Search Results for: paris

#1860| Dreaming in Paris


imagesParis, France

I had such a dreamy time in Paris this time round. Having covered most bases in Paris this February, we thought three days was more than enough for the city of lights and love.. and we thought wrong. I’ve never wanted to not leave a city as much as I did Paris, and I have a feeling it’s got something to do with the fact that I pretty much found my dream apartment here.

When I made plans for Paris, Nadia from Paris Flat List very generously opened (one of) her doors to me. I’ve done all the touristy stuff before, I said, so this time I want to live like a Parisian – and when I walked into the apartment she selected for me I felt like all my christmasses had come at once. Paris is an expensive city, so living like a Parisian very often means you stay in a studio apartment that’s space efficient but still very chic because everything about Paris is chic. It’s their governing principle and city’s motto, or something like that.


I met Nadia in the building’s courtyard and we walked up to the apartment together, exchanging pleasantries. The courtyard was hidden behind a huge ornate door flushed straight into a street of boutique shops (and right opposite a Pierre Herme too, what a dream), an architectural style quite common in Paris. We were in the Le Marais district, in between the 3rd and 4th arrondissement, and as we climbed the stairs Nadia gushed – It’s one of the most beautiful Parisian neighborhoods in Paris Central, locals love it, you can’t get more Paris than this. I stayed in Rue De Clichy the last time I came, I told her, and she turned to me with a twinkle in her eye:

Ah, but it’s not so pretty, is it?

And opened the door.


Oh my word. No, Clichy is not as pretty. No Sir.

It was one of those Japanese style luxury apartments, where everything is calculated to realize the best possible combination of efficiency and style. The interior decoration was immaculate. Everything doubled up as something else. I’ve always associated the idea of luxury apartments with sprawling, huge spaces, but this studio apartment knocked that right out of the court. Look at those exposed beams! Those rainbow curtains! I nearly expired on the spot.

I’ll leave you to enjoy the apartment and district, Nadia said as she set the keys down on the table and left, have fun!

In hindsight, I might have had a little too much fun opening and closing all the different closets and getting lost in the insanely comfortable quilts: I almost didn’t want to leave the apartment to explore Paris. But honestly, who can blame me? Check this out:


Crazy comfortable bed, and very wish-fulfillment too: I’ve always wanted to sleep under a bookshelf.. and I know this is a little out of context, but can I just gush about the electrical plugs near sleeping area? The soft lighting from the bed top lamp let me flop on the bed and use my laptop for hours without getting tired, and when I saw that they had an electric powerpoint above each bed I nearly wept. This is coming from a girl who’s spent way too much time crouched in some weird corner trying to charge my phone and use it too, or sitting under a table to charge my dying Macbook late at night when all I want to do is lie down and spoil my eyesight read Buzzfeed online.


I thought this cupboard was just a cupboard – but no, it’s hiding a washing machine! Perfect for travelers for whom Paris is one stop in a long list of destinations – because coming back from three weeks of travel let me tell you that renting at least one apartment with a washing machine is super important.

And I make it a point never to rent a place without a kitchen, hostel or apartment, because of how expensive eating out can be. How can you squeeze cooking facilities in a studio apartment without making the room look too cluttered though, you ask?


Ta-da! Full kitchen facilities, hidden behind what looked like innocuous cupboard doors. I made dinner for three with leftovers to boot for under 12 Euros. The one meal I had in a Parisian cafe cost me about 20 Euros for one person. I’m just saying.


Well obviously during World Cup season you need an apartment with a retractable flat screen TV to watch the France vs Switzerland match… (the aftermath was insane, too)

And ugh, I’m breaking my own rule of never posting toilet selfies, but then again I have never stayed in an apartment with a toilet nicer than that of most hotels.


Mirrors everywhere to create the illusion of spaciousness. The mirror on the right opens to a toilet cubicle and the one on the left hides a power shower area.


Très Magnifique! Any place with a mirror side powerpoint for me to plug in my hairdryer/ curler/ straightener has a stamp of approval from me.

