-Ascend a spiral staircase leading to the colorful chaos of 30 different artist ateliers
-Get caught up in a photographic experiment (props provided) amidst a playful confusion of languages
-Discuss the nature of choices and creativity while a stream of people pass by
-Sit on mismatched throw cushions and listen to a woman sing in a voice clear as the glassfront facing onto a busy street.
If you do all this and more, you just might say to yourself: now this is Paris.
What better way to inaugurate a new feature here at paris (im)perfect than to start with a real example from last Saturday afternoon?
My TIPs (This is Paris) will provide little snippets of Paris, far from the stock images of the City of Light. Nothing against the Eiffel Tower (I still like you, Eiffel, and definitely have that ‘this is Paris’ feeling when I see you), but I get giddy when I discover something different.
Tall, sparkly, and bright are nice. But so are local secrets, smudged gems.
Lots of things will count as TIPs in my book: does it surprise? Delight? Give me pause? (Or the giggles?) Make me ponder? Sigh? Maybe it’s just cool, odd, or random.
So, here’s a TIP: 59 Rivoli, the former squat now owned by the city.
If you’re lucky, the artist’s collective will be up to something when you drop by. Like painting their door bright, happy colors.
Or hosting a musical duo (the woman beautiful in that impossibly French way) who will urge you to “ouvre la porte. Ouvre la porte et dit oui.”
That’s pretty much my approach to Paris, life – everything – these days. Opening the door and saying yes.
59 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris (Metro Châtelet)
Need a push? About 2 minutes in the singer will really implore you to open the door