My Favorite City

city_header

10 Jul My Favorite City

London X Paris X Berlin X Copenhagen

Four people // Four cities // Four perspectives

Are you planning a weekend with your sweetheart in Paris? Or are you headed to London for a shopping spree? How about spending your Fall vacation exploring the bar and restaurant scene in Copenhagen? Or would you rather spend some quality time in Europe’s new unofficial capital of art and style, Berlin? Wherever your travels may take you, taking some advice from the locals is always a great idea. Because run-of-the-mill travel guides will only take you so far – not to mention that listed locations are bound to be overrun by the masses. That’s why our new City Check segment is dedicated to sharing the inside scoop on secret spots and must-see locations, as told by the tastemakers and style icons who call these cities home. To set things off, we talked to four heavyweights of the international eyewear business, who share their city as they see it.

LEE FROM LONDON

city_1_lee

What is your favorite city?
London.

For how many years have you been living in London?
25 years.

What makes your city so special?
I guess it’s a mix of the people and it being such a large city with so much to do. I love the multicultural aspect of the city, I have made many great friends from all over the world. The music scene has been a big part of my life since I moved here, Londoners like to party! I live in North London and love the open green spaces, especially now that I have a family.

Do you have a favorite restaurant?
For breakfast I would go to the café at Kenwood House after a stroll across Hampstead Heath from White Stone pond. For lunch, Franz and Evans down the road from my store on Redchurch Street, and then for an evening meal I would head to Tayyabs on Fieldgate Street in Whitechapel for curry.

Do you like clubs and if yes, where is your favorite one?
I really prefer to party in a warehouse, there are always loads of underground parties to check out, try Secret Sundaze, Disco Bloodbath or the Horse Meat Disco. I saw DJ Harvey recently. That was a great night. If I were to choose a club, though, it would be Plastic People on Curtain Road, it’s a small club with a really good sound system and they often have quality underground DJs.

Are there any beautiful shopping areas in your city?
It’s got to be where my store is, in Redchurch Street, and around Shoreditch there are loads of great independent boutiques. I would also suggest – for the atmosphere – a visit to Portobello Road and Columbia Road market for a coffee on a Sunday morning.

Do you have a favorite store?
For clothes it would be Folk at 11 Dray Walk and for shoes I go to see my man Rodney at his stall in Camden Market. Which optician shop do you like the most?
Steenie at the Eye Company, 159 Wardour Street, W1. If you’re in the West End check out his store, he has one of the best selections of eyewear in London. Of course, if you want vintage eyewear, my store is worth a visit too.

Who is the most important person in London?
For me, my 96-year-old grandma!

What are the three things you have to do in your city?
Go to the Tate Modern on the South Bank, there is always something very special to see. I recently saw the Yayoi Kusama exhibition there, it blew me away. There are some dark installations in the Tanks extension right now.
Go for an early morning swim at the London Fields Lido (heated) or the Hampstead ponds (freezing).
No visit to London would be complete without a day spent in a pub, roll up after midday after a big night out, order a roast lunch and settle down with the papers. Try the Owl and Pussycat on Redchurch Street or St Johns on Junction Road, N19.

Did you experience any extreme situations?
I guess it has to be the terrorist attacks in 2007; that was a difficult time for the city. In contrast, the feeling around town during the recent Olympics was incredible, the whole event was handled and organized so well, everyone came together and there was a feeling that we were all sharing something very special.

What, in your opinion, is the best thing about London?
The people, they really make London special for me. It’s a very tolerant city, although there are a few problems here and there, mostly people get on and have a good time!

And what is the worst thing, on the other hand?
The traffic for sure, also the price of housing is crazy.

Free quote!
Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner
That I love London so
Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner
That I think of her wherever I go
I get a funny feeling inside of me
When walking up and down
Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner
That I love London Town!

JÉRÉMY TARIAN FROM PARIS

city_2_jeremy

Which city is your favorite city?
Some people call it the city of love, Paris.

For how many years have you been living in Paris?
Since February 21st, 1987, 10.15 p.m.

What is the special thing about your city?
Paris is just UNIQUE. A city that looks like no other in the world and where you always fall in love over and over again.

Do you have a favorite restaurant?
Chez Kate, 27 Rue de Picardie. It’s in the heart of the ”Marais” district. You feel like you are in your own living room with amazing homemade food.

Do you have a favorite Club?
POMPON, 39 Rue des Petites-Écuries.

Are there any beautiful shopping areas in Paris?
From Rue des Francs Bourgeois to Rue François Miron, in the Marais district. Just make sure to walk into the small streets.

What is your favorite store in your hometown?
Close to the Canal Saint-Martin, Centre Commercial, 2 Rue de Marseille. Infused by varied influences, this collective space combines fashion with social commitment and artistic projects with environmental concerns. The labels are from France, Great Britain and Denmark.

Where is your favorite optician store?
Because it’s a warm place where you enjoy the frames but also the design of the shop, the young lady Sarah will be the perfect help for the right frame. La Lunetière, 52 Rue du Roi de Sicile.

Who is the most important person in Paris?
My grandmother when she’s cooking Armenian food with a French flavor. Where to find her – in the temple of food at La Grande Épicerie de Paris, 38 Rue de Sèvres.

