January 21 2010
Paris. A 3 Month Photo Journey. on Vimeo (via Vimeo)
All of the photos I have from Paris, taken during the 3 months I spent studying abroad in the city of lights.
Please ask me if you have questions about specific locations! I had to cut out a lot of side trips (Auvers-sur-Oise, Fontainebleau, Chambord, Normandy, Strasbourg, all of Spring Break—South of France), but I may include these in future videos.
All of the locations are centered around Paris and some of its suburbs, also included is Versailles (since its an incredibly popular destination). Here are some of the places I visited.
Cite Universitaire/Dorms, Montmartre, Sacre Coeur, Pigalle, St. Michel-Notre Dame, Notre Dame, La Tour Eiffel, Luxembourg Gardens
6eme Arr, Musee d’Orsay, Bibliotheque Nationale de France (BNF), Pantheon, More 6eme and wandering, Opera (Lady Macbeth de Mzensk), Hotel de Ville, The Seine, LOUVRE (Combined photos from numerous trips)
Breakfast in America Diner (went there for Obama’s Inauguration), Les Invalides, Musée de l’Armée, Napoleon’s Tomb, WWII Museum, Centre Pompidou, Cathedral of Saint Denis, Marche aux Puces (Flea Market) at Porte de Vanves, Manif (Protest for Palestinian freedom — happened upon it one day)
Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, Rodin Museum (The Thinker), Shakespeare & Co (in the 6eme), Musee Cluny (Medieval Museum), Class excursions, wandering around tons of different neighborhoods, Le Marais, Place des Vosges, Chinatown.
Marche Aux Puces (Clingancourt), Petit Palais , Place de la Concorde, Hausmannian Blvds, Galeries Lafayette, Institute Marie Curie, Bibiliotheque Saint-Genevieve, VERSAILLES
Wandering, Marais, Musee Carnavalet (History of Paris), Promenade Plantee (elevated viaduct park), More wanderings, Ecole de Beaux Arts, BnF/Chicago campus, Absinthe Tasting, La DEFENSE, Parisian suburbs/Eastern, Mt Valerien, Stade de France (Football match)
[6-fin] Jardin de Luxembourg, Eiffel Tower, Wandering the 13/14eme, Petit Ceinture, Chocolat Chaud at Les Deux Magots, CATACOMBS, Bicycling along the Seine, Rue Mouffetard, Last day — ascent to the top of la Tour Eiffel
Thank you all for following my journey here on this blog. This was a wonderful trip and I’ve had a great time looking back on it while I was compiling this video.
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March 16 2009
At the Nice market, Sunday morning.
So arriving very early in Nice, by party-night train in fact, does indeed have its perks. Most notably, even though most everything was closed, I was able to find one of the largest and best stocked markets around — right as it was opening.
Located in the Old Town, the market had a mix of everything. Though the signs all bill it as a flower market — and that that was a very large (and fragrant) portion of it, the food there is not to be missed. Perhaps it was my lack of having eaten anything substantive since since the night before, but the selection of fruits, breads, OLIVES, cheeses, and other delices looked amazing!
I wound up buying a semi-dry goats cheese (1,80) a fresh baguette (0,80) and a scoop of flavorful olives (2,10) before heading down to the promenade and enjoying a beachside brunch! Truly this was a glorious way to inaugurate a grand 10-day adventure. And I have to admit that I felt pretty classy doing it. Haha.
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As it turned out, I made it in on Sunday just in time to see the finish of the tour Paris-Nice 2009. One of my friends from the program had made it out to see the first leg and time-trial around Paris, and filled me in on the exciting conclusion.
The entire water-front promenade was blocked off on Sunday, and early in the morning the sponsors cars and trucks were already out. Later in the afternoon a circuit was set up which went up and down the Promenade Anglais. But it wasn’t until later that the conclusion of the 119km Nice stage took place. With a massive crowd lined up and down the boulevard, I managed to peek in just as the finishers were crossing the line. After walking a bit further up, I even managed to see the champions themselves announced.
Pretty thilling, no?
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Is Nice ever gorgeous.
I’ve seen the sunset here twice now. Once from the rocky white beach cliffs surrounding the city — Coco Beach. Where I found myself a nice cozy rocky outcrop overlooking the aquamarine blue water. I drifted off for a nap in the sun there while a guy not too far out practiced his classical guitar skills, then awoke and took a stroll along the rocks while the sun slowly sank below the water.
Tonight was another story. I had spent my day in Eze — A mountain-top village overlooking the entire coast. After taking the bus to the highest point in the area, the haute-Corniche or Col d’Eze, I found a hiking trail that took me to the top of Mt Bastide and down to Eze-ville. The sun was warm and the breezes refreshing. I was glad that the course wasn’t too difficult and I wound my way from one breathtaking sight to the next over the course of about an hour. By the time I made it to the old-town I was again ready to chill for a bit. As it turned out the best views from the village were in a botanic garden-like area where, among the cacti, one could relax and ejoy the views. At first I was a bit miffed by the 3 euro entrance fee, but after finding a wonderful lounging area next to a bubbling fountain, overlooking the village of Eze-mer and the Mediterranean — I was sold. The nap there was perfect!
