Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I was awoken this morning to an absolutely stunning sunrise.  I opened my windows and began snapping away, completely inspired by the gorgeous colors against the rooftops surrounding my flat.  

Today was spent wandering around the infamous Left Bank.  I started off at Sylvia Beach's bookstore Shakespeare & Co where writers such as Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway once gathered.  I continued on to Jardin du Luxembourg, stopping into little shops, taking detours onto quiet corridors, and  grabbing a croissant for breakfast.  An amazing lunch was had at Cuisine de Bar, which specializes in tartines, after which I was re-energized for some shopping in the beautiful Le Bon Marche {including being very tempted by a gorgeous Chanel brooch...I mean a trip to Paris isn't complete without Chanel, no?}  I stopped for afternoon tea at the famous Laduree, and grabbed THE most AMAZING pastry ever...photo + description is below.  Finally, my afternoon was topped off at the {literally} indescribable Deyrolle.  Just see what I mean...
{Sunrise over the rooftops of Paris, what more do you need?}
{Little curiosities: An adorable shop's sign, insects + scientific data collecting tools in a window, a creative window display, an English bulldog, a Paris love lock, a woman practicing fencing in the Jardin du Luxembourg, a slightly morbid window display perfect for Halloween, and an adorable pennant banner hanging in the window of a children's store}
{Sights around the city including the Ile de la Cite, an accordion player, and Notre Dame seen through the trees} 

{5th Arrondissement: Shakespeare and Company, the Latin Quarter, and views in and around the Jardin du Luxembourg including the little cafe which looks like it should be in a fairy tale}
{The gorgeous Le Bon Marche department store and Laduree (which completely lives up to the hype).  That wicked looking dessert is the Saint-Honore Rose, a delicious concoction of puff pastry, rose chantilly cream, fresh raspberries, raspberry jam, rose fondant, and custard.  Man, the French really know their stuff.} 

 {Lastly was the beautiful, sad, whimsical, and downright creepy Deyrolle - France's most famous taxidermy shop.  It is nearly 200 years old and definitly gives off an Alice in Wonderland vibe.  I literally about screamed in horror when I saw the 15 foot stuffed giraffe in the corner.  The juxtaposition of these animals (lions, birds, insects, blow fish, bears, elephants, goats, polar bears, peacocks, and so many more) against the absolutely gorgeous ornate French apartment it is located in was just breathtaking -- not necessarily in a good way.  There is a joy in being able to see these creatures up close however it is soon replaced with sadness when you realize the life they so carefully put into the animal is really just a facade.  I wanted to ask them how they got the animals and when, as it most certainly upset the animal-rights activist side of me.  Were they from 150 years ago?  Fine, I guess that's ok with me.  Or are they brand new?  Did they find the animals dead already?  Or did they poach them?  Some of the animals are endangered, which is the most concerning aspect of all to me.  Perhaps someone else knows as I'm not really schooled in taxidermy.  However, sadly/probably for the best, I didn't learn any exotic animals/hunting vocabulary in my French II classes so I was not able to inquire.}

What do you think of Deyrolle?  Interesting?  Cruel?  Lovely?  A little of both?  Bonne nuit!


  1. More beautiful photographs of your city. My fave is the bicycle. Just needs a beret, basket and a baguette and you'll be set for the day.
    What do I think of Deyrolle? Beautiful but sad, the way all mounted or stuffed animals make me feel. Especially the baby elephant. I would probably have to have a St Honore Rose after something like that, to lift my spirits

  2. I won't lie... this really creeps me out. I don't think I would be able to be in there very long. The elephant makes me sad too:( On a happier note, your pictures are beautiful and it looks as if you are having a lovely time. I wish I could join you as this seems much more interesting than teaching the Revolutionary War to children who have no clue why it's important to learn about the past. Although, I did have a student ask me about Jane Eyre the other day and it made me think of you. I let her borrow my annotated copy from high school still marked up and highlighted (probably with some hearts drawn around Mr. Rochester...creepy). I should probably be writing this in an email... I miss you and keep the pictures coming so we can live through your adventures:)

    1. I know. The baby elephant was the worst (and the polar bear too because they are endangered). I wonder about the baby elephant if perhaps it was at a zoo and passed away? That would make me feel much better. It was honestly a lot like the "Bodies" exhibit that traveled through the US a few years back...they were so "well-preserved" that they didn't really seem like real animals. However, once you started thinking about it, it kept becoming more and more creepy/sad. I will do some investigative research and find out how they get the animals to determine if I need to write the French government in protest.

      Ahhh Jane Eyre....simply the best. I wish you were here with me too, I think about you all the time and how much fun we would have here together. I think we should plan it for one of our friendship anniversaries :) Miss you so much, let me know about December!!