Friday, December 11, 2015

Paris at Christmastime!

For this post, imma just load it up with Christmas-related pics taken around Paris. Not much intro required. Will be updating continuously, so check back from now until Christmas.  Joyeux Nöel!

Rue de Buci

Rue de Buci

La Bonaparte–Saint Germain des Près

Les Deux Magots–Saint Germain des Près

Christmas Market- Boulevard Saint Germain

Christmas Market–Boulevard Saint Germain

Christmas market–Boulevard Saint Germain

Christmas Market–Boulevard Saint Germain

La Palette- Saint Germain des Près
2 Bûche du Noel from La Petite Marquise-16eme

Passionfruit Bûche du Nöel
Chocolate Mocha Bûche du Nöel
"Joyeuses Fêtes", indeed! :)

Laudrée–Saint Germain des Près
Nativity Scene–L'Église Saint Germain des Près
Amaryllis–Aquarelle on Rue de Buci
Ladurée–Saint Germain des Près
Le Petit Zinc–Saint Germain des Près
Bookstore on Rue du Four

Christmas tree–Sciences Po

Santa in France–McDonalds in Belleville
Galeries Lafayette–9eme
Window display–Galeries Lafayette
The theme: "Christmas of another planet."–Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette–9eme

Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette
Galeries Lafayette
Galeries Lafayette

Place Vendôme

Staring at the diamonds–Place Vendôme

Le Bon Marché–7eme

Le Chat Noir 1881–Montmartre

Montmartre village–Montmartre

Les Villages De Noël–Champs Elysées

Champs Elysées–toward Concord

Les Villages De Noël

Champs Elysées–toward L'Arc du Triomphe
Dior Flagship–Rue Francios 1er, "The Golden Triangle"

Hotel Plaza Athénée–Rue Francois 1er
Bottega Veneta–Rue Francois 1er 

Boulevard Saint Germain

Thursday, December 10, 2015

"Francegiving" and Madrid

Hello, amigos. I am chilling here in the Berlin Shönefeld Airport, trying to regroup after missing my flight due to a time conversion-based snafu (I'm not sure if I'll ever get used to converting from military time), so what better use of my time than to finally update the old blog! A lot of cool stuff has happened recently :)

I'll start with Thanksgiving, or "Francegiving" as I like to call the wonderful dinner I had chez Liz on Thanksgiving night. I thought that I would be a-ok not doing Thanksgiving at home, but when the day finally arrived, it was suffering from a serious case of struggs and at first I couldn't put my finger on why. I've celebrated Thanksgiving at the homestead with my family for literally every previous Thanksgiving (even during 1L when I had a major freakout about needing more time to study for finals). This was the first time celebrating away from home, and despite my self-assurances to the contrary, I think I was a bit upset about it. Liz had invited me to a Thanksgiving dinner she was graciously hosting, so I had plans, but then I had a minor freakout (a theme arises, methinks) when I realized it is difficult to find cheddar cheese here in France: a key component for classic mac and cheese, which I had volunteered to bring. I decided to do emmental instead and "make it work", à la Tim Gunn.


All the anxiety totally went away when I arrived. Everyone at the dinner party was super nice, even when I was doing weird things like trying to avoid "faire-ing la bise" (I get shy sometimes :). The apartment was gorgeous and so "french-chic", and the matron of the house purchased some adorable "American" napkins to help set the mood.

Adorable and kitsch, just the way I like it lol.
I whipped up the mac and cheese à la francais, and luckily, everyone seemed to really like it...either that or they were super polite :). Liz and I were the only Americans present, but everyone there made a really good effort to help us celebrate, which I appreciated a lot.

My contribution: ze mac and cheese
After dinner, I walked past Place de la République, which I hadn't seen since before the attacks. The monument in the center was surrounded by candles, flowers, toys, and other tributes to the victims. It was a solemn and very beautiful tribute.

That weekend, I went to Madrid to visit my friend and fellow law student and study-abroader, Aly. She'd stayed with me for a night in Paris, but we didn't get much of a chance to hang out due to illness/too much schoolwork on my part. This time, we had plenty of time roam the calles of Madrid and talk about important things like boys. Aly was an excellent host and guide: she showed me all the best parts of the Prado (it's all about El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya, people! Pro Tip: don't save El Bosco's masterpiece El Jardín de las Delicias until the end, unless you wanna experience some serious sensory overload! ), the cool plazas, markets, El Escorial, and an amazing tango show. I was only there for two nights, but thanks to her, I feel like I was able to see all the best parts of Madrid.
#allthemanchego. We ate this for literally 3 days. 
El Prado!

Velázquez's "Las Meninas" glad I finally got to see it IRL!
One of Goya's "black paintings". This part of the museum is a must-visit. 
Giant tree in Puerta del Sol

No trip to Spain is complete without paella verduras.

I definitely would recommend the day trip to El Escorial even if you're only there for a short time, like I was. Well worth the bus ride out!

An El Greco in El Escorial

"There is no one who lives forever, for the living know that they will die."

Crypt of Spanish kings and queen mothers
This view is bae.

Spanish royal palace...I wonder if the ever-stylish Queen Letizia was there?

Colors of Madrid.

A glass of vino tinto and my ticket for tango! (For video, check my Insta: lazeez90)
Monday morning, while Aly had class, I walked over to Parque del Retiro and just as I was about to cross the street, I noticed I'd accidentally stumbled onto Museo Reina Sofía. What a happy accident: MRS has one of Picasso's most famous paintings, El Guernica (no pics allowed, sorry guys :/ ) as well as tons of great pieces from Miró, Dalí, Man Ray, et cetera. There were some really awesome surrealist paintings there, some of the best I've ever seen. Highly recommended.
Some Spanish christmas cookie-treat thingies I picked up on my way there!




Churros, yo.

Parque del Retiro

Also I got to take a pic with this giant stormtrooper helmet outside of the museum. #winning.

The people of Madrid were super nice, and would chat with me in Spanish even though I'm at beginner/intermediate status. I had a wonderful second visit to Spain (see post about Barcelona here), and I hope to volver soon!