Everytime I buy a ticket to Paris, I always look forward to staying with my friend, Catherine, in her 18th Century flat in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. Everything about the flat, from its wood-beamed ceilings and its sunny street views, to its location -- right on the edge of Le Marais, next to the Cirque d’Hiver and between Place de la République and la Bastille -- make it the perfect Parisian locale. And then, of course, Catherine is a fantastic host, full of energy to meet the challenges of a New Yorker who (sometimes) wants to do all and see all. I say sometimes, because the best times are spent leisurely soaking up the surroundings of her neighborhood and relishing a welcomed change of culture. (Look at this spread of pate that greeted our arrival on a recent visit!)
Not only is Catherine up on what’s happening around town and willing to re-visit places she’s experienced hundreds of times, she is also prepared for almost any minor emergency that should occur. That’s why I marvel over the cabinet of products in her WC. It’s a collection of sorts. I love the preparedness it represents, with its assortment of air fresheners, surface cleaners and laundry detergents -- a quest for clean in many scents and colored containers.
Step in gum? Catherine most certainly has a product to remove it. Break the handle of a mug you bought as a gift? Oh she has a super-strong glue to repair the disaster. Need to polish your shoes? She’s got several colors to choose from. Spill red wine on a pair of khaki paints? The solution to your problem is just meters away.
Now if I could just figure out how to make the dollar rise against the Euro……
In May 2009, Clarkson Potter will publish my book, The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details