four reasons, paris

Grateful Graduate Project: Reason to be grateful 12 of 365

Librarie Galignani

I am grateful to have paused at Librarie Galignani, the oldest bookseller of English publications on the continent (since 1520 to be precise).

It also houses an interesting range of contemporary French  publications and classic works in the French language.

Few words seem appropriate to encapsulate the endorphin-inducing effect of Galignani at 224 rue de Rivoli (website link here):  Literary heaven,  sacred space,  supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, inimitably enchanting – are a few, inadequate phrases that come to mind. This is an enriching space whose atmosphere  I am grateful to have found time  to savour. I even picked up a good read.

Reason to be grateful 13 of 365

Quartier Latin

The ‘latin quarter’ has become  one of my most familiar and ‘loved’ districts of Paris,inasmuch as one can profess ‘love’ for a geographic area occupied by inanimate objects that cannot reciprocate such affection!

In any case,  I am grateful for the centuries of history, ingenuity, and thought that have shaped this historic part of the city. I am also grateful for how this grandeur manages to coexist with the new: I ‘love’ how feasible it is to pick up incredible academic texts and catch an independent house movie in one of the quarter’s small cinemas at the end of the day, maybe grab a cheap coffee and pastry menu afterward. You do not necessarily need company to enjoy this area of Paris. It’s also quite interesting to see how a defiant, giant McDonald’s ‘M’ symbol has the nerve to be in the vicinity of some of the city’s grandest cafés.

 In short, I am grateful for  the ease with which the familiar and the unexpected  occupy a place in the fabulous and enlightening historic Quartier Latin.

Reason to be grateful 14 of 365

Musee d’Orsay

The city’s main tourist sites can be discouraging places to visit if you’ve picked Paris to live in –  crowds,  entrance prices, the more lucrative opportunities for richer experiences elsewhere in the city.  

Yet, Musee d’Orsay  could qualify as an exception if only for the insight that the museum offers into several dimensions of French and world history. I am thankful for having received a free gift to enjoy Musee d’Orsay with my beloved! There could not be a better combination of factors – art and the best company on earth!

Reason to be grateful 15 of 365

The Sunday Slowdown

The weekly pause on Sunday has become a surprisingly welcome part of the cycle of being in Paris. Yes, it means more planning and getting all that one needs before Sunday comes around again – given that supermarkets generally close down on Sunday. It forces the work obsessed to hopefully develop other interests that are not necessarily tied to one’s life as a consumer and as an economic commodity. It gives a weekly window to be human, even if one cares little for the religious roots of this weekly sabbatical pause.

I’m appreciative of this part of the cultural cycle here, perhaps more particularly as a student: it provides a vital opportunity to live beyond class work and serves as a reminder to keep one’s mental and physical batteries recharged.

Grateful Graduate project is a pledge to collect 365 reasons to be grateful for the graduate student experience offered by Paris and London over the course of 2013