What are the three things people have to do in the „City of Love”?
1. After discovering amazing food products at La Grande Épicerie, you should go across the street to le Bon Marché. The department stores kept their “French chic”.
2. Wake up, buy a baguette, some cheese and choose a nice wine (Burgundy), rent one of theses famous bike called Vélib, and cycle along the Seine from the Eiffel Tower to Le port de l’Arsenal, where you can sit in the middle of boats in the heart of Paris. On Saturday and Sunday, the expressway along the Seine is for bikes only.
3. Chocolate is no exception of being part of the French art de vivre. With boutiques that display truffles as diamonds, the experience of visiting a Parisian chocolatier can be sublime. You should definitely devote one full day to chocolate boutiques: Michel Cluizel, Patrick Roger, Jean Peul Hévin and Michel Chaudin are the people to meet, and taste.

Were there any extreme situations you have experienced?
Once a year, around 10.000 people will organize a Paris White Dinner out in the open in the city. The location is announced known at the last minute, and the last edition at La Place des Vosges was insane.

What is the best thing about Paris?
Looking everywhere is the rule. The city has many secret places like the gorgeous Japanese style cinema from the 19th century. Named La Pagode, it’s the art house for movie lovers with a beautiful garden inside.
And what is the worst thing, on the other hand?
The way back to the airport.

And what is the worst thing, on the other hand?
The way back to the airport.

MORITZ FROM BERLIN

city_3_moritz

What is your favorite city?
Berlin.

For how many years have you been living here?
13 years.

What makes Berlin so special to you?
Compared to other metropolises, Berlin is still not predictable and truly multicultural. Let’s say there is an energy that moves things forward and makes things possible, only depending on you.

Do you have a favorite restaurant?
Sasaya, a Japanese place on Lychener Strasse.

Do you have a favorite club?
I prefer going to bars rather than clubs. For example ”Liebling” on Helmholtzplatz is really chilled out, or Bar 3 in the Mitte district.

Are there any beautiful shopping areas?
The area called “SOTO,” meaning “South of Torstrasse.”

Do you have a favorite Store?
Andreas Murkudis on Potsdamer Strasse is one of the most amazing shops in the world.

What is your favorite optician shop?
The MYKITA Shop.

Who, in your opinion, is the most important person in Berlin?
My dog Paul… or actually I guess I should be saying Angela Merkel.

What are the three things people have to do in Berlin?
Hamburger Bahnhof Modern Art Museum and Neue Nationalgalerie, the flea markets (Arkona Platz, Mauerpark, etc.), and discover the city by bike.

What is the best thing about the city?
Berlin has so many facets that even after 13 years, you will always discover new grounds and explore new places and cultures.

And what, on the other hand, is the worst thing?
It is lacking mountains and too far from the sea.

Free quote!
Truly vibrant, while still being the most relaxing metropolis of the Western hemisphere. This city has so many ingredients – just create your own recipe.

EMMA FROM COPENHAGEN

city_4_emma

What is your favorite city?
Copenhagen is my favorite city.

For how long have you been living in your city?
I have been living in Copenhagen since 2006. I was born and raised in the south of France and moved to the Danish capital after finishing my Master degree studies.

What makes your city so special?
People are full of ambition, energetic and understand the quality of life. The atmosphere is cozy and relaxing for being a capital. The metropolitan city offers a vibrant blend of art, culture and spectacular historical buildings, mixed with modern architecture.

What’s your favorite restaurant?
The new restaurant KogT in the heart of Copenhagen is one of my favorite places for a casual dinner. It mixes Danish and French cuisine, a modern twist in a cozy atmosphere. It’s located at Bredgade 29.

And your favorite club?
TS Bar is a member’s nightclub, so let us know if you want to check it out. It’s at Studiestræde 14. I also enjoy having a drink at Karriere, a mix between an exhibition art gallery, bar and nightspot in the flourishing Meat Packing district. It’s at Flæsketorvet 57-67.

How about your favorite shopping area?
There are a lot of nice shopping areas in Copenhagen. Some of my favorite streets are Kronprinsensgade, Krystalgade and Grønnegade, where you can combine good shopping with a nice lunch or coffee break.

What is your favorite clothing store?
Storm, Copenhagen’s answer to the eclectic Colette-style boutique in Paris, but on a much smaller scale. It has an amazing selection of Danish and international brands, from haute couture to casual wear, perfumes and coffee table books. It’s at Store Regnegade 1.

What is your favorite optician store?
Ørgreen København, the Ørgreen Optics flagship store located in the fashion and design Mecca. Here you will be able to discover the full Ørgreen collection as well as a few selected designer brands. At Store Regnegade 1.

Who is the most important person in your city?
My beautiful son Gustav, who is 2 years old.

Please name three things visitors absolutely have to do?
You should experience NOMA, the two Michelin star restaurant run by chef René Redzepi. It is internationally known today for its reinvention and interpretation of Nordic Cuisine. I would also suggest The Royal Danish Playhouse, a landmark in Copenhagen, outstanding modern architecture on the waterfront with a great view of the harbor from its oak promenade. The last stop will be discovering the beauty of Danish nature by heading north and visiting the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It’s one of the world’s most picturesque art galleries with a panoramic view across Øresund.

What was the most extreme situation you experienced in your city?
It’s difficult to say, but I was definitely amazed the day I saw a group of people not in control of their bikes and all falling down together because of an extreme windstorm. Nature here is strong and unpredictable.

What is, overall, the best thing in your city?
It is a bicycle-friendly city. Today, I am addicted to my two-wheelers.

What is overall the worst thing about your city?
We have beautiful sandy beaches, but almost never lie on them. You never know if summer is going to be good. Therefore, I am always planning a two-week vacation in the Provence, where you are sure to have +30 degrees.