While my Paris posts are hardly over (stay tuned to hear about adventures in Montmartre), I wanted to write a little farewell post before leaving the country, so I thought I’d share a little round up of Parisian photos through the lens of my iPhone. After some last minute packing and a few loads of laundry, my month here in the City of Light will be over and my journey back to the states will officially begin. Feeling so bittersweet this morning…I’ve always felt romantic about Paris but now this city will hold an entirely new nostalgia that is going to be hard to shake once I’m back on American soil. How am I supposed to wake up without the smell of freshly baking baguettes flooding my nostrils? What happens if I want a 3-euro bottle of wine at dinner? Who will smile and nod knowingly at my broken french before responding with a grammar correction or directions to a bar in the most fantastically français voice? What will I gaze up at in the night sky when La Tour Eiffel is no longer lighting up my horizon? It’s really hard to hop a metro and check out the nearest bobo chic neighborhood or picnic on Le Canal St. Martin when you’re all the way across the Atlantic. And I know it will take some time to get used to waiters rushing you around every meal out at a restaurant…oh and what’s that, America? You say don’t have fromage et charcuterie plats on every corner?! I’m never coming home!
But of course, seeing my family and friends, taking a nice long shower, sleeping in my own bed and losing all these “paris pounds” are all great motivations for not missing my flight this afternoon. So, thank you so much for all of the wonderful memories, new friends, and incroyable experiences you have given me, Paris, et à bientot!
Hello from Paris! There’s been a whole bunch of site-seeing, shopping, and picnic-ing around here these days…sorry for the lack of updates!
Yesterday the ladies and I visited to the Champs-Élysées to get a closer look at l’Arc de Triomphe, shopped around Zara (why do they have the cutest skirts there?!) then headed to the Champs de Mars to gaze up at La Tour Eiffel and have a little picnic. We hoped to take that infamous teeny red elevator all the way to the peak, but due to yet another pesky Parisian strike, we were sent home with our heads hung low. In an attempt to cheer ourselves up, we planned a “cute salad” dinner (see photo above), and had a little dance party while getting ready to go out. Did anyone else know that Paris isn’t open all night every night?! A surprise to us, we ended up having a bit of a disappointing night out that ended preemptively. #parisprobs
But we shall prevail! On today’s dockett: A girl’s day trip to Versailles for a visit of the huge palace, the gardens, and hopefully some bike riding. Wish us bon chance!
As I mentioned at the end of my last post, my most favorite cousin, Melissa, has finally arrived in Paris for her visit! If you can’t tell by the excessive exclamation points, I’m very excited about it!
So far I’ve shared with her the kaleidoscope stained-glass windows of Notre Dame, the magical Zara(s) of Les Champs Elysées, the cute boutiques lining Rue Oberkampf, the adorable used bookstore café at Merci, the unmatched baguettes from my favorite local boulangerie, the unrivaled charcuterie et fromage plate at one of our favorite bars, and the infamous Bastille Marché crêpes. We also visited the Centre Pompidou (some very cool and very strange things there), danced (too much) at Fête de la Musique, attended a trés Parisian flat party, strolled by La Tour Eiffel at night (and stopped for some pictures), and danced some more (lots more, until 5 in the morning to be exact). A lot of activity in just 2 days!
I can’t believe I am all done with French school and Melissa is here visiting…time is flying by! Feels like we just moved into our apartment here yesterday…
Now we are off to Le Marais for some Sunday shopping- ps, if you are in Paris and notice all of the stores are closed on Sundays but you’ve been bit by that pesky shopping bug, head to Le Marais! Everything is open! C’est manifique.
Today was a busy, busy day. Right after school, I navigated my way back to Merci (was actually en route to Le Musee Carnavalet, but my tummy was growling and the used bookstore cafe at 111 Beaumarchais was calling to me, so alas I had no option but to stop in for some yogurt with honey and nuts and a big pot of green tea). After my little dejuener pour un, I started out on my way to my original destination, a free museum whose three floors tell the story of Paris’s birth and life up until the 20th century. All in French, but definitely worth the visit! Of course before I was able to locate the actual museum, I found something even more exciting- Le Marais!
