It was quite a snowy, wintery week and I was shocked to find that Paris is not equipped to handle such a huge snow storm. After living in NYC for 8 years I assumed that a big city like Paris would have the streets cleared and the sidewalks shoveled. But that was not the case. With Amy in town for a visit we trudged all over the city in the snow trying desperately not to fall down at every intersection. Despite the challenging walks Paris proves to be gorgeous at any time of year and the snow was a beautiful addition.

the Vélib

Words cannot really express what a brilliant invention the Vélib is…why has it taken NYC this long to jump aboard.  For those of you who are not familiar with the Vélib, it is a system of hop on hop off bikes organized throughout the city providing an excellent means of transportation for Parisiens.  This system also exists in many other countries…I believe starting in Amsterdam.  In all my trips to Paris I have never signed up for the the Vélib.  Mainly because at the station you have to have an EU credit/bank card with a chip and I probably never thought to do it online.  Regardless, I live here now and I decided this has to be a part of my life.  Because I do not own a Vespa any more (which is quite upsetting for me) I want to feel the freedom of getting somewhere fast and without taking three trains.  Late at night it is an amazing way to get home without worrying about taking the metro before they quit running.  For only €29 you get free access for the entire year!

Of course it wouldn’t be a french experience if there weren’t problems (or maybe it is just me!).  In just the first week I had the bike that wouldn’t shift out of first gear or the seat kept sliding down or the brakes didn’t work or the handle bars were wobbly.  But I feel as if I have made it past this trial period of the city laughing at me and now I enjoy taking the bike daily.  Next time you are in Paris I definitely suggest you try it, it is a wonderful way to see the city.

a bien tôt

Josh’s visit to Paris!

So it has been 5 weeks since my move to Paris and Josh’s visit has finally come!  It is so wonderful to have him here and have someone to explore with.  We all know I had no problem on my own but having my man adds fun, laughter and the never-ending one-liners.

Today was a gorgeous day, bright, sunny and quite brisk at only 40 degrees.  It was a little shocking for Josh as he just left LA where the temperature has been in the 70’s and 80’s for the past couple of months.  He reminded me that this Friday, the night before he flew out, he had surfed a sunset session at Venice Beach.

We began our day walking thru Le Marché Raspail an amazing organic open air market near my flat in the 6th.  I will admit we were quite close to the cutoff point but were still able to eat a delicious galette and buy some yummy greens for dinner.  We continued our walk thru the neighborhood towards the Seine stopping for a café and cappuccino near St Sulpice and because we were right there in the neighborhood we had to stop at Pierre Hermé.  I mean how could we say no to one of the best patisseries in the city.  Their macaroons are to die for, seriously.

On our way to the river we stopped for some lovely music along boulevard St Germain des Prés.

The music was  delightful and exactly what you want to hear walking around leisurely on a Sunday afternoon.

We decided to walk across the river on Pont des Arts where we had an amazing view of the left and right bank.  This was stop #1 for the macaroon eating tour…flavor – Mogador – milk chocolate & passion fruit.

Josh doesn’t seem very impressed in this picture but this is one of my favorite flavors.  We continued onto Notre Dame which was under scaffolding last time Josh was in Paris so today we were able to take in all the cathedral’s glory.

Macaroon #2 was the Jardin Oriental – orange blossom, rose & ginger.  Yum!  We continued are walk past the Hotel de Ville and into the Marais where we had to rest from all the eating for a glass of wine.  I mean, we are in Paris.

At this point Josh’s jet lag was starting to set in so we headed back home.  We spent the rest of the evening eating, drinking and enjoying each other’s company.  For desert the final macaroon was the praliné noisette – praline and hazelnut.  The perfect way to end a meal.  Josh reminded me tonight of all the times we spoke about actually living in Paris and now it is happening!  I feel so grateful.  I cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings!

à bien tôt