February 18, 2008 / Leave a Comment
I love Paris in more ways that most will know. I’m over the traditional tourist-y spots and now feel like I have a true love for the city. While I don’t know it like the back of my hand, I will say that I’ve gotten to know some great secrets that have truly made my trips memorable.
I felt like I needed a rejuvenation, so my first stop in Paris this time ’round was the Hammam in the Mosque de Paris. When I went last August, I had stayed only long enough for a quick massage and thé de menthe. This time I made it a point to stay longer, and enjoy myself. The women of Paris are serious about their beauty, and it is apparent when you walk into the Hammam. For 38 euros you get entrance to the steam room and steam bath, a grommage-a healthy scrub-down with sea salts- a 10 minute massage, and a mint tea to finish things off. Once I placed my belongings in the locker
(1 euro, returned when you leave), I made my way to the steam area where women lingered in the 3 harem-like rooms decorated in ancient Arabic motifs. I must’ve stayed there for about an hour, it felt so refreshing. The mild cough that I had nearly disappeared. Afterwards, I went to take a cool shower using the olive oil soap paste given to me upon my entrance, and waited for my grommage. When it was my turn, a tough-looking Middle-Eastern woman ushered me onto a table, where I was scrubbed from head to toe, infant-like. She missed no crevice! Afterwards, I showered and went into the main massage room, where I was covered in rich-scented oils and massaged into oblivion. When she finished, my chocolate skin glistened like a newly-bathed child.
If you go, be sure to bring a bikini bottom, 1 or 2 towels (or be charged 4 euros!), a pair of flip flops, and some of your favorite beauty products. Masks and scrubs are perfect for this type of environment because the heat will literally melt dead skin away!
Visit the Hammam homepage here:
I also needed to get my hair done. I was in such a rush in New York, that I literally had no time to do my hair! In the summer, I had come upon a great section of African stylists and braiders at the Strousbourg-St. Denis station in Paris. I could have sworn I was in Harlem because the stylists in Paris grab you with even more aggressiveness than their Harlem brothers and sisters! I met a shop owner called Jo, and promised him that the next time I came, I would come to him to get my hair done. Big thanks to Jo and his hair mafia over at Jo Creations in Paris. Stylist Nana did a fabulous job with my “vanille” hairstyle, and I felt amazingly sexy! And I can’t forget to mention that the prices where on point, and their weaves were undetectable! A must if you’re a sister that needs to look right, but has a budget.
3, rue Gustave Goublier