TILT - #YESALLWOMEN
In the wake of the brutal shootings of innocent victims in Isla Vista this weekend, by a lonely, disturbed, and highly delusional person, (name omitted on purpose to not glorify him or his actions in any way,) the hashtag #YesAllWomen has become a beacon in social media and a battle cry from/for women everywhere.
I sat down and read hundreds of these tweets—accounts of horrible acts of misogyny, prejudice, judgment, unfair treatment, double standards, and basic daily occurrences in which women have felt mistreated or disrespected because of their gender alone. And as summer swiftly approaches I’ve already had 3 experiences to share on the matter.
1) THE SKIN PARADE
It’s amazing how the male landscape changes as summer approaches. Like starved animals awaking from a frigid hibernation they become lascivious, drooling, beasts in the streets. Now rows of the men huddle together to whisper, point, and sometimes-even call out as women walk by in their dresses, shirts, skirts and tank tops. I don’t particularly think I’m anything to bark at, especially in the summer when all of my genetic flaws are morbidly placed on display, but even I feel uncomfortable walking by this gaggle of oglers because they make no attempt to keep their skin-lust under wraps. None.
It’s as if the season itself has given them permission to act on their desires, and we’re to blame for choosing not to die of a heat stroke under turtlenecks and long pants. I told a male friend about this and his response: “the bird and the bees.” As if man’s primal nature to hunt prey and mate makes every crude intention, aside, or grunt acceptable. It doesn’t.
It’s really fucking hot in the summer here in New York, an already trying time for some of us, please don’t make it worse with your gross and disrespectful behavior.
2) IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME DON’T TOUCH ME
So, in New York everyone is trying to make it. Some of the people trying to “make it” want you to grab their promo flyer, hear their song, or buy their CD (ha!) on the streets. Most of the time you can just ignore them as if they’re not even human beings, but I was raised by a sweet loving person so at the very least I will extend a “No, thank you.”—an acknowledgment of their efforts but a decisive attempt to make my position on the matter known. NO, in all cases, means NO. Do we really have to go through this over and over again ad nauseum? NO means NO. Or at least that’s the motto I try to hold onto.
So, it was jarring to me when the man, walking with his entourage of men, disregarded my attempt at polite decisiveness to mean that he could place his hand on my shoulder and suck his lip while looking me up and down and mumbling something I didn’t understand because I was wearing headphones and listening to music at the time. I jerked away from him and kept walking HOPING that they didn’t decided to follow me. And even though it was broad daylight on a crowded street, I still looked behind me for 3 blocks just in case.
Would he have grabbed at a man that politely declined his EP? Probably not.
3) NOT ALL MEN
But how can we tell? As I was leaving a party on a rooftop, I got in the elevator alone and at the last second a male building worker got in with me. He stood in one corner and I in the other. I didn’t know him, but I found myself sizing him up. He was bigger than me, certainly stronger. He knew his way around the building and he may know how to stop the elevator. For 25 floors I thought of all the scenarios that could go horribly wrong in which I could find myself a victim of some crime at the hand of this person. Were my shorts too short? If I keep looking at my phone will that make me invisible or will he become enraged that I haven’t even bothered to look his way? Am I doing something that will provoke him? I don’t think I took a single breath for 25 whole floors. And when we reached the lobby, he let me out first, like a gentleman and smiled. I suddenly felt bad that I had judged him, but every thought and every worry I had in that elevator has been perpetuated by a social climate that tells women it’s THEIR fault that bad things happen to them at the hands of men. It’s something WE do to provoke them. And even though I’d like to think I’m an intelligent female, I am a female, and I’m not immune to said societal constructs and pressures.
Not all men are evil. We know this. But evil men don’t come with warning labels. Evil men come disguised as neighbors, fathers, brothers, co-workers, teachers, priests and even young, privileged sons of Hollywood directors, so how do we make a change? How do we get to a place where women don’t have to look over their shoulder all the time like targets? I don’t have the answer. I wish I did.
It’s going to be a long summer.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED WATCHING HALLMARK CHANNEL’S ‘COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS’ MOVIES.
So, my mom and aunt came to visit me in New York City recently, and in true family tradition we would snuggle up in front of a television—as is the case in my tiny apartment, that snuggling took place on my bed—and they forced me to watch the Hallmark Channel “Countdown to Christmas” movies every chance we got when we weren’t wandering the city.
After watching at least a dozen of these “films” I’ve noticed a few similarities. Here is what I’ve learned about the art of the Hallmark Channel Christmas movie.
By the 12th movie of Christmas, the Hallmark Channel taught to me…
All movies share a budget of $100k MAX.
This includes cast and crew.
They cast actors from the 80’s + 90’s that you just assumed were dead.
The Hallmark Channel, in an attempt to give C-list actors a final gasp of “artistic” humiliation, is currently employing all the actors you thought were dead or working on a Cruise Ship somewhere. Remember Saved By The Bell? Remember when Kelli broke up with Zach for Jeff, the hot manager of their hangout, The Max? Well that guy is Patrick Muldoon and he was the love interest in one of these movies, so were Bonnie Sommerville, Shelley Long, Crystal Bernard, Shannon Elizabeth, Jesse from Saved by The Bell, Joey Lawrence, uh, JOHN BENDER (Judd Nelson) and other countless actors from the 80’s and 90’s that shaped my childhood—including Roger Moore who plays a crusty old curmudgeonous fuck—and have now gone to die; slow morbid deaths of terrible plot lines and insipid dialogue, over on the Hallmark Channel.
Ye Olde “Hire someone to be your significant other for the Holidays so your family will get off your back” is a beloved plot line.
Don’t worry, the act of forcing someone to spend 72 hours with you will result in true love. First of all, Fuck you. I’m so sick of this storyline mainly because I’ve seen it one billion times. But also because it’s basically telling single people that their lives are meaningless without a significant other and it will cause deep disappointment and resentment in the hearts of their beloved families. Cool. But, the thing that bothers me the most about this tired plotline is that it’s never true to life. The guy or girl doesn’t take your hard earned cash, then plays nice for a few days in front of your batshit crazy family, and finally spends it on a Cabo Vacation with their hot model significant other like they do IN REAL LIFE. No, here at the Hallmark Channel we’re taught that if you merely get someone to pretend to be your fiancé for the holidays they will meet your family, see you in a whole new light, and FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU within 24-72 hours, and then, of course, actually become your husband/wife by the end credits. Again, fuck you. Lies.
