Mon professeur d'Histoire de Paris

Trip Start Jan 17, 2010
Trip End May 18, 2010

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Where I stayed
rue de Lourmel

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

For my art and architecture and history classes, we take little visits around Paris. Today, I visited the Notre Dame (my 3rd time) with my professeur d'Histoire de Paris.

If you don't remember me explaining him earlier, in my entries, I'll remind you a little bit of his personage. He's older, with gray hair that he has grown out in order to slick it back over his balding areas. He's probably the heaviest person I've seen in Paris (besides tourists lol). He wears the same greenish blazer with the same blue turtleneck underneath, every class period. (Except for last week, when he took off his winter coat to reveal a brown-plaid blazer and greenish turtleneck! There was a loud 'gasp' heard throughout the classroom.) He walks with a cane, therefore very slowly. And the best thing about this gentleman is his humor; he knows how to crack a joke even to a bunch of foreigners. haha!

On with the visit...
Class starts at 14h15 and runs until 15h45. Visits start at 14h30 and run until this man is pleased with himself and his we finished at 16h35. He may be old and walks slowly, but this man has the drive to keep going (you can really tell he has a passion for what he teaches). Starting at 14h30 we had about a group of 20, by the end...there were 4. (Granted, some students legitly have class and therefore must leave early, where as others can't take the pro-longed visit, and eventually drop like flies.) And much to the loss of everyone else, instead of continuing on with discussing the Notre Dame, our professeur took us around the l'Ile de Cite (not very big) and showed us some historical sites and tidbits that I'm sure many Parisians wouldn't even know about. For example, he showed us a spot where the cobblestones change, the point where the l'Ile de Cite was expanded. He showed us a sign that indicated the water line of the Seine from the great flood of January 1910. He took us into the courtyard of an apartment complex that still had remaining stonework, indicating the funeral spot of workers on the Notre Dame. etc. etc. This guy is like a walking encyclopedia of Paris! Not to mention, we spent over an hour around the outside and inside of the Notre Dame, and I learned details about its structure that I never even noticed the first two times around! For example, the right tower is smaller than the left, most of the statues you see in front are replicas (most have been taken down for security and preservation, but can be viewed at local museums). The stained glass window on the left wing has more dark blue glass, because the sun does not shine through it, so this way it's just as vibrant as the stained glass window on the right wing, which does face the sun and noticeably has lighter colored glass. etc. etc. 

C'est drole! 

Cultural Insights:

-L'Ile de Cite is not the only island in Paris, there is L'Ile de Saint-Louis also. The two are connected by a small bridge, behind the Notre Dame. The island is small, but if you want ice cream or gelato, it's on every corner.

-The Marais is an area by the Bastille, which is known for its Jewish Quarter (very old, traditional Jewish residents). I visited it on Sunday and it was extremely busy! (Makes sense, since in the Jewish religion, they practice their day of rest from Friday to Saturday night, therefore everything is open on Sunday! woot!) I found some amazing vintage shops, with scarves for only 3 euro, bargain (and if you know me, I love scarves...a little too much!) Also, there is all these great Jewish restaurants and stands. And the most popular thing you can order is a Falafel sandwich: everyone eats them! There is one place L'As de Falafel that always has a line down the block of customers. haha So if you don't know where to go on a Sunday... the Marais is the place to be!

-Ratatouille: I know we've all seen and loved the Disney movie, but did they actually explain to us, what the plate consists of?! Well, my host mother makes two great things: chocolate mousse and ratatouille. I've concluded that it's a mixture of cooked veggies (zucchini, peppers, onions) with some type of sauce. SO GOOD!! I will have to try this at home.

New Vocabulary:
-partials- "mid-terms"
-flaner- to take a stroll

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