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Winter Holidays

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Hello friends!

My sister Abby and her fiancé Brendan visited me over the winter break and we a lot of fun. Since Brendan is a beer connoisseur we explored some fine beer places in Paris.

Here are some addresses I liked:

Paris Saint-Bière: a bottle shop on Rue de Charonne where Brendan found some bottles of Cantillon that I guess are hard to come by and expensive at home.

Brewberry: a bottle shop and a bar in Mouffetard quarter. I really liked that you could order glasses in 12oz, meaning you can taste many many beers. Which you’ll want to. It’s a good selection.

La Fine Mousse: Since this is a bar in my quarter I’d been there before with friends and enjoyed it. When I was there for the first time, I was early and my friends were late, which meant I sat at the counter for a period reading and sipping an IPA. Looking up I suddenly noticed I was literally the only female in the bar… the rest were stylish bearded hipster types. Sigh. It is a nice bar, though not very French (obviously, being that it’s a beer bar). Brendan ordered another Cantillon and the barman told us that they’re actually advised not to sell it to everyone (but to Americans, yes).

Les Trois 8: Another good bar in the 11th. They have like more than 100 bottles in their selection. It’s small though.

For Christmas Eve, we ate oysters and went to the ballet, which was AWESOME. We saw La Bayadère.
Also Abby sprained her ankle and looked very stylish in crutches:IMG_2109

On Boxing Day I got up early to watch the sunrise and sketch at Ile St Louis:

Now back to school!

Stay cheery, kids!

 

Thanksgiving

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I celebrated Thanksgiving at my friend Laura’s appartment with a international group – two Americans (counting myself), an Indian, a Canadian, two French (later, three), a German and an Italian. It was a brilliantly good time. We didn’t try for a turkey, but just bought poulet rotî from the rotisserie. We did have mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, lots of root vegetables and – though it took me a schlepp to the American epicerie in the Marais to get the ingredients – real cranberry sauce made from fresh (well sort of fresh) cranberries. And a whole lot of wine.

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I really enjoyed waking up in the morning and spending the whole day cooking in my apartment, and then taking it over to Laura’s. usually it’s my parents cooking and me polishing silver or prepping ingredients. Being alone for the first part of the day might have been sad except it was cool to be cooking my own Thanksgiving meal for once. Also I listened to Alice’s Restaurant and that kept me company.

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The real key to the success of the night was the that there were THREE guitars present and a whole lot of musicians. We just sang all night. I’ve determined this should be every party I throw from now on (as you can hear Laura declaring in the shorter of the two clips I’m going posting).

Old Material … I went to Germany a while ago

I’ve been meaning to start posting more regularly, and when I sat down to do it I realized there were about a million things I haven’t convered. During the last week of October I travelled to Germany with my cousin Madi to visit her brother Rupert, who lives in a small town called Tübingen.

We stayed two nights with Rupert, then went to Freiburg and hiked in the Black Forest, and then spent a night in Strasbourg before catching a careshare back to Paris.

We stayed in a awesome hostel in Freiburg called Black Forest Hostel, which was only a step away from a lot hiking trailheads. It was a pretty hippy kinda place, with no wi fi, and though that was inconvenient I think it did do us some good.

I will not lie: at first I was underwhelmed by the Black Forest. Not that it isn’t lovely: I’m just spoiled. I grew up in a place with a lot of nice wilderness. At the beginning of our first hike, we were a little lost in the mist and I was thinking,  well, nice, pretty trees.

But then towards the afternoon we reached a higher elevation, broke through the mist, and the sunlight was coming down through the autumn leaves, and it felt fairy tale. I’m very grateful I got a chance to see it in the fall.

About the events of November 13th

I don’t want to exploit this moment for pathos. I’m not going to give a detailed report of what I was doing on Friday November 13th. I’ll say, I live and hang out in the 11th, and yes I was out at a bar, and yes it was a little frightening. What I kept thinking about during the events of Friday night was how all the sudden everyone on Facebook was so horrified, despite that so many people live with this kind of fear every day.

I don’t blame my friends and family for being concerned about my safety. I don’t complain that people care about Paris. But collectively, isn’t it reprehensible, our disproportionate reaction to these events, versus the news that knocks daily from the middle east and from Africa?

If you do anything this week, to try understand what you, as a citizen of the US or of European nation, may be complicit in. To think about how many people live everyday in fear of being shot or blown up; to know how many innocent civilians have died at the hands of American military maneuvers; to know who we’ve sold weapons to and who we’ve supported. That is what should horrify you.