Vacation Photos: Paris, pt. 1

Somewhere in Paris

Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg

Rue Duguay Trouin

Rue de Condé

Le Hibou

Eiffel Tower, Rue Saint-Eleuthere


Montmartre, Night

Our Apartment

Rue d'Estrées

Le Boulangeur des Invalides Jocteur


Rue de Varenne

Musée Rodin

Musée Rodin

Paris. What is there to say, really, that I haven’t already said before ad nauseam? By now, we’ve established how I feel when I’m there; there’s a deep sense of right and comfort the moment my feet hit the soil, like I’m not so much visiting but coming home. It’s a chemical, almost biological feeling of of solace that’s hard to articulate but so easy to get swept up in. Paris is home for me, in a way that’s matched only by my love of Philadelphia.

We landed mid-day on Thursday and flew out at the same time two days later, giving us a little over 48 hours to soak up every ounce of this city as I could. I did a lot of shopping, and lot of eating. We stayed in Montmartre, bien sûr, and even Jamal made mention of the fact that we just feel so comfortable there. We don’t need maps, we don’t need translations, we don’t even need good weather (but we had it in abundance; someone said last year that Paris really seems to “turn it on” for me whenever I’m there, and I can’t help but agree. This city knows how to woo you, and while it rains more in Paris than in London per year, historically, it seems to always be blue skies and sun for me.) We just need Paris.

We took a sneezy stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg, since Jamal had never been, and then wound our way back up through Saint-Germain (where I jettisoned my poor husband and ducked into City Pharma to load up on all the beauty products I’ll need until our next visit). We had drinks at a new bar in Montmartre, where they make their own juices and herbal, vegetable infusions for their cocktails, and I realized: my quaint little neighborhood is becoming cool. At some point, just like our gentrifying neighborhood in Philly, we’ll be priced out. Even the neighborhood near Rue des Martyrs, in the 9eme, has its own hip name now: SoPi, or South of Pigalle. An area once known for prostitutes and vagrants is now a trendy hotspot for les hipsters, or however you say it in French.

Speaking of French, a highlight for me this trip was that not one, not two, but three separate Parisians told me I speak excellent French. One even stopped me, as I switched to translating in English for Jamal, and asked, “Vous êtes Américaine? Vraiment?” To be mistaken for French by a Frenchman even for a brief moment, is something I’m going to put on my résumé under the ‘Special Skills’ section. Life goals: realized.

My favorite, and oft-recommended, “perfect Parisian morning” circuit is as follows: breakfast at Le Boulanger des Invalides Jocteur, flowers from Monceau Fleurs across the street, and then a morning at le Musée Rodin around the corner. That was a requirement on our second day there, and everything was as perfect as I remember, except the brioche aux pralines tasted even better than my memory accounted for.

23 thoughts on “Vacation Photos: Paris, pt. 1

  1. That feeling of coming home is a special one, especially when it’s someplace that isn’t your current home :) Glad you get to experience it more and more, it seems

    1. Thank you, doll. It’s hard to put into words, but you hit the nail on the head. Seems like I’ll be back before the end of the year, too…!! xo

  2. I’m already missing it too. I feel very much the same, I am at peace, I feel “right” there. So content, so pleased. I’m extremely jealous that you were mistaken for Parisienne with your perfect accent and grammar. It’s been years since a French class for me and I quickly brushed up on some vocabulary (not grammar) before my trip last week. Alas, five years ago I was mistaken for being French, this time, not so much. But everyone was very sweet about me butchering their language <3. I miss it!!!

    1. The French get such a bad rap about being rude to Americans, but I’ve always found that if you just make an effort they are so grateful and accommodating! And, as you said, “very sweet about butchering their language” haha. Do you have the Duolingo app? That’s what keeps me practicing between French classes. And streaming RFI radio at work, just to listen to the language. We should go back and explore together, wouldn’t that be fun? :) xo

  3. It is the time of year…..I’m very aware of that, but seeing the Burghers of Calais just brought me to tears. I am so looking forward to following you around Paris next spring that I can almost taste the pastry.
    I can’t tell you how proud I am of you to be mistaken for a native speaker!

