August 25, 2019

Garden Party in Vernon, France

During my stay in Paris, Isabella, my pen pal of 12 years, reached out and invited me to her mother, Carla and John's housewarming party for their home in Vernon, France. After fixing up and unboxing their belongings in their new house, new and long time friends and family from both England and France were able to attend this lovely evening. This evening is very special to me as I got to spend it in the countryside at an intimate gathering, being the only American there. The conversation was ample, the food divine, and the people just as lovely as the summer.

I am very excited to share this story as it sits in my memory completely priceless. 

xo, Hallie

August 19, 2019

Two Tops

I've had a lot of time to explore the city on my own.

In class today we reminded ourselves of how generous our time is in Paris. (In a couple weeks I may not think it was enough, but for now, it proves to be fulfilling). Our class time is broken between multiple hour critique and discussion, and walking tours of the arrondissements. For our critiques, we have images due from photo assignments, and we engage in a discussion about the choices we made, why, what we could do next time, etc. Most of my time here is spent alone. I didn't come with any particularly close friends and see this as almost a type of freedom. I do get along with the students here and we spend frequent happy hours and meals together, but a lot of us wander on our own. We're able to focus with our camera in front of our faces and do our job; to make our art. I truly have nothing else to worry about right now besides making images and growing within myself. To have this experience at 21 is incredibly liberating and is a time of our lives I know that not many have the privilege to have. To be able to step back and truly live as an artist in, arguably, the home city of ART. I now look at this opportunity to explore this city of millions of people on my own as an enriching and quiet time for my insides to continue to sort and show me who I am.

I found my new favorite perspective of the familiar Eiffel Tower and the monumental Sacré Coeur of Montmartre.

Le Tour Eiffel

Montmartre & Sacré Coeur

Montmartre & Sacré Coeur

xo, Hallie

August 15, 2019

First Glance

We're forced to find our bearings quickly here. I want to share some of the first images I've made while I'm here in Paris this month. We've done walking tours almost every day of an arrondissement and we still have many to go. I like how our bodies can adapt, however may painful it may be. Just one week ago, I stepped foot into our cute little Parisian apartment, in the 13th arrondissement. 

To be able to look forward on what I will do, I like to reflect on what has been accomplished. I've grounded myself and belongings - I even got a little house plant to remind me of having roots. Almost every morning before hopping on the metro to class, I stop at a bakery just at the end of our block for a croissant, and sometimes a baguette to make my own sandwich for mid-day. I've walked the hour to class and have therefore seen a lot of parts of the city less frequented, and by this I love being able to notice when neighborhoods start and where I find my landmarks or explore other metro stations. 

I love the puzzle in the metro map when I'm finding out where to go. I find the metro one of the most user friendly ways of transport, ever. I literally could never be lost when there is a metro station because it all loops back on itself by means of transferring. It really is like a real life game, which brings me a sense of joy. 

The past week I've been thinking a lot about language, once again. Being in a country where I really only know the basics, makes me have a greater appreciation for the languages I do understand. While I was in Spain, Spanish seemed hard and I told myself I wasn't speaking "fast enough." Which we all know doesn't matter if you get your point across... the bottom line is that I can speak it! While constantly hearing French these days, I can get discouraged, but after stepping back, this has all come to actually remind me of my knowledge of the Spanish language, and how to really appreciate what I do already know.

A Stained Glass Window

Notre Dame, today.

Evening on the River Seine

xo, Hallie

August 7, 2019

From Paris, with Red Hearts

This summer I am studying abroad in Paris, France with my photography program at school! Feels very unreal to be able that I get to call Paris my home for the next five weeks or so! To be an artist in Paris at any time, feels like you are really in it. This city is the birthplace of photography and has been home to many artists from all around the world. A hub for creativity- I don't think there could be a better city for this. 

I got here a few days before my program started and have been walking around, trying to fight jet lag, and eating, of course, some of my favorite food in the world! I'm very excited to feel more like a local after each day that passes. I keep wanting to speak in Spanish because my French is very sub-par... although getting around with English has not been a problem. I just feel a little disrespectful sometimes.

We will have an apartment during the program and go to classes every morning followed by a walking tour of an an arrondissement of the city. Some days we will go on tours outside the city, or have the day free to do as we please. Our professor studied in Paris and has family in France, so I believe we are in good hands!

To follow along with my journey this month, I have started a Paris tab under Places on the navigation bar at the top of my blog. All posts from Paris will be found there!

xo, Hallie
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