I honestly .. never wanted to leave the room. If we’re being totally honest here, I pretty much wanted to move in with all my life’s possessions and live there forever. I felt like a college student living her independent Paris dream. I felt like a twenty something PR intern in Paris, making coffee in my studio apartment every morning before work. I felt like I could be that cute working professional you read about in Sophie Kinsella books, trying to balance a serious job while making sure my scarf matches my shoes everyday. I felt like I could be Emma Morley, I felt like I could be someone who pulls off a short parisian hair cut with no problem and rides a bike along the Seine river to work, I felt like I could be chic, or cute, or anything I wanted. Overly dramatic? Whatever. I don’t care. The apartment was such a dream.


You wouldn’t think it gets better, but it does. When I finally did leave the apartment, I felt like I couldn’t have asked for a better district. It was quirky, it had character, and yet somehow it was still classy.. While it was walking distance from the classic attractions – the Louvre, Notre Dame, the love-locked bridge, River Seine – it was nestled right in the heart of a very Parisian neighborhood, with close to no tourists and very, very trendy people. If I’m not wrong, it’s traditionally a gay district, and I don’t mean to stereotype, but boy did everyone dress well there. I spent my first evening sitting at a cafe and people-watching, and littered up and down the street were bars, cafes, ice cream shops and boutiques. It made walking home late at night after strolling down the Seine feel so safe, which differed so greatly from the last time I was in Paris, having to quicken my pace each evening as I hurried off deserted streets. We had tea with a true-blue parisian, Felix, and he confirmed my suspicions – this area was what you’d call a hipster area, where trendy people converge, but because this was Paris, it wasn’t just hipster, it was a whole new level of chic hipster. Only in Paris, huh.

I never wanted to leave the place. Unfortunately, I had to, because we’d already booked our next leg of the trip (Disneyland!!!) and also because it was so popular that there was another guest coming in the day we left. Fortunately, I can always come back – and I know where I’ll be staying, if I ever do return to Paris.

For those of you who also, want to live like a Parisian, Paris Flat List rents out apartments in Paris City Center that have been carefully curated to give you the most amazing Parisian experience – you can find them here on their website, or on Nadia’s Airbnb page if you wish. I recommend her 100%, but hey, you don’t have to listen to me (Although you should). After all, I’m just one voice in nearly three hundred airbnb user reviews.

Thank you so much, Nadia & Paris Flat List for the apartment! It was amazing. Bon Jour, Paris, I’ll be back.


#1829| Paris in Film


Of late i’ve been addicted to those little disposable Kodaks you get from the drugstores here in Europe – the last time I was this hooked on them was back in 2011, New York, where they sell them for about seven bucks a pop. Here they cost about 8 euros for a pack of two – which is still fantastic compared to the singaporean price of twenty dollars for one. There’s always that bit where people keep going on about how film photography is so great because it’s a surprise how each photo turns out, but really I mainly love it because it’s so cheap that I can toss one of these babies into a bag and not worry about it getting scratched or damaged.

Anyway, I bought a couple before going to paris and I love how they turned out so brilliant! There’s just something about film photographs that normal cameras and instagram filters can’t replicate. I think it’s called being grainy and off focus. But artistically, of course. I had a hell of a time trying to get these developed though, because all the photoshops here quoted me ridiculous prices per shot that amounted to about twenty euros for the whole roll of prints without giving me the option of having it scanned to a CD at all… but then I walked into a DM (a type of drugstore here, like Watsons) and what dya know – they develop films for only about seven euros, prints and CDs and all. So yes, a bit of a tip for people in Europe wanting to get their films developed cheap: boutique photo shops are out to suck you dry, go for the MNCs.

Now isn’t that an optimistic note to end the post on. In other news, I’ve finally caved and gotten on lookbook because people keep asking me about it and also, it’s pretty… Anyway! If you’re on lookbook as well, be a friend and say hi here:

And since we’re on the topic of social sites, I also recently got on bloglovin– a super straightforward but absolutely beautiful site that you can sign up for free. It’s a bit like googlereader for blogs : you create an account and add all the blogs you normally read so you get notified when any of them have new posts/ you can read all their posts in one streamlined feed on your site and dont have to individually go to their websites/ risk missing out on posts. I don’t think people really use it in Singapore but hey, no harm getting on it anyway because +1 for convenience am i right.

