Best of Paris - Part 2

Best of Paris part 2. 

the rooftops of Paris look so cool.  The shingled ones, the tin ones, the slate ones.  They shingle anything and call it a roof.  Mansard roofs.  I guess this can just be a shout out to Parisian architecture too. 

the Grande Mosquée de Paris is pretty awesome looking inside

Not everything on here is the best of Paris, this is more like a Paris in conclusion list.  This one is for French bureaucracy.  looks like a french word?  They're pretty good at it.  The hoops I had to jump through to get this card.  Sure every country has red tape but it seems like the US is more efficient than countries like France and Japan.  Sounds hard to believe I know but American red tape isn't as thick as it is elsewhere.  I had it fairly easy because I got this newish kind of special visa.  My friends Lori and Ahmed told me their horror stories of getting their more normal documents and visas.  I had it super easy compared to them.

I have never seen curators in America walking around like this.  Check out this Pompidou center guy.  Paris and its infinite number of museums.  the Pompidou was my favorite.  Sure the Louvre is the largest in the world but modern art is what really tickles my cornichon.   

Parisian girls are hot and even a lot of the moms are too(just like Japan). They somehow stay thin, take care of themselves, and dress well (sometimes a little too well and it throws me off when they turn around and they aren't 20-30 yrs old but 50-60 yrs old!).  Hot isn't the right word.  They have an air about them and their movements and posture create this air that I can only describe as "French".  Even the trashiest girl in Paris still has more elegance than the trashiest girl in America.  Keep up the good work Paris, you're really on to something.

Snow days in Paris are pretty awesome, at least for a foreigner who's reality isn't trudging to work in this for the rest of the winters of the rest of your life.  The most fun I found was in the Montmartre neighborhood.

got super sick went to the hospital, it only cost like $15.  I wasn't even on the French health insurance scheme, that's just how much it costs.  I of course didn't file a $15 claim with my own insurance company.  Cheap healthcare even for non French people is pretty awesome. 

My favorite park in Paris, Parc des Buttes Chaumont in Belleville.  Paris has numerous awesome parks and people actually enjoying them. 

Marché des enfants rouges in the Marais is awesome.  The best Japanese food I had in Paris.  It has a bunch of other food places and just has a cool vibe.

Here is to random nights out.  This tiny place is run by a Japanese guy and is Spanish and Japanese themed.  Everyone inside was super friendly and it out of the way somewhere on the back side of Sacre Coeur.  after a night of nigh photography in the freezing cold this place appeared like an oasis someone invited us in.  If you put yourself out there, adventure will come.

love how they cut the trees square in a lot of parks and gardens.

why didn't I start this project in China when I first started out on my 5 year journey?  Imagine the awesome people I could have met. 

The one and only time I worked for a french client, Le Nouvel Observateur.  A full page and a spot illustration.  Still it was a good experience.

Cafe Le Progrès in north Marais is filled with cool people.  I ended up drawing Catharina on the right and thus broke the seal and I started talking to people I wanted to draw from then on.

more random nights out and warm french hospitality.  Getting invited to random house parties.  Thanks Iga and David

the art high school down the street from my house.  went to their open house and was blown away by the talent there. 

Cafe La Palette in St Germain.  off the normal tourist route so it's more neighborhoody.  This is of course what I always strive for, the non-touristy more local stuff. 

Chez Gladines in my neighborhood "Butte Aux Cailles".  so cheap, huge portions, and pretty decent taste and neighborhoody.  I, as a hungry guy, really liked this veal with ham, cheese, mushrooms and creamy sauce all on a blanket of potatoes.  French people love this neighborhood because it reminds them of the old times.

first time having tagine was in paris.  A new world of north african food has opened up to me.

more than a few letters made it into our mail box about some neighbor having a party and apologizing for the disturbance.  This doesn't happen very often in America.

our back yard.  so lucky to have this in Paris.  My french friends couldn't believe it.

is this my favorite spot in all of paris?  the western most corner of Ile de la Cite when the sun is setting and you have a few nice cheeses, a baguette, a bottle of chilled rosé, some fois gras, a nice cool summer breeze, a view of pont des arts and the weeping willow is fully leaved out?.  It just might be.

XL airlines, a new french budget airline that flies from new york to paris for cheap.  not so bad because all the flights leave at midnight so you just sleep and don't even notice that there is no entertainment system in the back of your seat.  You can get tix as cheap at $350

started my French cooking thing in Paris.  I now miss real french ingredients.  Creme fraiche is just not the same.

saw the 100th tour de France

black swans at Parc Montsouris by my house.  They really have their park game locked down in paris i'm telling you

baguettes.  I love them so much.  I would sleep with them if they would let me.  My mom reads this blog so I have to keep everything PG.  I have searched new york for something similar and it doesn't exist.  There is something about the bread in France that can only be had there.  Getting a fresh baguette in the afternoon out of the oven of your local bakery (which are numerous and you're spoiled for choice) while it's still hot is a moment of bliss. 

Rue de Charonne is a pretty awesome street to explore

Jardin du Luxembourg although plagued by tourists is also frequented by french people because it's awesome and beautiful.  picnics on this stretch of lawn are the stuff of dreams.  I would do 10k runs in this park.  oh man do I miss it.

Kaz the family golden doodle.  I spent the whole summer with him whilst the family was away.

The People's Drugstore is a beer store in Pigalle right downstairs from my old classmates apartment.  It has a huge variety of beer all for 3 euros a bottle and there are lots of friendly frenchies hanging out.  I don't see why you shouldn't end up here for at least 1 drink.

Food, more so than just saying the food is good, french food is in it's own category.  French Cuisine is a UNESCO world heritage protected thing.  It's that good.  The French have their own AOC region controlled classifications and laws to protect various French foods.  Examples: It's strict as to what you can call a restaurant and what is just a bistro.  Cheese can only be called Roquefort by law if it has been aged in the natural caves of Roquefort, which was the beginning of the AOC designation by French parliment in 1411.  It goes on and on.  That's why its so good because they give that much of a sh!t about their food.

So in conclusion Paris has it going on.  No you don't need to be a chick to love it.  You need to be able to enjoy life a little.  I think my age made Paris better for me than if I had gone when I was younger because much of the food and wine would have been wasted on me as a young party animal barbarian.  Yes, much of Paris would have been wasted on me.  I guess this makes Paris a finer things in life city instead of an in your face city like New York.  French people are friendly if you are.  Smiles and greetings really do go a long way.  Their food and drink are legendary and so is their culture.  What are you waiting for.  As for me after 5 years on the road, Paris was a fitting final year of enjoying the finer things in life, and now I am pulling in my net and will enjoy the memories of all the experiences I had in Paris and the other countries for the rest of my life, and since I have a bad memory, I have this blog to help me.  You reader, have this blog too.  I hope it has served as an inspiration to someone.  It's not done yet either.  It will just be based in New York for a while.  The misadventures may be fewer in frequency but if you stick with me I still a few left in me.


Marjorie P said...

I just got my Compétences et Talents visa today at the NYC french consulate. Your posts are making me anxious to get over to Paris!