All posts tagged: paris

Rainy Day in Paris

Rain is a common occurrence in Paris and often unexpected. It can be sunny one moment and then the sky will open up and you will be drenched! But there are plenty of things to do in Paris in the rain, and the city takes on a kind of beautiful melancholy. Idea 1: KB Cafeshop + drawing exercise           Situated in the ever more hipster South Pigalle, KB Cafeshop boasts great coffee, sandwiches and homemade desserts. The close quarters of the tables provides a great opportunity for eavesdropping and observing fellow patrons. Creativity Break: “blind” drawing While enjoying your coffee, start people watching. Pick out someone who looks interesting and as discreetly as possible draw a portrait of them. Important: DO NOT look down at the paper. Keep your eyes on your subject until you have finished. (we found it a little awkward to stare at random strangers, so feel free to look around while drawing, just don’t look down!) Hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your Picasso-esque results. Nora: Annie: …

Proust and a dream house

On a lazy afternoon head to your favorite cafe, park, or any other place where you feel comfortable and can spend an extended amount of time. Feel free to bring a friend. Bring the Proust questionnaire (questions about your personality and aspirations) with you and choose at least 8 to ask yourself and your companion. Take your time, but go with your gut when answering. You may find out something you didn’t know about yourself or your friend. Note: We picked Le Pavillion des Canaux in the 19th arrondissement. Situated on the Bassin de la Villette, this coffee shop/clubhouse is filled with funky furnishings and comfortable corners. We especially liked the repurposed bathtub option. At one time a private house, and with the rooms still intact, you will feel at home spending all day reading/writing/chatting or daydreaming. Annie Favorite object at le Pavillon: Nora Favorite object at le Pavillon :  

Found photographs & short stories

Instructions: get your hands on a found image. A photograph, vintage magazine ad, postcard, any image that you did not create. Study the image. What are the first thoughts that it inspires? What story is this image telling? Write a short story or poem based on the image. Use your imagination! If you are in Paris we recommend Images & Portraits (37 rue Charlot, Paris 3e) as the perfect source for acquiring found images. Nora Annie “The Pigeon”

Photo essay: Canal St. Martin/Bassin de la Villette

One of my favorite ways to discover a new neighborhood (or rediscover a familiar one) is with a photo walk. How can I use the camera to capture what catches my eye? Below are the results of a photo walk up the Canal Saint-Martin and Bassin de la Villette in the 10e and 19e arrondissements. All photos taken with a Holga on medium format film. No editing, photoshop or filters.  Do it yourself: Start at the base of the Canal (Quai de Valmy and Rue Léon Jouhaux approximately). Walk north along the canal and once you reach the Jaurès metro continue (slight right) along the Bassin de la Villette. Pro tip: have an end point in mind. In this case mine was Kaffee Bar 19 (26B Rue de l’Ourcq 75019), a lovely place to have a coffee or fresh smoothie after a long walk. Note: photo walks can be done anywhere! Don’t take my directions too seriously. Make up your own adventure!   -Nora

Brocante, Boot Coffee and a Photobooth

Directions: Start at a brocante (antique market). We chose the one at Richard Lenoir/Jean-Pierre Timbaud. Check this website ( for dates and locations. Step 1: Wander through the brocante, while daydreaming. Pick a few objects you’d furnish your fantasy apartment with (or real one if you like). Don’t feel pressured to buy, but take pictures of what you like. What objects speak to you? Why are you attracted to them? What hidden treasures would you hide in that vintage chest?       Nora: There’s nothing more fun than meandering through a Parisian flea market and drooling over antiques. My eye is naturally drawn to old cameras, typewriters, forgotten photographs, and sets of glassware that make me dream of hosting glamourous dinner parties. Most recently I fell in love with a small wooden box complete with a working lock and key. But at 70€ it was just a bit out of my price range. Annie: I have a strange love (maybe addiction is a better word) for admiring decorations and antiques, but with my apartment …

Goutte d’Or

(on Google maps) Directions: Start at Café Lomi (3 ter Rue Marcadet 75018 Paris). Get energized for your adventure with a coffee or tea (we recommend the mocha). Make your way down to LaChappelle metro, try not to use your map. Take random turns. Get a little lost.  Prompts: 1. Take a picture of something red 2. What do you see that surprises you? 3. One word for your walk. What is it? Annie 1. something red: 2. I was surprised by how much of a world apart the “Goutte d’Or” feels, with its mosaic walls and fabric shops. Stretching the idea of “seeing,” I was surprised to see how much I enjoyed wandering around a neighborhood without a map or set plan. I spend so much of my time in Paris glued to my iPhone, racing to make a train or a bus, running down a street with the idea of my destination propelling me. I felt a bit lost turning off my phone and simply taking left or right turns, trying to navigate my …