Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Descent into darkness

It was nice to have a week of warm weather before we at last descend into The Long Dark Winter. Granted, I suppose to some a winter in Paris is not that bad, but to a native Californian who is used to the sun everyday...well let's just say that I'm usually pretty desperate for some warmth come February.

It's funny, I never thought a thing about the weather before coming here. There was never much to talk about. Today is sunnier than yesterday, because today my shadow is black, while yesterday it was a dull gray. Now it's a topic of conversation that rears its head at least once in every day. It's cold, it's very cold, it's weirdly warm, it's time to bring out the doudoune...

Anyway, because I insist on taking advantage of any warm weather that comes our way, on Friday we had a picnic on the slope at Montmartre with a friend who has just moved to Paris. It was a warm and lovely evening, and we could see all of the lights of Paris. We had a bottle of Cotes du Rhone and some various cheeses. I have this picnic backpack thing which has to be the thing that rocks most in this world. It comes with plates and glasses and cutlery, all very lightweight, plus a detacheable bottle sack that is insulated, and a little spot to attach a bamboo picnic mat. Unfortunately, I only bought it a few weeks ago, so I have to wait several months before really getting some use out of it.

In a perverse way, I think the change of seasons really forces one to get out and take advantage of the day. In California, we never thought a thing about a sunny day, we would go to the movies on a sunny day because who cares, it will be sunny again tomorrow. Here, you have to catch every last ray, while you can, and make it last, make it memorable...

What's in my messenger bag

My contribution to the whatsinmybag tag on Flickr...

From left to right: the all-important book to read on the metro, wallet, makeup bag, ipod and case, hair clip, passport with all-important carte de séjour inside, moleskine notebook for jotting down random stuff, pen and pencil, very important map of paris so as not to get lost, monthly carte orange and metro map on back, matches from El Coyote Mexican Cafe in LA and Cafe Cannibale leftover before I quit smoking last month, gum, old school cameraphone which takes terrible quality pics, Juicy Tubes Blueberry lip gloss, L'Occitane lavendar hand cream, Burts Bees lip balm which is not possible to find here, sadly.

Obviously, it wasn't possible to include it, but I usually carry the camera that was used to take the picture with me in the bag too...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

White Night

I'd like to talk a bit about Nuit Blanche even though it was already nearly two weeks ago. It was my second year of participating; last year I found myself at the Palais de Tokyo at 5am on a couch listening to spews about Michel Foucault. This year EK and I stayed closer to home and instead followed the path the city had set up from Abbesses to La Petite Ceinture. They had images flashing on buildings on the north side of Montmartre.

Another highlight was the opening of La Petite Ceinture, which is a now-defunct railway that used to span Paris from the 17th to the 20th arrondissements. I have been taking pictures of the parts of the railway that remain and will blog them soon. For nuit blanche, they had set up little exhibits along the way, most of which did not make any sense at all, such as a haunted wooden shack with recorded ghouls inside. Still, being able to walk along the railway at night was a treat.


There is a shared garden on the former platforms of the station at Clignancourt, we took a walk there a few weeks ago. Again they are only open a couple of times a year, but we got lucky and arrived on a day it was open. I will post those pics soon too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A warm autumn day and a picnic by the canal

warm autumn picnic
Originally uploaded by La Page Parisienne.
The canal de l'Ourcq right by Parc de La Villette at lunchtime on Tuesday, October 11th, 2005. Are these really the last warm days of the year?

Oh to be young again

Dragon Park slide
Originally uploaded by La Page Parisienne.
Anyone have a kid I could borrow for half an hour to go down this slide with?

Monday, October 10, 2005


I suppose I have been avoiding it since my arrival in France because after all, I'm in Paris, why would I do something I have been doing since I was a kid in SoCal? It always annoys me when people come all the way to Paris and never set foot in the Louvre but head straight to Disneyland Paris. But this was a great time to go. In October, the weather was still good, not too hot and not too cold. And most of the tourists were gone, save for the Euro tourists, we saw lots of Brits, a few Spaniards and Italians, but mostly just French. (So much for David Letterman's joke about Eurodisney being empty). Because the tourists were gone, we barely waited in line for longer than twenty minutes, which is unheard of in high season. The longest we waited was 30 minutes for Thunder Mountain. And the RER is super convenient. Not only were we able to buy our passes at Auber, thereby bypassing the long queue at the entrance, but the train dropped us off in only 35 minutes about 100 feet from the park. Ok so we won't go every week but still we had a good time.

The animatronic technology, I have to say, is starting to look a bit dorky though. I'm not sure how they can progress technologically speaking, but I think eventually things like Pirates of the Carribean and Snow White's Scary Adventures will look a little obsolete. Otherwise, Parc Disneyland is basically an exact yet smaller replica of the one in Anaheim, with the exception of Space Mountain where, instead of the mod sixties look that has begun to have its own retro charm, they appropriately did a Jules Verne theme, in which the beginning of the ride is like shooting out of a cannon. Also, the Phantom Manor doesn't have the New Orleans theme. Is this supposed to be Norman Bates' house?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The real Real World Paris

This is the true story...of a New York-born Californian, her California-born French husband, and their LA-turned-Parisian dog...picked to live in an apartment in Paris...and have their lives blogged.

Alright, so I've decided to start a blog, as many of my compatriots have done well before me. I had a live journal a few years ago when I first arrived in Paris, buit was mainly for people back home in order to let them in on my adventures, and I always felt like I had to write four pages, which was tedious for me, not to mention probably pretty boring for them after a while. Lately I have been reading a lot of blogs from anglophones in France, such as Petite Anglaise and La Coquette, as well as several others, and I like the idea of writing little blurts about life in Paris. Everyone's experience as a foreigner in France is different, everyone has their own take on it, everyone is bringing along their background, and I love reading about other people's experiences in this fine city. After nearly four years here, some of the initial euphoria of being here has worn off, and sometimes I do forget to look up to admire the wrought iron balconies, but at the same time, Paris is still a city where nearly every week I stumble upon something, either a place or a conversation or an experience, that takes my breath away. That's what I want to blog about.

31 things