I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend and ready for summer to begin 🙂
Like I said on my last post, I’ve arrived in Paris now and after a week have just spent it setting up certain necessary things paper-wise, but also discovering my new neighborhood in the 18th district of Paris and places that I’ve never been before.
As your observing participant, it’s only fair that I share my travels offline as well as on, I think, so from time to time I’m going to post about some of the places that I’ve “discovered” (I’m sure that some of them are already QUITE well known well too bad not by me! ;D ) if nothing but to be able to remember them later on (I have a terrible memory!) 😀
And so… this week’s Favorites in Paris:
It’s situated behind a mosque so we were a little unsure of what to think when we first showed up and saw a group of people entering for prayer and here we were with our bikinis in hand – not exactly the highest sign of respect, we were thinking! Turns out, you have to go down and around the corner, where you STILL don’t think you’ve got the right address because it’s a small open-air café that turns out to be gigantic! There were lovely trees and birds flitting about and everyone sipping mint tea and choosing traditional sweets from a counter where every dessert is 2€ that leads to another larger, also open-air terrace where servers circulate with platters of hot mint tea for after-hammam hydration (or before-hydration, or before- and after-, or before- and after- and after-after 😉 )
I was just looking to trim my hair a bit, but I ended up getting a whole new look, and by a real pro. Denis is one of those stylists you read about but never figure you’ll actually have touch your hair. In fact even after our consultation about what I wanted, while he was actually cutting my hair several women stopped in just for a quick consultation, themselves!
Ah, and OK OK I speak French, but Denis was telling me that he has a large English-speaking clientele because – foreigners heads up – he’s one of the only hairdressers that speaks English in the neighborhood. Apparently an Australian girl that was living there was going down the street trying to find someone that she could explain how she wanted her hair dyed and – lucky her – she found Denis 🙂
OK, after this one I’ll stop with the beauty things, I feel like I’m getting a far off track, though I admit the hammam was just for fun, and the haircut as well! 😀
But I found this place last summer and was glad to be able to go back now that I’m here for…X number of years!
The owners is from Brazil and apparently her sister owns a Brazilian restaurant not too far from Abbesses (I can’t believe I forgot to get the address!! But I’m pretty sure that it’s this one; I’ll be sure to get it next time). The prices are really great, the music is always nice, and everyone that works there is super friendly and welcoming – Brazilian! 😉
I’ll admit that Thursday night I was feeling kind of tired after having been walking around for a few days now – too too pretty weather to stay inside! – but I ended up agreeing to go out with my boyfriend for a cocktail hour he had been invited to because the girl organizing it is American and has been living here for a bit now, and he thought it might do me some good to find some fellow Americans in Paris. How cliché, right? But it’s true!
AND, to top it all off, cocktail hour was held in a champagne bar!!! Now, I’m a fan of wine, mind you, but champagne is definitely my kind of drink ;D I remember the first time I lived in France with Rotary and got to taste it for the first time, I felt a little bit like a mix between Audrey Hepburn and Frank the Tank, if that’s possible (“once it hits your lips, it’s just so good”).
Anyways anyways, this place just opened about 6 months ago so even if you’re from Paris you might want to check it out :p (ha HAA she DOESN’T just write about stuff we all know about!!)
And of course of course, the best part of all was meeting people like Sally that just moved here for work (aren’t we just the next little Americans in Paris :p), Lucie, that is a fabulous host, Pascale, a photo editor that completely changed careers after having been in finance, and John, who introduced me to l’Espace Fontaine where I am going to go try out their capoeira group that’s not too far from Pigalle and Moulin Rouge.
Last but not least, although it was beautiful this week and I spent most of it just meandering through the streets and taking everything in, I did spend part of one late morning and early afternoon at the MEP, situated next to the metro Sain-Paul, where there are currently 4 expositions.
My favorite was an exposition by a Swiss photographer, Michael von Graffenried, called “Outing”, in which he presents us with what we don’t usually see.
One part was dedicated to the war in Algeria during which he took pictures often without letting people know, and experienced serious moral conflict over the fact that they were often pictures of people that didn’t wish to be photographed. Of course personally it was interesting that a small section was dedicated to a small town in North Carolina that absolutely wanted him to come take photos, and when the media was unhappy with the unflattering photos of the town there was absolutely no mention of the project in North Carolina, be it positive or negative. He said that it was ironic to see an absolute silence in a land that proclaims itself to be the bastion of freedom and freedom of the press.
Ah, and there was also an exposition by Philippe Perrin, although I’m still a bit lost on his story – a bad boy that plays with guns?
More videos and Paris outings to come, for sure!
(Comments below 😉 )