For a Parisian, setting foot anywhere near the Eiffel tower is no big deal. For an American, it’ll give you goose bumps. I was recently going through old albums and organizing pictures when I came across photos from my trip to Paris. This blog post is long overdue. I should’ve written about Paris right from the start. I guess I never found the time because I was always busy going some place or another, exploring France.
You know that Gossip Girl episode where Blair and Chuck go to Paris trying to run away from their problems but they don’t know one or the other is there? It was that episode which pushed me to book a ticket to France. As cheesy as it sounds, it takes you through the streets of the city, dabbles you in the culture and romance it has to offer. I didn’t fall in love with the Prince of Monaco like Blair did nor did I work in a small bakery like Chuck; however, I did a memorable time. Nothing is quite like Paris… the boys, the fashion, the city—everything from the architecture to the food is unique and exquisite.
So high class and amazing, even their McDonalds looks like this:
You need to be willing to spend money in Paris. 50% of the money should be spent on food because you won’t have anything like it. I remember going to a little café near the Père Lachaise Cemetery where numerous celebrities are buried. I sat outside at a small table, looked over the menu, but had trouble choosing something to eat because everything was in French. A middle-aged man who spoke English and saw my struggle offered to help. He was nice and didn’t give off a creepy vibe so I let him.
To help me choose, he came up with an idea: He would order something for me but not tell me what it was. I thought this was the perfect way to taste food and really just enjoy it. I told him, “Anything but pork.”
Ten minutes later a salad came out with some type of meat in it that didn’t look familiar, but it was delicious. I rarely have salads but I remember, if I could have that salad for the rest of my life, I would. After I finished he told me what the meat was “the throat of a chicken.” I was a little shocked but at that point in my trip I had already tried escargots (snail) so nothing could’ve possibly seem more foreign to me.
He was a nice man. A doctor. He smoked cigarettes, which I found ironic. He asked me about college because his daughter would be attending NYU in the fall. It’s a small world.
The street talent was like no other. I always talk about how I love underground talent in the city but when you hear American singing country in Paris, it gives you a piece of home in a stunning city. I ran into these Americans, and from the shirt I gathered they might have been students of William and Mary College. People from all over the world were stopping to hear them sing. They performed on the steps in front of the Sacre Coeur Cathedral.
My standards for men skyrocketed after I came back from Paris. The boys in Paris don’t wear pants below the waist; contrary to many college guys and men I’ve seen in New York. Nothing is sagging. Everything matches and fits. 98% of the guys I saw looked like they came straight out of a GQ or Abercrombie catalog. Their accents didn’t hurt either.
The River Seine
One of my past times will always include strolling by the River Seine. Filled with people. Tourists and locals. Music was always playing and within the banks were groups of people and college students dancing Salsa, Merengue, Bachata; you name it. It was one of those scenes you see in movies that happens in Paris everyday. I sat there for hours having a picnic with friends and dancing with strangers and making friends. It was unforgettable.
There was something about this strip that made me want to sit and have lunch outside every day I was there: It’s the shopping strip but I loved looking at the hustle and bustle. The diversity it had to offer was unique and the shops only carried the best of the best.
Lock of Love
Pont de l’Archeveche. The bridge is filled with promises. Romance is alive in Paris and it’s the perfect place for love. It’s the perfect place for couples to stroll. It’s surrounded by architecture and across the street is the Louvre, where you can find DaVinci’s Mona Lisa painting. I didn’t have a significant other at the time but I got a padlock, put my name on it, and threw the key in the river. It was a promise to always confidently love myself and stay true to how I am.
One of the biggest monuments in the world which gave me extreme happiness and goose bumps like I mentioned before from the moment I first laid eyes on its beauty. Get all the way to the top if you can. The view is worth it.
I spent a whole day in that Palace and I still don’t think I covered everything. The hall of mirrors was stunning, the water-shows in the garden were quite relaxing, and the palace itself was breath-taking.
Disney Land Paris
I know you probably think it’s crazy that I’m mentioning this. I was in one of the most historical cities in the world but I had to make time for Disneyland. I have never been there and Disneyland in Paris is the perfect fun-filled getaway if you wanna kick back and have some childhood fun.
Which reminds me, I almost got arrested buying this Stitch teddy bear. The police and security in Paris is no Joke. I was walking with my bear around Disney land. Cops had stopped me on the way out demanding to see a receipt because it wasn’t in a bag and I frankly looked a little crazy because I was wearing a veil I bought at the store (pictured below). Luckily, I had the receipt on me.
Be careful if you’re ever in Paris, security is very strict!!!
Hippodrom De Paris-Vincennes
One thing I’ve always wanted to do Is, bet on a horse race. The friend’s family who I was staying with took us to Longchamp Racing, held at Hippodrome de Paris-Vincennes. We got to take a tour of the stables, meet the racers and horses, and watch a good race. There’s always a fun event going on there and we went during a diversity festival. I tried delicious Carribean food for the first time in Paris before the race started. There was also a concert series at the same time. It was loads of fun!
This museum is beautiful. It’s huge. I still didn’t get to see every piece of art I wanted to but spend a day there, it’s worth it.
Surreal. It’s similar to many European cities but the prominent monuments you get to see in the distance makes it unique.