After awaking, I made it down just in time to catch the 5:20 bus back to Nice, and from there took a quick trip to the Chateau topped-hill overlooking the whole of the city. With a tiramisu-gelato in one hand and my camera in the other, I sat down next to a fountain and from my viewing post took the above photo — it is one of about 3 dozen of the setting sun — haha!
We’ll see what the next couple of days bring. I don’t know that I’ll be able to give up the beach for the sights of Aix, Auvers, and Avignon. But soon enough I’ll be back in Montpillier and then off to Barcelona for next weekend.
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March 14 2009
Platform RER C. Heading home to Cité and soon enough - home to Chicago.
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March 13 2009
What I will miss about Paris …
I am leaving Paris in about a week’s time. Its rather unfortunate that my remaining time will be dedicated to paper writing and wrapping up loose ends, but that’s the way things go. In my time here I’ve seen so many memorable things and met a few really incredible people. Here are some of the things I’ll probably miss the most as I start packing up and getting read for my Southern France Trek.
- Nutella … Nutella crêpes (Nutella & banana crêpes) even Nutella on a fresh baguette with butter. Simple and classic.
- The crêpe stand at Porte d’Orleans. The best and cheapest crêpes around.
- Chocolate liègeois at Paris VII, across the street from the center: hot chocolate with a mound fresh whipped cream to get you through class.
- An aubergine loaded falafel from the Marais, closely tied with a meat and veggie-loaded Vietnamese/Bahn mi sandwich from Chinatown in the 14ème.
- The call of the roasted chestnut seller: Marron chauuuud.
- The sound of the tram pulling up to the station as you get there with seconds to spare — additionally the universal ding of a newly-charged NaviGO.
- The Metro stations: with their clever graffiti, Wrestling Advertisements, and themed stations. I’ll miss the 4 … but not the RERB!
- Harp, french horns, and musical quartets performing on the underground at Chatelet. Accordionists accompanying you back home on the metro.
- How universally adorable the children and the pets are.
- How chic reusable grocery totes suddenly appear.
- How clean and wi-fi friendly the parks are (ignore all of the dog poop).
- The beam of light from the Eiffel Tower swooping across the sky and immediately orienting you, wherever you are in the city.
- Being able to wander on a whim in a new quarter, get completely turned around, and still find a Metro stop that is at most two transfers from home.
- Aller boire une verre: being able to get a drink with anyone, anywhere since there’s always a café or a bar around. Also … wine from Lidl (pictured above).
There are so many imperssions of the city, its difficult to focus on just a couple. Though these are somewhat quotidienne they have really helped me to define the city. For a more concrete post on places and sights — I be sure to post a recap of some of my favorite Parisian discoveries, usually visited inbetween classes or over the course of a spontaneous afternoon!
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March 08 2009
LOSC (Lille) versus OL (Lyon). League 1 match, March 7th at the Stade de France.
The game was intense, the nearly 80,000 strong crowd was very excited — and LOSC, who everyone in our section was cheering for — wound up winning 2-0! I’ve never really experienced a sporting event like this, but it was great. And the 11 euro ticket price was really quite nice. Allez le LOSC!!!
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Lost in the Banlieues.
Well, I guess I can’t really say that. Especially since rather than the frightening connotation of the Parisian suburb never really applied to the Chic Parisian outskirts just south of La Défense and to the West of the city: the Hauts-de-Seine region.
Since I wouldn’t be stopped by my lack of a bicycle, I made it as far as Nanterre and Rueil-Malmaison (a wonderful village with an incredibly small-town feel) before deciding to hop the bus. Yet even after that afternoon trek I couldn’t be dissuaded from visiting Mont Valérien - a giant hill from which the Eiffel tower and La Défense were equally as visible with the fading light.
The Hôtel de Ville in Rueil-Malmaison
This Google maps overview actually gives a pretty accurate scale of my wanderings. Though I didn’t make it as far as Saint Germain-en-Laye or the Hippodromes to the south, it was a beautiful day and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I’m still constantly disappointed by the fact that I can’t take advantage of the Vélib, and that it’s prevalence has basically made any other form of bike rental obsolete — but maybe one day I’ll own a French credit-card and my dream of cycling up the French countryside can come true? Ah well.
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March 06 2009
Visiting La Défense and its environs on a sunny Friday afternoon.
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Speaking of the arts. Now that I’ve started classes at Sciences Po, I’ve finally found the perfect opportunity to explore the neighborhood of Saint Germain. With its numerous galleries, its quite a chic part of town. Yet, while strolling along I managed to find the School of the Beaux Arts and sneak around a bit.
Though their campus shows wear, its not without charm. Elements of roman columns are integrated into the walls, sculptures line the hallways, and some of the grand halls are rather amazing (even if they are under construction). Pictured above is one of their many courtyards — with a really great air.
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