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Break Out the Advents
Welcome to December in Paris. Christmas lights are up on the streets, the stores are full of shoppers with gift lists, petite bundled trees are waiting to go home with families and be trimmed to the sound of traditional French holiday music. It’s charming, it hasn’t rained all week (hallelujah!), and the countdowns to many important things have officially begun: 1) moving out of this apartment on the 21st; 2) going to spend Christmas with Rebecca and her family outside of London on the 22nd; 3) My first guest’s arrival to Paris on the 26th; 4) moving out of my next apartment on Jan 11th and 5) my final exams on Jan 18.
Sunday was the first of the month, a day when national museums and landmarks are open for free to the public. I thought, sweet! I’ll check out the Musée de l’Orangerie! Unfortunately about 5 billion other people had the same thought and I’m not one for waiting in line for hours again after my P!ATD concert experience. I sat in the Jardin des Tuileries, catching whatever sunshine was creeping around the feathery clouds, and watching ducks float around the inactive fountain at the heart of the park. I decided to head east and see what Paris had for me on this sunny Sunday. I came across Les Arts Décoratifs, a museum of – shocker – decorative arts. Although my entry wasn’t free (they’re not a national museum) I certainly enjoyed some (really stressing SOME) of the exhibits; a typography/graphic design collection from Philippe Apeloig really blew my mind with a video collection showing the evolution of his logo designs. Other parts of the museum were bizarre combinations of contemporary “alternative” pieces mixed with the antique permanent exhibits, as pictured here.
Later that afternoon I popped into a magic museum, bought a scarf thanks to Amanda (therefore, as I said last week, the scarf is now named after her forever and ever), and picked up a couple sweaters at a boutique in the Marais before meeting with Galia for dinner. She had ordered us sushi – I was definitely dubious about how delicious Parisian sushi could be when compared to what I’m used to back in California, but after my first bites of salmon sashimi, yellow-tail & fruit salad, and spicy miso soup, I was a believer. Thank you, SushiSweet, you done good. And here’s the twist! SushiSweet is the always-abandoned restaurant right next to my front door I may have mentioned before. I thought that the food there must be AWFUL but apparently 99% of their business is delivery, and I didn’t get food poisoning, so I’ll be less judgmental.
School flew by this week once Monday hit. Gigia presented about her region of Italy and concluded her slideshow with a camel – they’ve become a bit of an obsessive inside joke for our class after we learned at beginning of the semester that some camels cost millions of dollars in Saudi Arabia. Later that day in phonetics class, we were to repeat 555 – now, looks easy enough, but in French this is a collection of bastard nasal vowels and is one bitch of a word: /sesasekatsek/. I still can’t say it without giggling or tripping over the word. The week went by pretty quickly thereafter as I spent my nights working for the JCC remotely to set up their online camp registration.
Thursday I went for a swim with Hannah and Izabella to a pool near chez moi in Belleville, Piscine Alfred Nakache. In the changing room was an adorable poster illustrating pool rules (don’t swim sick, showers are obligatory, don’t eat in the pool, etc). This trip to a pool was less crowded and less eventful than past swims in Paris (last time I swam I accidentally kicked a huge guy in the head), and after an hour of laps we were hankering for some Chinese food. We found a cheap little hole-in-the-wall and chowed down on eggplant, fried rice, some beef-noodle thing, and some shrimp-noodle thing.
Friday night was a quiet girls’ night in with a chicken dinner, fresh-baked cookies, wine and rom-coms on Netflix. We watched two movies: Love Surreal (which we found absolutely ridiculous but hilarious for it’s epic 2000′s vibe and one-liners) and One for the Money with Katherine Heigl (which we really, really liked but are unsure about how the story line with the sexy “mentor” ended…). Saturday we went to a free self-defense course for women in the afternoon (group shot here), cooked a penne a la carbonara for dinner, and went dancing at Café Chéri(e) where I almost started two fights with assholes who pushed into us on the dance floor. I was called méchante, wicked, by some diva with a space-problem. I yelled at him in English (good advice from Johnny – only fight in your own language to have an advantage). I knew I had “won” when his friends kept pulling him away and apologizing to us for his behavior. I grabbed a Vélib’ bike home at 4:30am when the bar closed and have been enjoying a lazy Sunday ever since. Not starting any fights today…
Dressing up is still the most fun of my day here in Paris, and I think this week I’ll add an early Christmas present from my family to my wardrobe: red bootie rainboots. I’ll keep you posted, as this will be epic news. I’m thankful to not be in “need” of any other items to stay warm and dry. However, I’m always in “need” of a little extra gr€€n so feel free to click here and donate (it’s like the Salvation Army bell-ringers without the whole helping-many-people thing…).
Mini #pineapple the size of a grapefruit. I know it’s adorbs-ness doesn’t translate fully in photo but it was so. damn. #cute. @slmcelli ❤️ (at Franprix)
I’m really into this #poolrules #poster and all it’s little dudes #Paris #publicpool #piscine #règles #illustration (at Piscine Alfred Nakache)
She’s been waiting for Il Davide to call her back after their last statue date… #stonecoldfunny #statue #heartofstone #paris #placedelaconcorde (at Place de la Concorde)
Might as well let everyone know I’m “#TrèsCool” 🇫🇷 #eiffeltower #toureiffel #sweater #wannabehipster #paris #whatiworetoday
As autumn departs so does she take the bright colors from the land and grey fills the streets with winter’s approach… #nofilter #paris #eiffeltower #fall #autumn #view #park #clouds #grey (at Musée du Louvre)