January 9, 2010

Paris, Day 1, Part I

A few words if I may...

I know these pictures have been a long time coming, but I have been conflicted because I have so many photos to share. Thus, it has prompted me to think more about what I do on this blog. Skirt Project started out as something totally different than what it is today, but I still have yet to figure out what it is exactly I am posting about. It's been a nail-biting dilemma.

I have long thought that I have ADD, but I don't know that for sure. One thing is certain is that I have MANY interests, and it's hard to categorize all things that I love: fashion, music, writing, cooking, taking pictures, travel, reading, creating - sewing, folding paper, cutting paper, drawing, etc., anything tactile.

WAIT! I'm not done - I love art: to look at art, learn about art, create art and teach others about art. And I love to teach: share knowledge, learn, and learn about others - YOU!
whoever you are...

It can be overwhelming at times, but I do that to myself. I have to keep telling myself that Skirt Project is OK! It's OK if I don't have a million readers. It's OK, if I don't have a fancy page or website, the best photos in the world or even the best writing.

Skirt Project is a recorded public journal of MY existence, development, and experiences. I have no focus, per se, but I like my life and hopefully whoever reads this likes reading about it too. I am still figuring out the semantics of it all, so if some changes occur on this blog or more personal information begins to appear - that is why.

Here is what I do know: Skirt Project is not organized because that's not the way I live my life. BUT, I am trying! I take inspiration from what I see on the web, but also from books, articles, people I learn about and people in my life. I do believe in posting as much original content as possible - that includes pictures and words. [Please excuse yesterday's post. :)] And, I will do my best to update this blog on a regular basis. Except that I don't know what regular means for me, yet, but, I'll figure it out.

That's all I have to say on the subject of Skirt Project... for now.

Thanks for reading, now for Paris!

Mr. Wonderful's gift to me for Christmas was time. He has been extremely busy with his program and is still not finished with his first semester. Time is a wonderful thing to give someone... especially when you can spend time in France. Some would say five days is not a lot of time, but we made the most of it and it was an amazing and magical trip. We had so many wonderful experiences, it's a bit overwhelming to recall them all. So my retelling of the tale will be done in small chunks.

We took the earliest bullet train from Brussels to Paris at 7:30 in the morning. We had first class tickets because they happened to be less expensive than second class, about 59 euros one way. I think it was my first time on a bullet train, I might have taken one in Spain, but I can't remember. I thought it was great! Seats were comfy, interesting material to read, wi-fi, and breakfast.

I see you.

We arrived in Paris at 9 am not knowing what the weather would be like:
Ahhhh. It was glorious. Gare Nord is very close to one of our Must See's in Paris: The Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. With map in hand, suitcase in the other, we set off towards Montmartre, pulling our little carry-on behind us.

A shot of the city and my first impression:
Walking the streets, I understand Parisian style: wide tree-lined streets, ornately decorated white buildings, about six to seven stories tall, with slate roofs. It's a nice scale, and feels nice to "be" in. It's hard not to look up, but one has to be careful of le doo-doo on the streets.

Finally we arrive:
The Basilica of Sacré-Cœur is in Montmartre, the highest point in Paris. Montmartre is a hill, but also known as a bohemian community and for it's famous past inhabitants who lived and worked in the area: Picasso, Modigliani, Dali, Renoir, Van Gogh, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, just to name a few. It was exhilarating to arrive at these stairs, and slightly exhausting to climb them.

The view from the top:
Lovely! It feels so wonderful to be here.

Sacré-Cœur means 'sacred heart'. This church was envisioned, planned and began construction in the 19th century. I thought it interesting to learn that it's built in a Romano-Byzantiine style, to counteract the neo-classical construction and buildings in Paris.
Sacré-Cœur is made of travertine stone from France with a high content of calcium. This is why Sacré-Cœur always looks white. I know this is nerdy information, but I've always been an admirer of rocks and even started out as a geology major in college.
Which looks beautiful at a distance or from afar. Especially against this blue sky!
I tried to get shots without tourists, but at 9:30 in the morning Sacré-Coeur was swarming.
Sacré-Cœur is open to the public, but we had our luggage and I didn't want to wheel our carry-on inside, so we took turns. I was only inside for two minutes, but let me tell you that it is jaw-dropping-ly gorgeous inside. No photos are allowed, but I didn't learn that until after this photo was taken.

We will definitely have to go back.

A few details:
Everything is so pretty and ornate. Paris is just dripping with decoration!

Cool! A stencil! I add it to my collection and learn that tous suspects means all suspect. An interesting way of informing and reminding everyone of our ever changing world. Merci Paris!

And in the distance:

And we're off!Oh alright, one more shot:
That concludes this post, and this is only our first hour from our trip!

It's snowing here and we have plans to travel to Antwerp. I plan to post Part II and hopefully III of Day 1 tomorrow.

Thanks for reading. Did I mention that I love my life?
I am truly blessed.


schteph said...


Anonymous said...

Loved the 'Manifesto of Willful Confusion'

loved seeing pictures of you in and of Paris (& in the snow)

bet you didn't know *I* started out as a geology major as well!

Machay said...

I open skirt project when I need to be reminded of how beautiful the world is through my friend's eyes. Stick to your winding path.