pining for Paris

i've been dreaming of being abroad every week and it. won't. stop.

last night, i dreamt that i was on a balcony in Paris, watching hot air balloons float over Sacre Couer. i wanted to go play in the streets near Montmarte, but nobody would let me leave the balcony. i think Tallahassee is my real life balcony. can i just go play now? s'il vous plaît?

(this was the view from my balcony last time i visited Paris in June)

lately, it seems that i think of Paris daily. more than i even think of London (gasp). it's just that so many things have been appearing to remind me of the enchanted city that i fall deeper in love with each time i visit.

it started when i saw Hugo on black friday while my mom was visiting. i thought the story of Georges Méliès was charming, but i found myself constantly distracted by my anticipation for more panorama shots of Paris. mom didn't appreciate the story much, but we both agreed that we could watch a whole film consisting of views of the city...

...which is why i'm obsessed with Midnight in Paris. the entire first few minutes consists of simple shots of the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, the view from Montmarte, Moulin Rouge, the Arch de Triumph from Champs-Élysées, Notre Dame, numerous cafes, the Louvre, and every pretty corner in the vicinity. wanna see for yourself?

the night i bought the movie, i watched it 3 times in a row. watching it makes me feel like i'm standing on Rue de l'Odeon. and even better, like i'm there in the 1920's, with some of the greatest artistic influences of the last century. as a lit nerd, i was tickled with the way Woody portrayed Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds. i couldn't get enough of it. don't put it past me to watch it 3 more times tonight. even if just for the soundtrack. i'm now fully obsessed with this song and everything Cole Porter.

thennn, before the winter break, this pretty childhood friend of mine named Sara messaged me for advice on places to stay and see in Paris. this sent me searching through all of my hundreds of pictures of Paris, which was both fun and depressing. Sara and her English boyfriend traveled to London and Paris together over the holidays. you can see the gorgeous pictures on her blog :)

while they got to photograph the real eiffel tower, i spent my holiday in las vegas, where i took pictures of the Paris hotel and it's little eiffel replica.

i grew up thinking it was so pretty, but now that i've seen the real bridge to the sky a few times, it just doesn't suffice. honestly, the least it could do is sparkle every now and then...

and since i've been back from break, i've been bombarded with visions of Paris. Three of the six classes i'm taking right now focus on film theory. so of course, each of the three has emphasized the fact that cinema started in France and that all of the first films were shown in Paris. so yes, we've watched a ton of silent films showing Paris in the 1890's. to top it off, my professor randomly paired groups of us to different movies we'll be analyzing this semester. and whaddya know, i got assigned to the only french film on the list. It's a film called  A bout de soufflé, the entirety of which was filmed in Paris in 1959...

it looks fabulous. i can't wait to see it. but... it feels like i'm being teased :( 

well, since i am stuck on this American balcony until i graduate in May, i can at least be grateful for the three times that i've visited Paris, and look forward to the times that i will see her again in the (hopefully near) future. here's a grand dose of nostalgia on my past few visits:

my first time, there were gray skies and frigid rain. but that's okay, because i believe Notre Dame belongs in gray.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery does too.

and you know you really love a place when the elements can't keep you from bliss.

we visited a couple old friends (oscar wilde and jim morrison.

i walked along the Seine for the first time, to Musee D'Orsay to visit some original Van Goghs, and other post-impressionist pieces.

we walked to the Eiffel Tower, stopping for wine along the way.

we had the most amazing crepes in the world and stuck around for quite a few "sparkle times".

we danced to the music of a merry-go-round.

and played on it like we were five.

we went to the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, 

Cupid and Psyche, and plenty of Da Vinci.

we toured the Palace at Versailles, and i freaked out the entire time, because of this movie.

that's Marie Antoinette's bedchamber (as seen in the movie).

we romped around Montmarte to see Sacre Couer and Moulin Rouge.

 on the way to the Moulin Rouge, a group of us got distracted by berets and nutella crepes.

 we went on walking tours of ritzy neighborhoods, shopped, and spent time in Notre Dame.

my second time, i spent a weekend with two of my best friends, Sarah and Christine.

we stayed in an insanely fancy hotel, thanks to her very generous aunt and uncle.

i spent an afternoon reading in the bath, with sunlight peaking in and french music blaring out the open windows. it was surreal, to say the least.

Christine's aunt and uncle surprised her with a dinner at a restaurant called Le Christine. i took part in what was undoubtedly the fanciest (and most expensive) meal i've ever experienced.

as you would expect, it was ridiculously delicious.

we walked around the eiffel and took a boat tour on the Seine.

we saw Sainte Chapelle at the perfect time of day.

we hung out in the Latin Quarter

i went to the top of the Arch de Triumph.

my third time, my mom and i discovered the things we hadn't seen in previous visits.

we discovered the beauty of the Luxemburg Gardens.

the Medici Fountain was our favorite.

i showed her the view from Sacre Couer.

we revisited a few places, and spent time noticing details we missed the first time around.

like this beautiful bridge behind Notre Dame.

 couples place locks on the bridge and throw the keys in the Seine.

we people watched for hours at cafes.

as the sun went down, i changed my order from cafe creme to white wine.

i spent a good few hours in Shakespeare and Co., feeling really small.

i sat there altogether overwhelmed, content, and inspired...

and like carrie from california, pretty damn lucky.