I come to you this morning from a café, savoring a cup of tea and catching up on emails and blog posts. It’s not the corner café on Boulevard St. Germain you’re probably picturing and I’m not sipping on espresso or picking at a croissant. You may of heard of the place – it’s called le Starbucks. Mhmmmm…Unfortunately a lack of internet connection in my new apartment has forced me to retreat at the most un-French coffee shop in order to connect with the outside world…
My travels from Corsica to Paris were a bit stressful. From my delayed connecting flight to Marseilles to the 100 lbs+ of baggage in tow, I finally made it to my little apartment. I arrived to the front door, eager to get inside and settle in before my friends came over. After lugging my two huge suitcases up five flights of stairs, I quickly began to unpack and get acquainted with my place.
The apartment is small…as I expected. So far I’ve embraced the challenge of fitting my belongings into the limited storage spaces and reorganizing the furniture to best fit my needs. The apartment is equipped with a stove, fridge, futon, clothes rack, table, two chairs, shower and sink. What’s missing, you may ask? A toilet. It’s oddly located halfway down the staircase in the hallway. I don’t have a key yet but apparently it’s mine all mine. A little peculiar, but I secretly kind of love it.
Sarah, Megan and I managed to sleep comfortably in my bed after a night of celebratory shenanigans at our old favorite bar, Wide Open Spaces (WOS). Before going out, we kicked off our first night together with a gourmet meal of baguettes, cheese, cereal and wine. Classy, right?
The following morning, after a slow-paced and cramped preparation for the day, we set off into our new city! Our primary concern was eating, so we decided to introduce Megan to the wonderful world (literally) of L’As du Falafel in the Marais. One of my favorite neighborhoods, le Marais is bustling with a young, hip crowd, filled with expensive boutiques and rent, and showered with a Jewish influence. L’As du Falafel is famous for its Israeli delights, namely falafel and due to its success, similar restaurants have popped up all over the area. Most come to the restaurant craving their signature pita sandwich filled with fried falafel balls, hummus, pickled red cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant and harissa sauce.We took our time with our our gigantic sandwiches and french fries, then made our way toward Place de Vosges
– my favorite park, which I’ll talk more about later.
We covered a lot of Paris yesterday – jumping from métro to métro to Trocadero, the Eiffel Tower and finally, my favorite crêpe place. Sarah and I were exploding with nostalgia as we made our way up from the train to the Odéon stop. Our favorite crêperie is nothing fancy; it looks like your average roadside crepe stand, but for some reason we deemed it the best two years ago. My mouth was watering for my old favorite, Nutella, banana and coconut but the moment came to a painful end when we found the Odeon Crêperie closed for Sunday. The disappointment faded within seconds as we made our way around the corner to another favorite, L’Avant Comptoir. My chocolate and banana crêpe sufficed, but was so big, I barely made it past a few bites.
Après our adventure, we returned to my apartment to gather the girls’ belongings. The two are living outside of the city in St. Germain-en-Laye and Versailles – both just a hop, skip and a jump via train. To my excitement, Megan’s train leaves from the Saint-Lazare station, where I hopped the train everyday two years ago to my old suburb, La Garenne Colombes. Since she’s new to the city, I decided to show her the ropes, which turned out to be a trip down memory lane. Nostalgia has been oozing out of me since I touched down to Paris on Sunday, but going to Saint-Lazare was the most sentimental thus far. Afterward, I headed back to my place and spent the rest of the evening rearranging furniture and unpacking sans Internet.
The kids start school tomorrow so today is different than usual. I’m spending the morning writing this post and people watching at Starbucks, which is surprisingly packed and popular. Once I finish up, I’m meeting an old friend from high school for lunch at another old favorite, La Fourmi Ailée. Overall Paris is off to a good start and I’m loving every minute of it. Even though I long for Internet access in my apartment, it has been a nice start to my adventure without it!