Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I was awoken this morning to an absolutely stunning sunrise.  I opened my windows and began snapping away, completely inspired by the gorgeous colors against the rooftops surrounding my flat.  

Today was spent wandering around the infamous Left Bank.  I started off at Sylvia Beach's bookstore Shakespeare & Co where writers such as Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway once gathered.  I continued on to Jardin du Luxembourg, stopping into little shops, taking detours onto quiet corridors, and  grabbing a croissant for breakfast.  An amazing lunch was had at Cuisine de Bar, which specializes in tartines, after which I was re-energized for some shopping in the beautiful Le Bon Marche {including being very tempted by a gorgeous Chanel brooch...I mean a trip to Paris isn't complete without Chanel, no?}  I stopped for afternoon tea at the famous Laduree, and grabbed THE most AMAZING pastry ever...photo + description is below.  Finally, my afternoon was topped off at the {literally} indescribable Deyrolle.  Just see what I mean...
{Sunrise over the rooftops of Paris, what more do you need?}
{Little curiosities: An adorable shop's sign, insects + scientific data collecting tools in a window, a creative window display, an English bulldog, a Paris love lock, a woman practicing fencing in the Jardin du Luxembourg, a slightly morbid window display perfect for Halloween, and an adorable pennant banner hanging in the window of a children's store}
{Sights around the city including the Ile de la Cite, an accordion player, and Notre Dame seen through the trees} 

{5th Arrondissement: Shakespeare and Company, the Latin Quarter, and views in and around the Jardin du Luxembourg including the little cafe which looks like it should be in a fairy tale}
{The gorgeous Le Bon Marche department store and Laduree (which completely lives up to the hype).  That wicked looking dessert is the Saint-Honore Rose, a delicious concoction of puff pastry, rose chantilly cream, fresh raspberries, raspberry jam, rose fondant, and custard.  Man, the French really know their stuff.} 

 {Lastly was the beautiful, sad, whimsical, and downright creepy Deyrolle - France's most famous taxidermy shop.  It is nearly 200 years old and definitly gives off an Alice in Wonderland vibe.  I literally about screamed in horror when I saw the 15 foot stuffed giraffe in the corner.  The juxtaposition of these animals (lions, birds, insects, blow fish, bears, elephants, goats, polar bears, peacocks, and so many more) against the absolutely gorgeous ornate French apartment it is located in was just breathtaking -- not necessarily in a good way.  There is a joy in being able to see these creatures up close however it is soon replaced with sadness when you realize the life they so carefully put into the animal is really just a facade.  I wanted to ask them how they got the animals and when, as it most certainly upset the animal-rights activist side of me.  Were they from 150 years ago?  Fine, I guess that's ok with me.  Or are they brand new?  Did they find the animals dead already?  Or did they poach them?  Some of the animals are endangered, which is the most concerning aspect of all to me.  Perhaps someone else knows as I'm not really schooled in taxidermy.  However, sadly/probably for the best, I didn't learn any exotic animals/hunting vocabulary in my French II classes so I was not able to inquire.}

What do you think of Deyrolle?  Interesting?  Cruel?  Lovely?  A little of both?  Bonne nuit!


I love this song and video by former French First Lady, Carla Bruni -- it really captures the feminine, whimsical spirit of the city. When I returned home from Paris this summer I watched this video on repeat, wishing, wishing, wishing I could go back.  Luckily for me, I did!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Travel :: Rooftops of Paris

The rooftops of Paris are everything.  Seriously, if you had to ask me to describe in one word what symbolises Paris to me, it wouldn't be Eiffel or croissant or glamour, it would be rooftops.  Just thinking about them makes my heart skip a beat.  There is something about the gray roofs and red chimneys against the sky that seems as though it takes me back to the early 20th century.  Today was cloudy, but as I neared the top of Centre Pompidou {which by the way was simply insane -- photos below} the clouds parted and lit up the rooftops against a golden pink sky.  It was simply breathtaking.  

More photos of my adventures [including LOTS of photos of rooftops} below:
{La Louvre at night}
{Cafe Marly, a beautiful restaurant overlooking La Louvre}

{Paris in color}

{Wandering around Canal Saint Martin, which you may remember from Amelie}

{The beautiful, bizzare, inspiring, and fascinating Centre Pompidou.  From the outside of the structure which was built to appear as though the building were inside out (many say it is the most avant garde building in the world) to the huge assortment of contempory and modern art inside (some amazing, some strange), it truly makes for a wonderful afternoon in Paris}
{The rooftops of Paris - little hearts are coming out of my eyes as we speak}
{Funky street art throughout Paris.  One note, I have seen those cats now multiple times.  There must be some kind of meaning behind it...anyone?}
{Stopping for tea at Mariage Freres Maison de The, which I cannot recommend enough}

Bonsoir mes amis!