You have to go to the Musée Rodin. They have drawers filled with little sculpted hands. I think some of them might be [Rodin's] students', but they have these drawers that open that are filled with little hands that he would just sculpt and sculpt and sculpt. It's pretty extraordinary. And Notre Dame - you have to go there. Then go sit at one of the cafes and have some chocolate ice cream. Even if you don't like chocolate ice cream, have some chocolate ice cream. You'll pay four times what it's worth, but the view that comes with it is just beautiful.
HALF A WORLD AWAY
Near the Latin Quarter is Salon de Thé de la Mosquée, which has Moroccan mint tea and sweets that you can buy. It's close to the museums and gardens you can wander around in. It's distinctly Parisian because of the people around you, but it's obviously Arabic and looks Arabic, so it feels like part of another culture in the middle of Paris. It's a great place to go, and the tea is genuine Moroccan. So that's a must. You'll leave there with a buzz. They have a hammam [Turkish steam bath] there, too, although I've never been. The best Thai restaurant in town is Thiou. I don't eat chicken, but I love curries, so I get a curry. Anything with lemongrass.
E-BOW THE LETTER
The Taschen bookstore is a must-see. He is the German king of coffee-table books, and this store was designed specifically by and for Taschen and the books that they put out. It's really beautiful and strange and modern inside. There's another great bookstore called Artazart, on quai de Valmy, and they have the most amazing art books. Some that are very specific to Paris. I remember going there and buying two books about Jean Prouvé, who's one of my favorite designers, and finding photographs of his work that I'd not seen in any other bookstores.
If you were going to dinner at someone's house and you wanted to present them with a gift, you'd go to Ladurée and buy a box of 12 macaroons. Ladurée has been there since 1862, and they have the best macaroons in the world. They have all the classic flavors, those being rose, lavender, and chocolate, obviously, but then they have really strange ones like rosemary. You just have to go to this place. It's like a Parisian institution, and everyone in the city would know that you had made this special trip to this special place to get the best macaroons in Paris.
GREEN GROW THE RUSHES
Le Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil, which is at the edge of Paris, at the start of the Bois de Boulogne, is this spectacular garden that nobody knows about. It's a little out of the way, but what makes it a treasure are the magnificent greenhouses from the 19th century, the collection of tropical plants, and the fact that nobody knows it's there. I remember being there on a rainy day and there were plants from different parts of the world. There was this one that was all arid desert, so it was cactus inside these ancient beautiful greenhouses. And they had the tallest persimmon trees I'd ever seen. The fruit was so big, as big as a teacup, it was falling off of the trees. And all of the furniture in the park was painted blue. And there were maybe six people in the entire park. It was kind of misty and rainy. And really one of my premier experiences in Paris.