Santa is real, he grants wishes, and has a ton of descendants living among us with names like “Krissy Kringle” and “Hanna Claus”
What? Stop it. I understand that the idea of Santa Claus is the whole reason we even care to put up lights and drink Mint Mocha Latte’s anymore, but please stop telling us that he actually exists, or that he can create Christmas Magic like getting your family back together or finding you the love of your life if you simply happen upon an old man with a beard and just “believe.” And, no, he doesn’t have descendants looking for love living among us and creating ‘Naughty and Nice’ lists all over the place. Nope.
ALWAYS. BE. OVERACTING.
Maybe these actors deserve to be in this purgatorial cinematic tragedy. I went to theater school and worked professionally in the acting community of Miami, Florida for a large portion of my adult life, up until now, and I can honestly say that EVEN THEN, this is still some of the worst overacting I’ve ever seen. Especially, from the children in these movies. Thus proving that 8-12 year olds are the biggest, most annoying little a-holes out there—indicating all over the place and cheese-grinning like they’re in an ad for Disney World the whole time. Ugh. Parents, when was the last time your tween pried themselves away from their iPhones or iPads to help you make a cookie much less try to find you a spouse? Exactly.
The movies involving tweens in the plot are by far the worst, give me Miracle Santa or Courageous Sled-dog any day.
If there is a dog in the movie, he’s either a set piece or saving the day. Either way, there’s a dog and that’s better than a dumb precocious 11 y/o scene-stealer.
[No picture because, again, racism]
I’m not an activist or anything but it’s shocking how few minorities ever appear in these movies much less are the romantic leads. Maybe they’re all suffering their own purgatorial demise over on BET or Telemundo.
The “Scrooge” plotline.
If Charles Dickens were alive today he’d be a gazillionaire with the amount of royalties he’d get from the countless remakes they’ve made of his novella. How lazy are screenwriters these days? The contemporary twist they’ve added over at Hallmark is that the protagonist of “Scrooge” is always some frigid, workaholic, woman who is too busy trying to get ahead in the workplace to find love. Well, no duh. Women these days HAVE to make “that cheddah” because deadbeats. These favored archetypes are also seen as Angels…
They exist! Nope, just kidding. These Angels are just the primordial matter that appears as a real person while their body is laying in hospital somewhere in a coma. Again, they’re usually workaholic women that got into an accident trying to rush to an afterhours meeting of utmost importance, and now they’re toeing the line between dead and alive— because career women who choose their career over popping out kids and being a doting wife are awful creatures and should be punished, or at least taught a lesson. They are given one more chance to get to heaven by “the guy upstairs” but first they have to selflessly help some widowed dad and their tween, and of course she finally falls in love with the family unit and WANTS to stay home and bake cookies and make popcorn garland and now life finally makes sense! But oh no, they found love only to be beamed up to heaven, it’s so unfair! Right? C’mon it’s Hallmark, you know that that born again twat gets another chance to live! And by live I mean she gets to be the matriarch of some homogenized family unit. The more I write these the clearer it is to me that the Hallmark Channel is owned by the Westboro Baptist Church.
EXTERIOR SHOTS LIE
Most of these movies are set in chilly cities where snow and nationally televised parades happen, ie: New York, Chicago. But then suddenly we’re forced to suspend our disbelief yet again when we see our protagonist walk out to a front porch or outdoor seating area in nothing but a long sleeve shirt and jeans as they kick up the fake snow, ahem, LA. Nobody is buying it. I live in NY and from experience I can tell you, a) what porch? b) Hypothermia.
Every single one of these movies has a scene that involves either the making of or the eating of sugar cookies. Sometimes the act of making sugar cookies is the vehicle by which two utter strangers fall in love with each other in the time it takes to make sugar cookies— 23 minutes including the preheating of the oven, FYI. Fuck engagement chicken, ladies. Start making sugar cookies.
Every single word uttered, plot line, zippy twist, time-table in which love is found, miracle, and plate of food served is a lie. It’s not real life. It’s not anything that can even be remotely found in real life. Which is ok, because, hey, it’s a movie and it’s Christmas time and both those things were created purely on lies since the dawn of time. But still, just once I’d like to see Santa fail, or the dog eat his bone instead of saving the day, or the 13 year old ignore all the cheery tidings because he’s too busy snap-chatting, or the guy ask the girl to pass by his house if she’s in the neighborhood to “hang out” aka fuck her and never call her back so she cries herself to sleep in a pool of over-bourboned egg nog, because then I wouldn’t feel so dreadfully left out in a world full of miracles, especially at Christmas time.
But all that said, I still watch these movies non-stop. Maybe because Christmas is my favorite holiday and I can look past the lies in order to get a nice cup of cocoa for the soul. Or maybe it’s because watching them reminds me of my mom and I miss her. Or maybe because I’m not a TOTAL cynical asshole and I do have joy in my heart. Or maybe because I do, I DO BELIEVE.
Merry Christmas, jerks!
THINGS I LEARNED AT GOVERNOR’S BALL
This weekend I partook in one day of the music festival held at Randall’s Island, NYC. I will start off by saying that I did have a lot of fun, the bands were good and traipsing around high in the mud was kind of amusing. Now, let’s get real…
1) I’M TOO OLD FOR MUSIC FESTIVALS
This was an alarming realization. My whole life I’ve been drawn to music and music events and concerts, and musicians and music, music, music. Love them can’t get enough, until yesterday. The median age at this thing was 23, at most. I pretty much knew that it would be that way, but thought “who cares, I’ll get high and be on their level and it will be fine.” Wrong. The weed made me hypercritical and I was just stuck in a prison of my own witty commentary about my surroundings for hours. I felt like I had tapped into the crotchety mindset of our parents when they just couldn’t understand us and our “fucking vibe, man.” at that age. It was horrifying and I just wanted it to stop. And then there was a peace that came from the understanding that we are ALL unbearable assholes from the time we’re 17-27. Like the lost decade of just pure assholedom where we think we know every fucking thing and we’re so cool, but we’re just mindless drones trying like Hell to fit in and not fall over from the stress of not knowing anything about anything at all. I know this is a sweeping generalization so I speak for myself when I say that though I was never the ordinary bippity boopity boppin 23 year old sunny dispositioned flower girl with an agenda of fun and good times, I was still an asshole in my own right. And very possibly still am. These people were assholes, in the way we all were, just bopping around aimless like cattle in cut off shorts. Which brings me to:
2) “23” YEAR OLD GIRLS ARE THE WORST
Let’s be honest, they are. If you’re one of them, you are. I was, you are, nobody’s exempt. Maybe Anais Nin at 23 or Gertrude Stein or Madame Currie. But not you. (or I) Here’s why these girls are just super lame.
2A. FLOWER CROWNS/HEADBANDS.
