Friday, September 13, 2013

Three Famous Women: Child, Chanel, and Baker

This is a recap of my first two weeks in Paris. I was determined to do some of the walks in my "Forever Paris, 25 walks in the footsteps of Chanel, Hemingway, Picasso, and more", so during my first two weeks I did Julia Child, Coco Chanel, and Josephine Baker's walks.

Julia Child

She lived in Paris in the 1950s, where she discovered her passion for cooking. Author of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", she basically taught Americans how to do French cuisine. The picture below is one of the restaurants he used to frequent. It's close to the metro station Chatelet, and it's only about 15 minutes walking from where I live in Paris (Beaubourg). I also met  somebody from the prayer group that works there, kind of a fun fact for me.

Coco Chanel

A fashion revolutionary, Coco Chanel had a pretty tough life from the beginning. At twelve, she lived in a convent and learned how to sew. One of my favorite feats of Chanel was her simplifying fashion. She managed to turn a trend of wearing elaborate hats that limited movement and required hours, numerous pins, and assistance to put on, into wearing simple and elegant straw hats.
The picture below is where her personal apartment was, on the third floor of 31 rue Cambon. It's still there, but it's not open to the public. Some of her first hat shops are all along that street, covering several buildings on that block.

Josephine Baker

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1906, Baker arrived in Paris in 1925. A performer, Baker was a dancer, a singer, and even a comic star. As black performers were popular in Paris during the 1920s, Baker went from being in a "comedic side act in a country ruled by segregation" to being "the highest-paid entertainer in Europe". She loved Paris and she loved France, and even helped in the French Resistance during World War II.

The picture below is where she used to live in her early career, an apartment on av. des Champs-Elysees #77. The second picture is the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, where Baker performed her "Dance Sauvage" when she first arrived to Paris.
I hope you enjoyed these little summaries, although probably not as much as I enjoyed these wonderful walks. It was fun to walk in the footsteps of Child, Chanel, and Baker, three remarkable women.

*All the pictures above are pictures I took during my walks.

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