Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shut up, Woody Allen

Today I finally saw Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen's most recent film.  It was charming and romantic, beautifully shot, with an excellent cast (particularly Corey Stoll as Hemingway) and a fun storyline, and I hated it more than words can possibly convey.  But why???  Well, because it's a movie I would have absolutely loved before I moved here, and will doubtless absolutely love it when I watch it again in the future when I no longer live here.   At that point, I'm sure it will tug at my heartstrings and make me wallow in misty nostalgia about "ahhhh, Paris; living there was so great, I miss it so much" - but right now, it makes me want to force-feed  escargots to Woody until he passes out from snail poisoning.

I mean, having your main character give up a lucrative career to live the life of a starving writer in Paris?  You really want to get me started on that one, having done it myself?  Sure, have him give up wine tastings on the rooftop of the Meurice and private showings of the Monets at the Orangerie - why not?  It's soooooo much more fun to live on packets of ramen noodles (plus you get to go all the way to Chinatown in order to buy the cheapest ones, thereby seeing even more of Paris - good times!).  It's soooooo much more fulfilling to have to eat at home every night so that you can afford to go out and have a drink with your friends afterwards (because you can't afford to both eat and drink at the café).  Oh yes, indeedy, that whole living-in-poverty-for-your-art thing is just awesome - it's a testament to Owen Wilson's affable persona that I didn't want to slap his face off every time he bitched about his highly-paid Hollywood job as a "hack" writer.  Dude, I would be happy to be a hack.  I would be thrilled to sell my soul into well-paid corporate servitude as a writer, because selling my soul would be infinitely preferable to selling one of my kidneys, which may very well be how I pay next month's rent.

Don't get me wrong, Paris is indeed awesome and living here is a great experience in many ways, but it's not all wine and waterlilies.  I mean, I know the movie is a fantasy, but I assure you that, in Paris, time-travel back to the 1920s is far more likely than:  a) finding a friendly shopkeeper, b) walking on streets which are miraculously free of dog crap, or c) strolling the streets of Montmartre without approximately 87,346 tourists strolling along with you at any hour of the day or night.  

Woody, your vision of Paris is very sweet and beautiful and charming, but until you've applied for a Carte Vitale, or had to file a French tax return, or been snubbed by yet another Parisien for not speaking absolutely perfect French, you have no idea about actually living in this town - next time, you might want to stick to New York...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Things you might see on the Metro

Man, you just have to love dogs - they really just make the best of any situation, don't they?  This little dude had to squish himself into the most uncomfortable-looking position of all time in order to lie down out of the way (I got this shot at a stop when hordes of people got off the train, just before the next hordes piled into the train), but there he is, perfectly happy.  I'm sure there's an inspirational thought in that somewhere, so if anyone turns this photo into one of those affirmation-of-the-day posters, don't forget to send Miss K a royalty cheque, okay?   

Monday, November 21, 2011

The lost weekend (and about a week on either side of it)

I have a vague memory that I used to write a blog - this is it, right?  It's been a while, it all seems very unfamiliar...  Wow, where have the last two weeks gone?  Well, I'll tell you what happened - I had a party.  A housewarming party, in fact.  Now, those of you who are regular readers are probably saying something along the lines of "Really, Miss K, a housewarming party?  Really?  Didn't you move quite a while ago?  In...ummm...July?!?"  Well, yes, I did, and I wrote about it at the time (APARTMENT, bitches) but I never quite got around to warming my damn house, so it was high time I entertained chez moi.  

The problem, however, is that I have some kind of freaky German hausfrau gene buried deep in my DNA and it only emerges when I am having people over and it makes me buy and cook insane amounts of food, because GOD FORBID anyone ever be hungry under my roof.  So I spent a whole week running around getting ready for this party, then had the party (which was excellent, by the way), then had to clean up after the party and somehow managed to mess up my back, which meant that I spent pretty much all of last week lying around zoned out of my mind on painkillers.  You might be thinking that all that lying around might have been a good time for me to catch up on - oh, I don't know - blogging, perhaps?  But when I say I was zoned out, I mean zoooooooooned out.  I couldn't possibly subject my gentle readers to such random, incoherent babbling from me; obviously I had to get off the painkillers and clear my head so that I can subject you to my normal random, incoherent babbling...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Return of the Redneck - Part 2

Day 2 with Mrs Redneck back in Paris for a visit (Day 1 didn't count because we were very busy drinking.  What??  She lived here for three years, she didn't want to visit the Eiffel Tower again, she wanted to drink French wine.  I mean, come on...) consisted of  walking around the Grand Palais and going into the Petit Palais to look at the permanent collection there (note to visitors:  I recommend this - not only is it a nice, but small-enough-to-see-in-a-couple-of-hours collection, it is also free, and the café is lovely.  A little tip from Miss K to you...).

After that, it happened to be Fashion Night Out in Paris, where we drank champagne at Gucci, schmoozed at Nina Ricci, ate canapés and chilled out, I'm not telling you the best place to go (sorry, gentle readers, but Miss K intends to go there again next year and it's a bit of a secret!).  Tomorrow - dead kings and queens and puppies and kitties.  I know, never a dull moment...

Really, cow skulls as a decorative motif??

You'd think we were at Versailles

View from the café

View from the café

Just a few people out for Fashion Night Out

This dog was the star of the show at Nina Ricci

Heading home...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Return of the Redneck

Long-time readers of this blog will remember my awesome friend Mrs Redneck, star of such posts as  Charming Chartres, Vincennes with the Rednecks and the ever-popular Reims with the Rednecks.  Well, she had the nerve to abandon me and move back to the States in January but at least she came back for a visit in September.  And since I arranged my schedule so that I didn't have to work while she was here, and since Mrs Redneck is a big fan of the "well, you'll sleep enough when you're dead" philosophy of travel, we were slightly busy while she was here.  To wit, this is what we did in one week:

Two chateaux
Two parks
Three cemeteries
Three cathedrals
Four events
Five museums
Seven restaurants
Eighteen cafés

Not to mention about 8000 miles of walking (slight exaggeration) and taking 1,113 photos (no exaggeration at all, I just counted).  Which is the reason why I haven't managed to get around to writing about it - I'm still sifting through all those photos.  But it's all coming soon...