4.22.2014 • Around Paris
This past Sunday, the boys went Easter egg hunting on the Champ-de-Mars, right at the foot of the Eiffel Tower - a dream activity for us, still fairly new (always in awe) residents of Paris. The program was organized by Secours Populaire Francais, a non-profit aid organization "which allows everyone of goodwill to personally invest in the practice of showing solidarity." For the past 10 years, they have arranged an Easter egg hunt for children to raise money for their mission.
Though there were several egg hunts going on in and around Paris, how could we resist this one... Chocolate + Champs-de-Mars + Charity!
For 5 Euros, a child was given a Permis de Chasses, which allowed them to participate in games, coloring and athletic activities, but the main event was of course hunting for eggs (by searching for specific colored eggs hidden in boxes scattered around the park or by fishing for them with a bamboo rod), which they exchanged for a bag of goodies that included Kinder chocolate eggs (each egg contains a little toy inside!), a bottle of Evian and an apple sauce compote. They finished the day with happy hearts and a very satisfied sweet tooth :)
4.18.2014 • Around Paris
It's an institution this storied bookstore on the Left Bank that I finally had a chance to visit... just across the street from Notre Dame, Shakespeare and Company is not only a trove of new and used English language literature, but also an intimate reading space and temporary home to aspiring writers (in exchange for a few hours of work). Once inside, it feels you've intruded onto someone's cramped but much loved labyrinth of a library,... and you want nothing but to sit back and stay the day reading.
Originally named Le Mistral by the founder, the late American expatriate George Whitman, it was renamed Shakespeare and Company as a tribute to the original bookstore with the same utopian spirit established by Sylvia Beach in 1910, the one beloved by writers of the Lost Generation, including Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Weaving your way through the tiny rooms of wall-to-wall books, you can hear the whispers of all the souls that have passed through the space.
Shakespeare and Company has become an obligatory place to visit in Paris, one I'll be returning to often to appease my reading list. When visiting, do come right when it opens though... I took these photos a few minutes after, and as soon as I stepped back outside (after buying a used Gilead by Marilynne Robinson and Ernest Hemingway ON Paris), a large tour group had already begun to crowd the entrance.
Address: 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 (5th arrondisement)
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am - 11pm, Sun 11am-11pm
The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours.
No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that,
during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen.
And the fact that it practically always doesn’t, matters not a jot.
The possibility is always there.
- Monica Baldwin
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