    1. I know, me too. That statue will always have such a special place in my heart.
      Thank Rachel, mon prof! She is the reason anyone mistook me for une Parisienne, and I emailed her immediately to thank you. She’s amazing. xo

    1. Thank you so much! It was a highlight of the trip (and possibly my life!) for sure. :) xo

    1. Thanks, girl!! I tried not to get too smug about it, but it was sooo flattering, haha. xoxo

  4. lol. I find your enthusiasm when it comes to Paris too funny. as you know, despite living here, I have huge problems with the city in particular and the country in general. I’m just not a francophile. but I get it too. for me it’s simple other places that cause the same excitement. I’m glad you had a good time here. and I hope we manage to meet up the next time you’re around xoxo

    1. Wanna switch places??? I feel like I could more than make up for your lack of enthusiasm with my boundless amounts of it ;) But it’s true of anywhere, you grow immune to its charms living anywhere on a daily basis. It’s exciting and beautiful to me because I get to swoop in, see the best parts of it, stuff my face with bread, and then leave and get all wistful and nostalgic about it. Keeps things romantic ;) xo

  5. Mistaken for a Parisienne? Now, if that isn’t a sign… :)

    I feel the exact same way as Petra up there. As you know, I lived in Paris for several years (right between Abbesses and Pigalle, which seems to be one of your favourite quartier?) and I wouldn’t want to go back to living there. But I feel the same way as you do when I go to London. London has always felt like home to me. Same thing about Bordeaux.

    I love how certain places hold such big parts in our hearts. I sincerely hope you will get to stay in Paris longer someday. You would be so happy there!

    1. Ha! I said the same thing to Jamal. “Well clearly I need to live here then, if everyone already thinks I do anyway!” ;)

      That is my favorite quarter! I love the seediness of Clichy, to be honest. Nearer to Blanche, there is a sex toy shop literally right next door to a convent and church. But the quaint little village vibe around Abbesses will forever steal my heart. I don’t blame you for not feeling “at home” there. To each their own! We all have to “follow our bliss” after all! You are so sweet, and I am right there hoping along with you! I can’t imagine a place I’d be happier. xo

  6. I love your holiday photos series, the nighttime shots are particularly beautiful. So jealous that you got mistaken for French! I’m not quite at that level with my Italian yet (not sure I ever will be either haha) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua Italy

    1. Thank you so much, Lucy! I’m surprised those night shots came out at all, as I was having a hard time focusing my camera that day, post-accident :( I’m sure you’ll be mistaken for a native Italian soon enough! I can’t think of a better way to learn a language than by full immersion. xo

  7. “Hipsters”est difficile à traduire en français, on peut éventuellement dire “néo bobo ou “snob cosmopolite”.
    Félicitations pour votre maîtrise du français et de son accent !

    1. “Néo bobo”! C’est la meilleure phrase dans la monde! C’est mieux que “hipsters” bien sûr. Merci, Véronique! xo

  8. Aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! It look perfect there. Such beauty. Such class. I want to go back!

    Hm, your French must be amazing! It was my first language but sadly, I don’t speak it as often as I ought to. (French date in Philly this summer?! We’ve talked about this before….) When I was in France last it was interesting because depending on where I went, I would either be met with “Oh, you have such a strong American accent!” or “Your French is awesome! I don’t detect an accent.” I think it really depends on your location. (I couldn’t understand anyone in southern France.) On the other end of the spectrum, I don’t know colloquialisms in either French or English, simply because they’re both like second languages to me… It makes for a very stiff (or eloquent, if you want to look at it that way) way of speaking and I’m often asked by people here if I’ve had voice lessons. Nope! I just learned English like a foreigner but without the accent.

    1. Go back go back go baaaaack! I’m such a Paris enabler ;)

      I have always been a good mimic, but I’ve also worked really, really hard on my French and I don’t know if you could tell, but being mistaken for a native speaker was like the highlight of my life to date, haha. We MUST have a French date soon! But I will be too nervous to speak to you in French right out of the gate, haha. That’s so interesting about not knowing the colloquialisms in either language! They are so, so hard to learn and to translate. I don’t realize how many I use in English, but I know how steep the learning curve is in French. And then you throw in the Verlan slang and I’m lost. Oy. We can have a little study group! Over tea and pastries, of course. xo

  9. Je sais, Paris c’est la plus belle ville du monde mais ça je le voit surtout dans tes photos! Je crois que tu vois Paris comme personne et ça fait que tes photos sont si exceptionnels et belles!
    J’aurais aimé visité “ton Paris” ! Je comprends que tu te sens comme chez toi! Paris est fait pour toi ! xoxo

    1. “Mon Paris,” oh Eva! J’espere qu’un jour, Paris sera mon ville. Merci beaucoup, ma cocotte. Je sais que Paris est fait pour moi, mais tes mots sont sublime! xoxo

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