Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Today I love Paris

Wow Paris, you are actually a nice place to be.
I found a cool hotel with a great cafe that has wi-fi. I'm sipping wine across the street from a flower shop and eating I'm not sure what but it's tasty and it was just brought to my table, yum.
I have a French lesson at 8pm and today I discovered there's a cinema 5 minutes from my house.
Today is a good day.

Not all my days have been so superb. Don't get me wrong I am enjoying the city, my new job and it's great to spend time with all the fun people I've been meeting.
The downers have been that I miss Toronto. I think I miss it even more because it's been such an effort to get in touch. My internet connection has been limited, my headphones weren't working for skype, it's taken me a month to have access to my own bank account and my own money, so I haven't been willing to splurge on anything. Not to mention getting used to the crazy hours that I work. Moving is hard when you know the city. Settling into a new city is a whole different ball game.

Yesterday I walked around aimlessly and found a community center and library so I'm starting to feel more at home in my 'New Bourgeoisie' area. Walking is probably the activity I like best so it was nice to just take time to discover the area at my pace.

This photo is from the other night after work; I went for drinks with my co-workers, had crepes and walked to Saint-Michel, crossing the Seine and getting a nice view of the Notre Dame as the sun was creeping in. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Living in Paris

So it's been a little surreal to realize I've been here for a month. Having met a great group of new friends at work I'm getting to dive right into the city. I've been to an art exhibit of a famous Parisian photographer, been introduced to some nice vintage shops, not to mention a great sangria place and a Canadian bar for poutine when I get homesick.
I am already practicing my french every day and have an art class and dance class in the works to start once my pay check comes in.
All I'm missing is a yoga mat but I feel pretty set up.
Even though I've been working full time since I landed I've been able to visit the louvre twice already as it's only a fifteen minute walk from work.

I get asked a lot at work,

"What, you're not a student? Why Paris?"

Since seeing a documentary on A&E about the Louvre when I was a teenager I've always wanted to come to Paris and explore it. I've been to the Louvre countless times now with different people always promising myself I would come there alone and 'absorb the art' I don't really care how silly it might sound now because I'm actually doing it. When I saw the documentary though, explaining how during the war all the paintings were hidden away all over the world and then all paintings were returned I thought it was an amazing testament to humanity. During a time of war art was preserved and people worked together putting themselves at risk so we could appreciate these masterpieces ages later. The Louvre itself is also a work of art and the documentary made claim that if you spent something like five minutes in front of each piece it would take a lifetime to see everything. Other sources say it takes five full weeks to appreciate and three months for hard-core arty's. Thankfully my EU passport and age allows me to visit the Louvre for free instead of the 10€ per visit.

My second reason for 'Why Paris' (if another reason is really needed) is to learn French! I learn language best by jumping into the deep end and being forced to practice daily. Making a million mistakes, having an abundance of people to ask questions of and have constantly correct me speeds up the process. It makes me feel like I'm always making progress no matter how laboriously my sentences come out.

Last night, Michel Gondry was a big subject of conversation (and I wasn't the one to bring him up!). He is one of my favourite directors and an inspiration for having a life filled with art, magic, constant playfulness and inspiration while having a career. Even though I have a minefield of inspiration that I rely on I'm also looking for people I may have never heard of. If you know of someone inspiring and amazing the way Michel Gondry is, please send their name my way.

ps. Hope everyone had a Happy Valentines Day!  xox

Friday, February 3, 2012

Paris (Week 3)

I'm living in Paris. So far I get giddy buying baguettes, chocolate croissants and pastries. The name 'bread-face' may follow me from Spain if I'm not careful (My Abuela stuffed me full of bread and cookies in Spain and they started calling me cara-pan or bread-face) I'm just outside Paris with a job in the centre of Paris. It seems I was a little over zealous and now I have a job, a part-time job, an apartment and a back-up apartment.
I have a Paris phone number but I can't figure out how to unlock my Spanish phone. Truly I don't mind not having a phone or internet in my apartment. It's really nice to just have some silence. As much as I love being a social butterfly I'm also part loner and hermit at heart. I more often seek solitude and quite places.
Yesterday I just cleaned my new apartment and walked around Paris by myself. Enjoying my first official day off where I didn't have to move house or work.
I like both my jobs and the apartment is so big it allows for an easel and a yoga mat. If I'm here long enough I'll have to get a sewing machine.
I've been contemplating a quick trip to Toronto. I miss everyone and I am homesick for the comfort that only a home town can give. As fun as exploring is I don't really want to explore for where to do laundry. As much as having no clean clothes is a great excuse to buy new clothes, I don't have the funds right now to keep doing that everyday. Although being a well trained bargain hunter (thanks Babi) I've found some amazing deals and spent less then 50€ on a new sweater, jeans, top, work clothes, pjs, leg warmers, leggings.
It is COLD in Paris this week. It actually snowed to nobodies delight but mine. The flurries didn't even touch the ground but it made me really happy. I missed snow.
As slowly as I try to sip my coffee it's at its end which only means one thing, time to seek out that laundromat...