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Day 324: Dacquoise etc

My friend has just moved to a new apartment and this means a couple of things : (1) apartment visit so I can check the place our (it’s a beautiful apartment which had me somewhat envious), (2) looking forward to a house-warming party (that’ll be some time yet to come) and (3) have a look around of nice places to get treats from in her new neighbourhood.

I was looking for some bread when I spotted a boulangerie just down the road from where she lives. I came out with a baguette, a fruit dacquoise, a lemon meringue tart and a strawberry tart, all for a rather reasonable price at that time. These cakes were delicious although I must say my favourite is the strawberry tart. I don’t recall seeing a name for the place though, and without a receipt given to me, I couldn’t verify it right now either. Another day. I’m sure I’ll be back around the area again. There is another tea salon that I have not try…

Day 323: War memorial

I took a very long walk today – over 3 hours (in boots, not really advisable) – at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. Surprisingly, despite all the trips in and out of Paris over the years, not to mention the months that I’ve been living here, I have never visited this cemetery before. I don’t know what took me so long either.

I wandered randomly without the help of a map, which actually made it slightly tricky, given the vast size of the cemetery. I barely covered about 1/3 of the grounds. Relying on “look where the crowd goes” strategy, that was how I spotted a few famous graves here and there. Not only that, there are also a number of memorial monuments, including this one above, in commemoration of Holocaust victims of Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg.

The cemetery itself is historical, beautiful and calm for most part. A place I should revisit so I can continue my exploration…

Day 322: Calendrier de l’Avent

Everywhere I look, it’s now all about Christmas. Ho, ho, ho! With about 5 weeks to go, I guess it’s time to start writing up the shopping list for presents to the people near and dearest to us. Or maybe even start shopping itself. Last minute rush cannot be fun although with my new apartment next to a main shopping street, perhaps it won’t be as bad for me?

During the build up, of course you’ll need something to help you count down the days. Best with a wee bit of treat. One a day, you know. That’s why they have advent calendar, with the little doors that hide your candy or chocolate of the day. They’re not cheap though. Well I guess it won’t be cheap if you try to buy from Jeff de Bruges instead of Cadbury’s… Now who wants to get me one of these? :p

Day 321: La Grande Roue

Christmas is in the air :D

Last weekend, the cabins for Christmas market were being put in place along the east end of avenue des Champs-Élysées. At the same time, city workers on mini cranes were busy hanging up light fixtures to decorate the trees lining side by side to the cabins. With the temperature dialing in low at 2-4 °C, there is a certain excitement for the winter celebration to come.

Today, a mere few days later, I am seeing a huge Ferris wheel sitting prettily on Place de la Concorde. That caught me by surprised. For some reason, I had it in my head that the Ferris wheel is usually not erected until December, and it’ll be there for about 4-5 weeks. Guess I’m wrong. It’s there now, and they’ll start operating tomorrow until 19 February 2012. A whooping 3 months instead of about one!

The Christmas market at Champs-Élysées itself will be following suit on Saturday 19th, through to 2 January 2012. And for those looking forward to Christmas illuminations of Champs-Élysées in general, don’t forget, Audrey Tautou will be switching on the lights on Wednesday, 23 November, at 6.30pm, in front of l’Atelier Renault.

Day 320: Empty

Brrr it is very cold today.

Well, the cold front started (for me anyway) yesterday and today, as the day went by, it got progressively colder. I was still caught by surprised (a teeny wee bit) at this change, for over the weekend, it was warm enough for me to walk around sans coat or jacket but a mere cardigan. I do always carry scarf and mittens in the winter, so it’s not too bad I guess.

However, you certainly want to be moving about at this temperature to keep the body warmth going. Sitting out at a terrace is no longer something fun when you could end up freezing to death outside. Or milder events of cold and flu. I’m not even sure if drinking hot beverages would make much difference. The point is though, time to wrap up well when out and about, and thou shall continue people watching from inside of a cafe/restaurant instead.

Day 319: Gyros kebab

At around and off rue de la Huchette lie tons of Greek restaurants/eateries. However, since I have not eaten there personally, I couldn’t tell you if they are any good or mere tourist traps, given it’s location between St Michel and Notre Dame with plenty of foreign foot passengers daily. Invariably, every 3-4 doors down along the streets, you’ll be treated to a view of kebab/gyros in preparation.

I quite like this shot, which is a completely lucky shot. I was photographing the street initially, until this man came along and started chatting with the vendor. In a split second decision, I aimed my camera over and “click”. Not exactly the wisest move under dim condition, but I think this hasn’t come out too badly. I was worried it would be blurry, but no, it seems photography god is on my side today. Hurrah!

Day 318: Métro rétro

It’s not as if I wasn’t wearing my contact lenses or anything. Each time I pass by this café, I keep on (mis)thinking its name is Café du Rétro instead of Café du Métro. Perhaps it’s the style of the sign. It is probably a version of the original from all the way back in 1920, when it was first opened. I gathered that it’s still a family run business till this day.

Well, this café will soon be in my “neighbourhood”. I have just co-signed a lease this evening and will be moving out from Cité U in a couple of weeks. This is an exciting step into a new phase of my fabulous life in Paris. As with anything new and unknown, there’s certain anxiety that tags along with this move, but it’s the good kind, you know. It’ll give me an excuse to check out this café properly too. ;)

Day 317: Another piece of Montmartre

Walking around Paris can bring you to unexpected local areas. I discover this view of Montmartre purely by chance when Alex and I yesteday walked too far along rue St Anne following our late lunch while en route to Jacques Genin. Introducing rue Lafitte in the 9th arrondissement and view number 3 of 36 views of Montmartre.

In the foreground, if you look carefully, you’ll see the Notre Dame de Lorette. Its style is a tad like the Madeline, in neoclassical form. I have yet to visit the interior though. Yesterday’s weather was simply too nice to be suck indoor. We were walking randomly to get acquainted so I now have more ideas of where I can bring my camera to in the next few weeks for photo of the day ;)

Day 316: Post-Armistice Day

Glorious flags lining the avenue. I should have come over to the Champs-Élysées yesterday. I didn’t know there would be a large scale celebration, but I should really have thought of it. Afterall, for whom is it that the flame beneath the Arc de Triomphe but of fallen soldiers in performing their duties to protect their country during the wars.

This photo constitutes yet another image and viewpoint from Place de la Concorde. You’ve previously been shown the peeking Eiffel Tower and fountains of the place, along with Madeleine. Today, what you see also stretches beyond the arc to reveal the financial hub that is La Défense. The traffic is always a bit crazy here, so don’t go crossing the road randomly! Only at the lights, please.

Day 315: Bashful or not?

Yet another long weekend in Paris (it’s a public holiday today in commemoration of Armistice Day) and coincidentally it’s a binary day today (of 11.11.11). I had every good intention of wanting to go out and grab a photo at 11.11am but the continuous drizzle through the day hasn’t been particularly helpful. And I slept badly last night too, so that’s my sleep-in plan ruined.

I took myself up to Montmartre for a little bit of wandering about when I came across this small art gallery not too far away from Abbesses. Nude still lives. I think it’s rather brave for someone to bare it all like this to be painted. Art classes aplenty has such programme. Once upon many moons ago when I was in my “I’d like to do random stuff” phase, I did consider modelling for an art class, when decided that will be too risqué, not to mention, very much out of my comfort zone.

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