Why the hell is this a thing again? Back in the late 60’s when this shit was remotely relevant these floral headpieces represented a viewpoint on the political climate at the time. They were a token of a deep philosophical belief held by these bra hating females that we should all love each other, enjoy the fruit of the land, surround ourselves with beauty and be at peace with our universal brothers and sisters, I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist. Moreover the flowers that they put in their flowing beach waves were actually REAL flowers picked from the soil of the Earth. They were NOT synthetic flowers sewn together by immigrants in Guatemala and sold for $25 at Urban Outfitters, you morons. Do you see the contradiction here? I have no problem with people picking some flowers and sticking them in their hair, running around barefoot high on mushrooms one of their 12 roommates grew out back in their commune/farm house thing and talking about Occupy Taksim Square. THAT I get and it’s adorable, kind of. This new stock of flower power chicks are just a bunch of girls that aren’t even interesting enough to look beyond the LFBoston instagram feed to find their identity. It’s boring. Boring and dumb.
Here’s an example. That outfit is made of leather, synthetic materials and the tears of underpaid sweatshop children. Hardly hippie-like.
Didn’t bring your own high priced floral headpiece? NO PROBLEM we made some for you that we’re willing to sell you for hard cash cuz we’re all just a bunch of capitalists disguised as people who care.
2B. THEY ARE ALL MEAN GIRLS
They are. They’re all skinny wenches with mermaid hair who underhandedly torture their “fat friend” by making the poor girl carry around the Spongebob Squarepants balloon all day in the “Tough Mudder” conditions. They do this, as I suspect, by telling her that she will be holding the beacon that will bring the group together at all times because “OMG WOULDN’T IT SUPER SUCK IF ONE OF US GOT LOST?!, Gosh, Brenda you’re the best for carrying the balloon, really!!!” Meanwhile we all know that what they’re really doing is spotlighting where the fat friend will be at all times and avoid her like a chubby plague. I saw Brenda wandering around with her balloon wondering where her friends were. After all she had the balloon were they coming to find her? NO, Brenda, they’re off smoking joints and drinking beers at the stage that you’re not at. It’s cool though, B, you’ll be ok, this will teach you about people, your pain will be turned into some fucking awesome expression of art, you will write fiction or non-fiction books, make a ton of money, and you will rule. Just not now. You don’t rule right now—you’re 23.
2C. SHOES, BITCH.
Shoes say a lot about a person. They say more about women as a gender. They say even more about you when the conditions of the ground match the LaBrea tar-pits after a hurricane. I don’t know about these people but after a single Instagram photo, post, text, or just being alive in NYC for one second before days 2 and 3 of Governor’s Ball, there was ZERO way you didn’t get the proverbial memo that this place was a mudfest.
The ONLY acceptable form of footwear was either head-to-toe Hazmat or Rain boots. Right?! Right.
So why, God, why did you show up in white Keds? Those aren’t that cute ever, but now—in ankle deep mud—they just seem ill-informed. You could wash them, I guess, but it’s probably not worth it at this point.
Flip Flops. Ugh, just ugh. Those stupid things lasted all of 3 minutes in the mud didn’t they? Now you’re walking around BAREFOOT in the sludge of scabies and feces and urine. How’s that going for you?
Suede tan booties. SUEDE. TAN. BOOTIES. Seriously? Just throw those things away immediately. They are fucking ruined. I know they’re the footwear of choice in every Free People/UO/Anthropology catalog but c’mon!!! Dump ‘em. Don’t even mock them with a ride on the subway like they have a chance in hell of recovering what you just put them through. It’s mean. You’re a mean girl. See?
Exhibit A: self explanatory.
3) EVERYONE IS AN ANIMAL
3A. GIRL WHO YELLED AT ME FOR DROPPING A WATER BOTTLE.
So, our friend passed out cuz of the heat or something and as we’re carrying her over to a security seating section I was faced with a decision—continue to help my friend carry her or preserve the Earth and my bottle of water. I chose to carry her to safety so she wouldn’t be face-down in the putrid waste of Governor’s Ball. MY BAD. I was quickly scolded by a synthetic flower wearing hippie freakshow with the following: “UMMMMM EXCUSE MEEEEE, you “DROPPED” your water bottle, ummm she might like some of it.” she then scoffed and handed the bottle back to me. Riighhht, I’m the asshole in this situation because, “Sorry about the AIDS on the bottle, friend, I’m sure you’ll find my backwash refreshing and hey, that fine upstanding citizen also saved the planet while you were passed out. Cool, huh? Drink up.” is clearly what I should’ve been thinking about in the heat of the moment. You, you judgmental do-gooder are an animal, yes you.
3B. GUY WHO PUT A BOOGER (OR OTHER UNIDENTIFIED GOOEY SUBSTANCE) ON MY ARM
You’re a fucking animal. Yes, this happened. No, I’m still not over it. My apologies to the Nerdy Indian guy in front of me whose book bag I tried to rub it off on to no avail. I’m sure you understand I couldn’t touch it with my bare hands, and until my friend scrounged up a napkin it was the only recourse I had. The booger guy and I are animals, but he’s a bigger grosser animal, for sure.
3C. EVERY BAREFOOT PERSON THERE.
Disgusting. Kill yourselves. Actually you won’t need to because the violent and deadly disease you’ve contracted from the filth is surely working it’s way to doing just that.
(See Exhibit A.)
In closing…I had a really good time and might even go again. (Although, probs not.) xo
Paris Diaries - Day 5
Rain, St. Germain, and friends again.
It’s day 5 and the unseasonal rain is bringing us down. Not willing to let another day go by with us trapped in our surrounding neighborhood we decided to venture to St. Germain and hit up the Musee D’Orsay. If we were going to be trapped indoors we should at least be surrounded with fine works of art, right? Right.
We did our best to compile a rainy-day ensemble which basically meant wear the same jeans we’ve been wearing for four days, pile on sweaters, and kiss our spring dresses au-revoir, for they are never to see the light of day outside the closet in which they hang.
Out the door we went. We set our destination to the Café du Marché as it was pretty central within St. Germain and what we wanted to see. We got the usual Café Aulaits and peered as sopping American tourists walked by in their garish red ponchos and New Balance sneakers. Good grief. We were starting to have level 5 crankiness and it was all due to this unrelenting rain!
Me. In the Rain. The Usual.
I’m sure you’re thinking “Oh what’s the big deal?” And if you are then you are probably a boy, or were blessed with good straight hair. Am I right? My friend and I have been cursed with high-maintenance curls. The hair equivalent of the Wicked Witch of the West or a Chia Pet. Add water and all Hell breaks loose. So as the baguette pounds pile we basically only have our hair and faces to work with as far as our self-esteem is concerned, so, our hair matters, hence the disappointment in having to deal with this bullshit weather. Plus this is not how we fantasized Paris to be for the last 6 months, and we’re just trying to adjust accordingly.
