Friday, December 7, 2012

Paris vs New York

People often ask me, "So.. do you prefer living in Paris or in New York?" You'd imagine that I'd have tons of things to say in reply to that question, but more often than not I find myself thinking hard. Which city do I prefer? Gosh that is a really hard question. I have so many good and bad things to say about both cities! In the end, I guess, it really depends on what you are looking for and what your relationship status is. 

New York City, (I underline CITY because I wouldn't live anywhere else in New York state) I suppose, was fun when I was working, single, and had no other responsibility but to make enough money to pay for rent and party 3 times a week. It was a carefree life, most of my friends were single and in finance and enjoyed wining and dining, and we would spend time talking about how tough it is to meet the right man/woman. The right NOW man/woman on the other hand, was easy peasy. 

Paris, the city of love, is perfect when you have found that right person. It is perfect for couples in love, for those who like to roam around when its grey and slightly rainy, to brood on life, to have the best gastronomical experience ever. Even to have children, healthcare is practically free, there are bigger tax breaks the more children you have, and you don't have to worry about shootings in public schools.

So obviously, given my relationship status, I'd say that I prefer Paris for the moment. However, it is never so far in my mind that I met my Frenchman in New York, we had the best time partying and discovering Manhattan (for Parisians New York is like heaven on earth, The American Dream!). Fortunately, I have experienced the best of both worlds, and I love both cites from the bottom of my heart.

That is why I was ecstatic to discover this book by Vahram Muratyan. He illustrated 100 of Paris vs New York's best clichés, and I can proudly claim that I relate and understand them all! Quirky and smart, here are some examples that I absolutely love. 

Illustrations courtesy of Google Images

Thursday, December 6, 2012


We were just back from Malaysia and needed a mid vacation between the end of summer and the end of the year festivities, and came up with the idea of going to Seville. Best decision ever. A mere 2 hour flight from Paris, Seville provided us with the sun and heat that had already abandoned Paris during that time of the year. Cool in the morning, 30 degree Celcius in the afternoon, it was the perfect weekend getaway. 

The Spaniards are lovely people- warm, friendly, and very family oriented. Seville is the perfect city for families with young children. Most of the historical and touristic sites are walkable from one to the other, and unlike Paris, restaurants accept and welcome clients with strollers. Everything is cheaper here (but then again anything is cheaper than Paris). Zara is 30% cheaper, cabs are cheaper, and even our hotel tapas costs only €4-€6 each!

We stayed in a lovely hotel called AlmaSevilla Hotel Palacio de Villapanés. Only a 5 min walk from the city center and no more than 20 mins to reach the furthest attraction, this hotel is a hidden gem. It is the perfect mix of old and new- old because it is a typical Moorish style mansion, and new and chic modern designs dominate the rooms. The courtyard serves as the hotel lobby, where the natural breeze cools you down from the mediterranean heat. 

Hotel Lobby
I can't quite describe the ambience in Seville, but I love this city to bits. It is the second place in the world that we both decided that we will come back (second after Santorini). People are well groomed, they seem happier despite the deep economic crisis their country is in, there are well dressed children everywhere, and people actually smile! We felt welcome, and even J was nice to strangers.

We walked a lot, and we ate a lot. We stayed for 3 days and frankly felt that it was enough to cover most of the touristic sites. We would have loved to stay longer only to relax more, since that much walking in 3 days is very tiring. Below are some sites that are a must-see, and the next time we go there we will cover the rest! 

View of the Catedral from Plaza de San Fransisco

One of the side doors of the Catedral
The gardens of the Real Alcázar de Sevilla

Plaza de España
Shades because it literally gets too hot
Casa de Pilatos
Photos by Me

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

'Tis The Season!

Hellooooo everyone, its December again and that time of the year! I've been MIA for about 6 months now, sorry, life happens. Wigglemonster will be a year old soon, and I've been spending most of time entertaining her, running after her, bringing her to gardens to look at ducks, etc. You mommies understand, this is a full time job! I have no regrets, having a mini-me is the best thing in the world...

Anywho, it's December and super cold in Paris. Most days it is grey, cloudy and miserable, but you do get a few sunny days here and there. The Christmas market on the Champs Eysées is in full swing, stores are showing off their best in their display windows, and it smells like the holidays. Thank God I've gotten all my Christmas shopping done, the crowds are starting to be major in most of the department stores. People are lining up to buy Moncler jackets like they are buying bread! Geez its the crisis people...

Here are some pictures from Printemp's windows. A Winter Wonderland, a Parisian Christmas inspired by Dior. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, while clutching hard to my handbag of course (yes you still have to be VERY aware of pickpockets. ESPECIALLY during this time of the year). Ahh that Lady Dior in marine blue is definitely on my list. J'adore!

Pictures by Me