Sunday, May 31, 2009

Running up that hill

Here’s a part of Paris you’ve probably never seen.

I shook off my quasi-hangover and/or stubbornly ignored the cold that has been threatening me for days and spent yesterday out in the beautiful weather.

I walked around Saint-Germain where—success!—I found a great bathing suit for my rendez-vous with Melody on the Cote d’Azur this weekend. Then I daydreamed in front of the windows of a few select patisseries (I’m telling you, I’m going to keep shopping for bathing suits because it seems to be the only thing that convinces me I don’t need to sample another warm buttery croissant or raspberry gateau).

It was only mid-day and I was enjoying the rare luxury of having no itinerary or pressing errands that needed tending (I do need balsamic vinegar, but that’s something that should be a joy to discover here in France, not a must-do-today item on the checklist). So I hopped on a Velib and started biking towards Canal Saint-Martin, over the glorious Seine and through the small streets of the Marais. En route, it occurred to me that I should head up to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. JP and Kyoko and Michael have all recently mentioned it. On such a pretty day, it made perfect sense.

The park is so un-Paris-like. It’s super hilly and on the verge of wild. Where else in this city do you see trees and hedges that haven't been touched by shears or shaping machines, much less the grass uncut?

The hills are enormous and offer gorgeous views.

The people, like the park, are a little more free-spirited and diverse.

Content with seeing this new part of the city, I walked down the hill through Belleville, a different route than the last time I was there.

I stumbled upon a graffiti artist adding color to the neighborhood.

A cute graffiti artist.

Lots of color.

Not your typical slice of Paris. But becoming so more each day.

1 comment:

  1. Those are really some great pictures. I loved the scenery, and then seeing the graffiti art was all that much better.