Even in Cambodia, We’ll Always have Paris

Here I’m sitting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, leafing through a local magazine and I see a dispatch from Paris. What do you know. People barely make US$600 on average here but they aspire to visit Paris.

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Don’t we all.

Their recommendations are terrific, and I agree with most of them. And think, I had to go all the way to Cambodia to discover a few things in my own neighborhood. Such is the life of a global nomad.

Deyrolle, the 170 year old establishment on rue du Bac (near Blvd. St. Germain) that is the most extraordinary taxidermy shop, a realm of French institution. Deyrolle.com,

Sennelier, debuted in 1887, by a passionate chemist Guastave Sennelier, is located across from the Louvre and nearby l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts. It is an atelier of all things colors, pigments, and creations, for any palette created by an artist. 3, Quai Voltaire.

Galerie Martine Gossieaux, opened in 1992, has regular exhibitions of graphic artists of international fame: Savignac “affichiste”, Sempé, Steig, Chaval, André François, Ronald Searle, Benoît and Pierre Le Tan.They are all regular collaborators for different and important magazines around the world, such as “New Yorker”. 56, rue de l’Université.

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Hotel Verneuil, has almost the perfect location, in the quartier antiquaire, right on the boundaries of sixiéme and septiéme arrondisements. The hotel is blushingly romantic, bathed in history and discreetly housed in a handsome 17th century building, and stylish in a way that weds the past (miles of printed fabrics from France’s old-guard textile houses) to the present (iron cube tables with a deliberately rusted finish). Some of the 26 guest rooms are a bit tight, but Flore and Deux Magots are your local cafés— complaining seems like bad manners. 8, rue de Verneuil.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, is a must on a gourmet’s list. With a restaurant empire all over the world (Las Vegas, Macao, London, Tokyo, New York, and Monaco), Joel Robuchon this is chef and his Atelier is no ordinary dining experience. It’s a Michelin-star restaurant, in the Hotel du Port Royal, on rue Montalembert, in the tony septiéme. It’s a open kitchen concept, with only 36 seats, with tapa size beautiful food. No reservations are taken, so be strategic and get there early for a seat at the counter. It’s a favorite sport of chic Parisians to time a table just right. 5, rue de Montalembert, corner of rue de Bac.

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La Hune, is an artist’s art bookstore. This place is part of the history of St. Germain des Prés with the likes of Max Ernst, André Breton and many other artists through the decades who have come to hang out here as well as Café de Flore which is next door. 170, Boulevard St Germain.

Astier et Villate, is the haute emporium of all that is beautiful about maison et objets of French china and things for the house. 173, rue St. Honoré.

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Coton Doux, is a must if you’re stocking up on the most beautifully made, fantastic colors and design, in men’s shirts and pajamas. Boutiques throughout Paris. 68, rue Mazarine is in the neighborhood.

Leave it to the Cambodians in the know to reveal Paris to me.

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