We explored the concept stores of Paris. Part boutique and cafe, they offer products for home, beauty, fashion, music and more. Shopping becomes an experience that blurs past departments to displays that are matched by mood rather than object. Colette, Merci, 0fr, and Broken Arm are just a few that we’ve enjoyed.
We had lunch in Merci’s used book cafe, surrounded by library shelves and little tables & nooks to sit and munch. We enjoyed œuf à la coque and chocolat tartines, along with frothy cafe cremes. Clumsily breaking through the shell of the egg, we reached the sunny center, dredging the fingers of bread in butter and yolk. With full bellies, we went on to explore the three levels of the store, I with a mission to buy something that captured the Parisian spirit. Once I spied the rack of Isabel Marant Étoilé, my heart was set on a piece from the quintessential designer of effortless chic and cool femme style. I came away with an embroidered silk sheath , spun of kohl and gold, with a low slung tie that hung on my hips hearkening the 20s. It matched the mood of my new scent, Byredo’s Bal d’Afrique, “a warm and romantic vetiver” inspired by Paris in the late 20s and its infatuation with the avant-garde and vibrant expression of the African culture. I imagine my own euphoria in Paris – spun in a cloud of cloves and mojitos, drinking in the city and its exuberance of light and culture.
Between IndySpectator, KA+A, IndyHub, Pattern, and all of our Indy-building endeavors, we’ve become (& continue to be) quite smitten with our hometown city. As we gradually (& oftentimes brashly) navigate our personal, professional and creative evolution, we’ve decided that a month abroad may be the perfect next step.
Now, to be clear(-er), this month abroad is not merely a loosely thought-out, semantically-manipulated way of saying “We’re taking a monthlong vacation.” On the contrary, we plan to explore and research and soak up as many valuable experiences in France as our 4-week stint allows.
As we meander through Paris’ coworking spaces, fashion incubators, tech accelerators and universities, we hope to bring back a few new tools that may help us to better be a part of guiding and participating in Indy’s urban growth.
We don’t presume to be urban design mavens or community crafting experts… but, we do believe in Indy’s ability to utilize both its past, present & future successes (and missteps) in such a way that will keep our city moving forward (with one eye on the past). Our daily involvement with various Indy organizations and individuals has equipped us to embark on this expedition with at least a smidgen of perspective regarding the ins-&-outs of our city.
We’re born & raised Hoosiers, and couldn’t be more proud of how Indy has become the creative space we’d always wished for, and we can’t wait to see its future permutations. (And of course, we relish the opportunity to be a part of actualizing what’s to come – for ourselves, our community, and our beloved city!)
We’ll be working out of an apartment on Rue Charlot (in the Marais district) from 20 March to 18 April, and will be posting observations, questions, curiosities, critiques, and ideas that we think may help move Indy towards…
– Benjamin and Janneane Blevins