Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Paris (part 1)

"En réponse a votre pourquoi: pour une quantité de raisons qui échappent à la raison."
-Serge Lutens 
(French photographer, filmmaker, hair stylist, perfume art-director and fashion designer)

Paris made me laugh, smile, and cry, but mostly with it’s complete originality, it inspired me. From poetry in the Métro, to artists in the court yards of Sacré Coeur, to an accordionist playing in the Métro as we rolled past the Eiffel Tower at night. When going to Paris it’s so easy to get completely lost with the romance of the city. There were, of course, more couples than usual kissing on the street, but it wasn’t distasteful, actually it added to the ambiance. The cuisine was superb everywhere we went, and I even tried escargot, (which as a lover of calamari I am quite partial to). Perhaps my most “French experience” was doing a little bargaining for gifts at the flee market, (I will post photos once they are received, so don’t forget to check back!).It did take me a while to get into the swing of things. For the first day and a half I was speaking Gench (German and French). It’s like my head was just thinking “foreign language!” Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. I knew I had made a mistake when a waiter looked at me with confusion. I realized when I was speaking French I was saying every other word in German! (The hardest part was remembering to say “oui” instead of “io” (austrian “ja”) which is probably something every non-french-speaking tourist knows. By the end of the second day though I felt like I was on my feet and could handle myself quite nicely. It was lovely to be completely immersed in it again. Although French immersion gave me the key to the French language it is nothing like the real thing. Their vocabulary is beautiful and every sentence sounds like poetry. When we were on the Métro and a violinist was serenading us the morning after we heard the accordionist I started to tear up a little, just thinking how lucky I am to be here and how beautiful it was. Music will do that to you.
My favourite part of France is the area around Sacré Coeur. It is filled with artists set up in the street, funky boutiques and vintage shops. Everywhere you go there is someone singing or a band playing. You never have to pay more then a donation for entertainment, they are all so talented. 
I think I am a Parisian at heart... 
Here is a list of reasons why (in no particular order):
  1. La Mode: Paris is known for being eternally at the height of fashion. When you walk down the street you see a Chanel store as often as you’d see a Starbucks in Vancouver. But what really gets me is the almost comical appearance of the old ladies with their red lipstick painted smiles and crimped hair walking the streets in eccentrically colourful coats. This followed by the couture adults wearing Burberry and Chanel to the young 20 somethings wearing boots and army canvas jackets (funbuns of course). Everyone is an artist and it is entertainment enough just to ride the Métro and have a look around.
  2. La Cuisine: Ok French cuisine is European heaven, we know that. But you have to try it! Croissants, chocolate mousse, crème brulé, crêpes and escargots, everything tastes good and I don’t think I had a bad latte the whole time I was there.
  3. Les Arts: In Paris everyone is either an artist or a poet or a musician or in love. I chose them all. 
  4. La Joie the vivre!: As cliche as this is I don’t care, it’s true. The second day we were in Paris I came out of the restaurant dancing to the beat of the music that played. I felt truly alive and inhibited, I get the feeling that is how they raise their children. 
So there it is. I think I just described myself in a city. Whenever someone asks me to tell them about myself I should probably just say- Paris.

A little something to listen to wile you peruse...

"Les Poooortes de Paris déjà se fermes sur la nuit..."

Notre Dame in the rain... I think it added a mystery to it. 

"Il est venu le temps des cathédraaaaales!"
"Oh! Notre-Dame
Et nous te demandons
Asile! Asile!"

"Un oiseau qui étend ses ailes pour s'envoler
Alors je sens l'enfer s'ouvrir sous mes pieds"

Listening to Notre Dame de Paris in Notre Dame de Paris

Crêpes! First French cuisine.
First sighting

Le Louvre

Hey, what's that big pointy thing?
"Give it to the Birds"

Everything in its Right Place
(The great architecture of Paris is all in a line...)
One of the many quaint galleries of boutiques and restaurants

Biking in France would be so cool...
Too bad I'm scared to death to do it and have no idea how the traffic lights work.

Bought some gifties here... pics posted later, it has to remain a surprise!
You see a Chanel store as often as you'd see a Starbucks
These are all over. The French love their antiques. Naturally, I do as well.

Inside the "Gallery"
Typical French Caffe
Wall to wall shoppers... 
Inside Lafayette
No, It's not an opera, it's a shopping mall.
View from the top
"Hey, wait a sec..."
Boisson Tess
l'arc de triomphe
Lights at Les Champs-Élysées
Look Left: "Go Back to your Mummy"
Oh, Paris.
Big Beer
Artsy Coke.
No, thats not the only reason why I took a picture.
I like that drinks come to you in a glass bottle in europe instead of out of the squirt can behind the counter. 
French Onion Soup 
Best crème brûlée ever! (Sorry Michael, I still have to try yours!)
View from on top of Montparnasse tower
Big blue bouncy space carpet.
Hooray for alliteration.
Eiffel Tower is blurred and to the left.
But don't my sunglasses look great? They broke on the last day :(
Not too bad for buying them a year and a half ago on the Band trip to New York.
*Not real Raybans, $12 on the street (so you don't have to be that sad)

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