Wednesday, December 08, 2010

paris sonata style ::
movement 1, the sights

Arc de Triomphe, adorned with fresh snow
Two weeks in my own apartment in the center of Paris. Paris Vegan Day: an extremely well-attended celebration of all things herbivore. Scrumptious, animal-free food shared with friends, on the go, at gatherings, and alone in my apartment. Obviously, there's lots to tell you about, so I've decided to blog about it sonata style, and break my trip recap into three movements:
  • Today, I'm sharing a photo essay of the sights, as well as a few shots of my day trip to Brussells. 
  • Paris Vegan Day was such a successful, well-attended event that it deserves its own post; and finally... 
  • I'll tell you about--and show you-- my vegan culinary adventures in the City of Lights.
I've been visiting Paris since I was 18. I've lost count of my trips, but I'm pretty certain this was #12. I've been to just about all of the tourist attractions, sometimes more than once, so on this trip, I really wanted to live each day according to its own rhythms. I spent my time just wandering, buying my produce from the markets, cooking, writing, drawing, and watching bad French TV [I really got hooked on "Fais Pas Çi, Fais Pas Ça].  Generally speaking, I spent about 6-7 hours each day just walking and wandering. Days went by when I didn't speak a word of English. But since a picture is worth 1,000 words, I think it's better to show you my trip.

Notre Dame at night

Rue Oberkampf, around the corner from my apartment, all gussied up for Christmas.

Though not as famous as many Parisian churches, St Paul's is my favorite. I love the light and how it exudes such a large sense of space for such a small church.
Place des Vosges, where Victor Hugo lived.

These eco-friendly, inexpensive rental bike stands are dotted throughout the city and people really use them. You just swipe your card, ride to your destination, then park the bike at the next kiosk. Only drawback: they don't take US credit cards.

Galeries Lafayette, one of Paris' biggest department stores, all done up for the holidays.  I found the contrast between this opulence, and all the street people and their blanketed pets depressing.

Nativity figures for sale at a Christmas market.


Paris' most pretentious sign.

My humble Paris kitchen with WC to the left.

Living area complete with chic-but-uncomfortable Murphy bed.
View from my front window, looking down Ave. Parmentier.

The vis-à-vis from my kitchen window after a dusting of snow.

A day in Brussells

Looking toward the main square.

The chocolate Mannekin Pis in the shop windows turned out to be more interesting than the real one...

...Which was disappointingly obliterated by this silly ski costume.

Brussells' magnificent Hotel de Ville.

Cool street art.


Taylor said...

Sounds and looks like a fabulous time! That footwear poster is hilarious.

Babette said...

Merci pour ce voyage à Paris et à Brussels. Je n'y suis jamais encore allée, mais cela ne saurait tarder. J'ai bien hâte de lire ton compte-rendu du Paris Vegan Day!

tofuparty said...

Cool, you were in Brussel. I hope you enjoyed it?

KleoPatra said...

i love this, great to see the photos and read your commentary!! Mannekin pis... very odd...

lynzieloo said...

BEAUTIFUL architecture!!!!
I wish Cincinnati had a bitchin bike rental system.
The shoe sign still has me laughing... can't wait to hear about vegan day!!!

Bianca said...

Jealous! I'd love to visit Paris one day! I can't speak a word of French (despite 2 years of it in high school....that was over 10 years ago though), but I still wanna visit!

Jellybeanlupin said...

Hi Dynise. I've been waiting to see if you got home safely - glad you did. It was lovely to meet you at PVD. Looks like you had a great time over here. Where on earth was that shoe poster from?

foodfeud said...

That brings back great memories of Paris. Looks like you really enjoyed yourself. Did you try the chocolate Pis??

urban vegan said...

Jelly Bean: Great to hear from you....your little purse is sitting right here on my table. I love it! That shop with the sign was in the Marais.

Food Feud: Yes, I did eat a chocolate mannekin. I brought a bag back, intending to give it as a gift, but when all 5 mannekins got beheaded in transit, I knew what I had to do ;)

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

What an awesome time you must have had!!!

and congrats on your news

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

This makes me absolutely HURT to visit Paris again. What an amazing opportunity...a cozy little apt for 2 weeks sounds like a dream to me.

Anonymous said...

My partner and I really enjoyed reading this blog post, I was just itching to know do you trade featured posts? I am always trying to find someone to make trades with and merely thought I would ask.

Anonymous said...

Did you book your apartment through any particular website?

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