Halloween Night in Paris Catacombs

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Last year I visited the catacombs for the first time ever… on Halloween. I had a friend visiting and we wanted to stick with the spooky theme. There is no better time to stroll through a long dark hallway surrounded by skulls then Halloween.

But apparently this year, you could take it up a notch. Air BNB took my idea and ran with it! They actually held a contest to win an over night stay in the catacombs. The winners get to sleep in what the company calls a “real bed” but there are no toilets…

Twenty meters underground with over seven million corpses to keep you company… I don’t think I would be brave enough. But it does include breakfast so, that’s a plus.

The 2km-long (1.2-mile) tunnels are just a small part of the abandoned quarries. The walls are lined with bones throughout the tunnels. There are also some reassuring quotes. `“Stop here is the empire of the dead ,” states one above the entry way of one endless hallway.

Being one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions, over 500,000 visitors make their way through each year. Not one has ever has the opportunity to stay over night. There is a first time for everything!

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il y a anguille sous roche…

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I have spent the majority of my week taking care of a new little kitten! Her name is Micha and she is very mischievous. Every time I entered into the apartment, I kept thinking “il y a anguille sous roche”… She would be sitting sweetly gazing up at me. It wan’t until I looked away from that cute face that I would find something flipped upside down and out of place. The little trouble maker!

il y a anguille sous roche – there is something fishy!

quelque chose n’est pas normal.
EX: Les policiers soupçonnaient qu’il y avait anguille sous roche.

Amalgame

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I was mostly stuck inside on this damp Saturday.  I looked over and my favorite frenchie just happened to be reading the dictionary -yeah he does do that from time to time. So, I asked what his favorite french word was. The first thing that popped into his head was Amalgame. I’m not surprised that he selected such an obscure word for he reads dictionaries for fun -yeahh he is a keeper. We are our own little “amalgame”. I am going to try to implement this one into my daily vocabulary!

Amalgame (Masculine word) – Amalgam!

un melange de deux objets où idées. EX: Une chanson est un amalglame de notes musicales.

Brassens

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The rain has yet to let up in Paris. As I sit and fold laundry I can see rain drops slide down the windowsill. This afternoon I was in search of a little corner of paradise to brighten up the day. How to escape time: music. A french favorite would have to be Brassens.

Brassens

George Brassens is one if the most well known french singer/song writer/poets. Every single french person knows his name and holds his music close tho their hearts. He created a very unique style of song sculpted by simple melodies and anarchist-minded lyrics.

I was introduced to Brassens by a professor of mine. Being a poet, Brassens’s diction is very clear and he pronunciates words with such class. I was told he is the best artist to listen to in order to improve my french accent. The very first song of his I ever heard was, parapluie.

I did in fact spend a lot of time trying to understand the rhythm in which he speaks. I was more the lyrics and the story which really got me hooked. A man seeing a young girl caught in the rain and he offers her some shelter under her umbrella. She excepts and he immediately falls head over heals in love or as the french say, coup de foudre. A small rain shower has brought him a small corner of paradise.

When the fog rolls in and the rain starts to shower down find your inner Parisian and play some Brassens. He will pull you away from the gloominess through light-hearted music. He definitely brightened up my afternoon!

Two hours to Venice

 

Two very good friends of mine from Uni have been hanging out in Venice for a couple of months. This relocation was required for grad program for one and an internship for the other. Being only two hours away from gay Paris, I was therefore required to visit. I didn’t mind escaping this rainy season for a long weekend on the Grande Canal.

No, I did not get in a gondola, even though that was the only thing my mother wanted me to do. This trip was more art history themed, for a had a tour guide who was in the midst of getting her masters in Venetian Renaissance Art History. So, I took advantage -to put it lightly.

The very first thing we did, sipped a hot cappuccino and ingested a fluffy pastry at the bar of a popular cafe in the ghetto. Then once properly fueled, tourist mode kicked in and I started to check off all the major monuments.  I was escorted straight to the piazza San Marco. You can see Doge’s Palace, Torre dell’Orologio and  the Basilica di San Marco in the one square. Luckily, we made it just before palo alto so nothing was flooded just yet. I think inside the Basilica had to be my favorite of the three.

The four original bronze horse statues from the entrance were on display inside. The statues were actually stolen by Napoleon Bonaparte (that guy to gave himself emperor status in France) and placed on top of the Carousel Arch here in Paris. It was very cool not to see another replica but the actual artwork up close and personal. You can truly feel the soul of each horse by looking in their eyes.

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I did not just dwell on the historical and glorious within the city but also the modern and interesting. My second friend in Venice was interning at The Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Thanks to her, I spent an entire afternoon on a private tour through the museum and it’s latest exposition. It is a must see! The art is displayed inPeggy’s house and the eclectic team of interns basically run the place. It was very hip and intriguing.

My four days in Venice were quite busy and went by way too fast as most holidays do. I ate a lot of gelato. I drank a lot of red wine and had the best risotto in my life.  I perused through the most beautiful bookshop in the world, went to a house party in the ghetto, and climbed to the top of the Campanile.  I can’t wait to go back! Maybe I’ll even get in a gondola next time.

Venice

Parapluie

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So it is raining today in Paris. To wake up to the sound of rain drops pitter patting on my sky lights is lovely, at first. Then it hits that once I leave the apartment that rain won’t be so nice.  Luckily, it is Friday and I am excited to jump through puddles this weekend! The one thing I must not forget, “mon parapluie”.

Parapluie  (masculine word) – umbrella !
Un parapluie est un dispositif, portable et pliable, permettant de se protéger de la pluie et servant aussi à se protéger du soleil.  EX: N’oblie pas ton parapluie!