I know this is cliché but it’s true, my heart is in Paris. There is just something about the city that is magical. I’m sure 90% of it is everything you see in the movies but all I have to say is that there’s a reason so many people have this romantic idea about it. So here’s a summary of 48 hours in Paris!
I took the TGV from Nantes to Paris Sunday morning and immediately started my adventure. I was staying in the 14th in Montparnasse, which is known to have been a very artistic neighborhood, which was great because I didn’t really spend any time in this neighborhood when I was here for the summer. So I decided to go to Tour Montparnasse and take in the view of Paris right away.
I then went to Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, also an artistic district, because I also never went there while I was in Paris for the summer. In all fairness, I had been to the monument the first time I went to Paris and after this trip, I don’t feel so bad having missed it two years ago. There are just so many tourists everywhere…it’s miserable trying to walk around or sit on the steps and even getting a picture is difficult. Needless to say, I’m happy I saw the inside of the church and the view of Paris from that hill but I think I’ll pass on it during my next trip to Paris.
The next day, I met up with two fellow AUP summer students, Julia and Greg. Greg was also in Paris just for the weekend but Julia now studies at AUP full time!
We ate on Rue Cler (one of my fave places from that summer) and it was so much fun to be back in such a familiar neighborhood with so many memories. It was so great to be back.
Of course, I had to go to the Eiffel Tower. It’s funny how that summer I used to see the tower every day and it wasn’t a big deal but when I come back I still took a lot of pictures of it! Also, in all the touristy places in Paris like the tower and the Louvre, there are these people (I don’t know if they’re beggars or pickpockets but something along those lines) with clipboards to sign a petition and they used to just walk up to you and shove their clipboard towards you, but now they come up and say, “Do you speak English?” Well, when the first person asked me, my first reaction was actually to say no, which was weird, and then I realized she had a clipboard so I was relieved. But I was seriously asked whether I speak English at least 8 times in the half hour I was near the tower.
So the one thing I was really looking forward to was going to this Tour 13 exhibition. Apparently there’s an apartment building in the 13th arrondissement, where I lived that summer, which is going to be torn down in December so for the month of October someone has organized the world’s largest graffiti/street art exhibit. It’s a 10 story building and over 100 street artists have painted the outside and taken over the apartments inside. How cool and unique does that sound?! So if you’ve clicked on that link, you can tell there are not a lot of logistical details on there so I had just planned on being there Monday because I heard people were waiting in line for up to four hours and I had all of Monday in Paris. Welp, when I was looking up the exact address Sunday night, I found an article that said it’s closed on Mondays! Ugh- so annoyed I missed that! My next plan was to go to an Asterix exhibition at the Bibliotheque Francois Mitterand, after having seen posters for it in the metro, which includes original material and background info for the comic, but that was also closed on Mondays! I then thought I’d go see Hamlet because I saw a poster for it in the metro, and unfortunately there were not any shows on Monday!!
B C D was to head to the Pompidou because there’s always something interesting going on there (and it’s open on Mondays!) and FINALLY I was not disappointed. I ended up at a Roy Lichtenstein exhibit which was amazing! He’s famous for those comic-like paintings but he did so many different things and drew inspiration from so many different things. He went through a nude phase and he’s quoted as saying something like “I had never done nudes before, so I thought I would try it”. Loved it!
I then went to the Pierre Huyghe exhibit and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As I walked in, someone was at the door asking for my name and then he yelled out “Brittany” to the entire exhibit (side note: I’m surprised he got my name right on the first try because it seems to be difficult for the French to get right away). There were videos playing in a bunch of different rooms and aquariums with hermit crabs and sea creatures. The main video showed a statue with a beehive on its head and a super skinny white dog with a pink leg and some kind of under water thing and just all sorts of craziness. So there was an outdoor room with this same statue with the beehive head and right next to it, three areas where rain, ice, and fog were made. There was also a big square that had frost on it and you could touch it. There was also pink powder everywhere. AND the dog was walking around!! I was so drawn into this craziness and spent a lot of time walking around these rooms but am still kind of puzzled by it all.
I spent the rest of the early evening at Galleries Lafayettes to pick up some macaroons for Grams’ birthday and enjoyed a glass of champagne in such a wonderful place!
I enjoyed my last meal in Paris in the Latin Quarter with a nice glass of wine and typical French delicacies and a view of Notre Dame!
Something about this city just feeds my soul…counting down the days until I’m back!