Back home in the states I live a two hour transit ride from NYC. Even though I have been to NYC more than Paris, I feel safer in this foreign city. Firstly, the metro and RER in Paris is so much better than the subway in NYC. Not all the stations are underground like NYC and in stations you don’t feel like a rat of the street (not a subway station but you feel like that in Penn station). NYC is also a city with high vertical enclosure with tall buildings. Even though, Paris has large buildings, you feel more open and comfortable without the tall skyscrapers blocking sunlight. I love NYC yet, on my first few days in Paris I feel more comfortable here.
Aurgh!! I haven’t even completely finished unpacking from Archaeology Field School. I was there for five weeks and took way too much. Hey, I needed five pillows, a down comforter, and 450 thread count sheets for the nights to negate the effects of my days spent shoveling, shnitting, troweling, lifting gigantic buckets of dirt, on my knees, mud, dirt, bug, sun, humidity, and rain (BTW: I loved it). My car was filled to overflow capacity on my departure. However, I’m not going to have a a car to schlep my unneeded luxuries to and around Paris…the beast of burden will be me. Guess what? I’m going light. I figure whatever I forget or don’t bring is a perfect excuse to look for a suitable substitute there and encourage their local economy to boot. Normally, I pack the day I leave, and this trip won’t be any different. Since arriving home from field school last Friday, I have remained busy and have chipped away everyday at my to do list. We were provided with a list of suggested items to pack and I will bring those listed items. I have learned to heed other’s wisdom. However, here are some things I won’t be bringing:
full size beauty products (only essential travel size)
a full makeup bag (plus de plaisir à la boutique!)
many shoes (seulement trois paires)
more than 4 or 5 days of outfits
a blow dryer
a bad attitude
and a closed mind
Jusqu’au plus tard!
P.S. It is now 9 August 2013, and I am rereading my posts. Let me just add for the record that I had to buy an additional suitcase to carry my booty back from Paris! And let me tell you, that suitcase was filled to the gills too.
I promised you all a follow up to my first post about food in Paris versus food in the US and here it is. In my first post I pointed out the difference between Parisian and American eating habits, as well as the differences in dining out in the two countries. Continuing my discussion I will begin with the topic of street vendors. It is the part of the Parisian lifestyle to snack throughout the day and it is therefore not unusual for Parisian men and women to grab a quick crêpe or pastry as they go about their day. Therefore, the city of Paris is populated with many street vendors selling various delicious treats. Now, while there are street vendors in major cities in the US, people tend to be wary of them. For whatever reason street vendors and the foods they sell are seen as being of poor quality and unsanitary. There are some exceptions to this, for instance, in some cities food trucks have become extremely popular and their popularity continues to grow. However, the majority of US citizens tend to be untrusting of food sold on the street. In Paris it is completely different. Many Parisians frequent vendors on the side of the street and it’s easy to see why. The majority of food vendors in Paris put out higher quality products than those in the US. Another difference between food in Paris and food in the US is taste. In Paris, they are not as heavy handed with the salt as we are in the US and their pastries and desserts are not overly sweet. During my stay I never felt that any of the dishes I had were under seasoned, but I do know several people who thought that theirs were. Growing up in the US you get used to certain tastes. I was pleasantly surprised when I had my first éclair here in Paris. My experience with eclairs in the US, had been that everything was really sweet. The pastry dough, the cream filling, and the icing all came together in a trifecta of uber sugary goodness. So, when I bit into my first Parisian éclair I was expecting the same super sweet taste, but instead I was greeted with a smooth, and creamy filling, a chocolaty sweet icing, and a light, airy pastry. Everything about it was perfectly balanced, it wasn’t too sweet and it wasn’t too savory, it was just right. While there are certain foods I am looking forward to eating at home, I like that Parisians allow the true flavor of foods to shine through instead of drowning it in seasoning or with too much sugar and artificial flavors. I shall be sure to accompany this post with several pictures of delicious things I have eaten in Paris. I am also very behind in my posts and I will try to catch you all up as best I can.
AW YEAH FRIES
Brussels was awesome. And awesome. And also awesome.
The main square was interesting in that it is surrounded by old guild buildings from the 1600s, each one for a different guild in the city with a different craft, all of them somewhat outlandishly decorated with gold and other shiny bits.
100% certain that all we did was eat fries and waffles and drink beer.
It was a productive day.
We went to honeydukes #reallifeharrypotter
|amy. hannah. katie.|
Versailles and L’Opera Garnier-
Two different buildings, but SO MUCH GOLD!!! It was very interesting to visit the two and compare them. At first, one would think that they are very similar, in their endeavors to see and be seen. And while they are both beautiful, gilded buildings, they couldn’t have more different feels to them.
Versailles is so big it is almost impossible to comprehend it all at once. Unfortunately, the part open to the public is so small and packed with people that the immense scale is almost completely disregarded. What is view-able by the public is completely overdone to the point that it just feels silly. The sheer number of people packed into the building makes it very difficult to appreciate the grandeur and spectacle that is Versailles. Another horribly annoying thing about the palace was the seemingly random placement of modern art works. While I understand that Versailles is supposed to be functioning as a museum and that the modern art may be an attempt to keep the museum relevant; I always thought of the palace as more of a historic house museum, and less of an art museum. In my opinion, the modern art took away for the reverence of the place. It seemed disrespectful and unnecessary to me.
L’Opera Garnier also suffered from an unusual case of modern art, although not nearly to the degree that Versailles did. The inside of the building was absolutely breathtaking; gilded and detailed in every possible place. Many different colors of marble were used throughout, as well as massive amounts of gold leaf. However, unlike in Versailles, the gold did not feel gaudy or overwhelming. Instead, it gave the building a very upscale feel, in a comfortable way. The lighting consisted almost entirely of candle bulbs. This, in conjunction with the warm colors used throughout the interior exuded a warm and welcoming atmosphere. I found the opera to be a very comfortable and friendly place. I did not feel out of place and nervous as I did in Versailles. It was beautiful, I loved it, and if I could spend hours there every day I would.