A Canadian In Paris: Kiss Me, Kate

a canadian in paris

I’ll pause to give you a second to appreciate the cliché, but on September 20th, I moved Paris to be a freelance fashion writer.

It was, in part, a career move. I was saying goodbye to a full time fashion editor position that had me with a pile of freelance contracts and an urge to run away from the Six (because “running through the six…th arrondisement” sounds much more mature, oui?)

It was also part because I had hit a wall. Toronto didn’t have the inspiration I craved as a writer anymore, and the thought of penning one more piece on how to pull off a parka had me heading for the hills. Adding to the overall clich?d theme of my situation, the prince in my life had revealed himself to be just a frog. Rather, Mr. Big took what I like to call the Season 2 approach and I was left single with a bottle of vino, dabbing my eyes to Old Hollywood romantics.

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No, it was over.

In true clich?d form, I wandered off to Paris in my mind (truth: first I dreamed of Casablanca, but there are a lot of logistical errors there, namely time travel and the fact that Humphrey Bogart is less than eligible).

So being young, single, and a EU citizen, I pulled a Carrie Bradshaw and moved to Paris in search of some wicked articles, and my Aidan (#SayNoToBig).

Within 24 hours of getting here I knew it was for me. French girls get me. They too have an aversion to makeup and complete distaste for hairbrushes. When I used to forego makeup and hairbrushes in Canada, I would get confronted with the horrendous “you look tired.” But here, the woke-up-like-this tousles I so strongly swear by fit right in. Stan Smiths rule the street, and not in a trendy, everyone-has-them sense that Toronto has adopted. They’re just the uniform of an effortlessly cool breed of women. I didn’t feel tired when I discard the heavy cat-eye I’ve learned to love so dearly, but fresh-faced and gamine-esque. The strapping fellow I bumped (see: rammed) into mid-text seemed to think so too, and he offered up a wink. He then proceeded to speak rapidly in incomprehensible French and I proceeded to back away twitching. Oh well.

The weather my first day was rainy (Mother Nature seemed bent on sticking with my clich?, too). I wandered up from my apartment on the border of the L’Opera district up into the hills of Montemartre, damp a dusting of rain and blaring the moody stylings of Ryan Adams and The Cardinals. My mind was off in Wonderland, partly captivated by the incredible street art (I was hunting desperately for Space Invader’s mosaics. Note to self: go watch Exit Through The Gift Shop) and partly strategizing how I was going to drop my scarf ever so subtly so the silver fox behind me could pick it up and we could skip off into the sunset together.

Montmartre is beautiful. More of a French town than a Parisian suburb, it’s known for being a hub for writers, artists and thinkers. Past residents include Victor Hugo, Salvador Dali, and the rest of the cast of Midnight in Paris. The streets are quaint, cobble-stoned and full of greenery. Full of life, too: artists peddling their portraits (new drinking game = a shot for every Eiffel Tower painting you see), older gents going HAM on the accordion, and caf?s buzzing with people. Montmartre exudes the humble romance that causes everyone to fall head over heels for le gay Paris?myself included.

?Kate Dingwall

Stay tuned for more of Kate’s adventures in Paris!

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