I hope that you all are enjoying the last bit of your summer. I, like you, am preparing to become a fully committed student. These past few weeks have consisted of making friends who will go to the same school as me, checking items off of my summer to do list, and revisiting some of my favorite places in Paris.
Since the last time I wrote, I have met some pretty interesting people. There is Scott who is from the Netherlands and actually lives in Amsterdam. An older student named Jette who is from Berlin, Germany. Even though at 26 she is older than most of the other students, she is by far the most petite. I have also met Alessandro, who is from Italy but spent a year abroad in the United States when he was in high school. They are all so much fun to hang out with because we each come from a different country and can compare and contrast different aspects of our countries, such as our respective school systems. Scott, Jette, and Alessandro will also attend EPF for the fall semester. I am looking forward to recognizing at least a few familiar faces at university.
Last weekend, I finally had the chance to return to Montmartre and thoroughly explore the hilltop artists’ haven. Well-known artists who have worked or had studios in the area include, but are not limited to, Salvador Dali, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh. Today, there are many different types of artists located all around the town. Photography, ceramics, paintings, drawings, music, artists were selling all different types of art. One of my favorite artists was a man who would use paint markers with slanted tips to create portraits of people on the street. We stood there and watched him create a painting of a young girl in about 20 minutes. He was pretty talented.
During our wanderings of the town, we also saw some musicians playing in the street. Called Les Presteej, these three men were a lot of fun to watch and were very gifted. We enjoyed their music so much; we pooled our money together to buy one of their CDs. Since all of their music was written in French, we thought it would be a good way to practice our language skills.
This past weekend, I showed Scott, Jette, and Alessandro Bercy Park. They liked it a lot and thought the walkways were very pretty. Even though I had been to the park previously, I still had a nice time and was surprised that there were some parts of the park that even I did not know about. Tucked in one of the corners of the park is a small enclosed area where locals can practice tricks on their skateboards, BMX bikes, scooters, and roller blades.
There was one guy on roller blades who was very skilled. I saw him perform skills that I did not even know were possible to do on rollerblades. He did side summies, which are like front tucks, just sideways. I also saw him do a back layout with bent knees. This guy got an incredible amount of lift off of the ramps.
Last Thursday was a holiday in France, so we took the day off from school and went to the movies in the evening. Scott and I were trying to make it to the cinema in time to see The Lone Ranger, but waiting for the train took longer than expected. As a result, we were too late for the showing of Lone Ranger and we ended up seeing Elysium instead. I won’t spoil the movie, but even though the movie was a bit gory for my taste and there were major plot gaps, I liked it quite a bit. The movie was about a futuristic dystopian society and about the rise of the underdog.
Friday night, we again tried to go see The Lone Ranger and this time it was a success. I know that the movie did not do too well in the U.S., but even though the movie had been out for a while in France, the movie theatre was still crowded. From what I understand, the storyline of the movie was not entirely consistent with the U. S. pop culture icon. Even so, I still enjoyed the movie. I tried to think of it as kind of like the new Star Trek movies. If the films stood apart from the rest of the universe, they were good, but placed in the context of the other films and stories, they weren’t.
We also took the opportunity to explore the Paris Plage. The Paris Plage is essentially an artificial beach that Paris created along the Seine so that its citizens and tourists can enjoy the warm summer months. There were beach chairs for people to lounge and tan on, buckets and pails so children could build sand castles, and some sprinklers set up so that people had a way to cool off since people do not swim in the Seine.
That is all for now. As always, thank you for reading.