Sunday, April 21, 2013


NYU Paris has proven to be a lot more work than NYU New York—which is saying a lot, seeing as I am a double-major and a minor, and yet here in Paris, I am only taking classes for my French major. You'd think the workload would be a bit lighter when you are abroad, either simply because of that foreign air that somewhat drains school of its weight in comparison to the need to explore a new place, or because of an expected leniency on the part of the professors or the university. This was not the case, but of course I do share the blame since I chose classes that are heavy on reading (in French, naturally).

Anyway, these past few months have been really taxing in terms of school, especially since the semester began in January and we still haven't had spring break (April 25!!!! so soon). So when we had a weekend school trip to the south of France, it was more than welcome as a break from not only school, but also from the rainy, gloomy weather that has characterized Paris this year—a cold winter that has gone on for much too long, apparently, according to Paris's usual mild temperament. The first day of our trip was dedicated to Marseille, a city that dates back to 600 BC. And it is one of the most beautiful places I have been to yet. (I say one of, because the absolute most beautiful place I have been to is the commune called Cassis, which we visited the day after. But that will have it's own post in the coming week—stay tuned~)

I don't want to bog this down with a lot of text (spring break is near, so my laziness has been increasing steadily). So here are the pictures. Be warned—there are a lot.

The building on the right is a museum, and the top horizontal bar is a passageway connecting it to other historical sites. 

A worker on the roof of a gas station

Marseille Cathedral

Notre-Dame de la Garde is the basilica that crowns the city.

Notre-Dame de la Garde (the pictures below were taken from the basilica, which sits at the top of the hill)

(You can see the Marseille Cathedral in the center)

(Wouldn't it be romantic to sit in a car on this parking lot that overlooks a vast expanse of the city of Marseille, with the sea in the distance~)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Islands, Palaces, Flea Markets, Oh My

I know, I haven't posted in a whole two months. That's insane considering I've been in Paris, so you would think I would update more often. I seem to have a heavier courseload (readings, papers, everything) here at NYU Paris than at NYU in New York, which ultimately results in me not having as much time to update things like this blog—worse, though, is that it reduces the amount of time I get to spend exploring the beautiful city I have called home for almost three months now.

Regardless, I have been increasingly leaning towards the tendency to leave schoolwork in suspension in favor of taking advantage of Paris. (Of course, being an overachieving academic, though, I also do my work, but yeah.) Lots of late nights roaming the city, meeting new people, exploring new corners.

I haven't been taking as many pictures lately, though, and for that reason, last weekend I went around the city taking snapshots. I decided to dump them all here. Be warned, there are a lot; I did a lot of walking.

Île Saint-Louis

There are two natural islands that sit in the Seine River—the popular Île de la Cité, and the lesser-known neighbor, Île Saint-Louis. I decided to take a stroll around the latter, in favor of finding some fresh new territory to scope out—and photograph. While the island sits in the center of Paris, it is surprisingly peaceful and calm, tucked away from the busy atmosphere that characterizes the parts of the city just over the bridges. The island isn't populated with much—in fact, there isn't a métro stop on the island itself (which is more shocking considering the plenitude of métro stops scattered around Paris). I took a solo tour around the island and through its narrow streets, and while there aren't many actual sites to see, save for the Saint-Louis-en-Île Church and the occasional restaurant, the area is beautifully tranquil and picturesque in the way that many envision Paris to be.

Île de la Cité

Crossing the Pont Saint-Louis brings you to the island's bigger brother, known especially for the Notre Dame Cathedral. In the cathedral's backyard lies the Square Jean-XXIII, which is the oldest public garden in the area. From there, I walked around the cathedral, crossed the Pont d'Arcole, walked by Hôtel de ville, which houses the city's administration.

Place de la Concorde, and other things

After all this walking, I still didn't feel very tired, and I had some time to kill before I had to go to a dinner with some friends. So I hopped on the métro and got off at la place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris. One thing I sometimes miss when I'm not home in New Jersey is driving, but standing in the middle of Rue Royale, with the Madeleine Church at one end and the Luxor Obelisk at the other, and countless cars zooming insanely close to each other at even more insane speeds...that nostalgia for driving wears off fast. I continued to walk around to the cluster of 3 palaces-turned-museums—le grand palais, le petit palais, and le palais de la découverte. I hope I get a chance soon to actually visit them. I then walked around some more and made my way down to the bank of the Seine River where I was greeted with a random flea market. And while I was on my way back home afterwards, I walked past a hurried bride and groom who seemed to be on their way to a photoshoot by the river. I mean, talk about romance in Paris.