a beach day in normandy: trouville edition


It was the coldest, cloudiest day of our entire trip.  So we went to the beach.  When life gives you lemons, right?

After a little research (and I mean little), we packed up our towels (also little) and headed for Trouville.  What a pleasant surprise!  We’d been to several coastal towns in Normandy that week, but this was by far the most charming.  Families sharing ice cream cones, kids playing soccer in the sand, and so many striped beach tents.  M was pretty taken with the architecture just along the beach and I was totally transfixed by the murals everywhere.  They almost looked like a page torn out of an old children’s book, so sweet and faded.

We immediately took to the water.  There was splashing and superman-ing and somersaulting through the waves before returning to our teeny towels for apples and a swig of Calvados.  Ahh, the beach life.

Dinner that night was a slighty un-French round of tapas at a wine bar in town, served by a happy man who did not speak English.  He learned quickly of our language barrier, but decided not to dumb anything down.  Instead he spoke in such a diverse range of tones and inflections that the actual combinations of sounds and letters being used did not matter much.  We understood each other just fine, and he quickly became one of our favorite interactions.  That night we realized the human-to-human connection is far more powerful than any organized arrangement of words.



Infamous street artist, JR (you know, the one responsible for the NYCB installations at the Koch Theater), is at it again.  This time, the French artist known for his large-scale black and white images flyposted around the streets of Paris, brings us Bird Ballerina.  In this wheatpaper piece, a ballerina sits behind the “bars” of nine shipping containers in the Port Le Havre in France.  The resulting image is hauntingly beautiful, an unmistakable sadness exuding from the caged ballerina who patiently awaits her release.BirdBallerina_01 BirdBallerina_02 BirdBallerina_03 BirdBallerina_04

via Honestly WTF


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How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions?  Do you ever make them?  Better question- Do you ever keep them?

In my case, creating a list of resolutions that I’ll stick to throughout the new year is something of a fantasy.  It’s not that I don’t have goals, don’t get me wrong, and I’ve mentioned before that I very much like emphasizing these goals as I change the calendar and my moral, physical and emotional slate clears, but it’s rare that my resolutions actually define my actions in those twelve months that follow.  Buuuut, despite my inability to fully implement these specific intentions, I can’t deny the joy I take in recording a fresh set of goals on January 1st (or 2nd ;).

Every year I strive to live in the moment, document more, work on my photography skills, do more creative writing, read at least 3 books (come on, girl, you can handle that), and take care of my body, but this year I have one resolution, discussed with my brother on Christmas night, that stands out from the rest.  So without further ado, le resolution principe de 2014:

Kirsten, you must take care of you car.  

2013 marks the year I bought my first car all by myself.  I love my little VW Golf, aka Greta, and it’s time I started giving her the love, oil changes, and vacuum-seshes she deserves.  So let it be written, so let it be done.

What are your goals for the coming year?

post paris syndrome


It’s strange how quickly a place you love can start to feel like home.  On my walk down Blackstone Boulevard this morning, I noticed an actual feeling of disappointment as the people I passed didn’t greet me with Bonjour, but instead texted on their phones or kept their headphones on and their gaze towards the gravel.  Even as I sit in my big, beautiful, spacious, didimentionhowhugeitfeels? apartment in Providence, I find myself zoning out into a daydream of Paris.  I imagine walking out the door and starting out on my way to a brasserie or the canal for some wine but being stopped in my tracks by a new clever piece of street art (can you spot the space invader on the Opera Garnier in the photo above?) hovering up high on a building- none of which are over 6 stories in my little Place Leon Blum.  I imagine passing by at least 15 well-dressed men, 8 people on razor scooters and several Parisians on their commute home from work, baguettes in hand.  Because of course it is almost 18 heures 6 o’clock over there by now…

I know I should just be happy to be home and grateful for the experiences I had living abroad for a month (and believe me I am!), but this intense longing for my life in Paris has caught me completely by surprise.   By the time I was boarding my flight, my excitement for returning to the states where I could relax, speak English freely, drive my car, and not hang on quite so tightly to my purse everywhere I went was obvious.  But when I woke up in my bed in Providence on that first morning home, my heart sank.  I heard the sound of construction through my window, realized I wasn’t up in my loft bed and tears actually formed in my eyes before I even had a chance to open them.

I suppose this is all a good sign.  Proof that I truly enjoyed my time in France and soaked up the real Parisian culture in the most positive way possible.  But there is so much more I need to see and do there…so planning the next trip to overseas commence maintenant!  Which reminds me, I must continue practicing my french skills!  #summergoals

paris, le deuxieme jour

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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!

Colored Walls

“Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody draw whatever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall – it’s wet,” ~ Banksy (Wall and Piece)

Here are a few of my favorite street art photos, all so clever and well done by talented artists.  Street art is so under appreciated…if you don’t believe me, watch this.