These past six weeks have flown by incredibly quickly! A month and a half sounds like a long time (and some days dragged on for what felt like forever), but looking back, I can’t believe that it’s already over. At times, my classes were draining and there was no end in sight to the work, but being in the City of Lights made it all worth it.
Instead of a long, heartfelt essay on how much I’ve grown, I’m just going to list all my favorite things about my time here:
- Monoprix. I’ve expressed my love for this supermarket chain before, but I had to mention it again ❤
- My new Parisian friends!
- The shopping… Enough said.
- Getting photographed for a street style blog on my second day!
- The Givenchy fashion show after party
- Hanging out on the Champs de Mars while the Eiffel Tower is twinkling at night
- The Fête de la Musique
- Our professors. They are such characters! My French Professor was definitely the best part of my academic experience at NYU Paris.
- Going to see a ballet at the Opera Garnier
- Exploring the many museums of Paris (and getting to know the D’Orsay a little too well…)
- Free coffee days
- But most of all, fresh baguettes!
Thanks to NYU, we got these amazing seats at the Opera Garnier to see La Fille Mal Gardée put on by the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris.
I’ve toured the theater before, but watching a performance there was an entirely different experience. We sat in private booths on the first tier. To get into the booths, you needed an attendant to unlock the door for you. It was very inefficient. There was only one door attendant per floor so we had to wait while she escorted patrons into thirty something private rooms. After passing through the tiny wooden door, you walk through a tiny little salon with a table, chaise, and mirror. In the old days, I imagine the bourgeoisie in the booths would get up from their seats and retire to the little lounge during the intermission. When you push past the curtains of the lounge, you enter the spectacular view of the theater itself. Words (and even photos) cannot capture the beauty of this building. I tried taking so many photos and none of them could capture the grandeur of the Palais Garnier. It’s one of those things you just have to see for yourself.
I felt as if I’d hopped in a time machine back to the 1800s into one of Degas’ paintings. The theater was breathtaking on the tour, but filled with an audience, it is even more spectacular. The roar of applause as the dancers took their final bows was magical and brought the old theater to life. All of us felt this regality sitting in the booths and strolling around the Opera house.
On our way out, descending the grand entry stairs, a friend said she wish she hadn’t forgotten her ball gown and tiara in the dorm! I should have worn my glass slippers…
While here, I’ve been trying to stay away from the Zaras and H&Ms: places I can shop at in the US (even though they are both European companies!). I always play devil’s advocate and argue that they have more stylish, more affordable options here, but nobody is willing to listen. When it comes down to it, it’s still H&M. I should be taking advantage of all the adorable and truly Parisian boutiques that are everywhere in the city. It’s one of the things I love most about Paris. Individual boutiques like that seem to be hard to come by in the US. All of our shopping areas, especially in New York, have been taken over by powerhouse chains like H&M and Zara.
The one American store that I couldn’t stay away from was Brandy Melville. I have very strong feelings about this store. I could rant forever about its cliché, want-to-be hip, suburban middle school ‘edgy’ look. But sometimes, just sometimes, the softness and crazy comfort of their fabrics makes me forget about all of that.
Of course, I bought two shirts in black haha. They are relatively cheap and a great place to buy basics that will last forever (if you don’t mind all the crop tops).
I am an extremely picky eater so I was ecstatic to find this adorable diner, LouLou’, just a block away from the NYU building!
The staff even speaks english! I’ve eaten there four times now and know the wait staff pretty well. The majority of them are actually Australians living in Paris. It’s an “Australian Diner” so maybe they only hire Aussies?
The name comes from the common French term of endearment “LouLou.” I just think it’s absolutely adorable. Their food is magnificent and they even have take-out menus!
Every time I’ve been, I get the Vegetarian Bagel. It’s nothing like the bagels we think of in the US. The bagels we are famous for in New York are fresh, puffy, and al around superb (can you tell I’m biased?). The bagels here, however, are thin, crunchy, and very dense. I have seen many “American” bagel shops here (it must be the new trendy food) and all of them focus not on the bagel, but on the fillings. It’s like Potatopia ( ❤ ) in the East Village or Chipotle. It’s all about the toppings. The Vegetarian Bagel comes with fresh mozzarella, tomato pesto, basil, and guacamole. It is to die for. When I get back to New York, I’m definitely going to have to start making these for myself.
Although I’m going to be devastated to leave Paris in a few days, I’ve got to say, I’m glad to be leaving this weather. Cities in the summer are the worst. And to top it off, there’s no air conditioning… I tried opening the window to get a breeze, but it’s literally the exact. same. temperature. inside and out.
All month, it has been surprisingly cool, but this week, we got hit by a heat wave. Tomorrow is supposed to be 99 degrees!! And yet every Parisian is still wearing cardigans and long pants. I don’t know how they do it. All us Americans have started wearing the types of shorts that make your tourist status a dead giveaway (when it’s this hot, who cares anyways).
Last week I went to check out the Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit at the Grand Palais. Going in, had absolutely no idea what to expect. Even now, I’m not sure how I feel about it. The clothes showcased were… adventurous (to say the least). There were crazy bird hats, leather dresses, and wedding gowns (or rather skirts, with little pearl pasties making up the “top” of the look). It was all very unusual. Pictured on the left are some of the tamer looks from the exhibition. The coolest thing by far were the mannequins. Some of the figures had talking faces being projected onto them. Some of them were having conversations with each other across the room! One mannequin was looking into a mirror and he and his reflection were having a discussion! Unfortunately, they were in French so I wasn’t able to understand, but the concept was very fascinating.
Sorry for the brevity of this post, I’m in the middle of studying for finals!
These posts about colors are probably getting a little old so I will try to write about something new for tomorrow’s entry!
So it just so happens that my new purchase is in my favorite color, Cobalt! I stumbled upon this shop randomly while searching for falafel and I’m so glad I did! The address is below if you want to check it out. They’ve got great deals on clothes from three Parisian brands.
It’s called Suite 341. I went to the location in the Marais, but they have another store in Paris. They sell Sandro as well as Maje and Claudie Pierlot! And if you join their free membership program, you can get larger discounts off the tag price!
3 ter, rue des Rosiers 75004 Paris, FR
The thing I love most about Paris has got to be the macarons! My favorite shop is Pierre Hermé and some days I can’t resist stopping by after class for one or two (My favorite flavors are Passionfruit and Jasmine).
New York is probably the next best place to find macarons, but it’s no Paris. In New York, Ladurée is as close as we can get. It became one of the most famous brands after being highlighted in Gossip Girl and the movie Marie Antoinette. Personally, I don’t think Ladurée really deserves all the hype it gets. Ladurée sells an experience more than anything else. The light pastels, ribbons, gloved attendants, and everything Marie Antoinette. And I fall in love with it every time I walk through their doors. Their macarons are alright, but Pierre Hermé is on a whole different level. From the way they decorate the macaron shells to the bold, exciting flavors, Pierre Hermé trumps all others.
Absolutely in love with this top I got at the Galeries Lafayette on Blvd Haussmann! It’s from this Parisian brand called SeeUSoon. It’s amazing what a range of vendors they have within the Galeries Lafayette. From Topshop to Sandro to LV, they’ve got it all (and at every price range). I could spend days and days wandering around inside and never get bored.
If you make it out there, be sure to look up! The stained-glass ceiling will make you feel like you’re inside a gorgeous jewelry box.