(paris actually comes before cologne 1. oops.)
A Japanese/German/Irish-American in Paris.
(Mon petit chou. Day 1. Part 1.)
The trick with flying overseas is one that took me a few years to nail. Get the seat you want: I prefer an aisle that i can stretch my bad knee out on, in the middle of the plane to evade being woken from slumber; as soon as you sit on the plane, set your clock and your head to the time of where you’re going - convince yourself it’s that time. If it’s bed time, I make sure I brush and prep for bed as usual - and pop a doctor approved couple of SAFE sleeping pills (I used to take this stuff… well - let’s just say it’s illegal everywhere but Japan - and is used for some bad shit… with a side effect listed as: Death. Needless to say, I’ll never take that stuff on purpose again), and sleep how you would. I bring a lot of shit on a plane - way more than I need, and I never use it all. I guess I like to torture myself - but my sleep setup is: a McKenzie lumbar back pillow, a pillow from home (if a real long flight), bandanna across my mouth (to prevent eating too many plane-farts mid-sleep), eye-cover, ear plugs. It all does the trick.
This was a different kind of press tour for me, because I was doing it solo (Corey was being flown to Stockholm at the same time to cover multiple places simultaneously) - I missed my band guys - that’s for sure.
Waking 1 hour before the plane lands rules. I got about 6.5 hours of sleep - which is exactly what I needed to do since I had to hit press as soon as I arrived and got settled.
My bag was a few late - no problem - I was in Paris; nothing could ruin my vibe. Karine from RR/Warner France picked me up, and we took a traffic-choked-highway-ride to the hotel.
I was stoked to hang with Karine - we’ve never really been able to hang too much in the past, and I warned her that I wanted to get as much Parisian stuff in to any free minute possible: she was down. We had a real good ride back in to town, spoke on the music industry; food and art culture; had a real good catch-up.
I know this is a food blog… but I think it’s going to be shifting into a multi-platform site: it’ll have - well - basically whatever.
Now - when you’re in a band that has the ability to do some places where you’re put up in hotels - it is pretty sweet… but sometimes you have some scary hole-in-the-basement-windowless-prison-cells… and sometimes you have the best hotel of your life.
(Some day… i’ll have an editor maybe… someone who can properly spell the French words as they ought to be with the proper punctuations… till then:)
L'Hotel de Sers. They put me in either the Suite Panoramique or L'Appartment. It was a 3900E a night hotel that they apparently get at massive discount. I’m talking same price as a Holiday Inn in Paris kind of discount (literally that - last time we were here on promo, we were at the Holiday Inn Paris.) I dropped my bags and my jaw upon giddily skipping into my room - nay - my palace. I looked at Karine, who was also laughing in awe at the impossibly beautiful 3-roomed kingdom, and said “Umm… you guys may be spoiling me terribly.”
It was a smart move - my own throne of a bathroom and bedroom, separate room for interviews (with a bathroom for the interviewers), an office area for Karine to work at (which I said she ought to, since the room was so ridiculously large that I’d be pretty selfish to just use it for myself), and two outdoor tables. It was a good idea since we could conduct all the press of the day in the suite; and I could easily escape off into my private giant-bathroom if need be to change for photos or anything.
I quickly snapped some pics (on my iPhone… ugh… it gets fixed in Germany - promise), unpacked, and did my hotel ritual: I move every single pamphlet - every notice, every thing that I won’t be using in the room - and pack it away somewhere I will never have to see any of it again. I lined my stuff across the sink and closet quickly and said “Food time!”
From the drive in, I saw Joel Rubuchon’s L'Atelier (which Bourdain mentioned on multiple occasions that, first of all: Rubuchon is the greatest chef on earth, and that L'Atelier does Rubuchon-food in a casual diner atmosphere), I really wanted to go - but it’s a little up there in the price range. I asked Karine “If we go gold here… can we go there?” She replied “It’s a deal."
I love Paris… have I said that already? I love it. Everything about it. Paris is the leader in food culture, art, fashion - it’s influence IS the cuisine of pretty much all places on earth; most traditional American food is French-inspired. Art thrived in Paris and spread it’s creative-wings across the globe, infecting the planet with some of the greatest styles of art in existence. Paris wrote the book on traditional classical art… then broke the rules with modern art; it’s food set the rules of classical greatness… then they broke it with a new set of rules. Paris is always reinventing itself; creating itself, and then denying itself - and recreating again.
If I look back into my interests - really trace them back to the roots - it’s from here as much as it is Japan. "In Waves” is all about destroying the old format of itself, within itself and outside of itself - and making something new. I look at my ever-growing interest in what I eat around the planet - it traces back here.
There wasn’t a massive amount of time to grab a bite - but I needed something Parisian. We decided to walk and find whatever looked appealing. The first spot that grabbed our attention was 46 Avenue; I had Cafe au lait (the French coffee drink - espresso and milk - but different ratios than the cappuccino), and Croq'genie, which even with using simple ingredients I’ve had elsewhere on the globe was fantastic: turkey, cheese, bread, tomato, mayonnaise. It sounds easy and simple - but this thing was better than any sandwich I’ve had with those ingredients in years.