Apparently, Monday the 20th is a Holiday in Paris and pretty much everything was closed. Musse D’Orsay? Closed. Karl Lagerfeld’s bookstore the we tried to find? Closed. Ferme Ferme Ferme! This day was just looking real grim from the get. We decided to drag our depressed asses to the Eiffel Tower, so we walked for while in the freezing cold rain, and wind and there it was. I took a sweet picture of it at this point.
By the time we got up close we met this glorious structure with a resounding mutual “meh.” The grounds were filled with Asian tourists and we could barely see the top due to the mist and rain. We kicked a few rocks around like sullen school girls and decided we’d revisit the Tower, maybe, on a day when we could really appreciate it.
We walked around some more in silence, minus the chattering of our teeth, my fucking bone marrow was cold. We passed by this church which was pretty gorgeous. Apparently St. Germain is old money. Kind of like the Upper West Side in NY.
LOTS of money as you can see here
This day called for some retail therapy. Some people that my friend worked with recommended a famous department store called Bon Marché, so we checked if IT was open (it was) and headed there tout suite! My friend was starving to death so first we needed to fuel up before the “Hanger Games” started and one of us lost our lives. We ended up at some joint and seeing as we had dinner plans that included Risotto we settled on the Ceasar Salad. On the menu it said: lettuce, chicken, parmesan, croutons. What arrived at our table was: Frisee, curry chicken, tomatoes, shaved carrot, 8lbs of shaved parmesan and vinaigrette dressing. NOTE: Paris doesn’t know shit about salads. Don’t order them. Our “salad” also cost us each about $20. Cool.
We got out of there and went across the street to Bon Marché. First of all whoever recommended this to my friend must’ve been a fucking Arab Prince from Dubai. I’d never seen price tags with that many digits on them before. A black jersey dress for $1295 EUROS? We decided we’d have to treat this place like a Fashion Musuem, beautiful things that you weren’t allowed to touch, for we were the equivalent of Eliza Doolittle in this place, before the rain in spain…We continued to walk around like the peasants that we were and found ourselves in the lingerie section. Finally! Something we could afford…SOCKS! We picked out a few pair of stockings and made our triumphant purchase! Unwilling to head out into the cold we wandered around for a bit longer and then headed home to change and get prettified for our dinner party at our new friends’ apartment.
The minute we got in we plopped like hippos onto the floor and couch respectively. We were exhausted. Paris is a lot harder than New York, we’ve decided. See, New York runs like a well-oiled machine. People follow a sense of order when maneuvering through the city, you walk on the right, pass on the left and give people their personal space. Not in Paris, oh no. People will b-line to you in your personal space so hard that it’s almost like a game of chicken. Not wanting to bump chests with strangers I’m the one that moves most of the time but, sweet jesus. it’s nuts. And umbrella etiquette? There is none. Period. We took a power nap, got ready and headed out to buy a bottle of wine on the way to the party.
As we walked up to the Carrafour, a supermarket chain in Paris, they kindly shut the door in our face since we got there 30 seconds past 7:30 and clearly that’s when most things close here. Being that it was a holiday nothing else around us was open, really. WHAT THE FUCK DO WE DO NOW? Showing up empty handed was not an option for either of us since we’re not animals raised by inbred goat-people, so we had to improvise. First we tried to buy a bottle of wine from a bar—that’s illegal apparently who knew? Next we walked to a turkish deli in the hopes there were some baklava we could arrive with. Nope! Sold out! Baklava is so gross, sold out? Really? OK. Moving on…we found a pizza joint that was open, and in the rotating fridge we spotted an apple tart with all the pieces remaining. SUCCESS!!! We bought the hole thing and showed up with a pizza box full of day-old (probably) cold apple tart. It was literally the least we could do.
Elisabetta’s apartment is awesome and you can see the Sacre Coeur perched on high from her living room window. The motley crew of guests started to arrive.
The view throughout the night.
First was Lou - a lovely petite blonde makeup/hair stylists for the Paris Opera. Her English wasn’t that great and our French kind of sucks but we managed to get by on Spanish and translation.
Then came Claire - a truly delightful spitfire of a woman with bright red hair that was dull in comparison to her giant personality. An actress who speaks and teaches (used to) 5 languages and impersonates famous French singers clumsily falling down the stairs on her spare time.
Claire + Lisette
Joakim - A tall dark stranger walked in full of life and personality. Joakim Latzko is a famous actor here in France and currently in the French equivalent of “Grey’s Anatomy” called “Plu Belle la Vie” where he plays a gay doctor. His wedding to a man on the show is a first for Paris, go Joakim! He was our translator for the night and thinks Julia Ormond’s French on Mad Men is fucking atrocious.
Me + Joakim
Elisabetta + Joakim
Then came Domenique - A bearded, hairy, slim Italian who gets mistaken for Russell Brand. He had no idea who that was until he traveled around in Europe. I don’t think they look alike. Quiet, interesting and polite. We chatted about tattoos.
Aldo and Victor arrived and the gang was all there.
Aldo + Victor
We ate delicious guacamole, mushroom risotto, chocolate mousse, and oodles of wine. We all talked a ton, got loud, and we told them about our stay at Goutte D’or. Outraged. Claire would like a word with our hostess, in fact. God, I love her so. As Elisabetta was bringing out the pizza boxed tart we brought she accidentally dropped it in the dishwasher. Joakim heroically picked out the edible pieces and we had Apple Tart Crumble a la Goutte D’or. So Gauche!
We ended the night with Victor, Lisette and I having Ti Panche (like a mojito without the mint and though made of rum tastes just like tequila) at the bar we had originally met at. They dropped me off at the apartment while they went to continue their evening….My only request to her was not to come back a virgin.
Not remembering if I had fully shut the door to the building of the apartment complex I decided to sleep with a butcher knife next to my bed :) (Not unusual, at home in NY i sleep with a hammer on the windowsill)
All in all though the day started out grim it really couldn’t have ended better. And we have our new Parisian friends to thank for that.
Paris Diaries - Day 4
Rain, Rain, go AWAY.
After last night’s drunken debauchery our day started way late. This dark cave-like interior isn’t doing anyone any favors either. Once we finally arose like vampires from our gluttonous slumber we had a slow go. I wrote Day 3’s post for about, what seemed like 12 hours, while Lisette finally gave in and washed her hair and did that whole routine.
