Bienvenue à Paris! Week One

Hello Paris, my old friend! It is so nice to see you again! It’s been a long time but I’m so excited to be here with Eric. To show him all my favorite old spots, to eat at my favorite restaurants and go to my favorite museums, to show him the jazz bar in the old dungeon, and the best fallafal in the world! Paris I’m back!

After literally spending 4 months in straight Summer (with a brief break from Summer weather in Scandanavia) we arrive in Paris where it is decidedly Fall. Overcast, moody, and misty-this is the Paris I remember.

We pretty much spent the first week just relaxing and soaking in the Parisian vibe. Walking around, visiting cafes, enjoying the fresh air and completely different feel that Paris has, compared to anywhere else. I’m a bit spoiled having lived in Paris, because it’s one of the cities were every step you take you are bombarded by something beautiful, historical or at the very least, interesting.

Part the reason why we’re having such a good time, is because we’ve got a fabulous little apartment. We’re right in the heart of town, in the 3eme arrondissment, about 1 block away from the Centre Pompidou and right next to one of my favorite districts, the Marais.

Our place in Paris, 3eme arrondissement

The Marais is a mix of the jewish district and the gay district, so as everyone knows, these are always the most fun districts in town! It’s also becoming the trendy neighborhood where thrift stores are cropping up more and more, and independent retailers abound. It’s got personality and a great atmosphere for sure. It’s also one of the only areas in Paris that is open on Sunday since most things are closed on Saturday for Shabat instead.

Enjoying decidedly the best Falafal on the planet, at L'as du Falafal in the Marais. As they say, "toujours imité jamais égalé", or "Always imitated, never equalled". Or even more importantly, "Recommended by Lenny Kravtiz".

Needless to say we had a wonderful time and our first week is a blur of wonderful memories, beautiful pictures and yummy food. I’ll tell you all about it through pictures a few words, but first a funny story about our first morning.

When we arrived we had about an hour before we needed to meet our host and get the keys to our place, etc. so we stopped in a cafe for an true petit dejeuner á la français. The special was a coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice and a pastry, croissant or pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant). Ok, parfait! We enjoyed our first meal in Paris and went to meet our host. After we did meet with her, I mentioned to Eric that the American Diner I used to eat at once a week was just a few blocks away. That put everything on hold. “It’s time for pancakes” he said, and off we went for our second breakfast of the day! American style! Eric had a big stack of chocolate chip pancakes and I had a breakfast burrito. Bienvenue en la France! When the waiters forgot to bring my toast, and I asked for it, they said “Are you sure you want it? I guarantee you won’t be able to finish that burrito.” I replied in turn, “Friend, you don’t know how longs it’s been since I’ve had a burrito. It will be no problem.” When I finished that and the toast, they were all impressed. Man did I miss a good ol’ American breakfast. And I can get delicious french food, and american breakfast in one city! Vive la France! Vive Paris!

Ok, now for the photos, that’s why we’re all here isn’t it?

North end of the Louvre, in the Jardin de Tuileries on our first day

Did you notice the sailboats in the fountain? They're from this guy. He's been here since I lived here and I was glad he's still at his trade.

My view of the Louvre

My sketch of the Louvre

On our second day, we walked from our house to the Palais Royal, on the way to the Opera. This is the Jardin du Palais Royal

All around the Jardin du Palais Royal there are some pretty fancy shops. I've always loved this one that sells old military medals and paraphenalia.

Opera Garnier. We tried to visit the first week but the theatre was closed for rehearsals that day so we decided to come back another time.

Place des Vendôme at sunset, we walked here after the Opera

Amazing light post in Place des Vendôme

Who doesn't love a big blue door?

Then we walked home via Rue de Rivoli, enjoying a purple sunset.

My sketch of the Metro, yet to be watercolored...

Nightime at Louvre-Rivoli

One day we walked around the Left Bank and Notre Dame

Self portrait in the back of Notre-Dame

After exploring the île-de la Cité we walked around the 6eme arrondissement and enjoyed Happy Hour at a bar down this alley.

Of course we strolled along the Champs-Elysees, here te Fall colors were in in full effect.

Love those metros signs....

We also visited the famous La Duree on the Champs-Elysees. They are renowned for their Macarons. We had 4 minis, rose petals, caramel with sea salt, black forest (dark berries and chocolat mix), and espresso. We sat in front of the Arc de Triomphe and munched.

Of course, I took Eric on a thorough tour of my old neighborhood the 18eme arrondissement, otherwise known as Montmarte. Some of you may be familiar with the neighborhood as it’s where the movie Amelie takes place. Montmarte still retains that old Paris charm and I absolutely loved living there. Many of my favorite Paris memories are wrapped up in the loveliness of those cobbled streets.

One of my favorite stores in my neighborhood, right around the corner from my old house called Tombees du Camion, literally meaning "Stuff that fell off the back of the truck". Basically, wonderful bits and bobs from the Flea Market.

The old brick chuch in Montmarte, otherwise known as Eglise St. Jean de Montmartre

There was a Flea Market going on in Place des Abbesses, we took our time exploring and enjoying.

The Sacré Coeur at sunset

In front of my sacred heart

We ate dinner at my old cafe, Le Chinon, on rue des Abbesses. This is a picture of their ceiling withe the beautiful lamps.

Le Chinon

I took Eric to see the old moulin that is still intact up on the hill. Of course, it is now a fancy restaurant.

And finally, to end the week in the very best way possible, we made new friends! One of my friends, Sarah, introduced me to her friend Andrea, who lives with her french husband Jean, in Paris. They generously invited us over for dinner, and we loved them right away! They are those great sort of people who are warm, laugh easily and often and you can pass hours chatting with and it seems like mere minutes. We were so glad to make some new, real friends! Thanks again Jean and Andrea! We miss you already!

Jean, Andrea, Chelsea and Eric

Our first week was one of our most enjoyable (well, I guess they’re all enjoyable huh?). Whiling away the hours in one of the worlds most beautiful cities, exploring a new culture and way of life. Learning the ins and outs of your neighborhood and eating like a local. Life is so good. I am so lucky to be on this trip, to be with Eric and to have Paris as my second home, now and forever.

Our second week Little Brett came to visit! Those pictures and memories coming soon!

<3 Chelsea








2 responses to “Bienvenue à Paris! Week One

  1. Jesus, many talents do you have??? I LOVE those little drawings! I want to photocopy and frame! moi je dis que tu es cittoyenne d’honneur de Paris! tu me manques, ma cherie…

    • Perrinette!! I will draw one for you!! Not to worry. I am happy to be une cittoyenne d’honneur de Paris! Tu me manques grave aussi poulette! Laisse-moi savoir quand on peut skyper! :D <3 Chelsea

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