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Belleville (line 2 & 11) is a magical part of Paris. It’s also a part of Paris where you almost feel like you’re not even in Paris anymore. That is the beauty of Belleville. This week we wandered over from the Canal to take some pictures on Rue Denoyez- a street filled with graffiti, and not far from an even more immense representation. Surrounded by ethnic vendors and hole-in-the-wall shops, you can find precious cafés with open seating such as Café Aux Follies. If you wander from the metro north alongside the Café Aux Follies- take a right onto Rue Denoyez, crossing the alley and at the end taking a left, and then another left when you see an empty area. This abandoned lot is filled with graffiti, where once upon a time I took these photos years ago in the same spot:When I first came to Paris I was taking a course combining two different disciplines : Politics and Comparative Literature – but all concerning Paris. One of our first walking tours we went to Belleville, described as one of the parts of Paris where so many artists and citizens of different cultures, nationalities, and backgrounds could live together in one area. To this day it still bears a strong mix of different cultures which reflects the feeling you get when walking through Belleville.

More to come on Belleville and the 19th and 20th in the future. I’d love to explore more around there and go up towards Buttes aux Chaumont and the canal (easing towards the 10th arrondissement). There is so much to see, jeez.

“Belleville is not a zoo, it’s a jungle.”

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Paris is full of parks, some of which are more popular than others. However, this little baby tucked on the southwest side of Paris isn’t as known by tourists, yet has a hell of a lot to offer. Parc André Citroën is located between metros Javel André Citroën (Line 10) and Balard (Line 8).  Don’t forget to pop by the Pont Mirabeau if you get off at Javel for a view of the baby Statue of Liberty and the beautiful bridge itself.

The park was created in the 90’s, opening in 1992- thus replacing the Citroën car manufacturing company which had shut down in that location in the 70’s. It is about 35 acres and has lots of hidden parts as well as a main central area with dancing fountains at the top, green houses and gardens on the sides, and a moored hot air balloon in the middle that can give you a view of Paris if you please. There are even little canals running around the park and through the greenhouses which never cease to host children in swimsuits.

I discovered this park at random last summer, and ever since have tried to bring everyone there for an afternoon- it is lovely and is the ultimate mix of private and public depending where you sit and relax (or enjoy a Mexican Fiesta for a friend’s birthday!)

Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine
            Et nos amours
       Faut-il qu’il m’en souvienne
La joie venait toujours après la peine

     Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
     Les jours s’en vont je demeure

Les mains dans les mains restons face à face
            Tandis que sous
       Le pont de nos bras passe
Des éternels regards l’onde si lasse

     Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
     Les jours s’en vont je demeure

L’amour s’en va comme cette eau courante
            L’amour s’en va
       Comme la vie est lente
Et comme l’Espérance est violente

     Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
     Les jours s’en vont je demeure

Passent les jours et passent les semaines
            Ni temps passé 
       Ni les amours reviennent
Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine

     Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
     Les jours s’en vont je demeure

-Guillaume Appollinaire (1880-1918)

 

So this Tuesday I was on Sometimes Sweet’s Tattoo Tuesday (volume 71)! I was so excited as I am always willing to share my opinion on tattoos- which in most cases people are surprised when they realize I have some. OH LA LA!

Normally I’m not into having a post about myself on here, but hey, it can be considered a fun fact. What have I got to hide?

Reading the previous posts on the stories behind people’s tattoos is so inspiring, and above all- interesting! I was more than happy to share my story and what my friends, family, and lover’s impressions were about mine and also how I feel about mine in relation to my future. From an artist perspective, many people have associated a bad stigma with tattoos, which is normal, but sometimes another view is important to recognize.

For Danielle’s blog I put together this diagram of the timeline my tattoos, thanks to the photo by my darling Caroline (please excuse the typo)….

To check out the full entry  & questionnaire on Sometimes Sweet, click here.

What are your opinions on tattoos?

Louis’s grandmother lived outside of Paris, in Montargis. We hopped on a train from Bercy one day to go for a day in the countryside. The most precious little house with the most precious little things awaited us. It was one of those places where absolutely everything is picturesque. Have you been to the countryside? It sure is a nice break from the hustle bustle of Paris. So, without further ado, enjoy the photos from the precious Montargis (with amazing antique-ness EVERYWHERE).

As a matter of fact, today I strolled in quite a few arrondissements with great company. But I will focus on the 18th, as I deeply miss being a Montmartoise, and cannot wait to be one again in the future- as it is my favorite part of Paris, and I truly miss living at Lamarck to roam the hilly streets! It all started with a cupcake at Berko.

Ca commence: If you get off the metro at Blanche, on line 2, exiting right in front of the Moulin Rouge– amongst other interesting things…  you can walk upRue Lépic (passing Café des Deux Moulins of the famous Amélie Poulain) and pop into Berko for a cupcake à emporter or sur place. Continuing upwards, at the top of the street you go to your right on Rue des Abbesses towards metro stop Abbesses, which leads to the bottom of Montmartre (la butte!). But, if you’re feeling adventurous — as we were today– go on any street that seems like it’s going upwards, and eventually you will find the top with Sacré Coeur. This particular Friday we had the pleasure of arriving at the top just as the guy singing and playing the guitar  on the steps was singing an acoustic version of “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. Let’s just say that this moment ultimately made my day even MORE amazing. With the view of Paris, of course.

We then heading down on the left side of Sacré Coeur (while facing the city of Paris, back to the church) and sat in the grass  for a bit before heading to Halle Saint Pierre (epic books!!!!!) and  Marché Saint Pierre  to wander around. This is the perfect place for fabric- F.Y.I.: gingham galore in EVERY color! Montmartre is definitely my favorite part of Paris. There is effortless charm and bundles of precious galore anywhere you turn your head. Wander stories will continue in this quartier, that is for sure.

Until next time, Montmartre coté sud………