Pylones is one of those stores.
When I first moved to Paris, I found it so witty and funny. Lots of wacky, impractical items, but also lots of other practical stuff that simply allows you to whistle while you work. Always something to make you smile.
After traipsing around Paris enough, though, it seemed as though Pylones boutiques were in virtually every arrondissement, and I grew a bit weary of the chain-store mentality.
But, oh, they do offer all sorts of irresistibly whimsical and entertaining merchandise, and I find myself drawn in, especially when out-of-town guests are around. I inevitable buy the alligator staple-remover (I needed a staple-remover for my desk anyway, so might as well have one that makes me smile, right?). Or the 3-D Eiffel Tower cut-out post card. Non-essential but definitely memorable. And just inexpensive enough to satisfy the budget impulse-shopping cravings. Funny corkscrews, playful salad servers, all in bright, colorful plastic. Silly rubber gloves.
But the latest draw for me is the reading glasses. (Please don't snicker if you don't need reading glasses yet -- you will some day!) Pylones has the most stylish reading glasses in Paris for the money.
Today, for the umpteenth time this month, I got a random compliment about my reading glasses, when I put them on to look at the bus map.
So here's the scoop. Reading glasses, 10€ a pair, all levels from 1.0 to 3.50 (maybe higher, but I'm in denial), including a matching case. All sorts of colorful patterns. The next cheapest reading glasses [loupes de lecture] I've found elsewhere in Paris are 20€ at parapharmacies. You do the math.
But you have to be willing to be a bit wacky. Make a bold style ...um ... statement?
Face it, you don't have much to lose once you admit visual defeat.