paris + seattle + the world

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photo 1 (2)highlight of the week : it is sunday now, and once again, i’m past my personal weekly deadline of posting from paris. throughout the week, i was kept thinking to myself that i needed to do something that would be a “highlight,” but the days kept running away from me with errands here and there, finishing up a few side projects, putting together a book for my young friend kira’s class in california, and fortunately- lots and lots of yoga. 
but after all of these checklists, it has been the end of the week that has been the highlight. (this must mean that i’m finally settling in, non?). alexis is in full training mode and will be off to belgium next weekend for a bike race with our first visitor, and in preparation, needed to bring his bike to his grandparents so that it’s ready to go on friday. just north of paris and easily accessible by train, i would never object to a visit to bouffémont. coming back to where we spent our first rainy month in france is wonderfully relaxing and calm in comparison to paris. waking up with one less hour of sleep (france changed their clocks last night) was much more enjoyable when you can hear the birds chirping and look out to a vegetable garden just being planted for the spring and summer to come. as i write this, all i see is green grass, budding trees, and those strawberries that i can’t wait to eat in a few months. c’est formidable : ) (more…)

photo (2)as i’m already five days late with this post, this one is going to be quick!
highlight of the week : chateau de sceaux! only a twenty minute train ride from paris, with amazing and expansive gardens. seems like a perfect spring and summer getaway for me!
a new place : after 8 months of planning to go here (beginning with our visit last summer), i finally made it to the palais de tokyo this week. the palais is actually a modern art museum, with 3 or 4 exhibitions at once (i don’t believe there is a permanent collection). unfortunately, i was more impressed with the building (and this permanent installation below) than the exhibits, but maybe next time!  (more…)

3monthsjust a little side note this st. patrick’s day : this morning, i realized that we’ve been waking up in france for exactly three months- three! wow. sometimes, it feels as though i have been here forever- but then, when the counting actually starts, and i look back at all of the places and people i have met in paris these past three months, i can’t believe how all of that happened when i just arrived “yesterday.” 
unlike this last unseasonably warm and sunny week, today is gray and cold. after catching up on what felt like a ton of laundry and emails, the last thing i wanted to do was put on a coat and walk 30 minutes to pick up my most recent roll of film.  and, as it turned out – in a roll of mostly gray february days, i found this pretty photo (above), snapped just outside the photo lab in hopes of using up the last few frames last thursday. i’m not afraid to say that i miss everything about home (especially friends, mountains, lakes, and spring in seattle) – but reminders of these first buds of spring in front of the saint vincent de paul parish (in the 10e arrondissement) remind me that brighter days are to come.
that said, i’m still hoping for some of these friends, mountains, and lakes to come to paris! ; ) i promise days like these: music in the marais



in vintage postcard heaven, marché des enfants rouges (3e arrondissement)

86 days in france, 51 days in paris

highlight of the week : paris has been full of all sorts of good things this week : sun, bike rides, museums, flea markets, and fun side projects- all highlights in themselves. it’s amazing how much a difference a rise in temperature and some vitamin d makes in parisians; and me too! 
the best part though was the (entire) weekend. my dreams came true saturday morning with a huge flea market, spanning 700m or almost 1/2 mile, along boulevard beaumarchais. i have been planning a trip to the famous flea markets in northern paris for about a month now, but this was much easier. just like in the u.s., there were all sorts of old things from trinkets to furniture, but here, everything seemed to be about 10x the price. for example, i saw an older couple bartering over a 300 euro (!!!) doll that i’m sure was beautiful about 40 years ago. after seeing that and asking for a few prices on coffee tables (180 euros) and a vinyl holder (50 euros), i figured that i wouldn’t be bringing anything home, but enjoyed the moment anyhow. i did meet a wonderful malian woman selling jewelry for a school in bamako and had a great conversation about life in paris versus life in mali (she is married to a sonrai man, so had a good laugh when i told her that my malian last name was touré) – and! in the end, i came up with an adorable folding dessert cart from the 50s for 30 euros. (someone has now decided that it’s a great spot to put his massive boxes of cliff bars, hmph). (more…)


jardin des tuileries (1e arrondissement)

79 days in france, 44 days in paris

highlight of the week : it’s been quite a busy week around here, with all sorts of meetings that i can hopefully tell you about soon. the sun is finally out in paris and it has been lovely to go out without a hat and gloves (and even without an umbrella!). of course, all of this nice weather means lots of long walks (averaging 10-20k per day) and now visiting favorite places for the second or third time. yesterday, this meant eating my lunch in the park a few streets away and a walk along the seine to the jardins des tuileries. on the way back along the seine, i passed by a shop called sennelier and after reading about a favorite illustrator going there earlier this week, i had to take a peek inside (and of course, i really needed some trace paper!). i found the pens first (on the third floor) and while browsing, met an older shopkeeper who was keen for a chat. we went through all the pens together and when he found that i was american, he told me all about his visits in sausalito, california. it was the best. (bien sûr, i had to come home with two pens). (second highlight of the week: finding the free shuttle to ikea). (more…)