Tag Archives: Paris sights

Recently on Instagram

I know I don’t post nearly enough about Paris. The simple fact is I don’t visit any tourist sights unless guests are in town, and I don’t necessarily feel comfortable looking like a tourist or snap-happy blogger by whipping out a huge DSLR camera (or even a regular point-and-shoot camera for that matter) when I’m out trying a new bar or restaurant. I’ll occasionally sneak in an iPhone photo, but even then, those aren’t the best quality since I’m trying to be pseudo-discreet. I’m also just not the kind of person that simply wanders around the city for hours with a camera taking photos of beautiful everyday activities and sights. I really wish I was, but I’m not. In fact, I’m afraid that if I ever leave this beloved city of mine, that I’ll regret I didn’t do that. All this is to say that this is the reason most of my photos tend to be of my recent travels (apparently, I don’t have any qualms about looking like a tourist then), with an occasional Paris shot in between. Oh, and a shot of Tyler too, of course.

However, since I did have guests in town recently and even got to visit Barcelona and Madrid again after nearly 10 years, here are a few things I managed to capture on Instagram, Paris sights included.
Après New York on Instagram
Clockwise from Top Left:

  • This is actually an Instagram video. I know it’s cheesy to say this, but there’s something about a French flag waving in the wind that really resonates with me. Yes, I know I’m American, but I can’t help but feel some sort of heavy connection when I see a French flag. Rio thinks I’m nuts. My friend Alan says I’m a romantic.
  • We’ve been lucky with the weather in Paris lately (I know I just jinxed this now), so for the second night of my friends’ visit, I took them to En Attendant Rosa on Les Berges by the Seine for evening al fresco drinks and apéros. This is the view we took in – my favorite bridge Pont Alexandre III. If you’re ever visiting Paris and the weather is nice, then I recommend settling in at one of the few riverside bars or restaurants on Les Berges and doing the same.
  • On the last day of my friends’ visit, I took them to one of my favorite sights: Sacré-Coeur. Did you know the reason Sacré-Coeur always stays so white is because it’s made of a type of limestone called travertine that constantly self-cleans because it exudes calcite when it rains – kind of giving it a fresh coat of white paint? I always love sharing this fun fact with guests when playing a “Paris Fact: True or False” game with them. And oui, I actually do this because I am a nerd.
  • My parents also visited this past week. Before arriving, my dad said to me, “I’ve already been to Paris, I want to see another city and country”. Um, ok. What am I, chopped liver? So with that in mind, I took them to Spain for the week. For our last day in Madrid, we visited El Retiro Park, which is where this pond is located.
  • We also managed to take a day trip from Madrid to Segovia. This is a shot of the impressive Cathedral of Segovia, located right by the main square Plaza Mayor.
  • After literally two weeks straight of traveling and entertaining guests, I was one exhausted lady. Coupled with the fact that I ended up catching the cold my visiting friend Brian had, I decided to stay in and rest all weekend. Tyler did the same.
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Tyler’s Pic of the Day: Le Mur des Je t’aime

Rio, Tyler & Le Mur des Je t'aime
Tyler has seen most of the major Parisian sights (Eiffel Tower, Pont Alexandre III, etc.), so it’s getting a bit harder to find interesting spots to take him to these days. Tough dog life, right? Well, one place he hadn’t been to yet – and neither had Rio or I – was a place called “Le Mur des Je t’aime” (I Love You: The Wall).

Located in the Montmartre area, the wall is found in this tiny garden called Square Jehan Rictus right by Metro Abbesses. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked right past this garden not knowing that just inside was 612 blue enameled lava tiles forming a wall of more than 300 “I love you’s” in 250 languages. Quelle romantique!
Le Mur des Je t'aime Le Mur des Je t'aime
Tyler Waiting for Le Mur des Je t'aime
Sadly for us (and Tyler), when we arrived we immediately noticed the “no dogs” sign in the park. Merde! So the above pics are of us waiting for the park guard to leave so we could sneak him in for a quick photo shoot. Luckily, our patience paid off and as soon as the guard left, we skedaddled in there with Tyler in our arms as Parisians and tourists looked on. What can I say, I am one determined American.
Le Mur des Je t'aime
How many languages can you say “I love you”? I can say it in Polish, Chinese, Tagalog, English (obviously) and French.

Je t’aime, Paris! xx

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Recently on Instagram

Wow – it’s been more than two weeks since I’ve last posted! With work, vacation, planning vacations, socializing and overall laziness resulting from the heat in Paris without any a/c (but I’m not complaining!), I’ve been so bad about posting. So here’s a little Instagram post to catch you up a bit. Because you’re all so interested, right?! Riigghhhhtt.