We picked out a few places we should go and decided on a place that was a ways away, but then our torrential cigarette break altered those plans pretty quickly. Looked like we were staying local yet again. We texted our new friend, Elisabetta, to give us some suggestions as my friend was dead set on having some beef bourguignon. Sadly the place she suggested was closed on Sundays, turns out A LOT of places in Paris are closed on Sundays for some reason. We chose a place recommended by one of the Paris blogs we follow, Paris by Mouth, called Au Clocher de Montmartre, I called and made a reservation. We got ready by layering everything we had to fend off the rain (not much as I’ve mentioned in my previous posts) and headed out for a charming walk in a torrential downpour. Thanks, Paris, you’re not making this easy but we still like you.
On our way there we were confronted with this charming obstacle:
No big deal.
And it had a sign made just for me:
We arrived to an absolutely empty restaurant. Literally not a soul in the place besides the waiter and probably a chef. The interior was really cute but there was one grating element of the atmosphere that we both noticed immediately: Fucking country music. Why? Why would anyone play that in a French restaurant in France? Or ever? It was so out of place it was jarring. But the weather had trapped us so we were here to stay, and since neither of us had the guts to ask them to change it to Serge Gainsbourg as we would’ve liked, we figured we’d just grin and bear it. We ordered from the Pre Fixe menu. I ordered a Cesar salad, The Fillet of Beef—Medium Well, and a chocolate something or other.
The cesar salad had a barely cooked egg in it—weird. The steak arrived and it was bleeding like a cut artery all over my plate, which was peculiar not only because I had asked for medium well but also because it was tougher than a motherfucker. I mean this thing was like the sole of a shoe, the table shook when I tried to cut it. Isn’t Paris known for it’s Steak Frites? I was starving from not eating anything all day so I asked for ketchup—sacrilege, I know—and just got through it. I’m not even sure what part of the cow it was from, I’m guessing the calf muscle.
Elisabetta texted us and we told her to come rescue us, so she did. She met us and then the whole day turned around. She took us on a tour of the outside of the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur and the surrounding little neighborhoods. Even in the rain this place is divine and idyllic. My heart swelled with how gorgeous it was, even better than I had pictured it. As we walked around she pointed out all the tourist traps and where we should and shouldn’t go. Truly the greatest tour guide. Then she took us to the localsie part of Montmartre to have a drink, as we were walking by I spotted Les Deux Moulins where Amelie was filmed, and like a nerd insisted we drink there. We had our drinks and enjoyed the evening with great company.
Here are some photos of our walk:
Le Basilique du Sacré-Coeur
A street in Montmartre
Le Moulin de la Galette - One of 3 windmills in Montmartre.
The only remaining tiny little vineyard. (Did you know you could have wine from Montmartre?)
Real talk graffiti
A pretty pink building.
It was a rather uneventful night as far as my posts have been, but none-the-less, it was a real joy to get an inside look of this gorgeous little part of Paris with great company.
Now I’m off to bed to get some sleep so we can wake up at a normal hour and hit St. Germaine tomorrow.
Paris Diaries - Day 3
"A beautiful chameleon"
Day 3 started out late and lazy. My friend woke up obsessed with finding a market, getting some fresh food and making us breakfast, the options in restaurant in Paris are all kind of the same and we wanted a healthier home made option, plus it would be cheaper. I was all for this idea so she set off on her solo mission. If she did not return within an hour’s time I was to set the search party in motion. Got it! I checked Facebook, like a crack addict and there it was. Somehow I had not unfriended on of my ex’s musical pages and in my face was a link to his kickstarter. OF COURSE! Of course you need to beg for money to make a record. I hate kickstarter in general, I think it’s the equivalent of a bum with his hand out on the steps of the subway only we’ve decided it’s more civilized and viable because it’s on the internet and it’s shiny. I want to start a kickstarter to end kickstarter. I think it’s the lamest thing ever and here he was on the steps of my Facebook with his greedy little hand out. Gross. It was an album “About us for us” (The greater US not me and him US, obviously.)
When she arrived she cooked a lovely breakfast fully equipped with mimosas, egg scramble, sauteed spinach, and, of course, baguette. No coffee though, apparently you can’t get coffee to go in Paris. Bricks of bread? Yes. Coffee? No way. It’s so unusual to see the New Yorker’s usual coffee cup in hand replaced with a large stick of bread instead. And they’re skinny, these people are thin and I’m just convinced that their genetic makeup turns white bread flour and dough into negative calories that eat away at the butter/cheese/fat they may also be consuming. THAT HAS TO BE IT RIGHT? For fuck’s sake it’s so annoying. My whole life I’ve been told bread is the devil and here we are and the devil is no where in sight according to their 24 inch waists and sharp protruding hip bones. And, btw, there is not a slice of multigrain in sight. Multigrain? HA! All the bread is white, unlike the people in our neighborhood. I digress…
Anyway, she was so excited to find a market and area near us that was gorgeous and the opposite of our little neighborhood. “Always turn left out of this place and just keep making lefts and then it’s fine,” she said. “It’s a whole other world.” Cool. I decided to tell her about the kickstarter I found and she said we should watch it. OK, why not? HOLY FUCKING A. I won’t even really remark, I’ll just leave it right here and you make your own opinions, and shit if it moves you to give him money than that’s fine too.
KICKSTARTER LINK <—- click it.
After that comedic interlude we ate. Scoped our options for the evening via internet and planned to go to a really cool party in Pigalle this evening. But here’s the rub: It’s freezing in Paris right now, cold and rainy and we packed like we’d be traipsing through tulips in 70 degrees—all dresses and cute shoes. We would’ve been better off with a parka and galoshes. If we had any hope of wearing our dresses we’d need some goddamn stockings at least, so that was our new mission. We’d heard about the “Target equivalent of Paris” called Monoprix so I looked up the nearest one to our neighborhood. There was one close by-ish but it meant we’d have to make rights. We decided to brave it and off we went on a quick errand with minimal effort to look attractive, which is probably for the best if you’re making rights, know what I mean?
We exited. We made a right…”Look straight ahead, keep focused, and hold on to your pointy umbrella tight and none of these dudes will fuck with you”, I said to myself (they didn’t but I have a heightened paranoia about such possibilities and like to take the utmost of precautions). Not a block away we came across a make-shift hobo mattress shanty town with actual hobos laying around, situated only slightly south of a “park” with a public toilet in the center with urine streaming from it which we had to navigate past. What the fuck was this place and how dare our hostess not warn us that just a few feet from her apartment was the goddamn Gaza strip? The rage toward her negligence fueled the rest of our walk through Hell just to get a pair of overpriced stockings.
