So I realize that I have fallen inexcusably behind in recounting all my days and all my stories. Unfortunately, I am out almost every night enjoying myself, and rarely have the time (or patience or energy) to blog about it, with pictures and everything (especially since blogger will no longer let me post pictures...sigh). So I've decided to recap the highlights of last week, the highlights of this week and then talk about the most important parts. Onwards.
Went to the Jardin du Luxembourg, went shopping for secondhand books, went to the Musee D'Orsay, saw the Jardin des Plantes, passed by the Mosquee de Paris, ate a ton of crepes, went for drinks at a nice bar, spent the day at an adventure park beating up my body, went back to the Louvre, explored the Centre Pompidou, ate more crepes, went to the Fete des Tuileries, rode the highest ferris wheel in France and got a chawarma in the Jewish district.
Went shopping for myself, bought my mom a present, bought Nathan's mom a present, bought Bbach's mom a present, saw an incredible exposition at Hotel de Ville (where the mayor's office is located, and where he lives), bought Sarah a present, saw Victor Hugo's old apartment, went to Place des Vosges, spent an evening by the Seine with friends playing games, took the metro to Fauchon Paris (a gourmet grocery store) and bought myself some gourmet hot chocolate and pate (french meat spread), went back to the beautiful exposition, bought my roommates presents and went to the Paris Film Festival on the Champs Elysees with girls from the Foyer.
My favorite park of this week was, without a doubt, the exhibition that I've seen twice now (and will probably go back to before I leave). Called Paris D'Amour, it is a free exhibition of wedding photography taken by a professional French photographer in Paris. He captured moments during the wedding day, before the wedding, preparations, during the wedding, at the reception, moments that are symbolic and moments that you wouldn't think to capture. Almost all in black and white, and displayed on walls of red and black with really low lighting, interspersed with little quotes and anecdotes from couples and people in love and the like, it spoke to me. It moved me to tears several times.
The pictures were absolutely magical. Moments you wouldn't even think to get on film. A bridge walking down a beautiful set of stairs. The groom's side trying to kidnap the bride. Two children kissing in the foreground while the husband and wife-to-be are photographed in the background. The hand of a bride with the word, "oui," written on it, reminding her what to say at the altar. The flower girl and ringbearer waiting patiently among the guests. Just some beautiful beautiful images. And what made it better were the non-traditional, quirky, quippy, sincere one-liners and anecdotes sprinkled throughout. So nice.
Some of the phrases also spoke not about love, but about Paris in general, another reason why I started tearing up. This is it, my last weekend, my last hurrah and then one more week of a tiny bit of tourism and a lot of time with friends, relaxing, and then I'm gone. And you know what? I really really love Paris. And will be heartbroken to leave it behind. It has been good to me.
But I'm going to enjoy every moment I have left. Soak it up, breathe the Parisian air, live la vie a la parisienne. (also eat a ton of chocolate: this morning I had nutella with bread and a ton of gourmet hot chocolate for breakfast, then a crepe with nutella and coconut with a large hot chocolate for lunch. I thought I would explode and bleed chocolate). Tonight: going up the Eiffel Tower (finally!) and then back to the Louvre with a friend (third time!).