Follow:

Check it:

The Paris Plan:

1. Create every day.

2. There is Paris outside your window.

3. Listen. (No earbuds!)

4. Exercise.

5. Eat.

6. Don't freak if you gain 5 lbs.

7. Speak French daily.

8. Don't buy into the fantasy.

9. Don't forget the men.

10. Leave the city sometimes.

11. Know your numbers.

12. Read lit about Paris.

13. Wear the right shoes.

14. Embrace the unexpected.

15. Sometimes forget the rules.

Monday
Mar172014

Places to breathe


I thought about writing on the alarmingly high levels of smog in Paris over the weekend. I thought about writing how almost everyone I know now has a constant runny nose or a consistent sneeze. I thought about writing how it's been a little easier to lose my breath walking up and down and up and down the steps of the Metro. (Couldn't be all the bread and cheese and butter I am consuming--right?)

All I can think to write is, dang y'all, Paris looks real good in the smog.

 

Friday
Mar142014

Friday, finally

Wishing you a wonderful weekend from waaaaaaaay over here.

 

Thursday
Mar132014

Antiques and ham

I went to the Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons today, which, translated into English, basically means "national antique fair and hams."

Do not deny that you would have also been intrigued.

And yes there was also ham.

P.S. I'm posting tons of pics on Instagram, too. Please come follow!

 

Wednesday
Mar122014

Everything is amplified

Always the dedicated listmaker, I've given myself a loose set of rules to live by while I am here in Paris. I'll share them with you sometime soon. They're mostly about encouraging myself to maximize this experience and take advantage of the very short time time I have in the city.

One of those rules I'll share right up front with you, though. It's all about avoiding something I do way too often in New York: walking around wearing ear buds, listening to music.

iTune-ing it up tends to make me, in fact, tune out. It becomes a barrier--a way to disconnect and disengage from what's around me. And I know I'm not the only one who does this. But I didn't want to miss out on the sounds of Paris by having a psuedo-soundtrack pumping through white wires connected to my big head.

I've not given in once. (Okay, it's only been a week, really, but still. It's a thing for me.) In turn, my ears feel sharper, if that's possible. I'm especially noticing how Paris echoes, as if the city's architecture was built to capture sound akin to a concert hall. [See the tall curves of the post office exterior in the post before this; check the celloist above playing in a corridor at the Louvre.]

The best sounds are coming from our apartment window. Outside the flat, there is a large passageway covered in glass, which makes it cave-like-ish. In addition to hearing the enhanced click-clacks and conversations of folks walking by, I catch lots of people singing to hear their own voice echo--kind of like you might do in the shower. I especially remember a mournful song early last Sunday morning from a couple of guys who were surely still drunk from Saturday night. They were loud enough to wake me (even though I was wearing ear plugs...the only time I am allowed to do so). Yet my first thought was, “Oh, I don’t mind. Their voices are harmonizing so well!”

As I am finding and stumbling my way through my new neighborhood, one other echo helps. There is a school adjacent to our building, as well as as small park that caters to little ones and their moms and/or nannies. Their giggles and screams and glee reverberate off the brick walls that surround our tiny neck of the woods. As soon as I hear them, I know I am home. Or at least close to it.

 

Tuesday
Mar112014

Small victories

Today, I managed to get some documents copied, find appropriately sized envelopes to contain them, and mail them off to the other side of the world--all without incident, embarrassment, or the breaking of a camera lens. And here was my reward: the most breathtaking post office my eyes have ever, ever seen.

I clearly need to write more letters.

 

Monday
Mar102014

A Sunday stroll at Clignancourt

My wider-angle lens might be down, but that didn't keep me from slapping on my slightly-less-user-friendly-but-still-very-pretty 50mm and sneaking around taking pics through the Marché aux Puces St.-Ouen de Clignancourt yesterday. The flea market is the world's largest, full of winding alleyways, hidden gems, and stall after stall of "man, I wish I could afford to ship that home" kind of stuff. During my time here, I'll be hitting lots of the city's fleas and yard sales, but I can already tell I'll be back several more times to this particular "puce."

Most of my visit was spent simply wandering around and breathing it all in. And my favorite part had nothing to do with anything I did or did not buy. Around noontime, several of the vendors casually started placing napkins, silverware, the occasional tablecloth, and bottles of wine on a few of the tables for sale in their stalls. Chairs were methodically pulled up, and soon, those tables were surrounded by friends taking a lunch break together after a long morning of selling wares. It was slow and purposeful and warm--familiar faces sharing bread and tall tales on a Sunday. They'll probably do it all over again next weekend. I'm looking forward to finding out.

 

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