We arrived at Monoprix and it was gross. Target? What an insult to the beloved institution of Tarjay. This place was an eye sore that smelled of rotting fruit and piss. A baby’s onesie that would’ve cost $6 in the states cost $20 here. What? We got some bath wash and lotion, since our hostess has neither like the animal that she is, some stockings and got the hell up out of there. Back to Gaza. It’s like when we booked our trip we got to visit two countries instead of one. Beautiful picturesque Paris and a slum in Morocco. Génial!
Here are some photos of our walk back. It doesn’t do the slum dog hobo-square and the shanty town isn’t featured, mainly because I was scared to death to snap a photo of that sitch:
My photographic skills are so awesome that they make this place look rather delightful, I assure you if you could smell and look around they show you the real horror. Anyway, you kinda get it.
Whatever, the ordeal required me to drink a coffee which I still had not had. By now it was 7pm (still light out—it gets dark here around 930) and raining, so we headed to the Narnia my friend had found earlier for a little afternoon coffee fix. We found a nice spot, sat down, and looked across the street at the bar in front. And there they were, four new husbands for my friend. I can now tell her type a mile away—bearded, dark, salt & peppery, strong noses, thick hair or bald. And these attributes were present in all of them. We stared across at the cool bar wondering why we always made the wrong choice. Whatever, perhaps it was that kind of day. Another twig with her baguette and motorcycle helmet walked in. And I made it a point to sneakily snap a photo to show you people that I’m not kidding. Here, proof!
We decided to go home get ready and come back out, the rain had thwarted our original plan of dressing up like fabulous ladies and going to a party, we had a baser plan: Get drunk and have Parisians talk to us, more specifically we wanted to use the first phrase we ever learned “J’m’appelle Ivonne + J’m’appelle Lisette” which up until now had been unnecessary since no one had asked or cared. Well, tonight was gonna change that. We got ourselves together, threw on some bright lipstick and headed out to get our drink on. We settled at the cafe´ Le Soleil de la Butte which we’d been to day one and sits at the bottom of the stairs toward Sacre Couer. There seemed to be a lively scene outside and open tables. Done. We ordered some vodso’s—fuck wine tonight—and got comfy. Two older men sat next to us and started talking in phlegmy language which my friend later confirmed was Arabic. Didn’t bother me much except that they were blocking the view from the table of hipper Parisians we had hoped would haze us in to their gang. Fine.
Suddenly the bald heavier man offered my friend a Marlboro and this sparked a rather interesting conversation/experience that I will dilute for you into highlights:
- His name is Haitham Rashid Wihaib. First he introduced himself as “A very well known author” Oh yeah? Never heard of ya, bud. Must be International Narcissist Day between this guy and this morning’s kickstarter I’d had enough of self aggrandizing dudes. But we carried on the conversation.
- He made us Google him, repeatedly. And it turns out he was Suddam Hussein’s minister of protocol from 1980 - 1993 and has had several assassination attempts on his life. A fascinating life, really. You can google click his name above to find out more.
- After finding out that my friend and I were in advertising he kept pushing his amazon book on us and wanted us to help him find a publisher in America. But why if you’re so popular and your film is in Cannes for the 5th time and it’s so amazing and you’ve told us how fucking amazing it is 37 times by now. Why would you need us?
- I gave him my card to shut him up, and he said I was “A sweet angel on the outside but inside you’re a revolution.” Suddenly he was my new favorite person. For about 10 minutes and then he kept selling his book to us even though we tried to talk about other things to no avail.
- I finally had to break it down for him cuz he was starting to ruin my buzz, I very kindly but pointedly said “Listen, Haitham, I get it. I like you, I like your story, and I believe in your book, I will do what I can with the contacts I have when I get back to New York, Ok? Just stop selling me on your book already it’s enough.” Too much? I didn’t think so, I mean I was a sweet angel revolutionary. This was the kind of shit you’d expect from me. And then he said it. The phrase that has haunted me and indicted my personality since I was old enough for it to hit home. He said “Haha, you are very ambitious woman, this is why you’re always alone.”
(Let it sit)
(Read it again)
(You with me? Here we go…)
THIS IS WHY YOU’RE ALWAYS ALONE?! OHHHHHHH REALLLLY??!?!???? First of all, how do you know I’m alone, you didn’t ask me! He continued on the subject a bit and from what I could make out through the hot burning rage in my ears at the moment I heard “Men don’t like women who are so independent and opinionated, they are too much work.” RED. ALL I SEE IS RED DEAR GOD WHAT IS COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH STOP TALKING.
I remained composed and I smiled and swallowed the bile that crept up in my throat and made a joke about his dagger into my achilles tendon and then he said, oh and there is more. OH FUCKING GOODIE! WHAT NOW? He said “you are a beautiful chameleon” Huh? What does that mean? I still don’t know, I adapt? I’m fake? I decided I’d just pay attention to the beautiful part, and bid him adieu. We got our check, said our goodbyes and headed to another bar to MOTHERFUCKING DRINK THE RAGE AWAY! ALONE? ALWAYS ALONE? how daaaaaaare you, sir?
We went to the cool people bar from earlier ordered two shots and discussed what happened and ultimately decided that Arab men are the oppressors of women so of course he’d feel that way about a woman with the balls to tell him he was being a blow-hard, albeit nicely and in a joking tone. We went outside to finish our beers and I slammed my glass down. Fine this seems rude, BUT it got us to the best part of our night. My friend stayed back as I walked off toward the next bar to apologize for my gauche behavior to a couple of people sitting at the table. Turns out they had invited us to hang out with them. I guess they like strong (literally strong I almost broke the glass and the table) women. So we did. They were delightful, Alderick, Victor, Blondine, Luigi and our favorite, Elisabetta.
We had some more beers with them and as they closed the bar Elisabetta invited us to join them at Victor’s apartment to continue the night. OK! Off we went through the streets of Montmartre, this was it, our first Paris apt invite. Alderick, Victor, Elisabetta, my friend and I headed over. It was a bachelor pad for sure, but there was rum and beer and weed, so yay!
Aldo is gay Victor is “not” here are a few things they said that we loved:
Aldo: “For me cocks are for eating and women are for breathing.” (while in the background Victor is playing “What’s love got to do with it” on YouTube.)
Aldo: “It’s not the size of the dick it’s the taste of the dick” (which could pertain to many things in life, I think)
(About Pigalle which is close to our neighborhood)
Aldo: “Fast sex for tourists and arabics”
Victor: “You know, like McDonalds.”
(Between Lisette and Victor)
Victor: “are you german?”
Lisette: “Me, German?”
