lucky charms, amulets, mascot, juju, talisman... call it whatever you want, we got it. We picked up a few along the way, never on purpose. Each country has its own way of believing, and each amulet is different, but the meaning is all the same: to protect us from all evil.
I took these on my iphone. They were photoshopped on my iphone as well. I just discovered this feature and it's so much fun. I took these on a walk around the Marais by the apartment. There is just too much fun stuff everywhere you walk in Paris, and the Marais is one of the best places to shop for unique items. I am not a fan of macaroons, but they are such fun to photograp. I bought a small hot chocolateat the chocolatierie below. It's thick, dense, and really really delicious on a cold night.
Skulls are the fad now. I see them everywhere on blogs I read. This store in the Marais sells the most awesome rings for decent prices. Too bad I never look up to read the names of the stores, but no worries, there are plenty of them around the area. Just walk around and you are bound to find some fun stores no matter what.
Boutique shops thrive in the Marais. Metro stop St Paul is the main area...but in my neighborhood, I have a few favorites. Rue de Blanc Manteaux and Francois Bourgeouis are my favorite streets. The best boutiques with the best style for both men and women. I didn't buy anything for myself [that's rare], but my Italian roomie bought stuff I picked out for her [my inner stylist coming out]. Gorgeous jackets, cashmere sweaters, and beautiful accessories...all top of the line, all unique, and all distinctly Parisian.
Nike came to visit me in Paris!!!! I love this girl!!! In 2006, Nike was studying abroad at UCLA and we were roomies. Four years later, she is a successful banker, and I am still in crazy debt but finished with law school. How we've grown! She hasn't been to Paris in 10 years, and we have an amazing apartment here, so we decided to met up a Paris!! Because of her, I have found the most perfect boutique in Paris with the most beautiful cape ever....but I couldn't afford anything! I consoled myself with a beautiful Zara cape that i have been eyeing for a month instead.
We tried to get into some free concerts at the American Church of Paris, but were unsuccessful. On the way back, we decided to walk through the Champs Elysees, Rue St Honere, and Rue de Rivoli so that Nike could see the city in all Christmas lighting glory. The Winter Village is in full swing now, and we stopped to buy gauffres, a waffle-like pastry sold o the streets of Paris, Russia, and other European countries. We got a gauffre nutella, gauffre chantilly, and a gauffree pomme. All three were delicious.
I chose Metro Opera/Haussman to stop because I love the view when you emerge from the metro. Opera Garnier is magnificent at any time of year. Metro Opera/Haussman comes up right in front of the opera, across the street, and makes you all happy when you come out. Behind the opera is Galleries Lafayette, which i posted about a few days ago. The Christmas spirit is everywhere, so shoppers local and foreign flock to the streets of rue st honore and rue de rivoli. I bought my Paris cape and shoes so I'm done with my shopping...and I will post better pictures of my purchases when i return to the states. The weather here has been crazy! We were lucky to have 2 beautiful days but it's starting to rain and snow again..so the precious cape and shoes will stay indoors!
We went on a walking tour of Paris with a local named Das. Paris has this program called Paris Greeter, and they employ volunteers who are all locals of Paris to give tours to anyone for free. We got Das, and since he lives near Montparnasse, we asked him to show us that area instead of the touristy spots. The program focuses on off-the-beaten-path places, so we loved the walking tour. We saw Montparnasse in a completely different light, found some new parks [Montsouris], and found streets where famous artists, writers, and politicians lived.
Lots of artists and writers lived on this street. It's full of very old houses, some have been burned but remain standing like the one above, and just waiting for someone to fix it and love it! I wish I had the money to redo this house, the vines and such growing on it are fantastic!!!
Lenin lived in this building when he was in Paris, and the dark spot on the wall [near the bottom of the pic] use to be a plaque that the government put up to say that Lenin lived here. However, there was a lot of anger when the plaque was put up, in addition to a fire that erupted inside the building, so the plaque was taken off.
View of La Tour Eiffel from Montparnasse train station.
This is the largepiazza in Verona. The Roman arena is next to it, and during Christmas time, they put out the Christmas star and line theduomo with a million crepe and fritella stands. The smell of these delicious pastries seek through the square and stay on your clothes, but I don't care...because it's Christmas time and everything is amazing. I climbed the star like a little kid and Kat videoed it.
Debby: Last week I flew to Verona to see my roomy. On the one I drank a lot of wine, it was red, strong it fucked me up... On day two i had horse and it was wild.. Giulia: OMG listen girl I had a special time ever.. Basically as I was stepping from my SUV I came face to face with a bitch or whatever.. Anyway she was wearing skinmmy jeans and the cutest socal accent ever...i could tell she was a globetrotter from her tiny bag... Mmm she is totally funny... LOL!
We have been to Verona before, but as tourists. This time, we went to visit my old roomy Giulia from UCLA days. She lives and works in Verona, and she took me around the city, meeting her friends and colleagues for 2 amazing nights!
italians have croissants as well and they are amazing
one of the cutest cars ever
This dish is called tar tar de cavallo [horse tar tar]! I never knew that Italians ate horse and donkey, but on this occasion, I learned that both are delicacies and traditional dishes of the northern Italians. Giuls is a large fan of the horse meat, and so...I had to try it too! It is more tender than steak tar tar, and they add capers and spices to it...and all you have to do is add some olive oil and salt to it...and its ready to go. Learning new things everyday...
One of the coolest things I learned in Verona is that there are a lot of old and prominent families still living there. I met Misamilla at a bar for drinks, and the next day, Giulia took me to see her winery. The winery Serega Alighieri has been in the family for 650 years!!! Even cooler, Misa can trace her ancestry back to DANTE ALIGHIERI, the poet of Divine Comedy! They are direct descendants of Dante, and the eldest son has taken over the winery estate for generations. When there was a lack of male heir, the eldest daughter married into Serega family and became Serega Alighieri, which is the name of the winery today. Above is a pic with the Alighieri girls, Giuls, me, and Kat. Below is Misa and Mariana's father, who is the direct descendant of Dante, and the owner of the winery today.
My trip to the Galleries Lafayette. I walked all six floors of the Galleries, and was exhausted by the end. I got some really great pictures though, and the Christmas spirit is definitely in the air.
My view of the the make up counters downstairs from the second level of Galleries. I found a small niche in the stores, and squeezed myself in to make this video. The outside windows of Galleries were full of spectators watching the Samsung sponsored window displays. I got front row seats [because I'm short and the guy felt sorry for me] to watch this spectacular display of Mamma Mia via puppets!