23
Jun
09

Week 3 in Review

I’m starting to prefer these massive posts to short, daily ones…

Monday, June 15

Crappy weather. Wandered around Bastille again and found lots of 60s surf rock shops, skinhead fashion boutiques, and sex cartoons in hardbound books. This place feels so much more real than most other areas of Paris. It’s grimy, raw and absolutely delectable. I imagine this is how NYC’s CBGB used to be.

I love his eyes.

I love his eyes.

 I see a gorgeous poster advertising a hardcore concert. I knock on an unmarked glass door and a woman, who was sitting at a desk, answers. I explain the interruption as well as I can with my limited vocabulary: “”Je suis collecteuse des affiches. J’ai vu cette affiche, qui j’aime beacoup… Est-ce que je peux la prendre? L’événement est terminé.” She leaves me to summon a man from another room, and I repeat myself when he asks. He then goes to find yet another man, who smiles the biggest smile I’ve ever seen and at once goes to snatch it off the window for me. He asks if I want the tape removed, and offers to give me two others, if I want them. Of course I do! He explains that his business is to archive posters and photographs created by Parisians. Judging by the crowded bookshelves and desks, I could see their collection was extensive. Their earliest pieces date back to the 20s. To think that there are no signs to mark its presence there…

I am simply so ecstatic to understand and be understood that I forget to take a picture.

Maddie reveals that she has a book deal in the works; and we celebrate with an impromptu dinner bash. I bring steak-flavored chips and cheap wine, other offerings include cherries, Brie, baguettes, sausage…

Celebratory feast. I wonder who dared to sneak in those Pingles and that Coke?

Celebratory feast. I wonder who dared to sneak in those Pingles and that Coke?

Tuesday, June 16

Today I pay respects to Wilde, Apollinaire, Piaf, Chopin and Morrison at the Cimetière du Père Lachaise. Yes, Wilde’s grave is still covered in lipstick kisses despite signs asking visitors not to desecrate his resting place, and yes, Morrison’s grave is barricaded much like the stage during his concerts, but the grave of Apollinaire is truly my favorite. There’s a visual poem, in the shape of a heart, which means “My heart is like an inverted flame” in addition to a beautiful 3-stanza poem.

We Will Never Forget You. Was the bouquet actually preserved in the tombstone?

"We Will Never Forget You." Was the bouquet actually preserved in the tombstone?

O is for Oscar.

O is for Oscar.

The text alone is simply awesome.

The text alone is simply awesome.

Dinner on St. Germain with a few friends at Le Villon provided an unusual experience: ice in our glasses without request and fast, almost eerily fast, service. It felt like an insult, as if the waiter wanted to say, “I know you’re not from around here, so I’ll do you a favor and spare you the experience of dining my way.” Every traveler has her or his own preferences, but I want you to ignore me! The drink is cold already, I don’t need ice!

At least the food was good.

Wednesday, June 17

My New Thing To Try is quiche. Granted I’m not a big fan of eggs or ham fat, so our affair is doomed to begin with, but YUCCCCCK! I finally found something I never care to eat again.

The Conciergerie is dull, but the Salle des Gens d’Armes is lit beautifully and the prisoner mannequins elicit a laugh. Fun fact of the day: Wealthy prisoners could buy larger, more comfortable cells.

La Salle des Gens d'Armes

La Salle des Gens d'Armes

Thursday, June 18

The highlight of my day is the falafel from L’As du Falafel in the Marais district. Hannah wasn’t kidding when she said it was life-altering. Dare I say it, this falafel was even better thanwhat I had in Israel. The New York Times once tried to direct attention to Mi-Va-Mi, a competing vendor across the small street, but all the praise for L’As is well-deserved.

Balancing one-handed, like a pro.

Balancing one-handed, like a pro.

Annnnnnnnd as of today,  Miguel Donvez has officially replaced Shepard Fairey as Best Street Artist Ever.

Mimi One

Mimi One

Mimi Two

Mimi Two

Around 11 p.m. I venture out to MixClub in Montparnasse with a group. Erasmus is free for international students until midnight, so that’s all we need to hear. The large interior is set underground and resembles Orlando’s Roxy nightclub (for those who don’t live in Orlando, that isn’t necessarily a good thing). The DJ spins mostly house and the same 5 or so songs that I’ve heard everywhere else, and by 1 a.m. the hoards of partiers exude this collective air of utter desperation. By sticking to my circle of girlfriends  in a second-floor corner, we avoid aggressive advances while still enjoying the Amercian songs that were popular two years ago.

A bar at MixClub.

A bar at MixClub.

Friday, June 19

Everyone has a dog here. Most of them are so well-behaved that they aren’t put on leashes. Other pampered pooches get to come to work with their owner. People are starting to approach me for directions. For dinner: escargot, grenouille, duck, and a liter of wine. Don’t ask me why three girls took it upon themselves to order a liter of wine, but we did. My time here is drawing to a close, just as I’m starting to find my niche.

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