…Because I am taking an architectural history class this semester. With site visits. Sound familiar? I’ll be writing about all my adventures in Philadelphia and its environs with one of my last cities classes of my college career! Get ready for a post on Thursday!
17 Jan 2013 3 Comments
Apparently I said I would blog on a “semi-regular basis” or something, which was a smart, proactive, and foreshadowing description of my “recent” activity on this blog seeing as I did not write a single blog post last semester. I wrote a thesis though so I guess that’s an accomplishment. Oh, and no more Facebook for me, so I have no idea who will see this post. (email subscribers? are there any of you out there?)
With winter break coming to a close I will present to you some of the world seen from my eyes (or rather, the lens of my cell phone) during that time.
Not a super thematic photo essay but oh well. The photos are fun though!
Finally, I feel compelled to mention that today is a very special girl’s birthday…
Happy 5th birthday to the most photogenic dog in the world! I love and miss you sooooo much.
12 Jul 2012 1 Comment
Dear readers, contrary to popular belief I did not fall off the face of the earth after returning from Paris. I’ve settled into HCA (which once upon a time were called HPA, as I learned from my job) life, and am enjoying the delicious CSA vegetable share that Nate, Peter, and I are splitting for the summer. (However, I’m not really enjoying the mouse that I see scurrying around from time to time).
This could be sort of an epilogue-y post ending the ariellebold enterprise, but I sort of want to keep the blog and update it on a semi-regular basis. We’ll see how that goes until the semester starts.
So yeah. United States. I’m really loving it here now. I’m not feeling nostalgic for France as much as having a newfound appreciation for some American ways of life. This realization could be due to my being a student/boarder more than a tourist, because I am definitely nostalgic for some of the places I’ve visited in Europe outside of Paris. (Am I bad to say I miss Germany a lot?) Since I’ve been back home, I’ve been coming up with a mental list of things that have been culture -shocking. Some of the hardest things I’ve had to adjust to coming back from abroad have been:
- Floor numberings in America being one shorter than they are in France. (Maybe this difference is one of the reasons why America has an obesity problem.) I tend to think I’m a lot higher up now in a building than I actually am. And get confused when I realize I’m lower.
- Businesses being open on Sunday (and grocery stores being open past 2PM). I have this idea in my head now that I can’t go anywhere on Sunday. This is wrong! In fact, now that I mention it, 24-hour locations (read: Wawa, CVS) are sounding pretty awesome to return to as well.
- BOY did I miss diner food. That’s not really a negative adjustment, I’m very excited to have diner food back in my life.
Otherwise, nothing super new and exciting on the horizon except that I’m starting some thesis research, so actually that is exciting. Last week I got stung by a bee on my toe while taking out the garbage, which is a pretty sad way for a bee to die as I didn’t provoke it at all. Yesterday, a week after this bee sting occurred, my toe decided to swell up, which looks funny compared to the other toes but is sort of scary seeing as I’ve never had this reaction to a bee sting before. So now I’m on some antibiotics and wish I had a time-lapse memory so that I could figure out if the antibiotics are working! I’ve saved the stinger for curatorial purposes…to be placed in the museum about me which will be erected in my honor at some point in the near future. Hey, maybe this blog post will make an appearance on the wall description that accompanies it. So meta!
Turning 21 in a few short weeks means I can patronize the newly erected Beer Shop-ee (for cider) and Bryn Mawr Bev (for cider), in addition to the most histper pub + cheese and meat and bread that Ardmore has ever seen. Have I mentioned how much I miss cider? or apfelwein? or German beer? OR the glorious apfelweisse!
20 May 2012 1 Comment
I am back from my weekend trip to la campagne! And it’s my 100th post! And I will be done with finals on Wednesday! And Nate is coming in 4 days! Lots to be excited about. AAAHH!
But this post is about my trip bien sûr. Just to fill in folks: I was invited to Normandy by my internship boss’ boss, who founded AteliersVilles. I worked with her several times over the two months I interned, and she took a liking to me! She and her husband ended up inviting me to their country home a few weeks ago at the end-of-the-year intern party. Which was super nice! I took the train from Paris since they had spent the entire week there and I had class. The train left from Saint-Lazare and arrived in the Trouville-Deauville station in about two hours. The train station serves both Trouville and Deauville, two cities which are connected by a bridge. Odile and her husband picked me up from the train station and we grabbed lunch at a local brasserie where I ate mussels. Odile and I also walked along the shoreline and she showed me the beach cabins that run along the beach for several kilometers, each one being named after an American movie star! Which was sort of strange but funny. After lunch we drove to their home, which was about 20 minutes away. When we got out of the car it immediately smelled like cow poop, so I knew I was definitely in the countryside! Now I know why the French say “la campagne.”
After settling into my room, Odile took me to Honfleur, a neighboring town.
On our way back to the house we stopped along the beach so Odile could show me some of her favorite houses that are au bord de la mer, for lack of a better expression in English. (And with each house, of course, comes the gossip about each of the owners, like the family whose dog always runs away and never thanks the people who bring him back.)
That night I had my first traditionally French home-cooked meal of the entire semester (and it’s already the middle of May!) – with an entrée (appetizer), plat (main dish), salad, and cheese. I have eaten these types of meals out before (actually just at the catered lunch at the Assemblée Nationale) but it has always been funny for me to eat salad after the main course, because in the US it’s typically served as an appetizer.
