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Disco Inferno On Boulevard Haussman
Yes, Mr. Pot is doing a little dance on a chair, as are his fly girl pots behind him.


The Christmas windows are up at the department store, Printemps. I preferred theirs -- dancing pots, pans, and tea kettles -- to the motorized stuffed animals over at Galeries Lafayette, just down the block. More on Boulevard Haussmann here.

Oh, and a word for the American (or other non-European Union) shopper in Paris: If you go to one of these stores, ask where the "Welcome Desk" is -- or "Le bureau pour la carte escompte pour les touristes...mais pas Detaxe" if you're asking a particularly dense security guard. This card is NOT Detaxe (a refund you get at the airport on the V.A.T. -- the Value Added Tax -- if you spend enough in one store). This is a card for 10 percent off that you can get on many or most items in the department store with your passport. You'll have to have your passport with you to get it and to use it.

There's a great word in French -- "insipide," which means "bland," which tends to describe certain American fashion choices. For example, Americans tend to wear teeny-weenie earrings and boring (as opposed to bright, statement-making) makeup colors...but not the French. You'll find really bold reds and hot pinks here (like Estee Lauder's Beautiful Pink -- hot, hot pink -- discontinued in the States, but still going strong here. I get mine 10 percent off at Galeries Lafayette -- which, at the moment, works out to only 20 more than the French are paying, what with the euro comparing just slightly favorably to the American 50-cent piece.)

Okay, heterosexual men may resume reading now.

Posted by aalkon at December 5, 2006 1:16 PM

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Don't write off heterosexual men too soon. Heterosexual men have girlfriends, therefore your comments on make up does makes sense to them.

They frequently have wives as well, but then the situation is too often beyond advice.

Posted by: Alain Q. at December 5, 2006 12:16 AM

Heh heh...perhaps you can explain the concept of the cinq à sept.

And my comments make sense, more to heterosexual French men, who pay more attention to such things. The amazing thing here is that even a girl who's objectively not that attractive will often have a "look," and a way of walking that will make her beautiful, or at least, striking.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at December 5, 2006 12:19 AM

Clever window design! Much better than the "insipide" Christmas Santas, elves and reindeer you usually find in shop windows here during the holiday season.

That's funny what you said about French women and bright lipstick, because I've seen a couple of articles recently about how Parisian women are all about the "no makeup look." I'm generally skeptical about these "trend" articles, which tend to take something that the trendiest 5% are doing and extrapolate to the general population.

Posted by: deja pseu at December 5, 2006 5:54 AM

"cinq à sept"

Wait, I have to be gay to enjoy happy hour? In that case, "Fabulousth !"

Posted by: Hasan at December 5, 2006 12:06 PM

French women wear less makeup generally speaking, but you will see a woman with no makeup on but red lipstick. Much better than in the USA, they know how to make a bold statement instead of a mishmash.

The cinq à sept (literally, "five to seven," as in five until seven p.m.) is the name for the time when married people (or people in relationships) go see their lover before going home to their family. They avoid being sexually bored and avoid getting divorced...unless, of course, if the thing backfires and they run off with their turn, perhaps, getting dumped for their lover's next cinq à sept/

Posted by: Amy Alkon at December 5, 2006 1:41 PM

If you see that tall blond with the scarf again, get another picture. And an email address.

Posted by: Crid at December 5, 2006 3:38 PM

> There's a great word in French -- "insipide," ...

Yeah, there's the same great word in English, too.

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at December 5, 2006 4:53 PM

Stu, you beat me to it this time.

Posted by: Marie at December 5, 2006 11:10 PM

Do you really think I'm unaware of the word in English?!

It's used differently -- in France it's used to describe a look.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at December 5, 2006 11:36 PM

Heterosexual man back! Hey....Aaaaaaaamyyyy...where's my martini? And why don't I smell pot roast?

Posted by: Cat brother at December 6, 2006 9:32 AM

I'm guilty of reading and quite enjoying reading north of the heterosexual men may resume reading sign, but I'm puzzled by the last sentence. According to google, one euro compares slightly favorably to two American 50-cent pieces plus an American quarter and an American nickel.

Posted by: Robert at December 6, 2006 4:09 PM

J'aime l'image de Printemps

Posted by: SEO Services at December 19, 2006 8:09 AM


Posted by: Amy Alkon at December 19, 2006 8:13 AM

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