Monday, April 12, 2010

So Busy, But Great Surprise

While trying to figure out my own life, I happened upon a great undiscovered Etsy Artist. JMVdigital offers the Etsy world a unique look at American life. The works can be described most as nostalgic. I'm loving this American Dream.

"I want to call out, or call forth the specialness of life – even in loss, emptiness, plainness and decay. That’s why my photographs are often rich in color and bold with contrast. I’m striving for simplicity and a keen attention to details as I try to capture timeless, yet temporary moments. I’m trying to convey a mood, a specific perspective – a perspective that’s not necessarily part of our universal human experience, but a perspective that evokes strong feelings about the unique scenes in the world around us."
- JMVdigital

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Paris Best.

Here are a few highlight photos from Paris and France this month, no real theme other than that...

Behind the Scenes of Fashion Week!

We are now well into Paris fashion week... I have had the privilege of going backstage and dressing models at the Walter van Beirendock and Alexandre Vauthier shows! Although we were not allowed to take pictures at the show here are a few images I was able to pull from the internet!

Dressed the above model at the show!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On Self Fulfillment.

I have not been being completely efficient with my trip so far.

Reasons for not being efficient and making the most out of a trip.

1. Staying up too late, sleeping in too long.
          *self explanatory

2. Being cheap and handwashing and drying laundry.
  • Laundry in France is EXPENSIVE. 1 Euro buys you 8.5 minutes of dryer time. Simple solution... handwash and dry. Obvious right? Today I spent 4 hours handwashing and drying my clothes. 
  • Maybe my apartment is humid... maybe yours will not be... in any case... if you find you spend WAY to much time doing your laundry the first time... maybe it will be worth it to spend the Euros and use your time to go exploring... 
  • Simple Solutions...
    • Spend the Euros
    • Ignore all you have heard about packing light if staying for a long trip in one location... Packing light is very important if you are going to be backpacking through Europe and changing locations frequently... but I must admit I would have had no problem checking two big bags filled with 50 lbs of clothes each... and then leaving them in my apartment for 5 weeks before repacking and going home... The good news... I will be doing lots of shopping while I am here and buying a second carry on :)

Since my revelation I have been waking up earlier and making the most out of my trip more effectively! :)

Here's a beautiful picture of the Seine from the morning after I first wrote this post...

And a few more from my walks about the city recently...

A stand in point between a triangular cross section of two streets, passers by feast on fresh seafood.

Street art is very common in Paris, there is of course some graffiti but for the most part the street art is well thought out and gives the city character!

Small lake in the middle of Luxembourg Gardens, a popular place to take a stroll or run, even in the middle of winter.

Very behind in the blogging, still to come photos from Arles and the Camargue and more!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Paris Sales

Sorry this one will be quite short I am packing up tonight to go on a 4 day excursion to the south of France! Can't wait to take pictures down there!

To my joyful surprise... every January most stores in Paris have ridiculous sales for the entire month.

"Sales are state-regulated in France and generally run during two periods of the year: once in summer, just before the massive exodus toward the sea and sun, and once in the winter, shortly following Christmas. Department stores, boutiques, designer outlets, and even hardware shops clear out items from the previous season, gradually slashing prices over the course of the sales period."
 - Linda Nyirenda

Thought I'd just post a few images of what I've seen so far in the shops!

I will be back soon to share the south of France with you! And I have not forgotten about the eating tips and photos, those will come soon!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Off The Beaten Path: Rungis Marché The Largest Market in Europe




A visit to the Rungis Marché just outside of Paris is one of the most wonderful, unheard of experiences a traveler can have. Rungis, the largest food market in Europe, is the daily go to destination for many Michelin Star restaurants all across Europe. 
It is 2:30 AM and trucks are already arriving from Russia to stock up on the freshest crop of leeks. Rungis staff are scurrying around putting the finishing touches on the shopments of fresh caught fish. 

At the same time someone else is perfecting the flower display in on of the 19.4 million pots of flowering plants, and yet another is arranging fruits and vegetables. 

Many gourmet cheeses and meats come through the market as well, the meat section includes some extremely greart oppurtunities for photos, I will only post some of the more PG images I took on the blog however. In the actual market one has the oppurtunity to see all types, kinds and parts of poultry and meats hanging from the ceiling.

 Unfortunately my camera died before I made it to the fresh flower and foliage section. Although Rungis is intended for bulk purchase to restaurants and suppliers, the market offers tours. When I took the tour we were the only tour group in the whole market, it is a rare experience. 

In order to visit Rungis on your
 next trip to Paris visit

Thursday, January 7, 2010

La Nourriture

Eating in Paris is expensive. One of our first nights here my friends and I walked into what looked like an excellent place for a meal, we were shocked when the waitress handed us the menu, we could not afford the prices! Thankfully a friend suggested that we share appetizers and wine, the waitress was happy with us, everyone tasted some delicious gourmet food, and we followed the entire experience with a trip to Pizza Panini for our real dinner... Lesson learned. Do not enter a restaurant if you cannot view the menu prior to entering.

My roommate and I have decided to start cooking more rather than eating out, I'm learning more about whats inexpensive here and whats not, more pictures and tips to be shared soon!

A simple salad I make in the apartment, make your own dressing
with olive oil, balsamic, garlic and a little salt.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bonjour mes Amis!

Bonjour from Paris!

This month I have the amazing opportunity to study fashion and travel photography in Paris!

Stepping off the plane one is greeted immediately by a nouvelle experience... the slopescalator as I like to call it. The "slopescalator" is found in the airport and in various underground tunnels in the metro system. The transportation appears to be your normal escalator upon first step, then your realize no stairs form and you are in for a long ride up and down small hills. Feels weird on the feet. A ride on this device gets exciting below the metro, busy Parisians pass on the "fast lane" as others stand behind the elderly on the right side, peering behind to see if they have time to break in to the line of traffic. One may find this nearly as dangerous as driving the traffic circle encompassing l'Arc de Triomphe.
Yesterday was my first trip through the metro in 16 years, I did not want to bring out the camera because I was lost and nervous, but I hope to document this later on during the month.

There is a beautiful exhibition about the fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet at the Museum of Decor Design... although not as famous as CoCo Channel, the work of Madeleine Vionnet is considered by many to be equally outstanding. Her work includes many surprisingly simple bias cut garments, no photography was allowed inside but I did manage to do a few sketches!

The exhibit is definitely worth a visit! Located close to the Louvre... behind the Louvre is a beautiful garden area with fountains, iced over now but a great place to people watch.

More to come soon!