Saturday, November 10, 2007


On the recommendation of the wonderful Alex Finesmith, I'll be doing several posts of the oddities I now get to live with: my little broomcloset of an apartment, canned ravioli, the horrible time I had finding a grocer, and the like. Add a bit of colour to the pictures of famous things that I'm sure all of you have seen before.


Belleville is right. What an aptly named place; my newfound heaven on earth. No one is Paris has the slightest right to be badly dressed when they have access to this spectacular Chinatown. The prices are astonishingly low and I like almost everything. Well-cut coats are to be had for 20€, and adorable ankle boots for 10. I've found this internet cafe I'm writing from now, which is even cheaper than milk, and it has free webcams. I am in paradise. I think me and Belleville are going to be great friends.

Marche aux Puces Montreuil

I think i've discovered my new favourite market; the Montreuil flea market. It's way out on the outskirts of the 20e, and it's so cool. The majority of the stalls are for clothing, both new and secondhand, and for shoes, watches, and other accessories. The prices are pretty amazing overall. Many of the shoes were under 10€ and you could sift through massive piles of clothing to find one of your choice for 2€. They had some darling little silver shoes, but I held back(*sighs*). There were fortune telling Gypsies(real ones), exotic spice stands, a hat stall that could rival Isabllea Blow's colletion, and so much more. It was madness and the best fun I've had yet, and it will be worth several more visits over the next few weeks.

Sacre Coeur

I woke up early this morning to see the sunrise on the steps of the Sacre Coeur Basilica. It's the second highest point in the city, so I thought I would have a good view. It was a fairly quick metro ride to Abbesses station, and instead of the usual stairs you find at the other stations, this one had a massive elevator to take you up to ground level. I walked a bit to the Montmartre funicular which takes you up the rather steep hill. The regular metro tickets are valid on it, so that was nice. The dropoff is just steps from the Basilica. It was so cold! I have to buy a hat and mitts soon. Anyways back to Sacre Coeur. It's an interesting church, and fairly recently built(finished in 1914, consecrated in 1919), as Parisian churches go. The story goes that during the Prussian war in 1870, two businessmen made a vow that they would build a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Christ if France would be spared from the impending onslaught. Evidently their prayers worked since the church seemed quite real as I stood in front of it. Cameras are forbidden inside, so google it. It wasn't bad but not one of my favourites. I had arrived around 8:30am and it was perfect timing; I was walking out as an enormous tour group was panting up the hill(I guess they hadn't been informed about the funicular haha). On the way down I met Johnny(definitely not his real name)from Nigeria who asks for money to support the local Nigerian "artists". Yeah, scam artists. He didn't speak much French or English, but thought my Quebec accent was quite cute.

P.S: Not my picture, wish it was, but this place doesnt have a card reader, so I can't upload mine just yet.

Saint Eustache

Last night I walked past the Tuileries on my way to the Louvre to reserve a spot at their Friday night concert. Unfortunately it was completely booked, so I decided to go see the mass at St-Eustache. I walked in, and it was magnificent and very gloomy. I don't think I've seen ceilings so high. They had some scary looking statues of evil looking bishops, and some wonderful paintings on the walls(those statues alone are enough to put anyone off Catholicism). I sat down for the 6pm mass but found out that the organs and the choir are only on Sunday evenings. After 10 minutes of French church I bolted; I probably looked quite rude, but those little wicker chairs are tortuous to sit in for more than two minutes. That ended my evening at St-Eustache.

Je suis Quebecoise

Walking along the rue de Rivoli, a lady asked me for directions so I walked with her and her two sons to the metro near the Louvre. She asks me "Vous etes Canadienne?". I asked her how she knew. She said "Vous avez l'accent de Céline Dion". You have the accent of Céline Dion.

Friday, November 9, 2007


It's now after 2 in the morning here and I've been sitting here over 6 hours posting away. I was working against the clock, so sorry about the lack of description to go along with the pictures. As soon as my computer comes in, it should get better. Bye for now, and remember to read from the bottom up, should make more sense.


I was walking past the Beaux Arts, and several of the students there were calling out to people, asking them for a minute of their time. Someone asked me, so I listened. It turned out they were taking pictures of hands and feet of people on the streetsfor a class. Not pictures of your shoes, but your bare feet, ugly as they are. I took off my shoes, and my ugly toes are immortalised in a collage somewhere haha...It was worth a laugh.

A river view by the Eiffel Tower

Taken on the bridge between the Eiffel Tower and Trocadero.

Notre Dame Part 2

The views as taken from the bridge leading into the 5e (Latin Quarter).

Notre Dame de Paris

The beautiful cathedral, flying buttresses and all.

Pompidou Center

The Georges Pompidou center, a modern art museum is a block away from my house. I can see it when I look out the window and I should be going in soon. The architects did all the piping and ducts on the outside so they could have a free space inside and also so that the public could see the inner workings of a building. The tubes are color coded; green for electricity, red for passages, etc..

By the Eiffel Tower

Just somes shots of the avenue by the Eiffel Tower.

City Hall

Here's City Hall around the corner from my place, and the city hall bazaar building across from it.

Les Champs d'Elysee

Strolling down the Champs on Day 1, and the city crew is putting up the lights for Christmas. There's so many shops of every kind, and weirdly, car dealerships.

Arc Part 2

Napolean's Triumphal Arch

L'Arc du Triomphe has been the most photogenic monument so far, as I liked how the pictures turned out of the first try. The roundabout that surrounds it is crazy busy, so they built an underground passage so the masses of tourists don't try and make a desperate dash across traffic.

Oh the Eiffel.

Of course I've been to the Eiffel Tower! I'm sure some of you were wondering. Like so many of the places I've visited the sheer size just can't be imagined or shown by pictures. This is one big iron lady. I walked around, under, and past her on my first day, but I didn't go up yet. I think it will be much more fun to go up at sunset, when everything is lit up.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Luxembourg Gardens

The formal Luxembourg gardens, masterminded by Marie de Medici. It is strictly forbidden to sit on the grass, as you can see by how well it's kept haha. There are, however, many moveable metal chairs to sit down on. The Palais de Luxembourg, which is now a museum, is the building you see in the pictures.

You can see the dome of the Panthéon in the distance.

The octagonal lake.

This is a monument to Eugene Delacroix, by Jules Dalou. The three allegorical figures represents Time, Art, and Glory.

Old Navy

I just can't seem to get away from Old Navy. Old Navy was named after a bar in Paris, and guess what I walk past the other day? The namesake bar of course. On Boulevard St-Germain in the 6e.

Louvre Part 19: Outside

I'll finish up all my Louvre posts with some shots of the facade and the pyramid. Thanks everyone for putting up with my Louvre fever. I loved it. Best part is that I bought a Louvre youth card, which is a one year membership for unlimited access to both the Louvre and the Eugène Delacroix. I think I'll be spending quite a few afternoons here.

Louvre Part 18: The Beautiful Staircase 2

The upper parts of the stairs. The arches and the details are amazing.