Tomorrow is the official start at les Soldes, the twice-annual period when the French government allows stores to discount merchandise. It usually last four weeks, although for the past couple of months, a few scofflaws have been marking things down discreetly anyways, flaunting the law in these cash-strapped times.
The area I live in is the Bastille, and it was once known as a hub of activity for furniture makers and interior designers. During the past few years, the Gap, Levis, and Nike, have muscled their way into the neighborhood as well. Unlike their American counterparts, they have to wait for the sale period as well.
I’m not much of a sale shopper here. For one thing, I don’t have a lot of space, and for another the prices are pretty high to begin with, so even at 25% off, things to me don’t quite seem to be a bargain. (However once they cross the 50% mark in a few weeks, get out of my way!)
One of the stores that’s resisted change and stayed in the neighborhood is Romeo.
Their sign says that they are the “architecte d’intérieur in the whole world” (sic), which I assume they mix-up in English and French to cover more of their bases. The store is terribly chic and the understated façade is, as usual, tastefully done-up for the holidays. Although I’ve never been inside, you can see through the crystal-clear windows that there isn’t a piece of pricey furniture or Grecian urn that isn’t mirrored, rimmed in brass, gilded, or polished within an inch of its life. When Versace went to heaven, I wouldn’t be surprised if Romeo was hired to decorate his digs.
Unfortunately, the pair of life-sized gold-and-speckled glass hammerhead sharks are no longer in the window, the ones that I’ve been admiring for months. Apparently someone with the same exquisite taste as me has snapped them up. However this fellow is still in the window, and while I’m shocked it hasn’t been bought up already, I think my chance may be coming up. And at a bargain price, too.
So tomorrow, when the sales begin, even though I don’t usually make an effort to hit the stores until the prices drop further, I might have to camp out tonight and snuggle up in the freezing cold so I’m first in the door tomorrow morning. (From the looks of things, it’s obviously not all that chilly in the store, though.)
If I do manage to be the first in the door and score, it’s going to quite a sight to see me lugging him down the rue du Faubourg St-Antoine. I’m sure he’s very heavy.
Luckily, I’ve had plenty of experience hauling unwieldy things around Paris, from chocolate cakes to twenty-six pound turkeys. But I don’t think I’ll have much of a problem carrying this package home, though.
At least this one comes with its own handle.