1. Simon and Garfunkle: I have very unspecified music taste, which means all my more musically particular (snobbish) friends and family are always giving me music to try to alter my taste. Living in an apartment alone means I often just leave music on a random shuffle setting, and I inevitably find music that I like but never knew I had. Such is the case with Simon and Garfunkle, no clue where it came from but I like it. This musical condition also means that one day I realized I own Lenny Kravitz’ greatest hits.
2. Speculoos: My love for nutella has not diminished, per se, but Speculoos is my new taboo craving. Formerly a cinnamon flavored Sweedish cookie, you can now buy spreadable Speculoos. Imagine spreadable Nutter Butter cookies. After too quickly going through one jar, I have banned its presence from my shelves . . . but I still love from afar.
3. My boots: They are perfect, they are brown, and I love them. The hunt was long and hard, but I was triumphant.
4. Miel de Lavande: There is a little store I discovered when I was here two years ago that specializes in honey. You select honey based on what the bees were fed, and nothing is as perfect as the honey from bees that have only eaten lavender blossoms. Little, one of a kind, niche stores like this are what make Paris so unique.
5. Cutco Spatula Spreader: Purchased a couple years ago from a friend selling Cutco (haven’t we all had to do likewise?) my spatula spreader is the one kitchen utensil I brought with me. It chops, spreads, flips, and provides the perfect companion to any picnic. A small kitchen teaches you to prioritize around the things that are really necessary, which brings me to . . .
6. . . . My Monoprix Plates: Ok, so maybe not as essential as my Cutco knife, but sometimes beautiful dishes become a different sort of necessity. Monoprix is like a French Target, and just before Christmas they had the most lovely plates with little red birds on them. Knowing I loved them, a friend gave me a set of four perfect saucers for Christmas. They are plates worthy of the yummy French things I serve on them ,and they keep merry company with my nice Ikea white dishes.
7. Macaron aux épices et fruits moulleux: Ladurée has seasonal macarons, along with their already amazing permanent collection. The Christmas one is a spice and “soft fruits” one that is the most lovely shade of violet. Eating macarons is like actually eating beauty incarnate. And I can never afford to buy more than two at once, so it proves a healthy snack.
8. Bright Umbrellas: After a several week flirtation with snow, Paris has remembered her place as a city of rainy winters. On the whole I don’t mind, as I have toasty warm feet in my boots (see #3). In fact, I think there is something singularly beautiful about walking through emptied streets on a dizzly day and seeing a blight splash of colorful umbrella reflected in the silvery streets. Why carry a dull umbrella, when you already know that a day which necessitates it is dreary already? Do your part to put color back into saturated days!
9. Grocery Bags: In the US. every store offers nice cloth bags you can buy so as to not use plastic and save the environment. But the majority of Americans forget and use plastic ones anyway. The French like to take the optional element out of conscientious acts, and thus you either bring your own bag, or you buy a plastic on at most grocery stores. Thus, most shoppers tote their cloth bags with them. I feel proud of the environmental consciousness and amused at how different the approach is between the two cultures. Of course, I always forget, but when facing environmental destruction, I usually opt for just trying to carry everything, thus dropping my poor Museli multiple times on the way home. Someday I will learn.