Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Interesting Photos from Paris

I am not being neglectful, I promise. I am just incredibly busy with work. Everyone is preparing to flee Paris for the month of August, so I've been run ragged with work and social events. Instead of posting anything meaningful, here are a few 'cool' photos I caught with my crappy phone.

My street's homeless man's digs. Don't know how he expects to actually watch the television as there is not an electrically outlet.

One of the many reasons I love Paris. This advertisement is sponsored by the Mayor of Paris. Imagine such an ad in the U.S. Yeah, I can't either. At first, I really liked it because it is cheeky and a bit classy but after I thought about it for a while...well, why is it the woman's best friend? Shouldn't it also be the man's best friend?

My neighborhood bonbon vendor's hub. Notice the 'I want crack from Noy York' and 'I got macaroni cheese.' No idea what the little vandals were thinking.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bastille Day

French firemen taking a hard-earned break from chatting up women.

I am sure most of you know that the 14th of July is Bastille day, the fête nationale celebrated by French people (and those of us residing in France). In Paris, there is a pretty standard military parade down Avenue des Champs-Élysées complete with military planes flying overhead. I've been to this parade a few times and while it is grand and on a lovely avenue, I just wasn't feeling it this year.

For the past 24 years there has also been a huge fireworks display around the Eiffel tower. This year marked the 25th anniversary. Johny Hallyday performed in front of a crowd of one million (according to papers) screaming fans and then there were a lot of fireworks. But again, I just wasn't feeling it this year. Will I regret not going in the years to come, maybe, but I doubt it. Really, how cool can fireworks be? And that crowd, not for all the tea in China and I really, really love tea.

What did I do, you might ask. A big bowl of nothing. Went to the park for some exercise, caught some sun, read and just enjoyed the one day when silence reined in my apartment.

However, the night before. Well that is another story. You see, the 14th juillet is proceeded by the Bal des Pompiers. Now that was something else. This year was the first year I attended the firemen's ball and I really hope I get to go to another. Theoretically, it is a neighborhood gathering at the local fire station with food, games and a band. Technically, I think it is just an excuse for the firemen to chat up pretty girls and vice versa. But whatever. It was great fun. I danced all night to mostly old American songs and just a little accordian music.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shopping in Paris

There are national sales in France twice a year. All the stores participate in these sales and if you are diligent, you can find super bargains. Normally, I wait until the very end, the troisième réduction but this year I have been spending money like I actually have some (which I don't). I have been to BHV and Galeries Lafayette way too much recently. To date, I have bought several items of the underwear persuation, too much jewelry, some dresses and some hair product, but not shoes which I desperately need. Seems my feet are way too big to squash into the petit French shoes.

On a funny note...One day I tried on a bra without looking at the price and only after I had taken it off realized it was 275 euros. That's about 350 dollars. I almost had a heart attack, although I must admit, I think it made me a better person. Needless to say, I did not buy it.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Independence Day in Parc Monceau

Cake made by a fellow expat and good friend.

July 4th is a special day for all of us Expats. We miss the bbq, the fireworks, the time spent with families, the day off work, etc. Usually we try to get together and have a picnic somewhere nice, like one of the many (although small) Parisian parks. Often there are several groups of Americans picnicing and it is a nice way to celebrate La Vie Americain in Paris. This year, we had a lot of Frenchies and Canadians who crashed our picnic, but the more the merrier, although at one point we (not me) and the Canadians did get into a bit of a pissing contest.

My friend Kally and I have spent the last three Independence days together. One of those years was in Romania (we were really creative with that cake, using flavored yogurt which resulted in a very pastel looking cake). Anyway, I realized how cool it is that although I've now spent 4 Independence days outside of the U.S., I've always managed to celebrate with cool people.

I hope everyone else got to celebrate with cool people, ate a lot and watched lots of fireworks.