MACARONS are not cookies or cakes, but something in between. They are crispy (but only just barely) and smooth. They are not toothache-sweet or dense or rich. They are small, two-and-a-half bites, exactly.
We visit the rainy Champs-Elysees on a Tuesday at dusk when everyone is hurrying, wearing pumps, and trouncing their own slick reflections on the sidewalk. We cruise through the Louis Vuitton store playing a game: Guess how much that dress costs. I want to touch everything, to try on everything, to feel the cool fabric slide over my head—a white wool sundress with crisscross stitching, a dusky silk gown with pale pink feathers that peek out the bottom, jewels set in platinum without price tags except for the words, Demander pour le prix.