Paris in September

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I spent the weekend before last in Paris with friends. It was beautiful and happy and a little bit magical. I love that place! But also coming back to Madrid was so welcome; the trip made me realize how much this city is starting to feel like home, however temporary, and also I so appreciate being able to communicate! Someone recently told me that not being able to speak the language of the place you’re in is like having your hands tied behind your back and I agree so completely. Language is power, having the power to communicate is something I always hope to cultivate.

All that aside, Paris is a really wondrous city and I had the best time for those few days.

My one request for our itinerary was a visit to l’Orangerie Museum–it was arguably my favorite part of the trip I took two years ago and it struck me just as hard this time. Seeing those water lilies in action is such a profound experience. They are SPECTACULAR, I tell you! There is absolutely no way to appreciate their magnitude and depth other than in person. And I’ve seen them in person twice! Lucky duck, I am.

Other notable things from Friday : being touristy @ the Louvre, pastries at Odette, boat tour on the Seine (so much fun!), and a delicious dinner involving a bottle of red wine and french onion soup, yum.

  

  

Saturday : Picnic by the Eiffel Tower! So yummy and cheap and the view wasn’t half bad 😉 On the recommendation of the lovely Alison Graham we spent the afternoon in the Jewish Quarter exploring shops and art galleries–and of course I bought a t-shirt at Cheap Monday. You can never have enough basics, is what I have to say about that. We grabbed sushi for dinner and then had THE BEST EVER crepes as a late night treat. I am not kidding when I say that they were some of the most delectable things I have ever put into my mouth. I’m developing an increasing dread that I will never again have a crepe without sighing longingly in remembrance of those. RIP, dear crepes.

  

Sunday : We went to the Catacombs and they were amazing. The amount of bones in that place is unbelievable, and being so far under the ground is a crazy feeling. You can’t help but think about all the rock pressing down above you and the possibility of its collapse (!!!). Overall, highly recommend. Afterward we did lots of walking, hot chocolate drinking, and macaron eating. We ended up by the Sacre Coeur and spent a long time just sitting and looking. Such an incredibly beautiful spot, and lots of good people watching. It was the perfect way to start bidding the city goodbye before our early flight the next morning.

Merci, Paris! See you soon.

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Real Jardín Botánico // Last Day of September

Today is the last day of September. Sometimes time moves quickly and others slowly but right now it seems to make sense. Almost six weeks I’ve been here, six weeks of fresh days and new friends and quiet observations. Of travel and introspection and a lot of happiness.

  

I can feel the ways I’ve changed this year and it’s so much for the better. I think I am more patient and more kind. I listen more. I am able to be alone, and I like it and crave it and I value time to think. I feel I am more in the present, I can so much more easily let myself feel the good things and let the bad things wash over me like waves until they have tired themselves and I am once more at peace.

I’ve been so frustrated with myself in the past for my failure to finish projects, for not making enough art, for consuming so much more than I created. And then at the beginning of this year, I made goals and I started making them happen; I found things that I loved enough to keep up with. I made a blog–and I haven’t written daily or weekly but I do have a place in the internet with a handful of thoughts and photos and when I feel inspired I come here to create more. I have a project–and I take videos each day and if I miss one day a month it is ok, and at the end I put it all together and it makes me happy. I have a film camera–and I love taking photos and I do it, often. And I feel proud of what I make and I feel like I am finding my voice across mediums. I still soak up media, art, places; I listen to podcasts and to people speaking other languages and to friends telling me their stories, and I read lots of blogs and every modern love article and books (oh I love books!), and I look at painting and sculptures and videos and the things that I’ve made myself. And I make more things! And I think more thoughts! And every day I do the best I can to learn and communicate and to feel peace.

  

I cry easily. The things that move me to sadness make me happy to be feeling so deeply, so wholly; I am grateful to experience such a wealth of emotions upon reading and looking and observing, to derive such depth from people and places I do not know. To know pieces of people that I have not met. I like to internalize the external and I find such grace and humility in taking other people’s stories and weaving them into my own.

  

With love on a Wednesday afternoon.

Cafelito

Sitting on a comfy chair in this place, my favorite café so far in Madrid. The right amount of quiet and cozy, lots of positive energy bouncing around in this small space,. People writing and chatting and and drinking from cups on happy little saucers with warm drinks inside. It’s raining again and here they play quiet jazz with just the right amount of brass, good for these drowsy days.

I wrote my friend Sarah an email this morning and I’m hoping to do more of that. It’s a nice way to excise my thoughts and work through ideas and and easy to keep in touch.

I’m trying to practice things, to write often and take photos and strike the balance between seeing and making // listening and talking. My days are often busy but there are quiet spaces in between, in motion and otherwise.

