A few of you have written me, sharing that you are visiting Paris this June and July. Here is a check list of things you may want to bring:
- Sneakers. I brought 4 pairs of sandals, mules, loafers. Do you know what I have worn everyday? My Nike sneakers. The streets are cobblestone and uneven at times. There are some crazy stairs to climb if you picnic on the Seine or head to Montmarte. It rains out of nowhere. Sneakers with a good sole not only cushion me on the concrete, but keep my feet dry in the puddles that gather in the cobblestone.
- Sunscreen. I was in Tuscany in May and hot footed to a pharmacy as soon as I got to Florence. That sunscreen came with me to Paris, and I already blazed through one canister. The European sun burns HOT May/June and is unforgiving. If you forget it, there are loads of pharmacies here where you can buy.
- Hat. I brought my NY Yankees hat. It comes with me everywhere. That’s okay for jaunts to the gym or biking. But, I bought a straw hat on the Paris streets to pair with dresses. I left mine at home. My aesthetician always reminds me that the sun ages skin faster than any other thing and I could hear her voice as the sun burned hot on my head. The wider the brim the better.
- Sunglasses. It’s bright enough that I need hat AND sunglasses. The Paris streets are a lighter concrete, so the sun bounces off it and into your face.
- Linen or cotton clothing. I did a macaron making class, and the classroom was not air conditioned. One of my fellow baking mates (French) explained that air conditioning isn’t a thing in Paris. One because it messes with the architecture. Two because its bad for you. Once I turned 50, I pledged to only buy natural fabrics. Linen and clothing that breathes are my friend in the June heat.
- Water bottle. French tap water is safe to drink. Fill up and stay hydrated. I’ve noticed that everyone carries water bottles.
- Converters. American appliances don’t work here. Period.
- Umbrella. It rains out of nowhere -and HARD! Bring a sturdy umbrella.
What you don’t need:
1. A ton of cash. I took out some at the ATM at the airport for tipping, but if you have your credit cards loaded on your phone, Apple Pay is accepted everywhere.
2. Coats. Before leaving New York, I was monitoring the temperature. I saw it dipped to the 50’s at night. However, the sun doesn’t set until 10pm, so its hot pretty much all the time. I brought 5 coats and sweaters. I haven’t worn one.
3. Heels. I have one word for folks I see doddering around on the cobblestone in the meatpacking district at home in heels: Sneakers. Unless you are being driven around, leave the heels at home.