I do oftentimes think about all the topics I’d post about if I made the had time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. But I do hope to write some posts soon about my recent Amsterdam trip, a visit to the “I love you” wall in Paris, a delicious financier from Normandy and more.
On Instagram
Clockwise from top left:

  • I can’t escape photo booths post-The Knot, and that’s just A-ok with me! Here are some of the boys at Lindsey’s (of Pictours Paris) birthday party posing. This photo helped me realize what the duct tape prop was for as I wasn’t sure at first…
  • I got to see the Tour de France at the Champs-Élysées for my first time! We were supposed to go to a pop-up rooftop bar to watch the race, but alas, RIo was wearing flip-flops, so we were denied entry and ended up on the ground with the rest of the minions. Here’s a link to an Instagram video I took too. Those bikers sure are speedy.
  • The long queue at the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. We ended up waiting on line for an hour and a half. Tip – if you want to go, make sure you book your tickets online at least two weeks in advance. I tried to do this the week before and it was already sold out – thus, the waiting on line. For your reference, this line is shorter than the one at the Vatican Museum in Italy.
  • Rio’s office recently moved from La Défense (the horrid soulless Financial District area, which even got some NYT attention recently) to the Trocadéro neighborhood! This means I’m actually willing to have lunch with him during the week now – and why not when you get to pass by this gorgeous lady right around the corner.
  • Last Tuesday was my first expat lunch date anniversary with one of my besties here Robin. We naturally celebrated with nine hours of drinking and about four bottles (maybe more??) of rosé.
  • August = vacation time in France. If you thought Mondays were dead in Paris, well, just experience Mondays in August. The city is desolate, sauf for the tourists, and many of your local shops and restaurants are closed for the month. All this makes me wish I was away as well. Thank goodness I have a vacation to the South of France coming up. It’ll be our first big road trip and we’ll be hitting up Provence, the Pyrenees and the Basque country. The phrase you’ll hear often now is “à la rentrée”, which essentially means “see you in September” because that’s pretty much when the city is returned to Parisians. So if you ever visit Paris, don’t come during August – you won’t truly experience la vie Parisienne during this month.

Bon lundi, mes amis!

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Les Berges de Seine

Les Berges de Paris
Last week, Rio and I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and took a stroll along the new Les Berges de Seine (The Banks of the Seine). The Seine Riverbanks are a UNESCO World Heritage Site (who knew?!) and in an attempt to revamp the unattractive Georges Pompidou highway on the Left bank between Pont Royal and Pont Alma, Les Berges de Seine was created. Running 4.5 hectares, the space has been converted into a riverside park that combines elements of nature, sports, activities, and of course, drinks. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Want to veg out? Take a stroll along the floating garden, do some sun salutations on the Zen platform or simply lay on the sun loungers or Mikado benches whilst enjoying the riverside view. Got company? Score a game-equipped table in the YOU area and brush up on your Backgammon or Chess skills. Looking for something more private? Book a free ZZZ “container” where you can play cards, take a nap or enjoy some QT with your friends. (Unfortunately, alcohol is forbidden in the ZZZs.) Or pop a squat on “The Emmarchement” for stadium-style seating in front of Musée d’Orsay to take in the city views.

Looking to burn calories? There are nine fitness stations to help you get lose that extra wine, baguette & cheese weight. Warm up & stretch, build your biceps on a suspension beam, sprint along a 15m track or even channel your inner Tarzan on a ring and rope structure.

Got kids? Challenge them to make it through the climbing wall, have them learn about their five senses in a funky green caravan, test their Hopscotch or Labyrinth skills in the Ground Games area, or channel their inner artist on the slate chalkboard wall. If you’ve got a birthday tot, then make a free reservation at one of the “Birthday Teepees” that come complete with Mattel games so those little rascals can celebrate with friends. If they’re budding Tony Hawks, let them take a spin along the skate ramp. Although, I should note the skating ramp at Parc Clichy-Batignolles is infinitely better.

Hungry or thirsty? Whether it’s an actual restaurant for a sit-down meal, a glass (or three) of wine or a grab-and-go sandwich, you’ve got plenty of options at Les Berges. I personally enjoyed une verre de rosé at Flow while taking in a view of the gorgeous Pont Alexandre III and I couldn’t have been happier.

After you’ve relaxed, worked out, drank or babysat at Les Berges, it’ll be time to hit up Paris Plages, which opens up tomorrow! You’ve got to love all the summer events and cultural activities this gorgeous city plans.
Modern Museum
While walking to Les Berges, we passed by the Musée d’Art Moderne and came across this graffitied statue. it’s such a shame these delinquents do this! Ok…I kind of sound like an old lady, but it really is terrible.
Berges de Seine
Les Berges de Seine
Berges de Paris - 2

Berges de Seine

Berges de Seine  Flow
Flow

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Une Bonne Bastille Day

Bastille Day 2013
Just as we did last year, we capped the weekend with a Bastille Day celebration underneath the fireworks last night and it was magical as always. Is there anything better than celebrating with good friends, old and new, while you take in the fireworks, music and the Eiffel Tower that surrounds you? Je crois que non, mes amis, je crois que non.Bastille Day 2013

Bastille Day 2013
Bastille Day 2013
Bastille Day 2013 - 2
There was a lot of blue, white and red going on. Vive la France!
Bastille Day 2013 - 3
Eiffel Tower
Bastille Day 2013

Bastille Day 2013

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Bastille Day in Paris

Bastille Day Poster - 2013
Sunday, July 14 is Bastille Day, which means fireworks at the Eiffel Tower and another round of festive picnicking on the Champs de Mars.

