metro: Line 13, St. Denis-Porte de Paris.
  3. Bus 256 to Avenue du Pt. Wilson.
  4. Details: A football game is 90 minutes with one 10 minute break.
  5. Don't take any large water bottles or containers to Stade de France. Security will make you toss it.
  6. The cheapest tickets cost about $25. You can buy them online or at the stadium.
  7. Still can't find it? Check out this map.

Interested in getting a feeling of what it's like to see a game? Take a look.
Every outfit requires a good pair of boots.
The Puces du Design show not only offers a great selection of 20th century furniture and accessories, they also have a nice selection of vintage clothing. 

The twice-yearly outdoor market offers vintage designer clothing labels from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, YSL, and Prada. 

I was lucky enough to meet vintage clothing dealer Tara Munro of Madame Tra La La and Ooh La La Vintage.  She took a moment to share her thoughts on vintage design.

Les Puces du Design featured a small section of vintage clothing. But, the inventory was nicely vetted with a pretty selection of clothing and accessories from designer labels like Dior, Chanel, YSL, and Louis Vuitton. Prices were steep. But, what do you expect? It's high-end vintage. 
The next show date is in May 2011. Metro: Stalingrad or Jaures.
The Les Puces du Design show is an outdoor market--open twice a year--dedicated to 20th Century design, accessories, and high-end vintage clothing. 

It's also the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning in search of chairs, lighting, and anything mod. 

The prices were high, but as we all know prices are always negotiable--even in France. 
I saw quite a few people making deals. 

If you missed it, try to make it to the next show in May. The entrance fee is free. So, there is no excuse. If I can't convince you to go, maybe my scouting shots and video will. Let me know!

Monceau Fleurs is on 34 Boulevard des Invalides.
Parisians love flowers. On my way to the Rodin Museum, I found Monceau Fleurs.

Monceau Fleurs is a chain that would rival any flower shop or corner deli in New York City. 

They offer 300 varieties of plants and flowers with decent prices (for Paris that is) and lovely floral bouquets. 

Prices start at $6 for a bunch (roses, daisies, sunflowers), $5 to $25 for plants, and $25 for a bouquet.

A Peak Inside Monceau Fleurs....
At Monceau, pick-up a bunch of fresh flowers for $6.

Before You Go...
The shop is located at 34 Boulevard des Invalides in the 7th Arrondissement. If this particular shop isn't convenient, Monceau Fleurs has 17 locations in Paris. They are also found all over Europe. Even better, the company will take online orders. The map below is for the location on Boulevard des Invalides.

Roses (start at $12 a bunch) at Au Nom de la Rose
No matter where you turn, Paris has the best flower shops and gardens around. Here is an edited list of my favorite picks.
  1. Au Nom de la Rose-This rose and orchid shop specializes in informal and French Country-style arrangements.
  2. Fleuriste- An artisan flower shop in the Marais.
  3. Cler Fleurs-A traditional flower market on one of the prettiest cobblestone streets in Paris.
  4. Les Jardins des Tuileries and the Carousel Garden-Situated around the Louvre, the park has about 800 trees, 70,000 varieties of plants and bulbs, and a rose garden.
  5. Luxembourg Gardens-On a sunny day, nothing beats a picnic in this 60-acre park featuring fountains, amazing trees, and gorgeous flowers.

The Nightingale of Heinz Installation by French artist Erik Samakh.
Paris made a scene on Saturday night. And, it was all for the sake of art--the contemporary art festival Nuit Blanche.  

For one night (all night), 41 works of art by contemporary artists were on display throughout the city's museums, theaters, churches, art schools, centers, city squares, and galleries. 

The city was filled with crowds and crowds of people enjoying live music, dance, and outsider art. You didn't need to have an appreciation for the art scene to enjoy the installations, sculptures, videos, and performance art. 

Here are a few highlights from the event. 

To get a better taste of the event, check out this video.