Thursday, 16 July 2015

La Rive Gauche

I moved into a new flat quite recently. I’ve moved around Paris quite a lot since I have lived here. From all the way in the 15th where I had views of the Eiffel Tower every morning on my walk to uni to the delightful Ice Palace which was just up the road from Gare Saint Lazare and provided plenty of tales from the Mafia Landlady. However now I have really gone up in the world (not quite 7 floors up though, I’m done with that). We have moved to the wondrous 5th arrondissement. With views of Notre Dame and the best bookshop in Paris just down the road, how could one complain?
On my way to the post office today I was walking down Boulevard Saint Germain and I began to ponder on my favourite part of Paris. I decided that I couldn’t really narrow it down so I’ve settle on having the entire Left Bank as my number one Parisian spot. For those who don’t know the part of Paris that is south of the Seine is known colloquially as the Left Bank or La Rive Gauche because when you are on a boat on the Seine it is on your left side. Neat huh?
You wouldn’t think that two halves of one city could feel so different. The Right Bank is a little too busy and mildly sleazy for me. It may have an eclectic nightlife and vibrant personality but I find it much easier to wander through the streets of the Left Bank where I can pop my head in obscure art galleries and buy a cheeky crepe from the vendor around the corner from my flat. The LB is historically more intellectual and feels like the Paris people have written about for centuries. The wide boulevards and the perfectly manicured parks are littered with statues of famous philosophers. Dusty bookshops are ten a penny and it is the perfect place to sit with a book and an espresso outside a café.

There we have it. My reasons for loving my new area. I’m off to go and discuss the meaning of life with some beardy, red wine drinking student. 

Sunday, 12 July 2015

The SitCom

Paris is a crazy place. There is so much happening that is mildly entertaining but also quite infuriating. In order to combat the ever growing list of little annoyances that we come across in everyday life, my friends and I have come up with a little saying to help us through the mad, the bad and the downright weird – “That can go in the sitcom”.
Channel Four’s Fresh Meat is all very well but I have no idea why they decided to set it in Manchester and not Paris. From landlords giving you 24 hours to move out of your flat to shouting at Americans for not even trying to speak French in the supermarket, there are untold hilarities in this fair city to translate into a very funny and bittersweet comedy that is sure to set the world alight. It could become the next international phenomenon. But don’t steal it, this is my retirement fund I’m thinking of here.
I live life by the motto “Do it for the anecdote”. (Oh and “Everything or Nothing” but I must stay away from James Bond trivia here.) What’s the point in doing anything if it won’t make a good dinner party story? This may all sound a bit clichéd but seriously you can’t argue with it can you? I must admit I do like talking and if I can make people laugh at the same time by regaling them with tales of calamities I have lived through then even better. Wildly gesticulating whilst describing how you managed to move two people out of their flats in less than twelve hours is my kind of an evening, especially if I have glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc in my hand at the same time.

So dearest readers, all I ask of you is this – next time you say me ask me the question, “Kate, how has your week been?” and I shall start to (hopefully) delight you with tales of woe and tales of excitement. Until then I shall try and keep the juiciest of details to myself so I can note them down in my ideas for the Sitcom.