To celebrate over six months of weekly blogging I thought it was time to share with you the very essence of a displaced Boulevardier.
The trusty World Wide Web tells us that a Boulevardier is a man who promenades the fashionable streets of Paris. In other words an urbane, fashionable city dweller, who is usually of higher class and has knowledge of the city, and in particular how to find the best advanced cultural entertainment.
I do think that Crouch End is a suitable replacement for Paris. I also just about manage to replicate the criteria albeit in a displaced fashion.
I will now enlighten (and hopefully entertain) you by providing the seven areas of consideration in my self help guide.
A Boulevardier, however displaced, should have a good head of hair. This should be coiffured into a chic style. The quiff is a good example of en vogue tresses, which equally retains a classic and classy element.
Regular visits to the salon are also required. Barbers do serve a purpose, but seem to deal more in volume sheerings than dazzling creations.
The most important part of the appointment is the initial consultation. It is not enough to provide the instruction
‘Just a trim please.’
The Tonsorial Artist will perform much better with a detailed description of each area of the how the cutting should take place for each area of the head.
For example ‘Please don’t cut any length from the front and top. The sides and back should be much shorter, and as short as possible without showing the scalp, and disconnected from the top rather than graduated.’
Healthy (some might say excessive) attention to clothing
Fashion is constantly changing and evolving, and while it would be fantastic to keep right up to the minute with every microscopic change it’s simply not practical. It is important to ensure sartorial sophistication exudes from your wardrobes and this can be achieved by developing your own essence of cool. Of course this will be wrapped around various genres, from hippie to punk, but it will be your own.
A cautionary note should be added. Please check with your friends and family first to validate your ability for natural panache, as without this creating your own style could lead to disaster.
Adding the right and the right number of accessories is vital. Think jewellery, manbag (to manbag or to not?), and shades. Shades are mandatory and the choice should be around which pair to wear.
And contrary to popular belief a man can never have enough shoes.
Social Media Presence
Updating social media is an art. Each tweet, status update or photo should be interesting and make the reader or viewer wish they were in your world.
For instance if you wake feeling too tired to get up, then you post should read something like the following
‘Decadently lounging in bed savouring endless cups of tea.’
Timing your updates is also key and ensuring you still pay sufficient attention to any company you are keeping. It’s not wise to constantly update when you are in a social situation but sometimes needs must. Much will depend on the duration of your social intercourse. If you are meeting for a short lunch then it’s probably not prudent to be constantly tapping your phone or tablet, but if it’s a longer affair then it’s only reasonable to keep in touch with your wider circle.
Theatre, concerts and the arts
Regular visits to all manner of cultural events are required and enjoyed. Crouch End is vibrant with its own annual arts festival, and with so many nearby local theatres there is always something to watch and enjoy.
From the revue showings of new plays in bars to the acoustic music sessions in the cafes there is always something on.
These experiences should enrich your cultural conversational referencing.
We even had crocheted squares and woven pompoms decorating the trees and railings near the Clock Tower this summer.
Immergence and appreciation of all artistic expression is required.
This is the area of Boulevarding (I think I just invented a new verb!) I struggle with most. The kitchen is not my natural sanctuary. If you think Carrie from Sex and the City, and her redundant kitchen you won’t be too far from the truth. However, I would like to protest that it is almost sacrilegious to stay in when there are global gastronomical opportunities minutes from my residence. Crouch End is bountiful with eateries. Everything from Caribbean fusion to Pan Asian via Spain, Italy, Turkey and Japan to name just a few.
The hosting at my home is finer tuned to thirst quenching and entertainment. My piano forte is often in use.
Drink Sherry and Tanqueray
A preferred tipple which coincidently sets you aside from the pack is also a bonus.
Sherry has certainly made a comeback in recent years, and our palates have been warmed to an excellent Fino or a darker Amontillado. Sherry is an elegant drink to enjoy and certainly raises the eyebrows of most bar staff when requested.
However, while it has been revived Sherry is not freely available. It is therefore important to have an alternate in mind. I oft for Tanqueray a lesser known London gin. My spirit of choice has long been gin, and I really don’t like the taste of the default Gordons. Amy Winehouse introduced me to the joys of Tanqueray when she sang of it in her track You Know I’m No Good.
If in doubt ask ‘What would Amy do?’
Replace ‘Amy’ with your own hero but it has to be someone qualified in style, cool and presence.
I hope my short and perhaps self-indulgent guide spurs some of you into the joys of Boulevardier hood.