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Art History Expert & Social Media Wizard
Born in Paris but raised in the Caribbean and in the South of France, Margaux came back to her birth place in 2008. She studied Art History at the École du Louvre and is passionate about contemporary creators. She loves to write, read, and eat, and she spends way too much time in galleries and museums. She currently works as a social media manager and content editor. She shares her love for Paris on her Instagram account @margauxbrugvin.

 A Quick Q&A With A Local Paris Insider

Our Interview with Paris Writer Margaux

What brought you to Paris?

I feel like I’ve spent my whole teenagehood watching Sex and the City and reading blogs written by young Parisian women… I was dreaming of the day I would live in this big city life myself. I was passionate about art, literature, and fashion and there was no other option than Paris or New York to me. I arrived in Paris at 17 to study Art History and I will probably never leave again!

How would you describe your love affair with Paris?

Love affair is the perfect word to describe my relationship with Paris! I’m deeply in love with the city. It was love at first sight and the honeymoon lasted for a few years… I felt like I was living in a dream or on a film set. I couldn’t get used to the beauty of the city and as soon as I was away, I missed it terribly.
Ten years later, I’m still astonished by the grandiosity of the city I’ve chosen, but I know it enough not to be intimidated anymore and feel perfectly comfortable. There has never been a big crisis in this love affair, I never got fed up or tired, but sometimes I feel like Paris is pushing me away. Indeed, rents are super expensive and life can get a bit intense… But that’s a love story I’m definitely willing to make efforts and sacrifices for!

What’s your favorite thing about Paris in general?

Probably the homogeneity of the Haussmannian architecture. It’s iconic. It’s what makes the identity of Paris. It’s never boring, always chic. It creates a very dense and intricate decor, but the color of the stone conveys a feeling of serenity.
I love to walk in Paris, have a glass of wine at a terrace, gallery hop in the Marais… Haussmannian buildings are the setting of all of my favorite activities in Paris!

Are there any aspects of Paris that you dislike?

When I travel to other big cities around the world, I always feel that Paris is a bit less dynamic and opened to the world — maybe a bit provincial sometimes. But it’s probably one of the drawbacks of the “French art de vivre.”
Life is a bit slower here than in New York or London, for better and for worse.
Also, I grew up in much sunnier parts of the world and I must say I’m still not used to the weather here!

Where’s your favorite daydreaming spot in Paris?

Of course, I love to walk around the Ile Saint Louis and the Ile de la Cité, but it’s so touristy that I feel these moments don’t really belong to me.
I think the little streets around the Canal Saint Martin — from place Sainte Marthe to Rue des Vinaigriers — and the heights of the Buttes Chaumont feel much more real, and they’re linked to many good memories.
I must also mention Le Marais, where I spend a lot of time. I never get tired up of the Rue de Bretagne and the Carreau du Temple. And finally, I love a mint tea at the Grande Mosquée and a walk on the Montagne Sainte Geneviève once in a while.

What’s your favorite Parisian movie scene?

I’m so bad at these kinds of questions! I can’t even name my favorite movie or song… Before I lived in Paris I loved the Nouvelle Vague movies as well as the American classics such as Charade or An American in Paris.
Now, I’m much more excited when I recognize a place that I know well, so it would probably be a scene from a Cedric Klapisch movie such as Chacun cherche son chat.

Who are your favorite French authors?

I read a ton of novels by Zola when I was younger, but in the last years, I’ve plunged into contemporary literature. I would say Annie Erneaux, Virgine Despentes, Leïla Slimani and, even if I hate his vision of the society, Michel Houellebecq — not his last books though.
Also, I’m named after Hemingway’s granddaughter so I must mention him, even though he’s not French.

If Paris were a song?

I don’t know why, but to me “Sympathique” by Pink Martini is very, very Parisian.

Margaux’s Favorites:

  • Sightseeing: I’m not really into Impressionism so I rarely go to Orsay. If there is only one museum to visit in Paris, I would definitely say it’s the Louvre. I would recommend the sumptuous apartment Napoléon III and the Chardin’s paintings rather than the crowded Mona Lisa room. Pick the periods of Art History you like the most on the map because you could spend days in the museum! Also, I love the Centre Pompidou and the Palais de Tokyo. Even if you’re not into Modern Art, the view from the top floor of the Centre Pompidou is worth the visit. The Fondation Louis Vuitton, designed by architect Frank Gehry, is stunning and the exhibitions rarely disappoint. And finally, check out the events in the Grand Palais, the Grande Verrière is unforgettable.
  • Stroll: If you have only one day in Paris, you should definitely have a long walk from the Jardin du Luxembourg to the North of Le Marais. Wander in the streets of the Quartier Latin, make sure to cross the river on the Pont de l’Archevêché in between the two islands on the Seine, get lost in the quartier Saint Paul, have a coffee on the place Sainte Catherine and head over to the Carreau du Temple. In my opinion you’ll have seen most of the prettiest places in Paris.
  • Cocktail bars: I’m more into a glass of wine on a nice terrace than in cocktail bars but I do like to sip a fresh mix from La Candelaria once in a while!
  • Restaurants: Definitely the Chateaubriand if you’re into high gastronomy. Otherwise, there are too many choices to pick only a few favorites! The last restaurant I’ve tasted and loved is Les Vinaigriers. If you’re on a budget, go to the Bouillon Julien, their motto is “everything is good, beautiful, and cheap,” and it’s true!
  • Gigs: There’s a place called La Gare in the north of Paris where you can listen to good jazz for free. It’s in an abandoned station of the Petite Ceinture. Beautiful during summertime!
  • Experience: You don’t need much to fall in love with the city. A long stroll and a café terrace to write read and do some people watching is the perfect Parisian experience to me!
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