traveLOG : Paris, je t’aime

Did you go somewhere cool recently?

You know it.

Where did you go?

La ville des lumières. 

Why there?

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Why Paris? Oy, this list could go on for days.
Why does anyone go to Paris? To fall in love, to be inspired, to create, to see the best art in the world, to eat great food, to get macarons from Ladurée, to learn the history, to see la Tour Eiffel, to see the beauty, and to observe the life — the tourists with cameras glued to their foreheads (me), the locals enjoying drinks and company at the nearest café, the dogs in the Luxembourg gardens, the fathers holding their sleeping daughters in the Metro, and the hostel owners who switch from English to French to German to Portuguese without so much as a twitch.
We go to Paris to figure out what all the fuss is about.
I’m no exception. I’m in love with and fascinated by Paris, invigorated and inspired by its size and diversity and population and excited by the speed of its life and the courage it requires to live it. I also desperately want to know what all the fuss is about — the tourist’s and the local’s.
The trip this weekend, however, was my second weekend-long trip to the city of lights. It was quick, but certainly still worth the trip. And this time it was all about the art for me. I went because I wanted to see the le Musée d’Orsay, Le Musée de l’Orangerie, Le Musée Rodin, Centre Pompidou, Le Grand Palais, and every other art museum in the city. Unfortunately, I only made it to Le Musée de l’Orangerie and app. 1/5 of le Musée d’Orsay, but it’s a start.

How’d you get there? 

We took an SNCF train from Nantes to Gare Montparnasse.

Do anything fun?

Some highlights:

Source : http://www.google.fr/imgres?client=safari&sa=X&rls=en&biw=1404&bih=784&tbm=isch&tbnid=JBHgCvtZjbSz9M%3A&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.larousse.fr%2Fencyclopedie%2Fpersonnage%2FClaude_Monet%2F133685&docid=E5SnSFokQQ6u9M&imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.larousse.fr%2Fencyclopedie%2Fdata%2Fimages%2F1311059-Claude_Monet_les_Coquelicots.jpg&w=550&h=429&ei=yMnnUuTQH4rG0QWY8oHwCQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=303&page=1&start=0&ndsp=31&ved=0CGQQrQMwAgSource : http://www.google.fr/imgres?client=safari&rls=en&biw=1404&bih=784&tbm=isch&tbnid=qek5JFYLpaRiYM%3A&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ibiblio.org%2Fwm%2Fpaint%2Fauth%2Frenoir%2Fmoulin-galette%2F&docid=HRv7dNsXm2unEM&imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ibiblio.org%2Fwm%2Fpaint%2Fauth%2Frenoir%2Fmoulin-galette%2Frenoir.moulin-galette.jpg&w=1073&h=790&ei=j8jnUuimN-LP0AXqxIHYCw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=245&page=1&start=0&ndsp=31&ved=0CGIQrQMwAg

Learn anything new?

I learned how much I love Impressionism. What started as a reaction against the detailed rigidness of realism towards the end of the 19th century quickly became, at least to me, an exercise in using as little as is necessary to convey a message or emotion or feeling. Identify the essential, eliminate the rest (i.e.: my goal in life). And for the impressionists I love, this means the use of color is deliberate and meaningful, the strokes are loose, and the detail is in giving the viewer enough of a feeling for a scene to recreate it in his or her head. Impressionist paintings exist as memories do in our head: the scenes are a bit blurry, but full of color and light and feelings.
Because of my visits to Musée d’Orsay and l’Orangerie, I want to plan a Spring trip to Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny, France where he painted les Nymphéas.

Have any regrets?

I wish I had had more time.

Would you go back?

I’ll be back before the end of the semester, I know that. At this point, I’d say chances are also good that I’ll find my way into an apartment there someday. I know, I know, I have to come home first, but there’s just something about Paris…

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Chuck wants to know if you ate anything good.
Ah, Pops. Yes, yes I did. Ready?

Le Dîner Vendredi :
For dinner on Friday I went for a delightful smoked salmon salad & une crêpe au sucre at Castle Café casually located next to the Eiffel Tower. It was oh so touristy, but we didn’t care. The food was great, the view was great, & I mean…Paris.
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O
H. And we shared a fantastic bottle of Sauvignon Blanc because, I mean…France.

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Le Petit Déjeuner :
Free breakfast at the 17 euro/night hostel totally won this time. Croissants and baguettes and butter and jam and granola and REAL dark French coffee? Yes, please.
Le Déjeuner Samedi :
Unfortunately, our time in heaven at l’Orangerie let us forget about the clock until 15h00 when our stomachs reminded us that eating was a fun thing to do. At that point, we had walked the Champs-Elysées and were ready to climb l’Arc de Triomphe. But first, food. Again, we found ourselves in a tourist sanctuary, but once again, I didn’t really care. I stared at the l’Arc while I ate my goat cheese; I’d say that’s a win.
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And yes, yes I did eat those tomatoes. Well, most of them.
Le Déjeuner Dimanche :
After my second date with Monet, this time at the Musée d’Orsay, we walked along the Seine to the Latin Quarter for a sandwich at The Smith’s Bakery. The name’s American, but the sandwiches were French and we were happy.
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Ladurée :
I may or may not have also eaten eight Ladurée macarons this weekend — 2 vanilla, 2 pistachio, coffee, rose, salty caramel, and a raspberry marshmallow. It’s completely casual and I’m so not sorry about it. Nor am I sorry for making your mouth water with this photo.
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Yes, they are that good.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m just really happy. I was happy in Paris, I’m happy in Nantes. Things are good. 

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One thought on “traveLOG : Paris, je t’aime

  1. I just adore seeing you so happy, and so in your element. I couldn’t be happier, nor prouder of you for being a TRUE explorer of the world, and opening your horizons to so much that is “new” and unfamiliar (well maybe not that unfamiliar 😉 . I cannot wait to delve into our long talks about life, love, art, philosophy, and the world with you. KEEP LOVING EVERY SECOND OF LIFE, and I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. ❤ x infinity

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