Purple Paris

Paris

I was buying a bike recently and, for some reason, the store offered the bike I wanted in two shades: black and prune (plum), one of the many variations on purple (which include, but are not limited to, violet, purple, and magenta) in the French vocabulary. I wasn’t sure I wanted a purple bike, but then I thought about how purple has invaded Paris – especially evident when an old-fashioned, traditional French butcher shop reopened this fall after an extensive renovation…

But it wasn’t just the butcher…

Paris

It was also the purple pâtisserie and pain maker…

Paris

And the purple pane-maker…

Paris

And the eyeglass maker…

Paris

Or you can peep across the street, to another eyeglass maker…

Paris

And there’s the make-up maker…

Paris

The phone broker…

Paris

And the salad maker…(ie: me)

Paris

The ticket maker…

Paris

And the job taker…

Paris

There are chip for dippers…

Paris

Pink-purple pastry-polishers…

Paris

And a purple-parka’d puller…

Paris

Purple accents French paperwork…

Paris

And you can use a colorful classeur to hold all that paperwork…

Classeur

If you go to a phosphorescent café….

Au metro

You’ll find that it’s not the only métro that has gone purple….

Paris

But four of the fourteen main métro lines sport a colorful point of purple…

metro lines in color

The newest one, the hyper-fast météor (line 14), is hyper-hued purple…

ligne14

No one in Paris would dare go out wearing anything but black or charcoal gray. Except for an occasional doudoune of defiance …

Paris

But that doesn’t mean you can’t pull any outfit toward the purple, with something plus vivant (more lively)…

Paris

Or with a purple-tinted tote…

Paris

Or one that’s very chic…

Paris

Perhaps from a chic boutique

Paris

Or with a bag that’s should be tossed in the poubelle (garbage)…

Paris

If bikes are your thing, your ride can be prune, or purple…

Paris

Or purple-pink…

Paris

Or you can use the purple pass…

Paris

But if you’re riding around, you might need to look at the purple plan of Paris…

Paris

Or on your motorbike, you might find a purple pass…

Paris

You might be feeling a little bit like a punk…

Paris

Or feigning to be a little more painterly…

Paris

Or feel in need of a bit of purple patriotism….

Paris

There’s purple at le bourne, where you pay for le parking

Paris

And purple publicité for your car…

Paris

There are the purple plaisirs of la table in prune-pigmented publications…

Paris

Around town, you’ll see purple notices for perturbations

Paris

For places for rent…

Paris

Or apartments to purchase…

Paris

With purple-noted precautions…

Paris

Or for a place, just for the night…

Paris

Or for a bird that can’t take flight…

Paris

If you want to paint the town…

Paris

You can start the party with a purple puller…

Paris

But when the mauve madness is over…

Paris

You can do a little magenta ménage (housecleaning) with the correctly colored cleaners.

Paris



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69 comments

  • PANTONE has declared orchid “the 2014″ color.

  • made me laugh especially because it is so so so sooooo true!

  • Madonna/Ms. Lemon: Once again, Paris is a step ahead of the fashion-forward crowd!

    guglielmo: A Parisienne friend is about to take a trip and was showing me her new suitcase…which was, of course – purple ~

    (And I should mention, after I showed my other-half a bunch of these photos, he pointed out my purple paperclip holder, pen, and stack of post-it notes on my desk!)

  • quel horreur! :)

  • I don’t think it is just Paris. Now you’ve out this together, you’ve got me running through all the places in my local town of Combourg, Brittany that have taken on a purple sheen..!

  • Hilarious! I quite like the purple in the metro…livens up the atmosphere when everyone’s wearing black!

  • This blog post is really awesome, David. Now I want to return to Paris even more, just to see and count every purple item there :D

  • Dare I say it – it looks like a fashion from across the Channel to me – tres Anglais!

  • Interesting — I love my new purple ski jacket even more now that it’s received the Paris blessing….

  • When I recently read that orchid was big for 2014, my inner child rejoiced. The purples are royal and serene, and a palette I absolutely LOVE!

    Thanks for the rendezvous around town. I love seeing your city, Honey-bunches!

