After Work, Paris Turns Bohemian AgainONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS CITIES, A GREAT PLACE TO WORK BUT ALSO, AND ESPECIALLY, TO GET OUT AND RELAX AFTER LEAVING THE OFFICE, AS ALUMNA ELENA FUMAGALLI EXPLAINS
Paris has a time for work and a time to relax. Every day, leaving their offices, the Parisians mount on bicycles made available by Vélib, the city’s bike sharing system, and head to some gourmet shop to buy a bottle of wine, tasty cheese, and the inevitable baguette. With the appetizing loot under their armpits, they reach the Left Bank of the Seine, in the stretch between the Eiffel Tower and the Musée d'Orsay, to share an improvised picnic in the company of friends and loved ones. When the wintry weather does not allow it, the ritual takes in place in the many brasseries of the City of Light: they are all pretty much the same, however young Parisians are especially fond of those in the République neighborhood behind the Marais, along the St. Martin Canal. There you can find Le Comptoir Général, a bohemian venue where you can sip a drink on a pirate vessel and watch a play being performed.
On the other hand, in the 13th Arrondissement, spending the evening out means entering one the many Asian restaurants available in the area: that’s where you go to taste Pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup with and meat and coriander; the best one in the city is served at Pho Banh Coun 14. Parisians spend a lot of their time outside the home, in cafés and other venues, which often turn into places to study or work. In order to satisfy this habit, there are several co-working cafeterias – Hubsy being a good example – offering hourly and daily rates to use spaces and services, and have unlimited access to a food buffet for the duration of the stay. During the weekend, when you can finally take a break from you commitments, the huge flea market of Saint-Ouen, in the north of Paris, is an extraordinary place where the passion to search for extravagant items, vintage furnishingsm and art pieces can be indulged.
Returning to the city center, at a walking distance from the Rodin Museum, there is Maison Deyrolle, a unique shop/museum that displays an extraordinary array of stuffed animals as well as collections of colorful insects from all over the world. Finally, let’s come to art. From classical to contemporary music, from visual performances to painting exhibits, there are two venues that should not be missed: the Paris Opera and 59 Rivoli. Although located in each other’s proximity, these two institutions could not be more different. L’Opéra National is a Parisian institution that frequently offers young people hefty discounts on tickets; 59 Rivoli is a social center that was squatted in 1999 by a trio of artists that over time has evolved into a collective. On the six floors of this building overlooking rue de Rivoli, there are more than thirty artist ateliers which are open to the public, while a rich program of cultural events is featured in the common hall.
Elena holds a Bocconi MSc in Marketing Management. She has been living in Paris since 2013, where she currently attends a PhD in Marketing at HEC Paris. Her research work focuses on consumer behavior and, in particular, on compensatory consumption as a way of offsetting unpleasant states of mind.
by Elena Fumagalli
Translated by Alex Foti