0 Say it hot

Saturday, April 30, 2011

via via

0 Bring May flowers

I think maybe in my last life I was a florist. Flowers just make me inexplicably happy.

One day, when I have an apartment of my own, I'm going to go to the market every week and buy fresh flowers and it will make everything happy and bright.

via flowers a-z on design*sponge

0 Beautiful people

Thursday, April 28, 2011

This week has been bittersweet on oh so many levels. I can't tell you how excited I am to see my family and friends at home (not to mention to catch up on months' worth of sleep and lose the French wine and cheese weight). I also have had to say good-bye to the many incredible people who became my surrogate family this year. The worst part is, being completely torn about settling in New York versus coming back to France, I just don't know which of them I'll see again.

But I also couldn't have asked for a better last night in Bergerac. We played at open mic at Plus que Parfait and almost everyone I've gotten to know and love this year was in the room. Hugo and I performed "Poker Face" and "Hey Ya" and we had so much fun. (I do a pretty good Andre 3000.. hahahaha...) Then a big group of us went back to Ellie's, where she and Hugo surprised me with a bottle of champagne for my last night and we all drank and jammed some more. The good-byes were tearful, but alas, it's only proof of what an impact these people will always have on me.

some photos (the really good ones) courtesy of ellie

0 It's wedding season!

Who else is excited about the Royal Wedding? We're so pumped over here in France that my friends and I are making a full day's celebration out of it: camping out at an English pub in Bordeaux, where the ceremony will be broadcast on every TV screen, followed by a party at my friend's apartment (dress code: red, white and blue.) Apparently, cucumber sandwiches and scones will be served.

And a bonus about being over in Europe during the Wedding: I get to watch it at noon instead of six am!

Speaking of weddings, I'm slightly obsessed with this safari themed wedding. I love so much about it, like the bouquets of wildflowers, the colorful rainboots, the home-made pies in mason jars, the vintage coffee tins as vases (an idea I might have to steal!), the ceremony in a botanical garden, and that a friend played an original song on the acoustic guitar while the bride walked down the aisle.

0 Direction home

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

While I will definitely be sad to leave France, there are certain things I'm looking forward to at home: my mom's cooking, coffee shops with mugs bigger than your head, and of course, my dog. (Family and friends are obviously a given.) I also can't wait to drive down familiar streets again with the windows down, the sun out, and feel-good music blasting.

1. "Stuntin Like 1901" - Phoenix & Lil' Wayne [mixed by Tumblewoof]
2. "Petite Soeur" - Ben L'Oncle Soul
3. "Save Me" - Aretha Franklin [feat. Santogold, mixed by Diplo]
4. "Rumpus" - Karen O and the Kids
5. "Kiss With A Fist" - Florence and the Machine
6. "You and Me" - Penny & the Quarters
7. "L.E.S. Artistes" - Santogold
8. "Je veux" - Zaz
9. "Mr. Blue Sky" - E.L.O.
10. "Cousins" - Vampire Weekend
11. "Say Aha" - Santogold
12. "Valerie" - Mark Ronson (feat. Amy Winehouse)
13. "Armillistice" - Phoenix & Lil' Wayne [mixed by Tumblewoof]
14. "Your Easy Lovin' Ain't Pleasin' Nothin'" - Mayer Hawthorne

1 April Travels Part II: Aix-en-Provence and Cassis

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence three years ago, and revisiting the city only reaffirmed my love for it. Even Elise has declared it her favorite city in France (over Bordeaux!). During our two days there, we went to Cézanne's workshop, shopped in the outdoor markets, and of course, ate and drank lots and lots of delicious things. Wednesday was a day trip to Cassis, which I had also visited the first time around, but this time it was spring and the sun was out - perfect for eating lunch outside and strolling along the beach with a gelato in hand. We took a boat ride into the calanques, which are breathtaking inlets in the Mediterranean. Afterwards we had a drink along the port and people-watched until the sun went down.

photos courtesy of elise

0 A Song That Describes You

Monday, April 25, 2011

So I knock on the door
Take a step that is new
Never been here before
Is there anyone else here too
In love with beauty?

I forgot for a little bit how much I love Rufus. He's really unlike anyone else. How do you classify his music? Pop-theatrical folk? Tounge-in-cheek opera? (He actually composed an opera a couple of years ago - and dressed up as Verdi at the opening!) He has a way of bringing poetry to music that's never cheesy and always original. (Lest we not forget he sings the most beautiful version of "Hallelujah".)

I was hoping the train
Was my big number
Though I'm chugging along, put away by the crossing hand
We'll be heading for Portland, or Limburgh or Lower Manhattan
Find myself running around
I don't know what it is so get me over

But you got to do it
You got to be there

Tomorrow: travelogue, part deux!

For the record, I'm probably going to stop this 30-day song thing cause it's starting to bore me.. and I'm starting to get annoyed by all the YouTube videos on this blog (are you?).

0 April Travels Part I: Bordeaux, Madrid and Toledo

It was like a mini high school reunion. Laura came to Bordeaux on Saturday, followed by Jake on Monday night. Anna called unexpectedly on Monday afternoon to tell us she was coming down from Paris the next day, so we spent Tuesday walking along the water, drinking wine, and reminiscing about old times. Laura, Jake and I left for Madrid on Wednesday; highlights included Plaza Mayor, the Prado, a flamenco show, a day trip to Toledo, and limitless quantities of sangria and Spanish omelettes.