Victor: “Let me put it this way, 70 years ago I’d be asking you if you knew a good place to hide.”
According to Lisette this is the funniest thing anyone has said to her in 4 years, but I think she laughed harder at ‘fart in a ziploc’ so who knows? Coulda been the weed.
(We played them Niggas in Paris)
Elisabetta: How do you spell Connnye? Who is he?
Me: You don’t know Kanye West?
Aldo: Kind of
Me: Well he’s moving here with Kim Kardashian
(Giant question marks above all their heads)
Aldo: Who is this Kim Kardash…
These hipster Parisians have no clue who Kim Kardashian is and all seems right with the world again. Just like that.
Then they showed us THESE VIDEOS to one up our Niggas in Paris. And boy did they.
HERE ARE THE CRAZIEST THINGS ON THE INTERNET:
You’re welcome America. Someone get Buzzfeed on the phone.
As the night went on the non gay guy played “I want to break free” by Freddie Mercury while the gay guy and I talked about the American judicial system and innate human behavior. It was perfect. They were great. It was now 4am and time to go.
Elisabetta walked us halfway to our place, we said our goodbyes and she said she’d have us over for dinner on Monday. Yay! First Parisian friend!
We stumbled home in a the euphoria of meeting our goals with such fervor. Drunk? Check! People talked to us? Super Check!
Today was a series of ups and downs and we adapted and adjusted accordingly just like a pair of beautiful chameleons.
I passed out. The end.
The Paris Diaries - Day 2
Today was a whole lot of different. We woke our lazy asses up at 12:30pm—I must say this isn’t our fault however, our apartment has electronic shutters covering the windows that let in the light thanks to the charming neighborhood in which its located (these kinds of precautions are necessary, I guess) and so I activated them last night so they wouldn’t disturb me too early seeing as I’m sleeping in the hobbit loft.
Anyhow we got up, ate some crackers, took showers, made a makeshift vanity out of some books and a tchotcke mirror found in my dwarf quarters, put on our hip outfits and decided to head to Haute-Marais, said to be the hippest part of Paris at the moment. We decided to start out at Café Charlot a trendy cafe in the center of the Haute. When we first entered the cafe we were affronted by possibly the most gorgeous blue eyes ever set into the skull of a dark bearded Mediterranean man in a LA Angels cap, once I picked my friend up off the floor we took our seat, outside (always outside, it’s what you do here) The view in Marais was already QUITE different than that at Gare du Nord, I mean blue eyes wasn’t crippled or drooling on his Croque Monsieur so the day was already looking WAY up. We ordered our Cafe au laits, in French, and of course were responded to in English, “Do we look that American, dammit? Is our French that bad?” Whatever, after our coffee we ordered some lunch stuff and then for dessert a giant pitcher of a St. Germaine based cocktail. We sat and watched as the skinny, gorgeous, perfect Parisian women walked by us picking at their baguettes.
Seriously there are 4 must-have accessories for man or woman in Paris—pay attention—they are as follows: 1) A baguette in a paper bag that you pick at like a park pigeon all day. 2) A scarf, everyone here wears a scarf doesn’t matter the outfit, fuck it, own and wear a scarf at all times. The children have scarves. Scarf it up. 3) A motorcycle helmet. I saw a woman get out of a cab holding a motorcycle helmet it’s, just a thing, don’t ask, just do. And finally 4) Unwashed hair. People here must stay home on days nature finally forces them to wash it fearing that they might get taxed or something. By the end of the day I was cursing my clean brushed hair. “Why can’t you just be crinkled and perfectly messy but not frizzy like you’ve been having hot Parisian sex while wearing a braid and then tousled free to careless perfection, you stupid dumb hair!!” No wonder they keep speaking to me in English.
Post lunch we hit some shops and wandered around. I bought the fucking hottest pair of sunglasses you’ll ever see in your lives, I mean they’re just too much. When I put them on I almost convince myself I’m the coolest thing since Lou Dillon, but then I’m thwarted back to reality by a twig eating bread with bed head. I’m sure you’ll see these beauts in a picture later since I’m never taking them off. Ever.
After our tra-la-la shopping we stumbled upon Le Progres and it was hustling and bustling with very hip and attractive people, my friend noticed a table full of dark bearded turkish looking men and decided she’d have to marry all of them. Not ready to eat or drink yet we kept walking, but agreed we’d return so she could work on organizing her nuptials. They weren’t my type but I’m a good friend so I was Ok with that plan. We walked a bit and were totally captivated by a courtyard we spotted within a building. Just so happens that courtyard belonged to the pretty well-known Gallerie Perrotin. We went upstairs and were immersed in an installation of dollar bills hanging from several ceilings in white rooms—lame. But it made for a cool photo here:
and this was the courtyard that did it:
WHAAAAT? SO GREAT RIGHT?
We went upstairs and stumbled into what appeared to be a private gallery party where hors d’oeuvres and champagne were being served and hip Parisian art goers were being Parisian and hip and whatever. It was hot in there. We left. Back to Le Progres.
Still packed. We stood in front of the outdoor tables and smoked a cigarette eye-fucking every person that looked like they might pay the bill within this century. Like hungry vultures on Road Kill Alley we awaited the opening to the cool club. Boom two people got up and as we made our way a Fat old guy in a “Something Big Is Coming” sweatshirt thwarted our plan by sitting his fat ass in the seat. Something big did come and it sat in our spot. But if yesterday taught us anything at all it’s that we will not be defeated, dammit. No way. We managed to mangle some French words and hand motions into something that got the attention of a waiter who pointed to another table with people that were getting up. Finally! We sat.
Here’s the deal people, I know I’m exaggerated and have a penchant for the dramatic but listen to me when I tell you that pound per pound there are more gorgeous people in this bar/this corner than anywhere in the world. It was as if a fashion magazine shook itself and all the models fell out and landed on the corner of Rue de Turenne et Rue du Bretagne. And, I have to say, it was more beautiful men than women. Never happens ever, trust me. Sweet JESUS. My friend’s husbands turned out to be gay, but whatever, I can appreciate Adonis-like features on anyone whether they are willing and able to have sex with my female bits or not. My future husband rolled up in his perfect blazer, hair, scarf, beard and swagger and sat with his back to me a few tables back, but he was unwilling to realize the future love and children we’d have together. So sad. And then his twig blonde girlfriend showed up way later, rubbed his head and headed off to await her perfect man to have perfect sex and therefore perfect hair yet again.
After many beers, cigarettes and eye-candy cavities later we went across the street to have a lite dinner of bread with bread and a side order of bread with some wine and headed back to the abode.
