Monday, May 31, 2010

A Night of Vanity and Art in Paris

Photo Essay: The Perfect Soirée for the Artsy, Poor Student

(Photo Credit: Felicia Moursalien)
In your mind, imagine the small punch buggie where two clowns jump out of it but to your surprise there is actually an endless stream of them popping out of this one car. Well, that's how I feel about Paris and its nightlife. I thought I had a pretty, pretty good idea about what one can experience in Paris, and then it completely surpassed my expectations. A couple nights ago I was invited to a fashion show at the Espace Culturel of the Ukrainian Embassy and it turned out to be one of the coolest and beautiful nights I've had in Paris. The craziest thing about this dazzling soiree was that it was all for free! Wicked right? It's counter-intuitive but some of the classiest and trendiest events usually are free, unlike Barcelona where the best things to do by night were 15 Euros and higher. The catch is that finding the awesomeness is hard and once you do, getting past the door is all dependent on how you look. This city breeds vanity but whateva, I prefer taking my odds when batting my lashes than the certainty of knowing I can't afford something.

Luckily for us, this night, consisting of a whole slew of artsy indulgences went by without a glitch. Here is a photo representation showing you what the heck Paris has hiding up her sleeve and my two cents on the whole sha-bang. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Indie Guide to Paris: Ethiopian Restaurant Discovery!

Hello World!

Here is a new restaurant to be added to the Indie Guide to Paris: Cool and Cheap Eats

Restaurant Ethiopia (11th): While leaving the set of Decide-Toi Clement on the final day of shooting (release of episode 2 on June 6th) my lover and I Vespa-ed down a tiny street and happened to pass an Ethiopian restaurant. Kind of hungry and looking for adventure we decided right then and there to turn back and try it out, and we would not regret it. The restaurant was moderately full (always a good sign) and the service was friendly. The main dishes were all pretty cheap from 10-13 euros. There were choices of chicken with spices, stew beef and other yummilicious things. It also has a wide array of vegetarian options. Paul and I decided to try the "menu" for 20 euros (for one person but we split it and it was enough) which came with a sampler of the chicken, beef, veggies and other spices, accompanied with a roti like bread. I was reminded of home because I felt like I was eating chicken curry and roti (with our hands) and that made me very happy because I'm starting to miss home-cooking. It wasn't as spicy but it was super tasty and I think it may on the list of places I'd go back to often (especially given its cheap prices!) and I am mega excited about finding it! 91, Rue du Chemin Vert - 75011 Metro: Voltaire

Monday, May 24, 2010

Indie Guide to Paris: Cheap and Cool Eats

Following Your Travel Book can Get Dull and Expensive 
See Paris in a Different Way
(via Trendhunter )
A Guide to Affordable and Trendy Eats in Paris

Sure you can take a hot chocolate at Les Deux Magots and ponder the meaning of hell and purgatory like Sartre did at this great cafe, but if you keep following a regular guide book your understanding of  Paris will relate mostly to your bank account. Even thanks to Greece and

Friday, May 14, 2010

Indie Guide to France: Le Mans

My First Week in la France

1. Introduction
2. Video Footage
3. Indie Guide: Le Mans
4. Music

1. Introduction

 A real street name! An old Gestapo house was on the same street we lived.

If you kept up to date on Facebook, I did not know what the best city to visit in France that wasn't that expensive by train. Bordeaux, Nantes and Lyon obviously came first to my mind but the train tickets were all over 100 euros. My sad bank account would have screamed in agony if I dared take such an adventure so I decided that I wanted something a bit more authentic (nice way of saying closer and cheap lol). Luckily, Maxime Germain, someone I knew only in the virtual world as the webmaster of Decide-toi Clement (my boyfriend and best friend, Camille's Parisian hit webseries) and whose talent I stole from Paul to help me with my own web stuff, offered to let me stay at his place in Le Mans. Although we had never met in person, I relished the opportunity to finally meet my Skype friend and to see a new city.

Maxime's Geek Workshop. For a 17 year old I was so impressed by his entrepreneurial ambitions!

Le Mans is best known for its 24 Heures du Mans, a famous race car event that happens in the summer. If you haven't heard of it, it means you're probably not a) a hick or b) from France. I had no idea what this city was about if anything, but that was the best part of Maxime's offer. I wanted to escape the glamour and beauty of Paris and find out what the real French were like. Parisians are just so self-centred and narcissistic sometimes, I knew they could not be representative of a whole country! And they putain are not. While in Le Mans I got a taste of something I did not know existed in Paris: friendly people. Everyone was nice and helpful and did not give off any of that bitch feeling all foreigners feel in Paris and immediately attribute to all French. It was cool.

I ate with his family consisting of Maxime and his beautiful parents who had both grown up in Le Mans, met each other there, got married and raised their son all in the same city. They were so sweet and open to me that I felt really lucky to have been invited to their home. I could not see any of the French stereotype of being closed people but Maxime explained that his family are especially open. Plus, I can't express how amazing it was to have a home cooked meal after one week straight of restaurant and frozen food while living alone in Paris.  (Paul and I just bought groceries, hopefully that will change!)

On the last day I went to his highschool. It was philosophy class and none of the students were listening while the teacher droned on about music. As you see in the video, Maxime is playing his Gameboy in class! He explained to me that he always plays in that class because the teacher just talks about nothing for a while. Kids these days!  I was surprised by how NOT different they were from kids in my own highschool except it didn't seem to have the North American classification between jocks, popular kids and geeks. Everyone looked cool. The other difference is that their highschool looked like a castle and was beautifully designed, which I cannot say the same for the brown box of a school I came from in Scarborough.  I saw the city which was pretty ordinary and small and it lacked the chaos of Paris. It seemed a bit like Ottawa, a great and beautiful place to raise a family and live a tranquil life. All in all I lived life like a real Le Manian and I was happy for the chance that most tourists do not get.

Just the stairwell of the ridiculously gorgeous and immense highschool in Le Mans

2. Video Footage
Here is the video I made showing you a bit about my first week in France. Paris and Le Mans are here! (Ps. The kiss is staged. I am very much in love with my boyfriend and it is actually our anniversary today! We're at 2 years and 2 it weird to celebrate monthly ones after so long? Hmm we don't know but we figure any excuse to celebrate love is a good one).

3. Indie Guide: Le Mans

While there I decided to try to make an indie guide haha. The reason I chuckle at said mission is because in retrospect I realized there is not much indie or hip about the place. Nonetheless, here is a

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lil'Fel Rocks the World Presents: Lesson of the Day with Camille L. Girardet

Lesson of the Day: How to do the "Cloudy Cloud"

Here, with Parisian actor C.L. Girardet, star of the newly released Decide-Toi CLEMENT we get a little lesson on how to do some cool shizzle. Being one of my best friends in Paris + a great actor + a hilarious dude he probably will feature regularly on this blog. You may recognize his ass on the Banner photo. Enjoy!

* This is a bit different from the usual postings here, but as mentioned on facebook, while creating the Indie Guides, this blog is just trying to show people loving life with the people they meet around the world. It doesn't necessarily reflect the beliefs or habits of this humble blogger. As Bob Marley would say- One love.