I realized updating every night is difficult. As a result, I won't be posting everyday. But I'll make an effort to inckude verything I end up doing.
I ended up going to a cafe called La Rotonde with Elizabeth the other day. Hemingway and Picasso used to kick it there often, apparently. The interior was amazing. Velvet red. Dark wood, mahogany perhaps. Vintage photographs. Carpeted all over, some hints of gold and shades of orange emanating from the lamps. Best cafe creme I've had since I've been here.
The day have been blurring together. So I'll just skip to today, although we've gone to a sangria bar and I managed to go to a few more cafes.
After class today I came back, worked out, and had lunch. I then went out in attempts to find the Pantheon. Eventually, I did, but that doesn't mean it didn't come with its struggles. It was raining so I decided to find refuge in a cafe. I got off at Cardinal Lemoine (I think that's how you spell it and I can't check because I current'y have no internet connection). I must say that area has the best streets I've seen yet. Everything I imagined. Narrow. High buildings. Plain buildings, a little old looking. Cobblestone streets. Balcony work. Perfect.
I sat at cafe and drew for the first time since I've been here. Like I was to myself but still, perfectly in tune with the rest of the world and my surroundings. My umbrellla covered me but I felt so in place with my surroundings, even when I honestly had no clue where I was or what would be around the corner. There weren't many people out, obviously. But there were enough pedestrians to make me feel average and safe, and sitting outside in the cafe beneath the falling rain and people scurrying to criss-cross back and forth to find some coverage made me feel like I was part of a world . . involved in what was happening in the moment, but still outside, on the fringes, looking in. Observing. Maybe I was flaneuring!
I drew a fountain, some trees, streets, signs, and cobblestone streets. I met some Americans who said my drawing was beautiful. The waitress of the cafe I settled in also spoke English and she was incredibly warm and helpful. My coffee was delicious. Small, but it lasted me the hour because I was wrapped up in my drawing. Maybe an hour, a cafe Americaino, and a chocolate tablet later, my drawing was complete and I was very proud of it. Started off a little shabby but for my first entry in my black Moleskin "inspiration book", it was perfect.
At least three times this trip I've witnessed normal, everyday average people whip out a notebook and just draw. A black little notebook. A man on a bench sketching a girl by the canal de St. Martin. A girl sketching fruit and their shadows in the metro station. A man at Coutume cafe sketching what appeared to be faces that kind of merged together. When I saw him I couldn't control myself. On the way back home, I would buy a notebook of my own and that was what I did. I'm happy I was finally about to draw in it. Also, Coutume was awesome. The waitresses spoke English and were friendly. The music was a little obnoxious so I had to be American and pull out my own earphones. But the interior was very underdeveloped in a perfectly normal way, reminding me of a worn out building on the outside with some plants. It was really nice. Also, their logo and business card was incredibly simple, but dope as fuck. I really liked it. Not to mention my cappuccino was the largest I've gotten here yet.
After the cafe today, I went to Pantheon to find refuge from the rain. I avoided a creepy-looking man. I then walked around the area and admired the cafes, buildings, and balcony work. Then I stumbled upon the Notre Dame Cathedral. Admission was free. Let's just say, my experience there was not what I was expecting and I will remember my moment there forever. I wrote a prayer intention note and was stunned by the stained glass. Every panel appears to be a kaleidoscope in its own right, formatted in concentric circles that flower out. It's honestly, a mosaic of bursting, lively colors. I honestly loved it. And had my moment there that I won't share with anyone else but myself. Even here.
Then I bought a chocolate croissant at a cheap bakery. Walked around some more. And was thrilled to find a Vietnamese food place where they actually spoke Vietnamese. They gave me a free water and I got my Vietnamese fix in. I then decided I should go home to prevent spending any more money.
When I got back I had my dinner and the original plan was to meet up with the rest of the group at a bar. Alex and I went late and couldn't find them. Instead we went to a bar on our own and had a really great conversation about BC, relationships, comedy, dance, and maybe some other stuff I can't recall off the top of my head. It was really nice. I really like his company.
Now I'm here missing my family. There is no connection so I have no way of contacting them and this post is a copy and paste from a notepad document. Hopefully internet is up and running soon so I can show them how much I miss them.