Follow on Bloglovin

They even have an app which you can download here for iphone and here for android.

Wokay that’s about it. And of course, all the other standard social sites you can find me on:  photo FACEBOOK_zps04f96152.png photo instagram_zps66a6a466.png photo twitter_zpsed6eee61.png photo youtube_zps5dc96a77.png

They’re all on my sidebar of course, and this is something i’m unreasonably excited over- I HAVE A SIDEBAR NOW!! Courtesy of my new layout which I spent forever tweaking. I complained to boyfriend that I couldn’t find a photo I liked enough to use as my profile picture for the blog and he just picked up my tablet and started drawing me, complete with signature red lips, cat ears, and ombre hair. I am such a sucker for these things, you know? I’ve also updated all my respective page tabs, so hurray for efficiency. Small things like that get me feeling so ridiculously cheerful and accomplished although what I really should be doing with my time is getting round to replying emails and settling administrative applications for school.. Oh well.

Do you guys use film too?
Till next time.


#1822| Together in Paris


imagesParis, France

Is it a weird reference to make if I say I was humming the theme song of Anastasia the whole time I was there? Together in Paris and all that. Granted, I was there with my boyfriend, not long lost grandmother, but hey. Once upon a December is a good song. Had the loveliest Valentine’s Day weekend in Paris (also, my first time there) mainly spent gasping in wonder: I’m in Paris! I’m in Paris! and in shock: How on earth does an ice cream cone cost seven bucks?? Of course, there has to be a more detailed post down the road on the land of overpriced crepes and breathtaking museums, but for now it’s worth noting that at one point in the trip I turned to Shane and asked: Paris for Valentine’s? How will any of my future boyfriends ever match up? to which he replied in a relatively ominous manner: They won’t.

Valentine’s, 2014 everybody.


#1127| longchamp paris

Currently listening to:

thought i’d pop in to share longchamp’s latest ad for their new bag, the Balzane. a combination of two things i really like- effective and entertaining use of social media channels, and pretty bags. the ad stars model Audrey Marnay, and bloggers Rumi Neely, Eleonore Bridge, and Jing Wang. Its youtube based but customized to be interactive, the concept is similar to that of the amazing interactive youtube campaign for desperados beer.

if you’re at home on a friday night, 1. why? 2. join the party here. Of course you have to be of legal age (they ID at the virtual front door) and i trust none of you will fake your d.o.b, but I guarantee you’ll enjoy it. I also suggest you go for the connect to Facebook option so you can get your face tattooed on a hot woman/man’s collarbone at the end. Which could be pretty interesting.

you are welcome.

♥ jem

#2048| I am not a robot

It’s been a very odd and solitary month, you guys, one spent mostly closeted in my room in Manhattan for two weeks, then, punctuated by a brief interlude in the air, in a temporary service apartment in Singapore, under quarantine, and now, back home, shuffling between a makeshift study and a makeshift bed, living underwater in new york time as the rest of singapore continues on GMT+8.

It was with this sense of cotton mindedness that I came to the sign-in page of my blog today, thinking to myself that i must write something, but not knowing what. For some reason, a few websites refuse to keep me signed in, the new yorker, the new york times, the paris review, and my own website, this page, All websites i pay to access (or in this case, host) and all of which boot me out unceremoniously after the session ends, requiring me to sign in again, and again, and again..

Anyway. Every time I come to to sign in and write a post i need to verify my human status, tick the innocuous i am not a robot box, which i’ve never thought much about, but today i came to it and thought, what if instead of wallowing in this grumpy haze, this pandemic panic, i opened my mind up and sharpened my attention to every microscopic detail, saw each question posed as an opportunity for a prompt?

I am not, of course, saying that the same grey i am not a robot box is what inspired californian based writer Minyoung Lee. On the other hand, what a perfect balancing clause – i am not a robot, but make me one.

All of that to say that I read this wonderful short story today on Monkeybicycle, and now you can, too.

Make Me a Robot by Minyoung Lee