All in all it was a good day, a really really good day. Anyway, I’m off to put dirt in my hair, braid it, and go to bed.
P.S. here’s an awesome picture of graphic graffiti that my stupid Instagram app won’t let me upload without crashing, for your viewing pleasure.
I love this city :)
The Paris Diaries - Day 1
Our flight was smooth sailing. Air France comes fully equipped with TVs and the latest movies to be viewed (for free), the wine is also free, so is the dark gray chicken entree. Don’t eat the chicken. Anyway. I watched Oz the Great and Powerful–MEH, it was ok. Then I opted for Les Miserables and I can’t remember a time before I started watching that movie, a good choice if you have 8 hours to kill. That’s how long it is, right? I digress. We landed smoothly all was well.
We were welcomed with flailing arms by our cabbie who became surly and disgruntled when we told him our apartment’s destination a few “Putains!” and “c’est mal!!” flew out of his mouth and we took this as a rather bad sign. We carried on. We realized that per our Air BnB’s hostess’ request we were to stow our luggage at a nearby cafe at the Cafe Gare du Nord until our approved arrival time of 1pm where her “friends” would keep our luggage and we’d be free to wander the neighborhood and get acquainted until the apartment was ready. We told our cabbie the new destination and he seemed relieved.
A mere $100 later we were at our destination. Our cabbie motioned toward the train station and told us the Cafe would be there. Side note: My friend/travel mate and I have packed our entire wardrobe for this trip, certain that the sartorialists of Paris would await to snap pictures of our Parisian fashions the second we stepped outside, our bags are fucking heavy. Huge and heavy. Anyway we forged toward the questionable train station to find our mirage of a sweet cafe straight from the scenes of Amelie as our fantasies had suggested it would be. FYI Gare du Nord cafe doesn’t exist, though it is present in the directory inside the station, no one has heard of it, and directions to get to it were a series of broken french “directions” that consisted of waving arms in swirly motions and one clerk managed to tell me it was “Up Down” After about 40 minutes of a search with dragged bags we decided to exit the train station and head across the street to a bevy of cafe’s—surely ONE of them was our scheduled destination.
We decided “Cafe Du Nord” facing the train station was it, it had to be. We plopped our collective 3 suitcases, 2 carry-ons, and 1 purse beside us, ordered a cafe au lait, and texted our hostess to verify that we were at the right place. Let me paint the scene for you: Gare du Nord is the equivalent of Penn Station if Penn Station were located in a conglomerate of Roosevelt/Ellis/Staten Islands. As we sat at that cafe awaiting our answer from Natascha, our delightful hostess, that realization became more and more obvious. There were so many mangled, crippled, old and shady people passing by we were sure the set of A&E’s American Horror Story: Asylum II was near by.
Finally she texted—first admonishing us for thinking we could meet her before the allotted time of 1pm, it was 10am, and then telling us that when she said we could stow our suitcases at the cafe, she meant in luggage lockers within the train station. Was she kidding? Did she think we were a pair of meth-addled transient prostitutes on a 2 week whoring tour of the Crown Heights of Paris? A locker? Did she think were traveling with nothing more than a ziploc filled with meth and a dream? “Plus 2 Cafe Au Lait et omelet sil vous plait!” we said to the waiter. This was gonna be a while.
We tried to decipher all the ways we could’ve misjudged this correspondence but it was no use, clearly as the “stupid americains” we were wrong and she was $1550 richer so why should she give a fuck. I was then sent on the mission to scope this “luggage locker” situation out. Unwilling to be defeated, I blew my nose for the 43rd time, put on my jacket and headed back into the Den of Urine known as “Gare du Nord” to survey the situation. I managed to finagle my way through broken French down to the bowels of the station where the lockers were situated. Seriously, this place smells of pure pungent buttery piss, and I’m from New York so… anyway, there was a customs-style line to get into the lockers and by the looks of it only one of our bags had a prayer of making it to one of these. I headed back to my friend to report the news, “NO WAY IN FUCK are our bags fitting into those matchbooks they call lockers”—we waited.
We got comfy seeing as that entire ordeal had only taken but an hour and we still had 2 more to wait. We relaxed, propped our feet up at the outside cafe and scoped the surroundings. A managerie of folks strolled by, all dressed as if they had shopped at the Jnco Graveyard Wholesaler. “Was this really Paris?,” we thought to ourselves. Yup, just not the Paris anyone had ever pinned photos of. Clearly.
The surly waiter walked by and gave my friend a disgusted look for putting her foot on the neighboring chair even though my half eaten egg-only omelette (that i hadn’t ordered by the way) sat on the table for it’s second hour in a row, “perhaps I’d have it for dinner” he thought to himself.
Not being able to withstand the scenery any longer my friend suggested that we schlep our shit back into the Train Station and make our way to the taxis. I dreaded this notion since my bags were just too heavy to bear. She won, and we headed in. Once inside I made her switch her giant bag with my medium bag since I couldn’t understand why she was dragging hers with such ease. “HOLY FUCK WHAT A DELIGHT!” It was like carrying a fart in a ziploc compared to mine. Turns out I have a broken googly wheel on mine and that’s why it was like carrying a water-logged dead body across the sandy desert.
8 mangled, 3 crippled, 24 old people, and 7 murderers later we made our way to the taxi line, and made it to the apartment. FINALLY. Yeah there are mosquitos the size of golf balls in the courtyard, along with a latrine (for hobos?) and the neighborhood is like the corner of Fulton and Nostrand in the late 80’s but who cares, it’s solace at this point. Once inside it’s cute as a button, yet cold and damp like an attic after a hurricane, in December. Our pregnant surly hostess was miffed we arrived 3 minutes early, but she condescended to greet us regardless. Blah blah blah this that rules yadda yadda, turns out we only have one set of keys which she thought was okie dokie since i guess she figured we were a lesbian couple and wouldn’t mind. (Shocked that we weren’t when we clarified the matter, btw) We could spend another $200 for an extra set but our independence isn’t worth the cash, we’ll carry on and figure it out.
Finally she leaves. We’re here! PARIS AT LAST. Like crack addicts we hit the electrical sockets with our adaptors and plugged in our lifelines (iphones). Not two minutes into this smooth sailing the power goes out. In the whole building. Scratch that—the whole block. FINE, WE’LL NAP THEN.
Once awakened and reborn we collected ourselves, cleaned up and headed out. Determined not to let the first day of this seemingly National Lampoon-like vacation to get the best of us and it didn’t. We made it to Montmartre in the late afternoon, drank wine, smoked cigarettes, had some dinner and decided tomorrow will be our welcome into Paris. So bring it Day 2. We’re waiting…