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.

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.

Right Here Right Now

It’s Friday! Here are some things that made this week:

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PACKING: for a week at the beach, leaving tomorrow morning. I can’t wait to swim and lay in the sand and hear the waves and smell the air, and sit on the porch swing reading with morning coffee. I’m hoping to fit in a few runs and also wake up one morning for the sunrise. Mmmm.

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LISTENING: to alllllllll the podcasts on nightly walks with Lucy. Most notably Mortified (found via A Cup of Jo), Note to SelfThe Moth, but lots of others too.

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DRINKING: lattes. Iced. Preferably with a side of crumb cake.

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READING: Euphoria & Not That Kind of Girl. Euphoria was a gift from my grandma for my birthday and I read it like wildfire in two short days. It was fascinating and beautiful and made me want to learn lots more about Margaret Mead. I found Not That Kind of Girl on the dresser of the lady I babysit for and have been reading it while hanging out at home with the kids all week. I haven’t seen Girls but this book makes me a solid Lena Dunham fan–it’s smart and funny and all of the other wonderful things people have said about it.

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Processed with VSCOcam with c2 presetPAINTING: flowers & scenes from my trip to Boone with Mike last week. Hoping to keep it up at the beach and going forward. I haven’t painted things from sight for a long time and it’s lots of fun to stretch my brain like that.

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HANGING: out with two goobers. Every day I’m more grateful to be getting to know these kids this summer–even if Eloise beats me at chess every time + Sammy steals things from my room every time he comes over.

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THANKING: the universe for wonderful friends to chat with and wonderful boyfriends to bring sunflowers and a wonderful garden to pick lots of sungold tomatoes and make delicious fresh pesto from. Happy to be home and looking forward to a very busy few months.

Summer on Film \\ 001

Some photos from the first week of summer vacation–I have several more rolls developed and several others waiting to be shot.

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Hiking the Eno with Julie.

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Late afternoon at the Green Bean, writing.

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Boba tea with lovely hilarious people.

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Walking, walking, walking, usually the same paths to the same places but more often now with the company of a podcast.

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Lunch date.

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More hiking, more walking, more chocolate and laughs.

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Candles before bed.

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He doesn’t love posing but I love taking pictures and this one is lovely.

I think every roll I take I love a little bit more. This first try was new for me because I’d never shot in color before and I was still figuring that out. It’s amazing to me how differently my brain works when trying to capture an image in black & white–I think it requires an attention to different elements and an awareness of unique capabilities. I wish I could develop these myself (I miss the process so much), but dropping them off at Walgreens is more efficient + accessible + works just fine.