All posts filed under: Paris

An American in a Cheese Shop

Before I begin, I want to take a minute to thank everyone for checking in on me and for all your kind notes. This month has been hard and surreal for the entire Paris community, and I have been so touched by all the friends sending me global support for Paris and words of encouragement. I have found great comfort in the Paris city motto, Fluctuat nec mergitur, meaning tossed but not sunk, and have been struggling to find the right words to express how this has affected me. Most of my thoughts have been posted stream-of-consciousness style on Instagram, which you can see here. And, my favorite article that has been posted thus far can be read here. ♥ I began an internship that I love last month with the fabulous Clotilde from Chocolate & Zucchini (if you don’t already follow her you should!), for whom I got to go on a tour of a new fromagerie (cheese shop) on my street. Check out the how-to guide on C&Z for cheese shopping like a Parisian 🙂 I am notorious …

Paris v. Aix-en-Provence: A Tale of Two Cities

Paris got cold the day I arrived. That was the unfortunate moment I remembered that for the past eight months I had been living in the same place Parisians go for vacation — the cold air snapped me back to reality. As soon as my unfortunate French Southern twang emerges in Paris, I am faced with an ultimatum: Paris or Aix? The question, though, is super difficile to find an answer for — these are two very different French beasts. Why should I have to choose? Paris is filled with festivals and art and good food and markets and the sparkling Tour Eiffel (and a skyline). Paris has character. It is also home to the most tourists in the world, smoggy and smokey air filling everyone’s lungs, and a metro system that views its users more as sardines than people. Paris has Haussmann buildings, Aix has Roman-inspired, orange tiled houses. Aix is filled with sunshine and wineries and lavender and markets, but good luck going anywhere beyond the same three restaurants and bars you always resort to. To …

Biking in Paris: I Lived to Tell the Tale

City bike riding is one of my biggest fears. Always has been, always will be. So much so, that back in March when I came to Paris with my friends Lauren and Alex, they went on a bike tour of St. Germain without me. Not because I generally oppose tours. Because I was too scared to ride a bike. But the idea of riding a bike along the Seine, of riding through Paris with flowers and vegetables in my basket, was just too tempting to avoid. I wanted to see the city faster than I could by walking, and spatially realize that the Centre Pompidou is only about 10 minutes from my apartment. I had to face my fears. I held my breath and signed up for a Vélib’ account, just in time for last weekend’s Journée sans voitures. At 30€ per year, it’s a pretty decent form of transportation/exercise. I studied my route beforehand, riding from my house in the 10e arrondissement to school across the Seine in the 7e. I Googled tips after tips after tips …

How I Navigate a New Paris

Paris has changed a lot in the past four years (despite what I say). I live in a new neighborhood, take a different metro line, and this weekend will face my fear of biking through the city (it is by far the cheapest form of transportation at 30€ per year). I used to get lost – a lot – but now I have an iPhone, for better or for worse. It’s almost as if I’m living in an entirely new city, without having to relearn a metro system or language. Today, I want to share some of my favorite Parisian resources for cafés, markets, restaurants, and events throughout the city – perfect for visitors and expats alike. Paris By Mouth → A comprehensive guide to many, many restaurants in Paris Time Out → Restaurant profiles and event highlights for what’s going on in the city (I can’t wait to try out Le Réfectoire at the Marché Saint Martin) My Little Paris → See her map of must-try cafés in Paris TIP: Follow her on Facebook and Instagram for …

Métro, Boul…angerie, Dodo

Happy Friday, everyone! I am nearly settled into my new apartment and can’t wait to explore my neighborhood this weekend. But first, scenes from the opera house. Last night, I was lying on my yoga mat in the 1e arrondissement, miraculously not falling asleep during savasana despite nearly finishing the first week of classes. An opera singer was practicing a few floors below in the same old building, located on a side street between the Opéra Garnier and the Louvre. Sounds of motorcycles and chatter from the street lifted up to our window; the opera rehearsal snuck through the cracks in the floor. Our yoga teacher told us to think about the sun – leading me to imagine beyond the exposed beams out to the city that I have been seeing mostly underground for the past two weeks. Among les français, this is the Parisian way of life – métro (commute), boulot (work), dodo (sleep). Repeat. However, thankfully, my work for now involves intensive reading while eating baguettes, though I wish the ratio of number of reading pages to baguettes could …

Greetings from Paris!

The first week in Paris is always the hardest. Well, for me at least. The packing, goodbyes, flying, getting to the city, lugging bags through the city, living in a hostel for an undisclosed amount of time, getting in fights at the bank (a true test of French fluency), and unpacking (finally) are enough to question why exactly you chose to put yourself through all of this. Again. And again. (The answer to this question is, of course, the croissants, picnics, quality of life, thankfully being reminded that yes you do still remember how to speak French, the 3€ wine and even the weird crab sticks at the Franprix.) I was pretty quiet here over the summer, mostly because I was busy working three jobs and trying to see as many people as possible. But now I’m back, with a new French view that needs to be reported on and new markets to explore. À très, très bientôt. ♦

La Magie de Paris

Paris is always a surprise every time I go back. And always a good idea. Part of its magic is that it is always changing but somehow always stays the same. Regardless of the fact that I lived there in college and have visited several times since being back in France, there is always a new arrondissement to discover; a new café to mettez-vous à l’aise, a new cocktail begging for my RIB (French speak for wire transfer). This time in Paris, I got to see my close friend/blogging buddy from D.C. Lauren and her boyfriend Alex. [Can you say FRENAISSANCE?!] I also got to meet up with my very first French-à-la-fac professor Claire, who is the one I credit for finally explaining le passé composé and l’imparfait over many coffees at Hyperion. I absolutely love showing people around the city, shamelessly returning each time to my crêperie at Place de Clichy, to fondue in Montmartre, and to Pink Flamingo on the Canal St. Martin (even though the past two times I have been there it has …

A Love Letter to My Paris

I couldn’t sleep the night before my flight to Paris. I lay awake in my bed, watching every video Buzzfeed had ever made, with butterflies filling my stomach in anticipation of returning to my favorite city. So often, in returning to places and people that I love or have loved, there is a tinge of disappointment that things aren’t how you left it. People change and grow up. Cities are demolished and campuses are reconstructed. But not my Paris. Getting out of the metro at St. Michel made me feel so at home again–something I’ve never felt anywhere else. The bridge overlooking the Seine and Notre Dame was exactly as it was when I walked over it three years ago, when a man playing “Sous le Ciel de Paris” on his accordion made me burst into tears the day before my departure. The Canal St. Martin still glistened at night, and the streets still smelled of cigarettes, baguettes, and urine. The only thing missing was my Navigo (plus this time I had Google Maps so we got lost …

Champagne Wishes & Baguette Dreams

There is something about winter that just begs for a baguette. Fresh, hot, flaky outside, soft inside. Wrapped in a square of tissue and nestled under a coat arm for the walk home–not waiting to reach home before peeling off the crust at the top. Today I felt myself longing for a real baguette more than I have in a long time. A .90 centime baguette, the cheapest food on a budget, served with real butter. The smells and memories of this ritual took me on a walk though my old neighborhood in Paris via Google maps…walking (or zooming, rather) down rue de Clichy, stopping at my favorite boulangerie on the way home from class (always remembering a second too late that a baguette is feminine), and eagerly punching in the apartment security code to get dinner ready. I zoomed up to the metro, looking back at my apartment balcony then back at the statue in the middle of Place de Clichy. All of the sudden, looking back at all the places I used to …