Sunday, July 26, 2009

Highlights from a Great Last Weekend

Let us start with one of our favorite things about Paris that we have yet to mention...pooches everywhere (most of them off leashes by the way)!!!

This pooch hung out with us as we ate pizza in our hood one Friday night. We loved him!

Second, we will show off the most amazing croissant ever from an unassuming boulangerie in our hood (that we go to too much) that is ranked #2 in Paris for the best breads!

This is a funny series of Amanda loving the most flavorful, fluffy layers of a pain aux chocolate ever on Saturday morning!

Lastly, this Sunday we rode our velibs (bikes) to Parc Floral in Bois de Vinciennes for Jazz and a picnic (the Parisians' favorite thing to do). This was a perfect, beautiful and relaxing, ending to an amazing month.

This was the setting for the jazz.

We are honestly in disbelief right now that the month is over but we know now that will be back to enjoy more of Paris soon!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Last Full Week

This last full week has been a hard balance, because we feel the tension between two identities - a resident and visitor of Paris.

Example #1: I find myself laying in parks reading books, and then it crosses my mind that I am leaving so I spend the next few days trying to check out the best art museums and exhibits.

Place De Vosges is a great square that is lined with benches and trees that provide a great place to relax even when it is raining.

Promenade Plantee is the equivalent of the High Line in NYC but definitely not as state of the art.

Jardin Des Tuileries next to the Louvre

The Rodin Museum has the most beautiful sculpture gardens ever and his work is incredible!

Graffiti exhibit at The Foundation Cartier, surprisingly really good.

Example #2: Michele and I love our apartment and love to cook so we split our time between going to the local markets and eating at many of the city's brasseries, patisseries and restaurants.

The Bastille Market is HUGE, the stands of fruits and veggies goes on as far as the eye can see!

Ble Sucre is simply amazing. Every single thing we have eaten sweet to savory has been delicious!

Enjoying a Singha at a great but expensive Thai restaurant.

This was the most perfect tart that we had since being here at an unassuming brasserie where we sat and had a two hour lunch, just like the French!

The examples could be endless on why we love Paris, all the food, art, parks, markets, and patisseries. Our love for the city makes it hard to decide how to embrace it - as a visitor or as a resident. So, we sleep late, eat well and then get on our velib's to try and see it all.

As we head into the last few days of our trip Paris will be both a home and an experience.

Monday, July 20, 2009

What are the chances?

What are the chances that we get to the French countryside where there is usually not much to do and instead there is a festival in the town center and an art exhibit at the chateau in biking distance from where we were staying???!!!

Here is our chateau/hotel:

Gorgeous but simple, perfect for a glass of wine in the mid-afternoon after a day of bike riding and relaxing by the Loire River.

Here is the prestigious Chateau/Old Royal Property we visited:

The coolest part about this was that all of the grounds were dedicated to a huge exhibit that joined art and nature- I loved it!

Here is the festival we partied at:

Mussels and fries were the big thing. Wine and beer was 1 euro! And the best thing ever, fresh goat cheese from the farm in town, 2.50 euro! Amazing!

The country was a great relaxing escape from the beautiful city that is Paris (which we once again came back to love)!

Friday, July 17, 2009

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast!

129 Rue Vieille Du Temple. Our terrace is the top one with the flowers.

Time slips away in Paris. The nightly strolls, the baguette eating, the wine, the dining and the feeling of never getting enough of Le Marais. Amanda and I live in the best neighborhood in all of Paris. Our building is one of the few with graffiti, which reminds us that despite the yuppy expensive shops that surround us, there is still some edge in between the streets.

While I am work Amanda gets the grand tour of Paris and Le Marais. Museums, slow gourmet breakfasts and the thrill of being able to make reservations for us in French at our favorites restaurants. Two blocks from us is the Picasso Museum (pictured on the right). Three blocks from us we finally found our favorite patisserie recommended by friends of a friend.

Today, we enjoyed a pain aux chocolate, a cheese roll, a pistachio & apricot roll and of course a baguette! We purchased all of this by 9:30 am. Amanda finished her breakfast on the terrace.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bastille Day!

I feel like this post has a high demand seeing as how many of you have wished us well on our newly acquired Parisian holiday. And, it was for that reason I was a bit intimidated of the day. I was afraid it was going to turn into one of those high pressure party holidays we have like New Years and Halloween where there is all this anticipation that sometimes flops. But alas, it was as good as I have always imagined from the oral accounts of so many who have experienced it themselves!

Arriving back from Manchester on the most beautiful, sunny day yet we fell in love with Paris all over again but even more this time. Every building looked even more perfect, people were filling up the cafes with conversations recounting the days events (well I am guessing since I can't understand anything being said around me!) and the crowds building on Pont des Arts (a pedestian bridge that crosses over the Seine right in front of the Louvre) for the Bastille Day fire works with plenty to drink solidified our perception that Parisian culture really embrases life!

The pictures that follow are a progression of the night as we drank wine and ate pastries anticipating the fireworks with all the locals.When we found our spot you could still walk around on the bridge.

Standing room only!

Pont des Arts

A view of the Seine with onlookers along the side and on Pont des Arts where we were sitting.

View of Ile de La Cite with onlookers.

Michele and I at the festivities!

The Eiffel Tower just before the fireworks.

What an amazingly rich experience!

GAGA for Manchester

Excited to speak English for 2 1/2 days Michele and I headed to Manchester, England. Of course one of the first things we had to do was try some local food...

Here we have a "jacket potato" filled with cheese and yes, that is coleslaw- pretty good!

The main purpose for us going was to see the culminating concert for all the Rockcorps Manchester projects that Michele helped set up a few months back. The head liner was none other than Lady Gaga. Hearing the Brits say her name made her sound like royalty and that is definitely the excitement they showed her- they absololutely love her and in return she put on quite a show!

Lady Gaga

The openers were The Enemy (a british rock trio) and my personal favority of the night N-Dubs. I would definitely encourage everyone to check these guys out although I have no idea what they are like recorded. In person they played really fun hip-hop/pop music with so much energy that I fell in love with them!

The Enemy


I could summarize the trip by saying that the Rockcorps concert was the best yet, there was some nice shopping to do in Manchester, the jacket potatoes were great, but all and all we were so excited to get back to Paris even if every little thing we do requires us to think extra hard because of the language barrier (I actually think I am starting to love having to think hard about all the small decisions I have to make in a day!).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Great Food!

I will let the pictures speak for the delicious food we have eaten both out at restaurants and back at our perfect little apartment over the past two days...