Today

Today was windy and gray and later on the rain came. I walked home through the park listening to music, soft enough to hear droplets falling between branches shading the quiet paths. The trees are turning here and seeing leaves loose and dry on the ground excites me.

I like the way this coolness feels, the air of it whipping my hair and papers, the need to turn down cuffed sleeves. I like to be in this place, the newness of it and the freedom, the lightness the future holds. The feeling of unsettlement and the act of settling. I like to walk and to wander, to run and think and make new ideas. I need to write down more ideas.

Each day is a little bit different but mostly it all just feels like now.

Currently

Watching this video, in the words of Vimeo, “over and over as I look on as a proud parent.”

I’ve been feeling a great push to make a short film ever since I saw this one last summer by my friend Elizabeth; more recently Sarah’s reflections on her time studying in South Korea have been mega-inspiring. I decided late June to get over my idleness and teach myself a little about what it takes to make a video, starting by taking a few clips each day and then sitting down one afternoon to put it all together. I am super happy with the final product and have decided to make the project a year long; in celebration, one could say, of being 20.

I’m very excited and itching for the end of this month so I can edit footage again! Until then I’ll just be over here takin lil’ clips and watching my own video on repeat 😉

xoxo

Travel || NYC

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The last weekend in July Julie and I took off to stay a few days in NYC / Boston and spend time with lovely women friends. We laughed a lot and ate a lot and walked, walked, walked. It was a very full + active time, and made me so grateful to be a young person with freedom and resources to travel. Below I’ve shared some photos and words about our time in New York; a post on Boston will come later this week.

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DAY 1 (thursday)  :

walking : Times Square, Bryant Park, Union Square Park, the Strand.

noms : NY soft serve (eeee!), Blue Bottle Coffee (that cappuccino!), Ngam (Chiang Mai Fries were A+), and Sundaes and Cones for our second sweet treat (I got the tiramisu ice cream and it was on point, but the green tea was super refreshing and wonderful too. Shout out to Julie for tasting practically every flavor before she chose).

fun people : We had dinner/dessert with a two of my sweetest friends from school, Yumi + Sarah. It was such a funny feeling to see them because it seemed totally natural–there was nothing out of the ordinary in meeting for dinner, just lots of happiness and love. The thing about having cool friends all over is that although I don’t talk to everyone regularly, I have this great sense of pride at knowing these wonderful people doing wonderful things.

                    

DAY 2 (friday) :

noms : Breakfast at Mudshop (super cool vibe/design, good coffee and food), lunch at a tiny Italian restaurant in the Upper East side (thinly sliced lemon on a sandwich! who knew?), macarons from Ladurée, dinner at Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown, tiny dessert plate from a place in Little Italy. Bubble tea!

walking : Museum mile (+the National Academy Museum), little Japanese food store where Julie and I stocked up on candy, Central Park, SoHo, West Village

       

DAY 3 (saturday) :

noms : Breakfast at Brooklyn Bagel (AHHHHHH DELICIOUS!!), Jack’s Coffee (really good iced cappuccino), tiny pastry shop, Gran Electrica (Niki and I got matching tacos and they were delicious.

walking : The High Line, Chelsea Market (I bought a boob mug), Brooklyn Bridge (+waterfront park), (shops in) Dumbo.

We averaged 10ish miles of walking a day and saw so much of the city that way. Niki took us to all the hip spots 😉 and did a great job picking out the places we visited. Also the salesgirl in Alice + Olivia complimented my dress, and I’d say that’s one definite way to measure success, tehe.

Lots of love to you, Niki! See ya soon, kiddo.

Travel || Washington D.C.

Last Sunday Mike and I drove to D.C. so I could put in a visa application for my semester in Spain (!). We were in the city for less than 48 hours but managed to fit in some delicious meals, crazy long walks, and aggressive museum going. I haven’t been for more than 10 years and  it was extra special to spend some brief vacation time with him.

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Day 1: Rooftop view + dinner at Sprig and Sprout. I wanted to see the monuments so we walked down through Georgetown to the Lincoln and WWII memorials-crowded but worth it.

Day 2: A cupcake for breakfast at Baked & Wired (I’m still dreaming of that thing, I swear) and fresh-made guacamole for lunch at Oyamel. We visited the Freer + the National Museum of African Art  + the National Gallery, a collectively spectacular experience. I particularly enjoyed this photography exhibition & the sculpture garden. We took a long walk back and ogled the embassies along the way, lots of which were gorgeous.

Overall, a super fun and active trip. I’m happy to keep traveling over the next few weeks and excited to leave for Spain in a little more than a month.