Here’s a roundup of some of the most popular and traditional Bastille Day festivities in Paris:

Fireman’s Ball: Single and looking to score a Frenchie fireman? Pick a number. All throughout Paris, the firehouses open on July 13 and 14 from 9pm to 4am so you can hook up party with French firemen. I’ve actually never done this, but I hear it’s quite the scene. I also heard that the firemen in the 17th arrondissement are supposed to be one of the hottest. I can attest to that as I see them running in Parc Monceau every morning. Some of the fire stations have an entrance fee or accepts donations.

Champs-Élysées Military Parade: Around 9am on the 14th, the French military will be stationed at Place de l’Étoile/Champs-Élysées in preparation for their march down “les Champs” (as Parisians call it) around 10am.  That’s when the troops will be joined by President Hollande for the opening event, air show and parade. 10am too early to get your act together to head there? You can just watch it on TV. Based on last year’s (televised) experience – the parade does not start on time.
Louvre
The Louvre For Free: In the more than one year I’ve been living in Paris, I’ve only been to the Louvre once. That one time was on Bastille Day because I had friends in town and it’s always free on this day. To say I’m not a museum person is an understatement. So if you’re like me and don’t want to pay for the Louvre but feel obliged to go, or you’re really into the Louvre and going for free the first Sunday of every month isn’t enough for you, then Bastille Day is the day to do so.

Bastille Day 2012 - Soldiers
Meet the Soldiers:
After the Champs-Élysees military parade, the troops are dispatched throughout Paris (Place de la Nation, Place de l’Opéra, etc.) to “greet” the public and chat with them about their jobs, and the public can in turn meet the soldiers who defend their country. Last year, we came across the soldiers at Esplanade des Invalides and got to climb into a tank and take a photo with one of the soldiers.

Pre-Fireworks Concert: From 9:30pm to 11pm on the 14th, there will be a classical concert performed by the French National Orchestra and the Radio France Choir at the foot of the Eiffel Tower on Champs de Mars.The theme is “L’Amour à Paris”.
Bastile Day Fireworks
Bastille Day Fireworks: 
The fireworks display at Trocadéro is the highlight of Bastille Day. Beginning around 11pm and lasting approximately 30 minutes, you can best see the fireworks from the Champs de Mars (where I go) and Trocadéro. Last year’s theme was disco with fireworks going off to the tunes of songs like YMCA and It’s Raining Men. This year, it’ll be “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité…what that means in terms of music, I have no idea! I arrived around 8pm last year and watched as the sun set, the Eiffel Tower began to glow and the fireworks commenced.

Looking for Bastille Day tips? Here’s a link to a post I did last year.
Want more Bastille Day festivities? Here’s a link to more Bastille Day events going on in Paris (en français).

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Sunday Snapshots in Paris

When you are deprived from sunshine, it is mandatory to maximize your time outdoors when the weather is actually nice in Paris. Sunday was one of those days. After training for the 10km l’Equipe race Sunday morning, I dragged Rio to Le Bloc café in the Batignolles for lunch, then took Tyler for a nice long stroll along Pont Alexandre III (approx. 30 minute walk chez nous), and then a picnic dinner date at our beloved Parc Monceau. It might not have been as relaxing as Rio had hoped for, mais il faut profiter le soleil!
Pont Alexandre III
Champs Elysees
This was a sponsored bike ride called 24h Vélib where people could ride free vélibs (city bike sharing system) and pledge how many laps they’d bike around a section of the Champs-Élysées. The goal was to bike 25,000km in 24 hours so that the government would then make donations to three charities. This city really comes up with the most random events, but I’m glad that at least this was for charity.
Free Wifi Pour Les Filles Parisian Building
Pretty Porte
J’adore the doors in Paris.
Lovers in Parc Monceau
Lovers in Parc Monceau.
Monceau Metro DSC_0865

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Tyler’s Pic of the Day: Pont Alexandre III

Tyler
Connecting the Champs-Êlysées to les Invalides and the Eiffel Tower, Pont Alexandre III is considered Paris’s most elegant bridge…and happens to be one of my favorite sights in Paris. Since Tyler’s already been to the Louvre, Eiffel TowerPont des Arts, Notre-Dame and countless other Parisian historical sites, I thought it was about time to take him to Paris’s grandest bridge.
Tyler Family
Tyler and Rio
Me and Tyler

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Tyler’s Pic of the Day: Arc de Triumphe

Tyler
A photo Rio texted me this weekend. While I was in a taxi to Sèvres to pick up our apartment key so we would no longer be locked out, he took Tyler for an hour-long stroll around Arc de Triumphe – a 25 minute walk from our apartment. Doesn’t Tyler look stoic in the face of adversity?

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