I'd also read at Cup of Jo and a few other places that Parisians love Chuck Taylors. It's weird because those are like the most American shoe ever. But they solve the problem of what to wear that's super-comfortable to walk in but will go chicly with lots of stuff. I wanted these sooooo badly:
They're a special edition by artist Camilla Engman and used to be on sale at coverse.com for $30. But after scouring the internets I could only find them in men's size 13. And some on ebay in women's 5 1/2. Not helpful, as I wear a 9.
But I found these:...and got them on sale with a fab coupon (google search) and free shipping here. They came in the mail Friday and are a lovely lavender color in real life. But I pulled them out of the box and...surely my feet aren't THAT big? Apparently the company sent a Men's 9/Women's 11 instead of a Women's 9/Men's 11. So I hope the correct size comes quickly and that the correct pair aren't as boat-like.
Meanwhile, JB and I got French phrasebooks (we both had a few years of high school French that we barely remember). We entertained ourselves in Barnes & Noble for at least 30 minutes telling each other stuff like "I would like chicken" and "To the cathedral!"
The best phrase, hands-down, was in my book: "I think there is something wrong with the brakes." I hope I don't have to use that one because by the time I looked it up and tried to pronounce it, we'd probably be dead.
I'd be grateful for any suggestions of good restaurants, shops, etc., as well as clothing tips.