Each day I wake up to 60 degree weather and a cloudless sky, I remind myself that it is only March and could be devastatingly rainy tomorrow, because after growing up in Seattle I cannot comprehend spring coming before May. But I can’t ignore the sun that shines through my windows, so this weekend–in the midst of midterm papers and upcoming exams–I sacrificed my studying in order to go out and enjoy the amazing weather.
It seems that Paris had been hibernating, because once the sun peeked its head past the cloudy sky, the population of the city appeared to double. One of my favorite parts of French life is the picnic culture. Faire une pique-nique is an activity practiced by all Parisians, especially when it’s warm out. Throughout the city you can see gatherings in parks where the kids play and the parents sip wine out of their portable plastic wine glasses, sitting on the grass and chatting for hours.
I decided to make Parisian park culture my culture, starting on Friday with a visit to Musée Rodin, where the garden full of Rodin sculptures was beginning to come alive with fresh grass and daffodils. The park is centered in Paris, with am amazing view of the golden dome of Hôtel des Invalides, as well as the Eiffel Tower.
Saturday included a walk to Bastille, where I enjoyed smelling the flowers and admiring the artwork sold at the marché on Boulevard Richard Lenoir, which was then followed up by metro-ing to Montemartre to watch the sunset at Sacré Coeur.
Sunday I finally had to write that essay, but it was done with fresh air coming in through the open windows and some fun music. When studying abroad one often has to make sacrifices such as choosing exploration over studying (and I often hear the small voice of my college tuition urging me to keep to my studies) but since living here I have come to understand that exploration is just as much a learning experience as reading a textbook, if not more.
I’m now sitting outside writing this in the courtyard at NYU Paris, after eating a chocolate éclair and having one of those “how did my life get to be so perfect” moments.