"in movement there is life, and in change there is power"
Since the arrival of Spring, somehow without even knowing it, late afternoon walks has become a favorite past time of W and I. After a 4PM snack over tea and biscuits, we've made it a ritual now to go out for a rejuvenating walk under the glowing warm afternoon sun. It's the perfect way to end a weekend, and to pause and refresh for the coming week ahead.
On a quiet Sunday afternoon, W and I walked under drizzling rain to visit three little 9-week-old kittens in the 7th arrondissement nearby. On a nondescript residential street, we entered a 4-number code at a big green door that opened to a single cobblestoned street lined with beautiful two-story houses. Houses! In the middle of Paris! Inside a wooden home covered in vines of blooming purple flowers, we were led into a bedroom where the three little ones came out of hiding. Curious, they smelt us briefly before deciding that we were to be their very new playmates.
There's a certain bliss in wandering Paris' streets by foot, in that moment of discovery when you uncover a little path, garden, museum, or café. While in New York, you may be inclined to embrace the crowds, here in Paris, it's all about finding your own intimate place for conversations, work, and play.
Long legs and croissants, red wine and clothing boutiques, chocolate and Macarons! It seems like to most people that there just cannot be a more pleasant place to live in the world other than Paris. I mean, who doesn't want to be sipping Bordeaux wine on the Seine river / Jardin des Tuileries / [insert any Paris location] in perfect 73 degrees weather? Okay, yes it rains a little here, and gets a tad bit colder in the winter - so you just go sip your Bordeaux wine under the heated covered outdoor patio of a café by the Seine instead. What could possibly go wrong?
1. Spend atrocious hours of time sitting in a café sipping red wine
Prior to dinners, not only do I expect two hours of pre-dinner chat outdoors over red wine. I also expect cafés to have heaters in the winter so I can sit outdoors and chat over red wine. Very mild temperature fluctuations in Paris facilitates this year-round activity, as temperatures rarely fall out of the 40-75 degrees range.
The Parisian default expression is a mix of contempt, aloofness with a dash of elite cynicism. People watching is also a thing here, as demonstrated by the regards I’m getting from a man across from me. I look straight pass him with a perfected face of utter boredom. I'm on the train from Paris’ major south station Montparnasse that'll take me out towards HEC’s leafy suburban campus 20 miles southwest of the capital.
Saturday, Will took me to Canal Saint Martin, a beautiful canal to the North of Paris. Built by Napoleon in 1802, it had once supplied the booming city population with freshwater. It was the perfect day just cold enough for big knitted scarves. Strolling along the pathway at water level, we watched the last of the autumn leaves gently fall over the perfectly calm waters.
On loving and hating two cities with an undeniable passion.
November 26th, 2014
New York for me always possessed a certain kind of possibility. It was the city of dreamers, doers, and winners. Sky was the limit. Ambition was king. Rags to riches was an entirely plausible storyline, practically the story of the city.
I opened my my little box today for November and just couldn't resist blogging right away, because My Little Cozy Box contains the perfect products for the rapidly approaching winter months! "It's sooo cozy I want to die!!". ;)
"How much do you think these things are actually worth?" I touched a small bronze statue that was selling for 50 euros.
"It's not about the price anymore," S said as she flipped through old postcards with cursive handwriting all over them. "They're selling these things to give them a new life. There's meaning behind that." She smiled at me.
So we're at that point lives, out of college and just beginning our professional career (or grad school), where we have learned to appreciate the finer things in life yet have absolutely nothing to afford them with. Does this mean that we are stuck living dorm-style where we will forever stick pictures on the wall in the form of [insert your favorite shape] and hope that it looks somewhat like a piece of art? Not at all. Here are a few tips to indulge on the finer things you want but still keep it within your budget.
There are things in life you fall in love with at first sight. And there are others, that take time. I never believed in the latter.
"I love it or I don't, it's as simple as that," I told W.