  • Panettone’s 2014 color of the year happens to be Radiant Orchid, perhaps they were inspired by the purple haze of Paris?

  • For a minute I thought those were blue corn chips! And then realized they were just purple potato chips. Le sigh.

  • Did I miss what color you chose for your new bike?

  • I have never been sure what colour actually is purple. From violet through magenta to what, “purple”?

  • I loved your view of Purple Paris. As a purple person myself I would love to see all that wonderful purple in person. I love Paris and Purple Paris is awesome!

  • Chouette ! Now I can say I am “très Parisienne” when I wear my purple scarf, non? Charming post :-)

  • Not mentioning that purple potato – the Vitelotte- and the very pretty purple chips made from it, sold at Picard.

  • Hi David,

    The much touted Pantone colour of the year 2014 may be the reason Paris is going Purple/Pink. Radiant Orchid is the culprit.

    Slate plate article right on the button for me.

    Love your blog/recipes.

  • So, is purple the new black?

  • soooo? black or purple!? we’re dying to know!

  • angela + Molly: Black!

  • Charming. It’s nice to see the latitude and freedom you allow yourself in your food blog, David. Yours is the only food blog I read… I’m just beginning to explore this world. Thank you. You have a bright, warm style.

  • LOVE it!! My favorite color happens to be purple! No wonder I love Paris so much! I have wanted to go all my life – and will make it happen soon! Thank you for sharing on this wonderful Monday Mmorning – brightened my day!

  • So…. funny commentary on Paris style, but I am thinking that now that you have finished your new book (which I am excited about, BTW), you have a little too much time on your hands.
    Entertaining as always, thanks!!

  • I remember walking through the women’s department of Nordstrom a few years back and taking in the fashion world’s declaration that purple was the new black. At such moments that you’ve catalogued so thoroughly in your fun post, I find myself thinking of that poem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph. Somehow I think that we’ve taken her words to heart on a collective level.

  • Aubergine. Love the color, and this French word makes “eggplant” sound so much better!

  • Not my favorite color but what a whimsical post! It’s popping up everywhere!

  • My favorite color has been purple since I was a teenager. Partly this is because all of those colors you mentioned from lavender to magenta can be called purple. From a dusky indigo on the blue side to a violent violet, I love them all.

  • Hi David,
    What a fun post! It has made reminisce about my Paris visits. Sigh.
    BTW, I made a double batch of your Chocolate Chip Cookies last night. They are the best – everyone who has ever tried them agrees, including my husband who ate at least a dozen! But that’s okay, since one of his Christmas presents to me was an order for your new book, he can do no wrong!
    Cheers!
    Anna

  • Of course you see purple and its variations all around! Pantone’s color of the year for.2014 is radiant orchid! Gorgeous!

  • Purple seems a natural successor to FT’s Orange… I’m just saying

  • And your blog came to me with an ad for T-Mobile – in their bright purple!

  • Fun! That metro purchasing station…just looking at that purple ball roller-thingy gives me the sweats…I could never get it to work well! Sara

  • Fits right in with Pantones color of the year, “Radiant Orchid”

  • Very en vogue with the radiant orchid!

  • Soooooo, to close the loop, what color bike did you get?!

  • Orchid (purple) is 2014′s colour of the year:

    http://www.pantone.com/pages/index.aspx?pg=21129

  • Looks like you’re enjoying your new camera! Fun post.

  • Maybe Harold went to Paris? This was my favorite book as a kid:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_and_the_Purple_Crayon

  • Purple is a welcome relief after the ubiquitous (and nauseating) neon green/yellow of the past few years. Since 2010, has anyone had any luck finding a throw pillow, vase or kitchen gadget at BHV, Leroy Merlin, etc … that didn’t practically glow in the dark? Amen to purple.

    And since color generally reflects mood, I wonder what purple – the color of royalty – says about the current state of mind of Parisians? Hmmm …

  • Hehe! I was making an envelope yesterday. Yes, you guessed it, it was purple!

  • Some of those are definitely pink not purple!

