You come to Paris for love or as a hub to be negotiated en route to Morocco, the Canary Islands, Biarritz (and its sexier cuz Hossegor) or, maybe, Reunion Island.
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There will come a point, at the intersection of a love affair or a multi-sector flight, when your airplane will touch down at Charles De Gaulle, Paris.
Your visit will serve as a five-day confirmation of desire, will you or won’t you marry this pretty woman with the bristly blonde clump of hair and the tan shorts you’ve brought, or as a hub to be negotiated en route to Morocco, the Canary Islands, Biarritz (and its sexier cuz Hossegor) or, maybe, Reunion Island.
But what is she now?
Is it a theme park of over-hyped monuments, the Arc de Triomphe or the Eiffel Tower where hungry illegals mope around the bottom of the stairs watched by soldiers fingering their machine guns, and luxury chain stores selling their over-monogrammed trinkets?
Or is it a city of music, people, literature, noise, conversation and…light?
(The answer is, B.)
You will have trawled the various travel sites for a hotel, something that delivers you the Parisian experience, and you will, by necessity of budget and style considerations, landed at the Philippe Starck-conceived Mama Paris East.
You got a deal.
Ninety Euros a night.
A bigger-than-you-could-imagine room right there next to Père Lachaise Cemetery where you can drain your convenience store beers while sitting on Jim Morrison or Oscar Wilde or Edith Piaf’s grave stones. Where you’ll examine the wall where 147 of those wretched Communards were shot dead in 1871 and think, “Sorry, bub, wrong side of history.”
It’s ok. You’re boozed.
Mama has the triple Michelin-starred chef Guy Savoy working the skillet in the kitchen. You start with a de-constructed Lyon sausage in a brioche bun with a side of chicken gyozas and steamed vegetables and round it out with a nicoise salad with a lettuce leaf as a salad bowl and asparagus with Lauris sauce.
You walk back to Mama. You’re in Saint Blaise so it’s all flower-lined terraces and bakeries that’ll sell you a croissant that’s already melted on your tongue by the time you toss the one-Euro coin over the counter.
Not that you’re in the market for pastries ‘cause Mama has the triple Michelin-starred chef Guy Savoy working the skillet in the kitchen. You start with a de-constructed Lyon sausage in a brioche bun with a side of chicken gyozas and steamed vegetables and round it out with a nicoise salad with a lettuce leaf as a salad bowl and asparagus with Lauris sauce.
Next, you’ll take to the best rooftop in Paris, says Vogue, says BeachGrit, where you’ll dress up the night in wines, from every significant region in France, Bordeaux, Provence, Alsace, Bourgogne, Ventoux, Loire and, yeah, Champagne.
Wait, you do cocktails? Gimme two of your best. Oui, the red ones.
Deckchairs, hammocks, parasols, table tennis, foosball.
Where do you park it, among the chic Parisians? It doesn’t matter. We’re all pals here.
The roof closes at ten-thirts and you climb into an artfully graffitied elevator and head for room 429, a Small Mama, 160 square feet, with its Mac screen that serves as TV, music machine, room service menu and so on.
Your bed is bound in crisp white linen and is lit by bedside lamps with super-hero masks over the bulbs.
The walls are black, the carpet is black and covered in Starck’s scrawl.
A DJ set starts in the bar downstairs, the bass making your panty ruffles flutter like wings.
You don’t want to sleep. You don’t want this to end.
You don’t have to; it doesn’t.