paris, the city of street musicians

 

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You know that it’s usually the best weather on day you have to leave? Well, for the first time in my life, that was not the case. Today, I am leaving a cloudy Paris behind. Apparently, the weather that I have had is Paris the past couple of days was something way out of the ordinary. With this time of year being associated with rain and cold, it was completely weird to have people tanning on the banks of the Seine River this week. It felt like summer and I wasn’t complaining.

After another one of my Eiffel-Louvre-Champs-Arc de Triomph runs, I was determined to actually make it to the neighbourhoods of Paris that I wanted to visit on the first day. So, eliminating all possible distractions in the form of café’s and boutique stores where I can’t afford anything anyway, I got on the Metro underground train and only emerged to a gorgeous day at Hotel de Ville Station, the one closest to the Notre Dame. From there the plan was to explore the Latin Quarter and Le Marais, which are some of the oldest and most authentic neighbourhoods in the city.

I don’t know if it was the incredible weather or because of the fact that it was Thursday (who knows, maybe there is something secret about a Thursday in Paris), but something invited all the street musicians to this part of Paris.

The first musician I came across was on the bridge at the back part of the Notre Dame. He caught my attention with a beautiful rendition of Don’t Think Twice it’s Allright”, written and originally sung by Bob Dylan but then later covered by Peter Paul and Mary (which is coincidentally one of my favourite songs at the moment). The music echoed over the water and made every person, tourist or local, stop in their tracks and pause a moment to take it in.

Walking though the streets of the Latin Quarter gave me a peek of what it would be like to live here. Well, I have decided that I could easily sip coffee (or wine), eat stacks of bread and have deep discussions with friends while enjoying the sunny day (To be fair, it was lunch time so all the café’s were packed, I’m sure everyone actually does have jobs and things to worry about).

The second musician I came across was a picture right from a cliché Paris postcard. An old man with a leather jacket that any millennial would kill to have, a lit cigarette hanging from his lips, playing classical guitar.

The third was on the bridge taking me from the Latin Quarter to Le Marais. This must have been my favourite half-hour of my whole time in Paris. The bridge can’t be accessed by any cars, making it the perfect make-shift stage for these musicians. This guy, armed only with his guitar, a microphone, amplifier and his voice, managed to gather quite an audience. Every-one taking a quick break from being on their feet, but staying a couple of minutes longer to enjoy the music.

The rest of the day I saw at least another 5 musicians/groups singing on the streets, in the underground terminal and even in the train itself.

I absolutely love my outfit from yesterday (although my 12-year-old-self would die if she saw me in these clothes!). My last day in Paris I wore a pair of khaki, high-waist, flare pants from H&M, a plain white top and finished my look with a colourful floral scraf that you can find at Zara.

I am typing this on Heathrow Airport in London with my flight to New York leaving in less than two hours! I am beyond excited, so stay tuned for some cool posts coming your way in the next week!

G2G

BRB

Andybee xx

 

always pack your running shoes

 

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I went for the coolest run this morning. I guess my runs get longer the more comfortable and at home I feel in a new city. On this particular run, I ran down the street to the Eiffel Tower, ran along the Seine River, over the Love Lock Bridge (where, sadly, there were 5 guys in neon bibs busy removing all the locks), passed the Louvre, through the Luileries Garden, passed the Roue de Paris ferris wheel, up the whole Champs Elysees, underneath the Arc De Triomph and sprinted the last 1km to the hotel.

I know that it seems daunting to take on the streets of some place new when you an barely find your way with a map and while walking. But, do yourself a favour the next time you pack for a trip – throw in those runners. A run is the best way to start your day, getting rid of the jetlag and to see your destination from another perspective.

Yesterday I walked through the whole Paris, not in my runners, but in some super cute ankle boots from Trenery and now I have blisters on my pinky toes. I am very impressed with these boots though, they were brand spanking new (which is a usually big mistake when walking for 8 hours), but they only started hurting the last hour and that was because I was speed walking like a little greek lady in her walk for life club. So, I thoroughly recommend THESE BOOTS.

I know I said that I would be exploring the Latin Quarter and Le Marais yesterday, but got so distracted on the way with cute cafe’s, shoes shops and street stalls that we never actually made it to these neighbourhoods! I can’t even say that we did anything “tourist” worthy at all. I just ate an incredible cheese and meat platter in a cafe on some street corner…

The other reason for getting so distracted on the way was the flares that I sewed onto my old jersey’s sleaves, making me feel super fancy.

I want to tell you more about today, but first – some shots:

(Wearing mom jeans and a suede coat from Zara and another one of my dad’s shirts that I fitted and cropped, but this time with added flowers that took me hours to embroider by hand)

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It’s a quick ride on the Metro to the Palace of Versailles and it was the best 7 Euro’s I could have spent.

The Palace of Versailles is obviously gorgeous, I mean it is a Castle with gold statues, but the palace itself is not the most beautiful part of the royal estate. It’s the garden. It’s breathtaking, with avenues of trees offering cool shade to many tired Japanese tourists, dams that reflect the sky as if it were a huge mirror and beautifully manicures lawns on which no-one has set a foot in like 400 years. An incredible place to spend one of the days in Paris.

Arriving back in the heart of Paris at sundown, I got to see the best part of the city. The Seine River becomes the meeting place of friends. families, lovers and dogs. By 7pm, the students and people that probably got off early from work start gathering on the river banks. By 8pm there are people sitting with their legs dangled from the edge as far as the eye can see. I didn’t see one person without six-pack beer or a bottle of wine…and cheese and bread. I am certain that having a picnic is a skill that Parisians have perfected over hundreds of years to the point that it is now imbedded in their genes.

And what a sight it is to see.

I wish I could also look as elegant eating a buttery baguette and drinking wine from the bottle, but I guess that is just one talent that I have yet to master.

Good night from the girl who wore a mom pants and a dad shirt with granny embroidery.

A B x

 

 

paris blooms

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Hey there guys,

It’s day two of my trip and I had already walked more than a marathon (this is probably a good thing since I am running a half one in New York in less than a week). I always end up being over excited on my first day in a new city and try and cram as much of the sights in to this one day. So that’s what I did and now I feel super accomplished. Now I can relax and start looking for those Parisian gems, the one’s off the beaten track.

Paris is beautiful and calm. Spring has sprung and the city’s trees are covered in flowers, the air is crisp and warm and it seems like everyone has an extra hour in their day, sitting in the sun and sipping on coffee or wine in a cafe on every street corner (or maybe this is just how everyone lives their lives in this city). Anyway, I love it. I, however, didn’t expect it to be this warm (since it’s technically still winter in the Northern hemisphere) and since I hate getting even a little bit cold, I took my camel coat with me when I left this morning. With all the walking and the sun shining bright, my coat ended up folded over my arms all day.

Other than this coat of mine I was wearing one of my dad’s old work shirts that I altered a little. I took it in on the sides, slimmed down the arms so it would fit me and not the hulk, cut it into a midi-crop and embroided a yellow crown just above the pocket.

Tomorrow I will be heading to Le Marais and the Latin Quarter. Apparently this is where I will find the best small shops and cafe’s in the city. Pop onto the blog tomorrow night to see what I have discovered! All I hope for is to find some good croissants… I am dying for a croissant.

Night.

AndyBee x