"You know, things in life are not always black or white. Why do you always have to make them out to be," he repeated a phrase he often said to me.
Every year this time around my birthday, the wind comes and the leaves begin to fall. I walk out in my boots and scarves and just can't help but feel a warm tingle inside me. There's something words can't describe about the beauty of this season, about the moment you step outside into the fresh autumn air, and discover, that almost over night, life around you has turned into these fabulous shades of reddish golden brown.
Just once per year for a weekend, the Élysée Palace, private residence of the President opens up for public viewing. And so this saturday, my friends and I stood in line for eight hours (yes. eight. whole. hours) just to be able to take a walk inside the most prestigious French castles of all.
I woke up today to the sound of obnoxious morning traffic, unusual for our quiet little street off of the main boulevard. September 1st, also happening to land on a Monday, unofficially marks the end of glorious summer vacation for the French, and the beginning of nothing more exciting than the daily grind of work…
Once you've stayed in one place long enough, it begins to feel like home.
We landed in Paris. Outside in the drizzling rain, flashed red and yellow lights while Parisian police cars scouted the runway. The plane erupted into a clap, the children happy that they've arrived home. It was 10pm and landing procedures went faster than ever. The French were efficient, when they wanted to be.
here's the world through my eyes.
ever wonder if what we record will ever be exactly the same again?
They say the best way to discover a city is to walk everywhere. You'll discover things you never realized was there.
After lunch one day, I decided to wander around the 9th. It soon began to rain and I came across Passage Jouffroy, a little pathway with skylights that connect two main streets through a building. Perfectly made for a rainy day.
It is a little acknowledged but universally true fact that every girl has at some point in her life experienced a sudden fluttering in her chest the moment she sees a little object of something or another, that for a thoroughly inexplicable reason, has wholly and irrevocably captured her heart. "Oh my gosh, this. is. SO cute!".
Flâner [French; verb]: The act of wandering or strolling down the streets, with no particular aim in mind, always with an air of cultural and intellectual curiosity but never without a Parisian kind of cool detached nonchalance.
Only in Paris is it entirely acceptable to forever indulge in the pleasures of life, so much that August has unofficially become the vacation month of the year, whereby every family (regardless of one's economic situation) all leave for at least two weeks of proper vacation.
I finally stumbled upon number 158 on Boulevard Haussmann, a street full of handsome residences I could only dream of living in one day. Only a small red banner tucked behind the trees indicated signs of this little musée, as if it didn't want to be found. Oh, subtlety, even when being pretentious, has always been such a French thing...
Six whole weeks and twenty-something apartment visits later (no joke), we finally finally secured our apartment in Paris. It was also at this moment that I truly understood what the French mean by "Bonne Chance" when they hear news of an apartment hunt. Apartment hunting in Paris is not for the feeble-minded. It requires patience, persistence, and a lot of time...
I arrived for the Wine & Cheese soirée at La Vinotheque in the 1st arrondisement, an event organized by Native Native for Paris expat bloggers. This was my introduction to the Parisian blog scene, and I was about to discover just how big it really was. Paris, after all, is the perfect city to blog about art, history, fashion, food, life, travel and adventures abroad...
I finished my morning French class and joined W near his work at L'Opera for lunch. We sat down at a posh new-concept Italian restaurant with wood and metal interiors that gave the place a modern yet earthy feel. The entire exterior wall had collapsed and opened like a window, allowing in so much sunlight that it felt like we were on a terrace...
#1 Tracadero Station landing. Don't go to the Eiffel Tower to view the Eiffel Tower! It's too tall! And who wants to spend 20 euros waiting in a ridiculous line just to go up an elevator and then come down again because it'll likely be too cold or rainy?! Yuck! Not fun!...
Find me on Yelp! for Paris' latest things to do and restaurants to try (famous and new)! I'm always on the lookout for the latest gems that are just being discovered!