Sunday, February 22, 2009

Beer Budget, Vintage Champagne Tastes

On Saturday, in keeping with one of my New Year's promises to myself, I headed to Reims with two pals. Since I'm feeling kind of lazy (is it too late to blame it on a champagne hangover?) I'm going to spare you all the details of the trip. You can check out my travel buddies Juliet and Sarah's blogs for the full details.

The one unfortunate thing about my trip was that I discovered that I have a preference for vintage champagnes as opposed to the less expensive run of the mill variety.

Let the visits begin

The cave held about 25 million bottles of bubbly

1929 was a vintage year...go figure

I almost knocked over all of the bottles as I knelt down to take this photo

Only two of those Mumm glasses had my name on them

Thank goodness for the bottle cleaning process

We were only rewarded after we had climbed 161 steps to exit the cave

Our handsome reward

Reward ourselves we did to the tune of about 3 glasses each

And as a parting gift we rewarded ourselves even more with 2 bottles of Pommery Wintertime Blanc de Noirs each. It would have been more but a girl's only got two hands.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Relationship with Paris

I'm probably going to catch a lot of flack for this post but I'm going to proceed anyway because it's something that's been on my mind a lot.

I have an understanding with Paris, I accept her for who she is and for the most part I don't try to change her. I may not always agree with everything she does but at the end of the day I accept her the way she is. I think my philosophy has really allowed me to find contentment here. When I first came here (and even now) I never actively sought out many of the comforts from back home. For me there was so much to explore and discover about Paris that I wasn't caught up trying to replicate the lifestyle I had back in NYC. Did I miss certain things? Yes! Was I about to set out to find all things American here in Paris? Non.

Which brings me to my point, I think a lot of anglophones here in Paris get so caught up with what Paris is missing or how Paris differs from city "x, y or z" they end up pretty unhappy because they are focused on the negative.

The way I see it, one's relationship with Paris should be like that of any romantic relationship; if you go into that relationship looking to change the other person or if you are constantly pointing out his/her faults then that relationship is doomed before it ever has a chance to start and develop into something truly amazing and unique.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What's In A Name?

Whenever I introduce myself to French people I tell them the English pronunciation of my name. On several occasions this has led to confusion but nothing to dire. However, one day a Frenchman instructed me that I should introduce myself and pronounce my name in a manner consistent with the French pronunciation to a) make it easier for the French b) avoid any confusion.

I reflected on his remarks and I could understand his point. Listening to my Anglophone friends introduce themselves here in Paris I notice that they too use the French pronunciation of their names. My theory on this whole thing is *bleep* that. Whenever I encountered a French person in NYC they would always without fail introduce themselves using the French pronunciation of their name so why should I do otherwise now that I live in Paris?

The way I see it is my name is my name and if its a little difficult for a non-anglophone to understand or pronounce that's just too bad.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

When Starbucks Came to France...

...I'm pretty sure they never envisioned such fustercluckery when it comes to coffee preparation.

Mind you there was an "efficiency" man that was pre-taking orders while we were standing in line to expedite the process however there was very little expediting being done considering I spent almost 35 minutes standing in line. Oh and my drink wasn't even ready by the time I got to the end of the bar.

Starbucks Opera
3, Boulevard des Capucines
75002 Paris, France

London Update: Better Late Than Never

So I went to London two weekends ago and the trip was a roaring success thanks to a favorable exchange rate and cooperative weather. I didn’t have a detailed itinerary to follow and I just went with the flow. I don’t usually fare very well when trips aren’t planned down to the minute but I think I handled it fairly well this time around. I travelled with my friend YM and we stayed at a very nice Holiday Inn in Camden Lock. Booked at a rate of $50/night through we really beat the price.

This particular trip consisted more of hanging out, letting loose and shopping than sightseeing. However, thanks to my lovely friend Fauzia acting as tour guide all hope wasn’t lost. She let us partake in her Saturday morning ritual of visiting Borough Market, strolling along the Thames and then visiting Tate Modern Museum.

While I appreciated being able to speak in English with any and everyone and the cute bars and restaurants there was no feeling of love at first sight. Sorry London. However, I’m not opposed to a follow up visit if the exchange rate stays at its current level.

In keeping with my New Year’s promise to myself I have three other trips planned. A day trip to Reims this month, a weekend in Vannes the end of March and a long weekend in Bordeaux for Easter. I have to start planning some Q2 trips stat.