Tag Archives: walking

Oh Keith.

Today was pretty normal. I spent the morning bumming around preparing to paint, while waiting for the paint to show up, and then finally being able to paint. Afternoon was spent finishing painting the bathroom and trying to make a computer work. Nothing too crazy for me, but the actual workers had plenty to do. Now that we have all the artwork, they were busy installing and figuring out where to put everything. The exhibit really looks amazing, I can’t wait to see it all done on Monday.

After work, I wandered around a bit wasting time before my meeting. I went to the fnac to try to buy a new metro book, but discovered that as soon as a book wins a prize or is generally considered good, its price jumps from 7 euros to 17 euros, way to much for a little paperback. So, instead I wrote down some good books to search for at the library, the good ol cheap student way. After that I discovered a store by chatelet called Christina which appears very cheap for good clothing, but I didn’t have any money so I didn’t critique too much.

After that I met up with my tutor for my final paper to discuss my topic. By the end of my program I have to write a 30 page research paper, about something in relation to my stage. It was a good meeting, because I realized that all my ideas revolve around the same idea. My tutor seemed to think I’ll be able to easily find a specific topic to write about, but wants me to explore the topic further, all sides of it, and then decide what interests me the most. All I know is I want to tie in the Museum and Keith Haring, because they are both such an important part of my life right now. I’ll let you know what the topic is when I figure out what I’m going to right about specifically, but for now I want to keep it to myself. I’m really happy with my tutor because he seems generally knowledgeable and interested in what I’m doing. He’s also just really nice. 🙂 (My meeting was actually at the café where this photo was taken. Small world affect meets internet, I wasn’t even searching for it and I found the picture.)

Once I finished, I realized there must be a bus stop nearby and decided to find it since I didn’t feel like cramming into the metro on a friday night. Which turned out to be a wonderful choice, because as I walked back towards the louvre, I managed to find the beginning of my bus line, hence an empty bus! It also just felt great figuring out how to get to the louvre without looking at a map and succeeding, and paris looked very pretty tonight, life just felt good. 🙂

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But I would walk 500 miles, And I would walk 500 more

Yesterday was the first day that I was too tired to right for my blog before going to bed.

I started the day early so that I could buy my Navigo pass before all the activities started. The Navigo is basically a metro card that you pay for either monthly or weekly and during that time you have unlimited Metro and Bus rides. So now, if I want to go somewhere or I’m tired and don’t feel like walking, I can just use my Navigo and don’t have to worry about how much money I’m spending.

I got to our meeting place early, so I walked around the area a bit and then met up with Jessica and chatted with her in a café. Once the rest of the group met up with us, we found our tour guide Sebastian and started walking around the area. (Around the Metro stop Jacques Bonsergent in the 10th Arr.) He taught us a bit of the history of the area, how it’s changed throughout the years, showed us the Canal, and brought us to on of the best bakeries in Paris. We basically walked from 10am-1pm.

Then we took the metro to go meet Jerome at the Louvre. We grabbed some sandwiches from a very touristy café, where I got a very strange look for paying all in change. But when there are 2 Euro coins, it’s hard not to end up paying with mostly change.

Jerome taught us the history of the Louvre and how it’s changed throughout the years. It basically started as a teeny tiny little castle on the edge of Paris. It was built to protect the city from invaders traveling along the Seine. I forget the exact order, but basically each King would add something to the Louvre until it was a humongous enclosed castle. The reason it’s not enclosed any more today is because during the revolution, they burned part of it and it was next rebuilt. Little note for Brian: you know how we saw the foundation for the Louvre but couldn’t quite figure out how that worked. Well it turns out it’s the fondation for the 1st Louvre, the one built to be a fortress. Also, one of the reasons the Louvre has so many levels and is so big, is that Francois Mitterrand decided that Paris needed more cultural and artistic spaces. So, he started a project that doubled the size of the Louvre. Hence the enclosed courtyards and lower levels.

After the Louvre we learned how the fancy Metro entrances were actually very Modern when they were built, and nobody really liked them. They actually started removing them, and then the public got use to them and stopped caring so much.

Then we headed to the Palais Royal and learned that the courtyard was actually a parking lot until somebody realized that there was great architectural work being hidden because few people went into the parking lot. So, they changed it into an artistic space with this piece of modern art that’s a bunch of columns. At first they look a little weird, but Jerome explained that they’re meant to work with the older columns on the building. Since the art is throughout the courtyard, it draws your eye to the building behind it.

So, yesterday we ended up walking for a total of 6 hours. Paris is keeping me in much better shape than Connecticut ever did. 🙂

After saying goodbye to Jerome, we dragged ourselves to Christina ans Sophia’s foyer to study French Grammar for the Sorbonne test today. We went over lots of conjugations but ended up giggling for most of it since we were so tired.

