Comme ça.

I think WordPress still hasn’t figured out a way to integrate with 8Tracks. sad face.

This is a mix I made about 3 years ago when I was getting ready to go to France. Every year around this time (okay, who am I kidding–pretty much all the time) I get the almost-irresistible  desire to go to France, because three years ago around this time, I was preparing to go to France. Makes sense to me.

So, I made this mix for all the people I was leaving behind.

On a somewhat-related note, if you haven’t seen “The Triplets of Belleville,” you really should. There are very few words in the whole animated movie, and yet it’s one of the most powerful films I’ve ever seen. Plus, it has a great soundtrack.

Comme ça.

Tu me manques.

J’ai pas ecrit en français recemment. Toujours je pense en français, je rêve en français, je chante en français, et toujours France me manques. Mes amis français me manques, la vie française, tous les petites villes, tout les parcs sécrets. Cette clip par Pink Martini, c’est triste et aussi douce à le même temps. Écountez plus de la groupe. Je l’ai vu il y a presque sept ans; elle toujours fait des albums plus et plus fantastique. Je l’adore.

Tu me manques.

You can write, but you can’t edit

It’s taken me a long time to warm up to Regina Spektor. I’m not sure I knew who she was or had heard her music until I got to college. When I first heard her, my reaction was strong and negative. Her music was almost intolerable to me. I hated the inconsistency of her voice. Some of her vocal acrobatics made me really uncomfortable, and I remember squirming at the brashness of the lyrics.

Continue reading “You can write, but you can’t edit”

You can write, but you can’t edit

Vous Partez à Paris?

Someone recently emailed me and asked for tips on visiting Paris: What to see, do, eat… etc.
Oh, what’s that you say? you want my expertise on traveling in France? Gee, I mean, I suppose I could…
What you see/do/eat in Paris depends largely on how long you will be there, and have you both been there before, and if so, what have you already seen?

Museums: The Louvre is alright, if you’re into that sort of thing… Personally I prefer the Orangerie (for Monet’s work) and the d’Orsay (but it depends on the exhibit). The Centre Pompidou is pretty cool, and they’ll be showing Edvard Munch soon, which I love…

You must go to Sacré Coeur and wander around the neighborhood (it’s known for being really artsy and fun– this is also where Edith Piaf grew up). I maintain that the best gelato in Paris is up there, too. And of course the basilica and the view are breathtaking. Definitely walk up there and back down; don’t take the funicular.

Go to the 5th and 6th arrondissements (the Latin Quarter and Saint Germaine. I lived in Saint Germaine for three weeks and when mom and I went we stayed in the Latin Quarter). Right in between these two districts is the Greek Quarter, which is never on a map and which I have only ever learned to find by accident. But it is totally spectacular, especially for the nightlife. It’s totally worth it, if you do find it: the food is amazing and there are some hookah bars, which can be fun.

Personally I think the view from Sacré Coeur totally trumps the view from the Eiffel Tower, so you could probably skip the tower. But you should endeavor to see it at night, when it’s all lit up and sparkling (I think it sparkles hourly for a few minutes?). Same goes for Notre Dame. It doesn’t sparkle, but it’s amazing at night. And when you’re at the Notre Dame at night, wander along the Seine right by is and see if there is live music down along the bank. Sometimes really good groups play down there and it’s quite the show.

Other music… when you’re wandering by churches (which will happen approximately every 3.2 minutes, if you’re walking at a consistent pace) look for fliers that advertise concerts there the day of. I found some amazing (cheap) classical music concerts on the spur of the moment. Tourists rarely pay attention to them, so they’re attended mostly by locals and the crowd will be small. Just bring a sweater because it gets damn cold in those churches at night when you’re just sitting listening to music.

A lot of people say that going to cemeteries is a good experience, but I never much enjoyed it. I went to Pére Lachaise (if you do go to a cemetery, go to this one) and saw Jim Morrison’s, Edith Piaf’s, and Oscar Wilde’s graves, but the most impactful part was the Holocaust section, because they adorn the graves with incredible, heart-wrenching sculptures.

I’ve always wanted to do the underground tour of the catacombs. If you have time, I’ve heard it’s very cool… if you don’t have time, go to the Panthéon. You can go underground to the crypts there, or go to the top for the view, and the Luxembourg gardens are nearby. Sometimes there are Shakespeare plays in the park.

Don’t miss the footbridge, or Pont des Arts. It’s also called lover’s bridge, because there’s a tradition of putting locks on the chain link that symbolize eternal love and luck in relationships. The view to the tip of the island is sweet, too.

Eat: Have you seen Amélie? If not, watch it and then go to the café where much of the movie takes place. It’s in Montmartre by the Moulin Rouge (12 Rue Coustou), and it’s absolutely delightful. They have a drink called a Black Shadow, I think, which I drank when I was there (because, duh).
Go out on Sundays and look for any street market. They’re fantastic. The locals go out with little carts on wheels and pick up veggies, sometimes there’s live music, and the sights and smells are amazing.

Bakery: I wouldn’t say it’s the best bakery in Paris, but it’s the one I visited almost daily. It’s on rue Dauphine, in the Saint Germaine quarter, about 2 blocks away from the Seine. I don’t know the name, but it’s a little hole-in-the-wall place with very friendly women working there and totally divine pastries. You will also be about 40 paces from the apartment we had while I was there :)
Vous Partez à Paris?

Plus de français

This video is genius. You won’t get it, but just trust me. It’s amazing, and would have helped SO MUCH before I went to France!

It’s telling foreigners how to “faire la bise”.

Les bises are the characteristic French cheek kisses, which can get very complicated. When do you use them? With whom? How many kisses? That all changes in different regions of France and with different levels of a relationship.

Plus de français


I know at least six people in France right now. They’re probably just chillin’, speaking French and eating baguettes, drinking the best espresso ever. They’re wearing black and passing people on the street with barely a nod, using a Carte Orange to make phone calls, and smelling rainy French asphalt.

I just have to tell myself that I’ll be back sooner than I know. In the meantime, I try to pretend France doesn’t exist… but it’s more difficult to do that when I sometimes play Scrabble in French, I get asked to say things with a French accent, and I read great articles about Paris in the New York Times.

This year is delightful, and challenging in all the right ways. And I will so enjoy not feeling tied down to any particular place when it’s over. A lot can happen in a year, so I hope a great portion of my year is spent planning to return to France and parlez français again.


Too Much Memories

After I got done spending eleven weeks in France in the Spring of 2010, I went to Germany for a week to visit a friend. She’s French, and I met her in France, but she was living in Regensburg, Germany at the time, and had invited me to stay with her. Germany was incredible; Regensburg is in the south, near Bavaria, so many Germans who are from that area also speak Bavarian, which apparently is very different from German. It was beautiful the whole time I was there, and I was able to just sit back, relax, and spend the time like I would have if I was spending summer at home.

We piled many bodies into a tiny car, blasted Credence Clearwater Revival, and went to a lake. We went for bike rides and played volleyball. We drank beer so thick that a pint was worth a day’s meals. And, like ya do, we introduced one another to awesome YouTube videos.

This is one that Lise, my friend, showed me. Amazingly, she knew all the words and sang along impeccably.
Yeah, she’s pretty cool.

Anyway, this is Bonaparte, with “Too Much.”

(P.S. The incorrect grammar in the title bothers me too. But you get it, right? Right?!)

Too Much Memories