Paris is telling a bright and beautiful story this morning—as opposed to the chilly, dank and wet one it greeted me with upon my arrival yesterday. And although it wasn’t my idea of fun to slog through the driving rain picking up groceries and running other basic errands, it was also hard to get too worked up, because: Paris! The apartment where I’m staying is literally right across the street from the Seine, and if you stand out on the (charming old) balcony you’ve got a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. So happy to discover I’m not too jaded to think that’s really cool. Also, there’s a washer/dryer, which isn’t nothing.
But before we get going, let’s wrap up Amsterdam. My rule when traveling is to try to hit spots that only carry things you can’t get at home, which has become—as my stroll through the city’s Nine Streets neighborhood became clear—increasingly challenging. But when I saw the storefront above, I sensed possibility.
Maison Rika is a cute, bright boutique overseen by designer/proprietress Ulrika Lundgren , a very cool girl of a certain age whose line is called Rika and who turns out to be kind of a big deal. Today—and, one senses, many days—she was hanging out and feeling chatty. The store that houses her accessories and clothing line is across the street; this is mostly for home goods, a few of her scarves and bags and jewelry by local designers. Also: she runs a guest house upstairs.
Which of course she was only too kind to show us. We walked up this exceedingly steep staircase…
…until we got to this amazing second-floor room. Was I not just saying how much I love black, white and yellow? (Okay, so the accents here might veer a bit more gold, but still.) Also: that wicker chair! Ulrika found it at a flea market. Which of course she did, because she’s the kind of person who totally would find a piece that perfect at a flea market. Back downstairs, Ulrika said we had to go to her friend’s restaurant for dinner and made a reservation for us. And then it was across the street.
Rika’s whole thing is stars, and I love a good star print. I’m not entirely sure the cheeky cool of this quilted bag is coming through, but it was rather amazing in person.
I’m already kicking myself for not buying this white canvas tote with little star studs.
And while I know these were probably a touch butch for me, I might also regret not having purchased them too. Check out the perforations: they’re actually itsy stars. How great is that?
Okay guys, I’m off until later. Time to weigh in with your suggestions: where must I absolutely go now that I’m in Paris?