Then there was a little get together at the foyer. I met a couple people, but felt bad because I couldn’t really meet anybody since I was so exhausted. So, I called it a night and went to bed.

It’s been an amazing week but I’m very glad it’s Friday and I get to sleep in as late as I want tomorrow.

Bon Week-end mes amies! Et merci for the comments!!

Toujours marcher! Written August 26th

8/26/2010 6:29 PM

Today has been quite a day. We woke up and took the metro à Palais Royal/Musee Louvre. Then walked through some of the enclosed shopping centres and learned their history and lots of interesting things that I can’t quite remember because I wasn’t quite awake. Apparently, il faut que je commence à boire le green tea encore. So that I can be awake enough to listen to and process French. The walk was very interesting. We started à la Comedie Francaise, which I love because it has a history (which I have learned and forgotten L ) with Moliere, including the chair where he “died”. I looked at the schedule and there’s a Moliere show this September, so I need to research how much it would cost.

Apres ca, we went back to our foyers for lunch and a break. I bought a butter and ham sandwich with an éclair café (coffee éclair) pour dessert. C’etait parfait! Puis, I tried to use the WiFi, I got my code and managed to check Facebook v  e  r  y    s  l  o  w  l  y. Then the wifi stopped working because they shut it down every half hour or so because they don’t want people downloading anything. Then when I tried to use it again, it wouldn’t work, then it would barely load, then it wouldn’t work. All this happened very slowly, so I probably won’t be on the internet for a long time. I can either get the Wifi in my room recommended by the foyer, or the Mayor of Paris did this wifi thing around the city and I think I might be able to get it in my room because there a bunch of “Free Wifi” networks that appear in the list of available wifi’s but need a code to use. Another thing to research.

This afternoon, we walked around “Le nouveau quartier bibliotheque Francois Mitterand.” It was really cool because it’s a part of Paris which used to be countryside. Then they built this new sort of shopping district but used all the old buildings. So, there’s a Sephora in a building that use to (I believe) make wine. There are also lots of new buildings, so there’s a lot of modernity mixed with the old style. We also walked around a beautiful park with a rose garden and little ponds with ducks and fish. Jessica pointed out lots of cool places to go, like a boat that has concerts and dance parties on it.

After finishing that walk, we went back to our foyers. Right now I’m currently trying to rest a bit so that I don’t burn myself out. But I’m honestly not as tired as I thought I would be.

It’s getting a little easier to speak French because even when I leave the GPP activities, I speak French. It feels a little weird to write in English now, and I’m trying not to watch movies in English or read books in English during my downtime.

I can’t wait to get internet so that I can share the view from my window. It doesn’t have any grand monuments, but it’s very cute. There’s lots of little chimney stacks like in Mary Poppins.

J’ai faim, so I’m going to go find some diner. Au revoir!

Look Mom! I’m in Iceland!

So, I  know I said I was headed for Paris. But I had a change of heart, aka a serious flight delay, and decided to stay on the island for the day. Here’s the story.

Sunday, we drove to JFK airport, got there on time, checked the baggage, got through security, ate dinner, bought a magazine, the usual. Everything seemed normal until it was time to board. That’s when we found out that the plane had just gotten to the airport, so they needed 45 minutes to clean it. An hour later we board. All set to go, and a van is stuck in front of the plane and won’t turn on. We wait for the tow truck, wait two hours to get in line, wait in line. Finally take off at 11:35 pm, 3 hours late. And as an added bonus, because of the fuel we burned while waiting, the captain said we would have to have a slower flight.

So, I obviously missed my connection. And apparently Iceland has a dinky little airport that only goes to Paris once a day. So, it was either fly to Munich at 1am tonight, or fly straight to Paris at 7am tomorrow morning. I chose a good nights sleep and no chance of another screwy connection.

Which turned out to be an excellent choice because Iceland is beautiful! As part of the “sorry we screwed up” deal I got for missing my connection, the airport paid to send me to Flughotel, which is a cute airport hotel where I can see the ocean from my window.  After eating my buffet style lunch and updating everyone on why I was not in Paris, I decided I wanted to explore the island. Turns out there’s a very pretty path on the island which leads to a troll’s house and a walking trail. It was so relaxing, I kind of want to make time in my connection to walk that trail every time I go to Europe. It starts out through these beautiful bushes which sound like glass beads brushing up against each other in the wind. Then it turns into a rock path that leads you right on top of the cliff. I felt like I was exploring because you tend to lose the path every ten seconds.

I love people watching here. Especially since it’s really cool to listen to a five year old speak Icelandic.

A plus tard mes amies. I’ll post pictures later, and update more after I’ve had more that 2 hours sleep. 🙂