  • Love the colours…and that sharp lens!!! Though agree with sundiegoeats – first shot looks pink on my monitor…

  • It’s finally catching on – purple, and all it’s shades, has been my daughter’s (and many of her friends’ ) favorite color since she was a tiny lass – maybe 1 ½ years old. Now it’s 24 years later, and voilà! it’s in fashion. We’re vindicated.

  • Purple’s the new black! And it’s always been my favorite color. I’d LOVE a purple bike.

  • Fun to see Paris through the purple haze. Down under here, in Melbourne, black is de rigueur for all seasons. But purple hit here 2 winters ago and there is a lot around here even in summer.

  • I read your post on my iPhone which of course has a protective case in- what else- purple:) I have always adored every shade of purple & your post makes me want to return to Paris-even in the dead of winter!

    • Simone, hi
      lol, I have purple protectors for g3 phone 2! I am the only one with purple still, yeah!

  • What a fabulous post. Like many of your commentors I learnt recently that there is a colour of the year thanks to the Pantone people, and yes Paris is coming on trend early. I can only visit Paris from far off Australia occasionally, but when I was there last year I noticed Paris was actually awash in orange….

    http://astrongbeliefinwicker.blogspot.com.au/2014/01/pamplemousse-dreams.html

    I will be back in Paris later in the year, and hope to find more purple than orange.

  • Mais, c’est tout bon et jolie aussi
    J’aime le coleur prune et j’aime des prunes aussi.
    C’est tout !
    :)

  • Tell us David, did you buy the purple bike!

  • The purple virus attacked me some years ago, I have purple T-shirts, purple ties, purple underwear (oh, did I ever say that?!?!?!). But live in Brazil, in a few months the whole country will become green/yellow, to my displeasure.

  • Daveed, Lovely post and I confess a preference for red-violet to blue-violet. However, the bicycle is sharp.

  • LOL, David. Great post to start my day. Nice story there.

  • Plum was my wedding shade in ’08 and I’m still digging its boldness! Wow can’t believe you took all those purple photos around the city! Fun post!

  • You forgot Noura!

  • just checked:
    today I don’t have my purple polo T shirt… but in our office I have a purple book and a shopping bag. I think I should search for something else ;)

    have a nice day!

  • Love it David! I thought I might see a giant eggplant somewhere in there. Enjoy your bike, I’ve got an orange one and a teal one and just got rid of my car!

    • The French post office has these amazing yellow bikes and I think you can buy one somehow, although I hear they are rather heavy, and I’ve always wanted one. I’m sure they’re really rugged and I love the color and look of them.

  • Perfect purple post!

  • Funny how once you start noticing something, you can’t stop! These little daily glimpses got me all excited for my upcoming trip to Paris and Marseilles… I think the last time I was there, Velib’ was brand new. Can’t wait!

  • Nothing to do with the color purple, but I wanted to alert you to the fact that Trader Joe’s is now featuring Kouigns Amann! See their Fearless Flyer: http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=1491

  • Tres bien fait David – as they would say! I love how Cillit bang encapsulated all the pantones though! :)

  • Thank you for Purple Paris. It was great way to forget about the cruel winter we have had so far on canada’s east coast. Now if only I could get to Paris…

  • This development is truly counter-revolutionary, as the color that symbolizes royalty is…purple.

  • There’s the blog that had a color them of photographs of Paris by an American couple. Lots of overlapping themes there, eh? They’ve since changed focus but they have a book and an Etsy shop and a Facebook page. Paris in Color is the book name and the Facebook page is “Obvious State”.

  • Fear not! This, too, will pass, just as the once-relentless orange did, a few years ago.

  • How could you forget the SNCF logo and the interior of the TGV:
    http://dev.sergeroux.com/?portfolio=tgv-seats
    http://logos.wikia.com/wiki/SNCF

    • Thanks ~ Honestly, I was thinking that it would take me a few weeks of compiling photos of purple things in Paris, and I would just carry my camera around and snap photos as I saw them. On Day #1, I was walking to lunch to meet a friend (which was just a few blocks away), when I saw almost 3/4rds of the purple signs, etc.. shown here. Yes, the SNCF seems to have embraced the color purple as well. It seems somewhat 70s, but judging from the other commenters, “orchid” the color of this year (2014, according to Pantone) – so vive la France!