The Marais is a beautiful district of Paris comprising gorgeous old buildings and storefronts, the interiors of which now house trendy boutiques and brand name stores like Bobbi Brown, L’Occitane, Sandro, MAC, and so many more. Luckily for me (not so much for my wallet), I spotted the Diptyque store and ducked inside faster than I’d care to admit. Once inside, my eyes and nose were met with the most splendid of sights and smells. Orange blossoms, rose petals, jasmin, and mint flooded their way into my brain all at once, creating a big delicious scent cloud up there. I was in heaven. Big candles, little candles, parfum, soaps…this place has it all. And with the most juxtaposing classically avant guard presentation imaginable. Just lovely!
In other news, my cousin has literally just arrived at my apartment in Paris!!! Time to go! A bientot, friends. XO
Our second day à Paris was reserved for locating our respective daily destinations; Pour Tegan, the ballet studio, et pour moi, l’ecole de français. A few flips of the map and wooshes of le metro later and we were successful in completing both tasks! Which meant it was time to reward ourselves first with a visit to le tour eiffel and un verre de vin rouge. Then it was off to Oberkampf. Located in the 11th Arrondissement, the Oberkampf neighborhood is known for its youthful population, trendy bars and restaurants, unique shopping, and overal “hipster” vibe. Tegan has been comparing it to Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY…if that means anything to any of you.
Although it was early evening on a Sunday and many of the shops and cafes were closed, Oberkampf lived up to all of its hype. The streets were decorated with clever street art and crawling with hip 20-something Parisians clad in black thick-framed glasses and leather jackets. Awesome. Definitely going to check Oberkampf out this weekend when it’s in full swing!
After Oberkampf it was time for some vin et une salades caesar back in the 11th Arrondissement. Trés délicieux! That was about all the energy we had in us for the second day, so it was time for a shower and some much needed sleep. Until next time, au revoir friends!
The Eiffel Tower is by far my favorite site in Paris. Could I be any more cliché? Je pense que non. But it’s true. I love everything about La Tour Eiffel. It’s romantic, intricate, artistic…strong but somehow soft, all at the same time. It represents the rest of the world’s fantasy of Paris in the most beautiful way. It’s impossible to exist without seeing La Tour Eiffel- at least in a picture. Everyone knows what it looks like. I’ve been drawn to photos and sculptures of the structure since I was un enfant, and for reasons that I believe to be quite obvious. It is simply an incredible piece of architecture.
The first time I came to Paris, my fellow travelers and I left our apartment for the first time, turned a corner, and all of the sudden- with absolutely no warning- there it was: The Eiffel Tower in all of its swirling iron glory. Until you see it in person, there is really no way to comprehend just how grand it is. The tallest structure in Paris, (which isn’t really saying much…I wonder what the French think of the Empire State Building?) it shoots majestically up into the sky, keeping a watchful eye over the entire city. Viewing La Tour Eiffel is magnificent enough on its own, but the true experience, in my opinion, is walking underneath it. Gazing up into the center of the tower into the layers of criss-crossing metal is mind blowing. One thing I’m excited to do during my visit is wait in the 2 + hour line to be sent up to the top and look out onto all of Paris. Oui, I do have a strong fear of heights, mais oui, my love for La Tour Eiffel is far stronger. Wish me bon chance!
With less than a week until I board a plane for Paris (eeeep!) I’ve kicked my city-studying into overdrive. Attempting to refresh my basic linguistic skills, learning the layout of the city, deciding what to pack, and hunting for cool boutiques/vintage shops/cafes/museums/bars/restaurants/all that jazz has taken over my brain these past few days. There are so many interesting options in the City of Light- it’s hard to know where to begin! Since my roommate and I will be spending a good amount of time in the 11th Arrondissment, we’re looking for fun bakeries and hip bars to buy our baguettes and sip our merlots in the neighborhood of the “young bloods”. Besides hitting up the obvious tourist attractions, we’re looking to have as much of a local experience as we can, soooo if I have any Parisian readers (or frequent Paris-visitors!) I would really appreciate any and all suggestions of sites/activities not to be missed! Until next time, au revoir!