WELCOME TO A SAUCY ITINERARY OF ARTFUL RESTLESSNESS
TUESDAY OCT 18
“Wow, it’s so small but so heavy!” said the gate agent as she heaved my luggage. Since it was technically a carry-on size, she couldn't have expected an absolute brick. “And there’s two??!” Here we go, myself and Christina, our style director, departing LAX. All was smooth sailing until we landed at CDG, walked to baggage claim and saw our luggage — wheels crushed.
Alas, heavy mags and broken bags couldn’t get us down.
Grøss <3 The Hoxton Hotel
Like the mailman, The Hoxton always delivers. Their Paris location is now the fourth Hoxton hotel the Grøss team has stayed at (including Rome, Portland and Williamsburg), and we’re always welcomed with excitement and ease. Located in the 2nd arrondissement, they’ve melded grandiosity with sleek design, amplifying the chicness only an 18th-century residence can embody. Bustling with locals and travelers alike, The Hoxton Paris is a hub for creative industries; a melting pot of connoisseurs. The perfect place to host our Paris+ Opening Party.
After checking into our immaculate, top-floor terraced room, we did as the Parisians do; eat charcuterie, drink delicious wine, and connect with friends at Planche, The Hoxton’s natural wine bar where we met with Stephen, our Bostonian transplant and resident sommelier.
From there we hit La Prochaine Fois, Le Feu (translates to The Fire Next Time, a reference to the book by author James Baldwin), a two-person exhibition featuring works by Kehinde Wiley and Alexandre Diop, where Wiley mentored the young Diop. This exhibition was produced by Reiffers Art Initiatives and hosted by Numéro Mag at Acacias Art Center. A raucous circle of rappers jostled the mezzanine — giving an abundance of life to the space directly in front of the stunning artwork by Wiley. Thanks for the gift bags, Numéro.
No time to waste — a car was called and we were swept off to the next destination: The Hole + Super Zoom’s Manscaping show and dinner in the Marais. The pink space housed pieces by Anders Oinonen, Caroline Larsen, Matt Belk, Matthew F. Fisher, Matthew Hansel, Mathew Tom, Cecilia Fiona, Eric Yahnker, Leo Park, Magda Kirk, Ramiro Hernandez, Jeremy Shockley, Pablo Benzo, Anthony Miler, Tim Irani and Brendan Lynch.
A packed, hazy upstairs hosted a scene reminiscent of a glorious college house party, with Ray cooking up a storm under Bertie the Pom’s careful supervision. We bumped into advisors, dealers and gallerists — Kathy (The Hole), Dimitri (Lorin Gallery), Andrea and Lauren.
Fast forward to Mary Celeste wine bar where we met with Danny, Grøss’ very own Ambassadeur Maitre Fromager (seriously, he got a medal while we were in Paris) and selected a couple of bottles under Stephen’s guidance.
Our last stop of the night, Hotel Le Super Bitch (kidding) aka the infamous Hôtel Costes. Yeah, it’s a cool, moody lounge but, damn, they could turn the “moody” level down a bit. It was all worth it to meet up with one of our cover stars, Big Bless himself, Mr. StarCity. Always a pleasure, fam. Probably won’t be returning to Hôtel Costes any time soon, though. I may or may not be 86’d...
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 19
Forcibly peeling my face from the pillows, the motivation to wake was stoked by a special delivery of croissants and coffee courtesy of the Hox team (you're the man, Theo). Time to get moving.
- Shower off the long night.
- Avoid thinking about the 9hr time difference between LA and Paris.
- Prep and assemble our co-branded gift bags.
- Takeover Hoxton’s library space at the base of Jacques’ Bar.
- Scarf a couple of delicious burgers courtesy of Rivie (shoutout to the homie, Kim)
Party starts and people pull up — what a rad turnout. The intimate Jacques’ Bar was perfect for hosting an array of creatives and artists alike. Colombian photographers, musicians from Mexico City, French film directors, stylists and founders, PR pros — a powerful crowd all moving to the seamless sounds by Cezaire and DJ Warren. Thanks to Cocchi, our beverage sponsor, the bar was flowing with a trifecta of dangerously tasty cocktails.
As the clock struck 23:30h, the energy was palpable and it was clear the night was far from over. Crush a couple of pizzas with new friends then a quick stroll to Colonia Speakeasy for the Whitewall Magazine party — too crowded for comfort. We rang it in at Le Grande wine bar, Stephen’s stomping grounds, proceeding to get a masterclass in specialty French vins. After a short stumble up the cobblestone streets back to the lovely Hoxton, it was lights out around 4 am.
THURSDAY OCTOBER 20
Attempting to get out of bed before noon, we made our way to Paris+ at the Grand Palais Éphémère, the temporary home while the Grand Palais undergoes renovation. Shout out to the Claudine Colin Communications staff, Paris+ par Art Basel’s press department for taking such good care of our team. They made it easy and efficient to retrieve our press badges, and we were off!
We knew we were doing multiple days of the fair so we took our time diving in and out of the main and emerging galleries tents, eyes sporadically bulging with delight. As it was a PACKED fair, it was only natural to bump into a couple of friends, like Spanish artist Okuda — unfortunately, we didn't snag a pic together since he zipped away on a same-day round-trip flight from Spain just to catch the fairs. His life pace is unreal.
Paris+ sits at the base of the lawn leading up to the Eiffel Tower. On our way out, we sauntered through the gardens, hopped on a couple of Limes, and biked along the Seine, excited to go meet up with our primo from LA. Hugosaurusrex is his name, coordinator for Kendrick Lamar’s Big Steppers Tour is his game. Together we ate one of the worst meals in Paris but it was overshadowed by our excitement for VIP passes to Kendrick’s specialty, a live-stream show at Accor Arena on Saturday, commemorating the 10th anniversary of Good Kid Maad City.
Hugo joined us for an exhibition by Unit London featuring a stellar installation of generative works of Willam Mapan. A few other exhibitions were happening in the building too... don't mind if we do.
We ended the night accompanying Hugo to his first-ever Eiffel Tower light show — pure magic.