Saturday, Will took me to Canal Saint Martin, a beautiful canal to the North of Paris. Built by Napoleon in 1802, it had once supplied the booming city population with freshwater. It was the perfect day just cold enough for big knitted scarves. Strolling along the pathway at water level, we watched the last of the autumn leaves gently fall over the perfectly calm waters.
We rarely venture too far north beyond the 2nd or 3rd arrondissement, so it was funny discovering this part of the city. Paris is not as segregated as New York - where neighborhoods are drawn out with distinct boundaries. Instead, arrondissements blend and merge into one another, so you're never really sure where the borders are. Even areas known to be a certain way could have pockets of entirely different surroundings - most of which have never been drawn on a map. And here was one of them.
It felt like we had walked in on a secret, where a world of hats, skinny jeans, combat boots, and tastefully mismatched clothing suddenly emerged before us. It was a mini-civilization in all of an eighth of a mile - new concept stores, design museums, trendy restaurants, and even coworking cafés where a 5 euro latté will also buy free wifi and a great company of people who all seem to be working away on the next big project that'll change the world (big headphones, a macbook and hipster frames are all you need).
Will spotted a gay couple munching on a bag of fish and chips, and decided that he had to find this so-called "the sunken chip!". When we finally found it, we were told it was closed. Sadly, while the hipster French entrepreneur may be toiling away on the keyboard on a Saturday afternoon, the hipster French worker still refuses to work a minute beyond lunch hours.
So we settled for something I had dearly missed since my Williamsburg days in New York. BAGELS.
This place was delicious. The atypical kind of bagels (only in France) where you'll be thoroughly impressed to find that goat cheese, pickles and pastrimi actually taste amazing together (fyi I hate goat cheese).
Paris is so small that 10 minutes later, we found ourselves at Republic. A random shop had popped up literally in the middle of the square, apparently a cafe with individual designer concept stands inside. So I walked in as a bunch of hipster teens turned and stared at me, clearly expecting someone else. I guess I will never be as hipster as I want to be.
We ended the day at the Beijing Paris Gallery. Here are two statues that thoroughly messes with your mind. No, this picture has not been distorted in any shape or form.