#89: Clémence Polès (Passerbuys)

Clémence Polès on Waking Up to Classical Music, Shiatsu massages, Citibike, and more.

Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked cool person Clémence Polès to come on Perfectly Imperfect & redistribute her good taste.

New York City based Clémence Polès is a Creative Director, Photographer & Curator who shares the same love as us for real recommendations from real people. For her online magazine, passerbuys, she’s profiled over 400 stylish women around the world, capturing candid stories and asking for personal recommendations— a great example being Lauren Servideo’s feature (who recommended passerbuys on PI, meta!). Polès is also the co-founder of FFFest, a non-profit film festival that’s inspiring more women to make movies and get the recognition they deserve. Clémence clearly has great taste and lucky for us, she’s here to talk about what she’s been into.

Without further ado

Clémence Polès (@clemencepoles, @passerbuys)


Despite having interviewed over 400 women about their morning routines, I’m actually pretty terrible at them. But, waking up to classical music has been something I’ve managed to stick to (this probably has something to do with all my mothers’ Deutsche Grammophon CDs I would play while she was at work). Almost a decade ago, I discovered WQXR and it’s become one of my favorite things about New York City. If you have Sonos, you can set it up to play any radio station as an alarm, so every morning, I wake up right in time for Jeff Spurgeon’s Morning Bach and “Out-the-Door” dedications. Though he’s on vacation right now, his replacement has been dropping unintentional poetry, and it’s taken my mornings to another level. If you’re a classical music snob, don’t expect any deep cuts, since they pretty much stick to the “hits”. If you want something more elevated, NTS radio might be your best bet. I typically transition to it after lunch anyway. I've been listening to Discotan’s mixes, especially her most recent, Time Traveling in Tehrangeles, where she features some fun synthy Persian hits.

💦 x-archives

Do you like porn? Do you hate searching for porn? x-archives is a curated newsletter that sends you five porn links every other week. It features the curations of filmmakers, artists, writers such as Hassan Rahim, Sarah Nicole Prickett, Beverly Nguyen (her picks are definitely some of my favorites), Andrew Norman Wilson, and more. If that’s too much, there’s always Tinto Brass.

😴 Music to Sleep or Soothe Psychic Anxiety

Amidst the pandemic, when anxiety was at an all-time high, I asked the women featured on passerbuys to share some tracks and albums that helped them sleep, and a soothing playlist emerged from it. You have all the classics; William Basinski, Gavin Bryars, Mary Lattimore, Hiroshi Yoshimura, and more. Although, this one-hour loop of the Fishing with John theme song is probably my true go-to.

💆‍♀️ Keisy

I love a massage, but I always find them too soft. I had never done a Shiatsu massage until my friend Laura (who you guys should feature, she has all the deepest recs, maybe she can do an Italian restaurant edition) introduced me to Keisy Oriental Nature Center in the East Village, and I’ve been hooked since. Each time, I walk out with an insane high, like I’m floating, all tension or pain I had going in, gone. They warn you on the call that it’s “no pain no gain”, so if you're into Swedish massages, this is definitely not for you. They charge about $50 an hour. While they also do reflexology and acupuncture, I wouldn't bother with that latter, since I did it for a month and it was pretty suss.

🚲 Citibike

With most of the city being gone last year, I picked up the confidence to bike in Manhattan for the first time with a Citibike subscription. The convenience of going wherever you like, the lack of bike commitment, and the option to go electric over the bridge have been life-changing. I’ve also gotten myself a Bluetooth JBL speaker, that all my friends have rinsed and judged me for. Honestly, it’s safer than wearing headphones, and I’m having a terrific time listening to 1PLIKÉ140. The only thing I'm missing is this in matte infrared.

Follow @clemencepoles and @passerbuys on Instagram

Check out Passerbuys and FFFest

Perfectly Imperfect is a newsletter featuring good ol’ fashioned recommendations from real people (not some algorithm that thinks it knows u…) Hit subscribe for curated recs like these in your inbox ~2x a week~

Follow Perfectly Imperfect on Instagram

Join the Perfectly Imperfect Discord

Follow TylerAlex, & Serey on Instagram