October 31, 2014

Aller au ciné

The price of going to the movies has always been a factor in why I hardly ever go to the movies. Plus, since moving to Paris and no longer being under 26 (the age when Europe no longer considers you jeune), the price I have to pay to go to the movies has exponentially increased, exponentially decreasing my frequency of attendance.

If I do go, however, it’s because I want to see something that is going to be freaking awesome on the big screen. I want explosions. I want magnificent scenery. I want larger than life everything.

Unfortunately in Paris, bigger prices do not equal bigger screens.

On our first trip to the movies, after paying an absurd amount of money for a ticket, the boyfriend and I headed down an endless amount of stairs, and just as I was beginning to suspect we were heading to the center of the earth, when finally we arrived at our salle (room).

The room itself was small. There must have been no more than 50 places, and as such, one would expect the screen to be smaller than say a 200-person room. However, the screen wasn’t even proportional to the room size. It was tiny.

The screen in question. I made sure to include that guy's head for scale.

Suspecting that the problem might have been the fact that we were seeing the movie a while after its release date, I gave Paris the benefit of the doubt and went to the movies again. And again, the screen was miniscule. So much for ever going to the movies!

However, luckily for those of you who wish to see your Hollywood blockbuster on an American sized screen, I do not give up so easily. After visiting several different theaters, I have finally found one that is up to snuff. 

The screen towered high above our heads and was wider than most Parisian buildings. It was even curved, giving the viewer the experience of really being in the movie. The actors were at least three times as big as me. This theater definitely met the criteria for larger than life. 

Check it out:
UGC Ciné Cité La Défense
Le Dôme - Centre commercial Les 4 Temps

October 19, 2014


While most of this blogs chronicles “how weird I think everything French is,” it’s becoming harder and harder to do, as I’ve become steadily more accustomed to life here (five years might do that to a person).

Last weekend, I felt especially comfortable in my little French life. I felt especially Parisian, and it all started off with tacos.

I had given up on ever tasting Mexican food worth eating in France, but then I moved to Paris and had a colleague who was equally desperate for good Mexican food.

After some quick internet research, we decided to go try a little hole-in-the-wall place over by the Canal St. Martin called El Nopal. It was maybe the best decision of my life. The tacos were heavenly, and it wasn’t just my lowered expectations talking.

El Nopal.

Since there is no seating at the restaurant, I (and many others) have made a habit of taking my tacos and beer over to the banks of the Canal St. Martin to bask in the sun’s rays and enjoy the nice view.

Delicious vegetarian tacos.

On this particular visit, after savoring the tacos while engaging in nice conversation, my friends and I walked along the canal and even got to witness a péniche (barge) leveling out the water to make its way up the canal. We stumbled upon a few vide dressing (sort of like pop up second hand stores), and once we made it to the Marais we visited several art galleries.

As evening settled in, we found ourselves on the terrace of a small Parisan café, enjoying glasses of varying varities of French wine.

Before having lived here for so long, I would think eating non-French food would probably be the least Frenchy thing I could do. Even though I already knew that the French eat Mexican food too (the lines outside of El Nopal are a testament to such), it didn't fit into my definition of "French." Now I know better.

I can have my Frenchness, and eat (delicious) tacos too.

Check it out:
El Nopal
3 Rue Eugène Varlin, 75010 Paris
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