Enjoy a Parisian Day in New York

It’s Bastille day, or as the French would say “c’est le 14 juillet.”

parisian day new york hermes store

Have an aching for this perfect croissant on a terrace? Sighing over the thoughts of a stroll through the garden of the Musée Rodin? There is a name for that, Paris Withdrawal Syndrome (PWS). The good thing is that there is a remedy - New York City. From French speakers, to the best French restaurants and art, the Big Apple has this “je ne sais quoi” that the doctor ordered. Follow us as we stroll through New York, as if we were in Paris, disclosing our little secrets about the “je ne sais quoi” that makes it “so French”.

Paris sur New York - Varham Muratyan

When you think about waking up in the French manner, most likely you are thinking of a “grasse matinée”, literally a plum morning. What else can you expect when such morning includes a café au lait, the “journal” and of course a croissant. Not in the mood to read Le Monde, glance through “Paris versus New York” by Varham Muratyan to get reacquainted with Woody and Godard, and brush up on the difference between a Pierre de Taille and a brick brownstone. 

Once you are ready for some fresh air, head to the High Line, the “promenade” inspired by the Coulée Verte in Paris. Both have the rail road roots, and both give you a unique experience. No matter the season, your walk takes you through buildings, with a unique view of details you normally only see from street level. The green and lush vegetation takes you to another world, far from the urban jungle.

High Line or Promenade Plantée?

Part of the New York, or Parisian, experience is to do some shopping. Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue go hand in hand as la “creme de la creme” of shopping and the Avenue Montaigne of New York. Madison Avenue offers not only high fashion from Dior to Lanvin, but also handbags from Hermes to Longchamp, jewelry from Chopard to Jean Rousseau, and of course the “arts de la table”, without which France wouldn’t be France, with Baccarat Crystal, and for the Cire Trudon candles at Barneys. Our little secret is to open the door to Frederic Malle’s Edition de Parfums universe; Fifth Avenue is more likely to be compared to the Place Vendôme, with the prestigious houses of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston and Piaget. 

Baccarat Crystal Boutique

While on the Upper East Side, a stop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will make you feel that you could take part to one of France’s favorite activities, a philosophical conversation. It all started in the 17th century salons, so vividly recreated in the period rooms. Directly from the Paris right bank, the Boudoir of the Hotel de Crillon, and the Hotel de Cabris room take you to another time; don’t be surprised if you feel you are hearing the laugh of Marie-Antoinette playing, or the conversation of Louis XVI planning the support to the US revolution. Your visit at court won’t be perfect without a stroll through the Garden of Versailles, thanks to the Vanderlyn Panoramic view. As you continue to the museum’s annex uptown at the Cloisters, you are taken further back in time through abbeys and chapter houses - a quiet moment to resource.

Period Rooms at the Met Museum

Continue holding your salon by entering the most magical room of all a few steps from the Museum, the Albertine bookshop on Fifth Avenue. Tucked in the back of a grand Fifth Avenue mansion, ornate with the perfect green ivy, or lierre, and marble entrance, this enclave had a Latin Quarter vibe you would expect more of downtown. Downstairs you will feel invited to grab a book, in the French or English version of a contemporary or classic author and lounge on the leather sofa, only missing a cigarette to make it totally French. Take the stairs to the second floor (or is it to the attic) to discover an enchanted world. Under the zodiac mural on the ceiling, the shooting stars keep an eye on you. Peruse a first edition of Rimbaud. Get lost in dream with Le Petit Prince. Relax with a good comic. Let the kids find the latest adventure of Babar. 

Le Petit Prince is never far at Albertine

After all this walking, it’s time for your “quatre heure”. All French people have a special bond to this time of the day, as it is reminiscent of their childhood getting out of school, and eating something fresh from the “boulangerie”. What is your own Madeleine de Proust? Once you have a Ladurée macaron, your only hesitation will be which flavor is your favorite.

The grown up version, ready to become your own memory for many years to come, includes “petit fours” and Mariage Frères tea. Enjoy yours in the Grand Salon of the Baccarat hotel, as you would in your Maison de Ville. Sip some “Melange Rouge” or “Earl Grey d’Or” and be transported to the court of the Louis XV or the yacht of the Prince of Wales. Ease in the evening as you complement it with a glass of Ruinart champagne.

The French like to celebrate, so don’t be surprised if your “Quatre Heure” includes a fashion by Lanvin on Mother’s day, or a special Ladurée pop-up store for Bastille day. “C’est la vie”.

There is nothing that better represents the friendship between France and the US than the Statue of Liberty in the city harbor. While you are there, you can’t miss the Hermes fragrance store at the World Financial Center. Imagine a wall of fragrances, comprised of every single perfume invented by the prestigious house - no other place in the world has the entire collection, not even their Paris flagship. Don’t leave without getting a little something for your home, your significant other, or yourself; the view of the famous Hermès orange boxes outlined by the sellier stitches will put a smile on their face as much as what is inside. Once there, you would think that you are in the street of Paris as the smell of fresh bread and pastries are flowing from Le District. The little secret is to have dinner at L’Appart, their Chef’s table, overlooking the Hudson River. 

Hermès parfumerie downtown Manhattan

You may be in more of a bistro mood. Benoit by Alain Ducasse is your perfect spot to enjoy some salade niçoise. Head for an evening stroll on the Upper West Side, where the Ansonia building makes you believe you are Boulevard Haussmann. Walk up the grand staircase of the Lincoln Center and you feel you are joining the Cannes French festival. No wonder the annual Rendez-Vous with French Cinema festival takes place here. Stop at The Metropolitan Opera that regularly offers iconic French stories and productions, such as Cyrano de Bergerac. It’s not the only thing that gives it a “French touch”. It also shares the Marc Chagall love of music as his art grace both this prestigious house and the Paris Opera Garnier. In Paris, Chagall painted the ceiling to commemorate contemporary and historic composers, actors, and dancers, evoking the transformative power and beauty of art through the rich color and composition for which he was known.

Hausman building, Paris or New York?

In New York, his murals “The Triumph of Music” and “The Sources of Music” are for everyone’s enjoyment, even from the outside, on the grand tier level of the lobby. They were mistakenly switched and installed opposite of the way Chagall intended them to be, but the artist eventually decided that the accident was a happy one, as the trumpet players in each painting are now facing inward, serenading the Met's audience instead of the outside world. Get lost in the night. The night is still young, and The Bar at the Baccarat Hotel is the way to enjoy it. Decadent and provocative, it gets the vibe of the roaring Jazz Caveau of Paris meet the glamour of Versailles. The barrel vaunting and natural-wood walls remind you that wine is of the essence. Don’t be fooled, a Side Car or bespoke cocktail is as much in place to cap off your Parisian day in New York.

Contact our host to plan a perfect Parisian day in New York while you stay at the Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York. 

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