(photos thanks to Jake)

0 Vintage

Last night, I Stumbled Upon myvintagevogue, a collection of fashion images from the 1920's into the 60's. It's so fun to scour through the photos and see the way fashion has changed, and repeated itself, over the years.

0 Guilty pleasures

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Why I'll miss France: onion and port granité; foie gras; braised veal; antelope with a caramel reduction; Bordeaux Supérieur red; fondant au chocolat; cantal cheese; strong espresso. And that was just tonight.

13. A Song That's a Guilty Pleasure

0 Happy Easter!

On Easter last year, Sophie, Will, Bex and I were hiking along the shore of Lake Malawi. After having run out of food and water, we paid villagers to row us to our hostel. We spent two hours cold and wet in a dug-out canoe, looking up at the bright stars of the Southern Hemisphere, while I thought about my family around the table, drinking dry white wine and eating Easter ham.

Now, in France, we have a picnic planned by the river and drinks as the sun sets. I'll dry my laundry on the clothesline and I'll run to Monbazillac. And still, I will miss going to church with my mom, eating her homemade carrot cake and watching my little cousin embark on an Easter egg hunt in my aunt and uncle's backyard. Those of you who are with family: relish it. I'll count down the days to being with mine, while I relish the last days with the family I've made here.

photo via the daily bunny


Also, it pains me to post this. Day 12: A Song By a Band You Hate.

So, let's watch this to feel better.

0 Easter vacation, and home around the corner

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I've spent the past two weeks having the time of my life: a week and a half in Bordeaux and Madrid with old friends, followed by five days in Provence with a new friend. I've been to the Prado and Plaza de Mayor; I've visited cathedrals in Toledo and beaches in Cassis, the port in Marseille and my old apartment in Aix; and I've drank far more wine and eaten far more delicious food than is healthy for one person.

This year has very much been an experiment in pushing boundaries - in throwing rules and expectations out the window: staying out until the sun rises; singing and playing guitar badly in front of crowds of people; speaking constant, imperfect French; spending money I don't have. No doubt I'll always look back on it fondly as a year of the most intense and carefree fun, the year I said f*ck you to being perfect, the year I learned to live utterly and entirely for myself, the year I was 23 and France was my oyster and life wasn't serious yet. In the process of it, I've met wonderful, kind, genuine people who have seen me on my best and worst days, and for whom I've seen the same. I imagine stepping on the airplane in Paris will be like ripping a band-aid off a fresh wound. People will speak to me in English again and I'll be leaving the continent indefinitely, where all the people I've grown to love this year will stay. So all I can say is: vive the next eleven days, and New York, please be kind to me.

(11. A Song From Your Favorite Band)

0 A week of songs

Thursday, April 7, 2011

7. A song that reminds you of a certain event

8. A song you know all the words to

9. A song that you can dance to

I hope you make it through all six and a half minutes of this, because it really is an other-worldly experience.

10. A song that makes you fall asleep

It's been in the high-70s all week in Bergerac, and happily, tonight has been the first that I've sat down at my computer for more than five minutes. The sun puts me in too good a mood for me to stay away from it. On top of that, I've been on my Easter vacation as of 4:15 this afternoon, my best friend arrives in Bordeaux in 36 hours, and I have two and a half weeks of travel ahead of me. I couldn't be happier.

(Nope, I take that back - I would be happier if I had my camera. Although there's a fun retro feel to the disposables, and I like the anticipation in not knowing immediately how the pictures turn out. Remember that?)

0 A brief travelogue, and more Ryan Adams

Sunday, April 3, 2011

5. A Song that Reminds You of Someone

If I could, I'd fold myself away like a card table
A concertina or a murphy bed, I would,
But I wasn't made that way
So you know instead
I'm open all night and the customers come to stay
And everyone tips but not enough to knock me over
And I'm so tired
I just worked two shifts

6. A Song that Reminds You of Somewhere

This video isn't of the best quality, but I love her little soliloquy before she sings ("It just wasn't New Yawk."). For obvious reasons, this song makes me very homesick.


I had a wonderful whirlwind 36 hours in London: Indian food on Brick Lane, bar hopping in the East End, breakfast and flea markets in Islington, great theater in Hammersmith, Hugh Grant's bookstore in Notting Hill, and a pub crawl to Buckingham Palace, through Hyde Park, past Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament and into Trafalgar Square, and finally, dancing in Convent Garden. I can't wait to get the pictures developed from my Boots' disposable cameras (Buy One, Get One Free).

0 London, baby!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hey, I'm going to London tonight to see Bex and Will! Knowing us, the top priorities will be eating and drinking, but we're also going to a play on Saturday and do some sight-seeing. I haven't been to London since I was twelve, and I'm looking forward to exploring it with real Londoners this time. Right now, I can't imagine being in a country where everything's in English.

Also, Day 4: A Song that Makes You Sad. It doesn't get much sadder or more beautiful than this one. Finding this video led me to the rest of RA&C's BBC Sessions from 2007, which includes all the best songs from Easy Tiger performed to perfection.

1. & 5. busy making other plans 2. yupsterism 3. roderique arisiaman via pulp factor 4. ?