The next day we went to see a lot of World War II sites, which were about an hour’s drive away from our house. The first place we stopped was at the American Cemetery. They had a free exhibit in a freestanding building next to the entrance that focused on the D-Day operation and Allied Forces tactics in general. Everyone was getting so emotional! The French are still very thankful for the Americans saving their country from the Nazis!!! In fact, so much so that the American cemetery is actually US territory – the French gave it to us as a gift. So throughout our time there Odile and Guy kept saying “tu es chez toi!” (You’re home!)
After spending an hour and a half at the cemetery, we drove to Omaha Beach, the site of the débarquement, and ate at the restaurant located right next to the beach. It turns out that the owner of the restaurant is Odile’s son’s mother-in-law, so we were pretty much treated like family. Since their restaurant is really the only one in this location, it was crowded when we arrived, but we spent a good two hours there because it was raining and we couldn’t really walk on the beach anyway. By the time we finished lunch the rain had stopped, so we were able to explore a little bit and take some pictures.
We then drove from Omaha Beach to Pointe du Hoc, another military site along the shore where battles took place. There were a ton of holes where (I suppose) the Allies fired bombs, and we were also able to see what remained of the German defensive constructions.
Saturday night we also ate dinner at home which was yummy! The drive back to Paris today was about two hours, but given the rainy weather that was to be expected. And we beat Parisian traffic woohoo! The weather this weekend wasn’t super great for most people, but I liked it. It was grey out but not cold at all, so it was still enjoyable to be outside. I am really happy to have seen this part of France, and sort of on a whim at that!
16 May 2012 2 Comments
in Study Abroad Tags: architecture, assemblée nationale, eiffel tower, françois hollande, france, graffiti, horses, investiture, les espaces d'abraxas, notre dame du travail, paris, tour de montparnasse, tour eiffel
I leave in exactly 14 days from today, which is crazy. I have a lot going on in between then, including four final exams for three classes, a weekend trip to Deauville (Normandy), and then six days in Paris with Nate! I am really excited to move out of my apartment – time for a change of scenery and some independence.
This post is going to be sort of a hodgepodge of pictures I’ve wanted to post for a while and updates on what I’ve been seeing in the past 48 hours. So here we go:
Tomorrow is another jour ferié (national holiday) so I’ll probably spend the day “studying” or something. Hopefully I’ll have more to post after this weekend after spending the weekend in Normandy!
13 May 2012 1 Comment
If you study with Sweet Briar in the fall semester, orientation is held for a month in Tours, where you get to see a lot of pretty châteaux and enjoy the warm summer weather. For the spring semester folk, orientation was held in Paris for a week. This past weekend, the annuals + us semestrials went on an excursion to see two châteaux just outside of Paris, Château Vaux-le-Vicomte and Château Fontainebleau. I think Fontainebleau is a little more famous, it is the site where Napoleon I was arrested/abdicated and has incredibly rich interior décor designed by famous French folk such as François Ier and Henri IV.
We departed from Paris bright and early at 8:45 in the morning, to arrive at Vaux-le-Vicomte a little before it opened at 10, along with a bus full of old people.
We had two and a half hours of free time until the group reconvened for lunch, which gave us ample time to explore the gardens and go inside the château.
We ate a three-course lunch at a restaurant at the château which was super yummy! I’m on a roll with all these catered meals! Then everyone fell asleep on the bus (probably from the wine) on the way to Fontainebleau. Apparently Fontainebleau is the same size as Vaux-le-Vicomte but it seemed a lot larger, I think because the distance from the entry gate to the building itself was a lot smaller. We had two hours here, and went inside the château before exploring the gardens.
Overall, I think I liked the gardens of Vaux-le-Vicomte over that of Fontainebleau, and the interior of Fontainebleau over that of Vaux-le-Vicomte. And, actually, I preferred Fontainebleau as a whole over Versailles! Which is crazy seeing as how ornate and beautiful Versailles is, but however scaled-down (if at all) Fontainebleau is was preferable to me. I haven’t fully explored the gardens of Versailles yet, so maybe my impressions will change once I go with Nate.
Today I went out for lunch with Allison and have been making the finishing touches on my university “scavenger hunt” paper (as I now call it) due tomorrow. After I hand it in i’ll be on the home stretch, with four exams left which require minimal studying!
09 May 2012 Leave a comment
My History of Paris professor said today that there are 5 cities in Europe that have the best representations of the Art Nouveau style: Barcelona, Prague, Vienna, Brussels, and Paris. And I’ve been to all those places! I didn’t get to see very much Art Nouveau in Vienna, and I don’t remember very much architecturally from Barcelona, but it’s still pretty cool to say that I’ve been to all the best cities representative of my favorite style of architecture.
In today’s site visit (because I still have a week of class!), we walked around the 16th arrondissement, where I had never really been before. Apparently this neighborhood has the biggest architectural variety of anywhere else in Paris – you see Haussmann apartment buildings next to ones built in the 60s and 70s. Very cool, and the neighborhood is super cute to boot. Our focus of this class was on Hector Guimard, Art Nouveau, and the International Style that followed. Guimard is that gangsta who designed all the pretty green wrought-iron entrys to the métro. He became famous a bit earlier than that though, and it was through his connections with Parisian politicians that he was selected to design these entryways. Anyways, the neighborhood that we were in had a good 5 or 6 Guimard buildings still preserved, which is amazing! I was so so so happy. I love Art Nouveau man. AND, my professor brought up again the relationship between Art Nouveau and Gothic which made me happy. My two favs.
I wanted to post all the pictures I took because I love all the buildings. But alas, I narrowed it down to a good 15 or 20.