July 14, 2014

Happy Bastille Day!


Guys, I have to tell you a secret.

I’ve been waiting an entire year to write this post. AN ENTIRE YEAR. You all know how much I love Paris and all things French but the perfect day to share that love on my blog was on Bastille Day (at least in my mind). Now it’s finally here! So here goes.

I’m not sure when this obsession with Paris started. Maybe it was when Joey Potter turned down the opportunity to study there for Dawson? (I seriously tried to remember and that was what came to mind! Sad but true.) I don’t know but something about Paris has always seemed magical and beautiful to me. It wasn’t until 2011, when I visited for the first time with one of my best friends, that I saw just how true that was. I mean, prior to that I was a huge fan of French movies (I was totally a indie/foreign film snob at one point in my life!) but it still didn’t prepare me for witnessing Paris up close and personal. It was so rich with culture! Even just walking around looking at the buildings and architecture, you get a sense of all the history there, which I loved. The sights are beautiful, the people move at a more leisurely pace like they are savoring the day and there is just amazing food everywhere you turn. And the Eiffel Tower? It was love at first sight for me. Any time I caught a glimpse, I had to fight the urge to take a picture. The tour guide on my trip said that most people only travel to Europe once in their life so we should make the most of our stay. I like to think that I did but I’m going to prove him wrong. I will go back again.

But until then, I'll have to relive Paris through books, movies and food!


A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway - In truth, me and Hemingway just don’t click. But I was determined to read this because it’s my dad’s favorite book and coincidentally enough, it’s his birthday today! It’s about Hemingway’s time in Paris so if you’re curious about what his life was like then, you might be interested in this. 

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly - This is about a girl who is “forced” to go to Paris (that’s just crazy talk!) and while she's there, she finds a journal belonging to someone who lived in Paris two centuries ago. Both stories become intertwined in this part historical fiction, part contemporary book.  [review]

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain - This book affected me so much more than I expected it to. It’s the story of the marriage between Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, and told from her point-of-view. Even though the inner dialogue of Hadley and some of the events in this book are fictional for the most part, this is what their marriage was like and your heart will just break for Hadley. [review]

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - When I think of characters I feel the most similar to, Anna comes to mind. Take that, plus Paris and the wonderful Etienne St. Clair and this is just a must read for YA fans. It really made me nostalgic for Paris (I read it after my trip). [review]

Paris, My Sweet by Amy Thomas - This is a memoir dedicated to Paris and food. The main character is a single woman living in New York (and loving it!) and decides to move to Paris for a year. In both cities, she talks about specific desserts and bakeries to check out (I wrote them all down!) and it was undoubtedly my favorite part of the book. [review]

Just One Day by Gayle Forman - Two people who meet, unexpectedly and immediately connect and decide to spend a day in Paris together that neither of them can forget? THIS IS LIKE MY FANTASY (and the plot of my favorite movie). [review]

A Darkness Strange & Lovely by Susan Dennard - As if zombies in Philly during the 1800s wasn’t cool enough, in the author’s second book in the series - we’ve got zombies in Paris! Which is creepy but I don’t mind because hey, Daniel Sheridan and Eleanor Fitt (and the other Spirit Hunters) are awesome and will save the day. [review]

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay - This book switches between past and present day France as a journalist is asked to write an article on Vel’ d’Hiv’s (a raid and mass arrest of Jews in Paris by French police) 60th anniversary. It’s an emotional book that explores Paris’ past and the main character’s personal life.  


Amélie - Amélie is a cult French film about a young shy waitress who wants to change the lives of those around her for the better but at the same time struggles with her own loneliness. It's known for its bright and whimsical cinematography and was my introduction into French film. 

Moulin Rouge - I sorta have a thing for bright and whimsical and this is a musical so.. needless to say, I became obsessed with this movie the first time I saw it. I listened to the soundtrack over and over and I couldn't get enough of the song Come What May (I even learned how to play it on the piano!). It's been forever since I've watched and I know it's not for everyone but you guys, at least check it out once if you haven't already. 

La Vie En Rose - I checked out this movie for two reasons: I love the song "La Vie En Rose" and Marion Cotillard is one of my favorite actresses. It's about the life of singer Edith Piaf and her story is  in all honestly, a very sad and dark one. It's not a movie you'd want to watch over and over again but Marion Cotillard's transformation to play Edith Piaf is absolutely amazing and I really enjoyed the music. 

Before Sunset - I've mentioned that this is my favorite movie many times now and last year I wrote this whole thing about it. And I'll be talking about it again on the blog next month (it's a surprise!). So all I'm going to say right now is - watch it. 

Love Me If You Dare - I just discussed this movie a few weeks ago with the lovely Corey Ann Haydu so I will directly you there. But again, this is a favorite. 

Two For the Road - When people think of iconic Audrey Hepburn movies, Two For the Road isn't at the top of the list but it's my favorite movie of hers. I think because at the time when I first watched it, I saw something in the relationship between the main characters that reminded me a relationship (and I use the term loosely, it was more a train wreck) I was in. But I love watch two very different people fall in love and seeing the whole trajectory of their relationship, the good and bad. 


And now I save the best for last.. my favorite french foods! (starting top-left, clockwise)
  • Duck confit - It's fried duck leg with garlic and herbs and so, so savory. It's delicious! 
  • Macarons - No surprise here. Ever since I had them at Laduree, it's become one of my favorite pastries. It's ridiculous how many I can eat it one sitting. 
  • Seafood bouillabaisse - It's a type of stew that's basically exploding with seafood. 
  • Escargot - This totally gets a bad rap but it is NOT gross and slimy. Every time I see it on a menu, I always ask whoever I'm with if we can get it. It's drenched in garlic and butter and SO good. 
  • Croissant - You might be thinking croissant? What's the big deal? But let me tell you, after I had a croissant in Paris, I couldn't eat the croissants here for months. They are just perfection in France. 
Have any of you ever been to Paris or love it as much as I do?
I would love to hear your experiences and/or 
your favorite French books/movies/foods!
Happy Bastille Day!

4 comments:

  1. I love this post! I visited in 2009 and I definitely loved Paris as well! My favorite was visiting Versailles because I've always been a huge Marie Antoinette buff and the extravagance of the palace was amazing. I also love the food because there's a lot of cheese, bread, and meat, which is basically my entire diet. So yummy!

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  2. Aww this makes me want to visit Paris! I've been wanting to go for AGES and now I want to go even more! Thank you for this post because now I can have a fun staycation to Paris! And mmm, macarons and croissants are so good. I can't say I've ever had authentic ones from Paris as I've never been but I have had some pretty good ones and can only imagine how much better they'd be from France!

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  3. All the food has me drooling! Macarons and croissants <3 <3. I'm so happy that we can get both of them stateside and while they'll probably never be as authentic as the French ones, I'm happy that I'm still able to taste them.

    I love Amelie and the Paris Wife was such an incredible book! It's a story that affected me a lot more than I thought it would

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  4. I am pretty much obsessed with this post! While I'm not as much of a Francophile as you appear to be, I do have a deep appreciation for France, Paris and French culture too. It is my dream to one day make it to Paris and visit all these beautiful places, and eat all this delicious food!

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