Springtime in Paris

April 2, 2011 in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont

Hello! Happy April to everyone.

I’m posting something short (relatively, for me) and quick — **GASP** — I know, so unlike me, eh? 😉

But I wanted to post a couple of photos and links with some information of things you might want to check out. Keep reading to find out what!

The Belvedère at the Parc des Buttes Chaumont

Paris in the Springtime

A dear friend of mine, Sarah, came to visit me all the way from Germany this past weekend, and we were able to walk around the Parc des Buttes Chaumont here in the 19th with her and her mother and sister. Such a lovely time of year! The photos featured here are ones I took on our walk together.

In fact, there is an article featuring more of my photos on the Girls Guide to Paris entitled “Why Bloggers Love Paris in the Springtime” by Shannon Vettes of Je Ne Sais Quoi Blog. Taken last April (2010) in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, I am really proud of how they appear in the article. Go check them out!

Since there were 15 or so bloggers contributing, my writing got a wee bit edited for space (and content? Did it suck that bad? LOL), so I thought I would post in entirety here what I originally wrote:

Springtime in Paris. Yes, even one such as me who is often ambivalent about the City of Light has to say that the hype is absolutely all true: Paris in the springtime on a warm, sunny day is as delightful as puppies and kittens and rainbows and laughter. Paris in the springtime is so sweet it takes the most sour of attitudes and infuses them with sugar sprinkles. Meandering amongst the flowering trees in the parks of Paris makes me feel like love’s first blush. As winter’s cold, dank bite gives way to dewy, green leaves and floral displays that make fashion runways look bland, I, too, find my cold heart melting towards Paris, and I understand why people adore her so. A prescription to make a Grinchy-type heart grow three sizes too big? It’s not a Cindy Lou Who and Christmas in Whoville. It’s Paris, in springtime.

My favorite place to experience springtime? Paris’s parks, of course, especially the one closest to me, the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. If you have the luck to be in Paris in late April or early May, and during a day when the sun is shining, the glories of springtime can best be seen in Paris’s grand parks scattered throughout the city. But, even just a stroll down Paris sidewalks as the spring foliage is sprung by Mother Nature is delightful.

So there you go. The whole shebang, as I intended. Do check out what the others had to say about Paris in the Springtime as well!

An Upcoming Book Review

Photo of the PARIS, Paris cover from Amazon.com

Late last month, I was invited by a representative of Broadway Paperbacks (an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, which is a division of Random House, Inc.) to review David Downie’s re-issue of PARIS, Paris: Journey Into the City of Light (it is available as of today, April 5, 2011 at your local bookseller or here at Amazon.com. And no, I am not a part of their affiliate program — I just put the link there so you could check things out if you like! I actually vote you go to your local independent bookseller to purchase the book, if at all possible).

I am in the middle of writing the review now and also hope to coordinate some input from the author, Mr. Downie, if I can pull it together in the next couple of days. But, I wanted to give the book mention today since it is the book’s official release, which also happens to mark the author’s arrival in Paris 25 years ago. Congratulations, Mr. Downie, on your Arrival in Paris Anniversary and on the re-release of this revised, expanded, and updated title!

I’m looking forward to presenting the review here in the next few days. Since today’s theme is “Springtime,” I thought I would include a little excerpt of Downie’s book here, from the chapter entitled “In the Spring,” as a preview of what’s to come. Enjoy.

Anticipation, the weathering of that seemingly interminable Paris fall and winter, is what makes the spring so special here. It’s as much of a question of your state of mind as of meteorological phenomena. After a few false starts in February and early March, when picnickers are snatched off benches by icy claws, a sudden change occurs. The roasted-chestnut sellers stow their steel drums and shopping carts, reappearing with fresh-cut mimosa in hand. Lap dogs appear sans doggie jackets. Tulips and forget-me-nots pop up in the Luxembourg Gardens. Bright little sailboats skim across pools in the Tuileries. The bellwether youths of the Latin Quarter dress even more cavalierly than usual — a shirt and a loose-knit sweater, or a thin blazer with a scarf tossed defiantly around a ruddy neck…. C’est le printemps.

(pages 207 & 211)

Just a taste of what I am really enjoying. More soon!

Until then, à bientôt. Here is one more glimpse of Paris in the Springtime for you before I bid you adieu:

Square de Ménilmontant et des Saints-Simoniens, 20th arr

The location of the above square is here (in case you’d like to visit) and more information is here (in French, in case you’d like to read more about it).

Ciao for now —

Paris Karin

(an alien parisienne)

Categories: Book Reviews, Paris Beauty, Paris Places | Tags: , , , , ,

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33 thoughts on “Springtime in Paris

  1. Amy

    I agree that the parks are the highlight of spring in Paris (and maybe any city!).

    • Well hello, Miss Amy! It is so nice to see you here! Thank you for visiting me. I hope everything is going well for you, too. 🙂 You know, one reason I love the Buttes Chaumont so much is that it reminds me of those groovy Chinese parks. Like Bayi Park in Nanchang. It has a very similar feel to that park. (Man did I just have a load of fun Googling about that & reminiscing!). Springtime in Asia is really gorgeous, too. I agree — any city in the springtime does better, right?

  2. Hi Karin–Congrats on being included in that article and having all your photos shared there! They made the article as they also make this post. Gorgeous! I think springtime in parks and nature in general makes us think that anything is possible in life. There is just so much life and beauty in springtime. 🙂 Enjoy (and share more photos)!


    • Hi Shirley! Thank you so much! I’m really glad you think the photos worked for their post, too. 🙂 Makes me feel like I’m not just tooting my own horn, lol. I loved those photos a year ago when I took them, though, and I am glad they are getting some wider viewing now.

      I agree with you: springtime renews possibility, and after a dark, dreary winter it does make us feel good.

      I’ve actually got some ideas brewing about just how I could share more of those photos! I just have to become a little more self-disciplined about organization and not wasting time on Facebook. Ahem. So, here’s to me getting my rear in gear. Perhaps springtime’s energy will help me out!

      Hugs back to you, Shirley! 🙂

  3. ken

    Much too short for being so long in coming, but then it must mean that you’ve been living a full and complete life, having little time for those virtual things. I have definitely been noticing those “spring things” and trying to record them as best I can. The bee plant is coming into flower and the bumble bees to enjoy them, Thursday, the first barn swallows took up residence in the ranger’s garage (probably to the dismay of the rangers), I saw a pair of spotted tohee in Francis Field and on ll the beaches the red wing black bird has been flashing their red patches to excite the females. The birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees, all in their mating rituals.

    • Hi Ken! Well, I was just looking back on posts and realizing I have come on to post about once a month since the end of last year. I guess that has been my rate for a while now, lol. Slowly but surely I am sifting through the thoughts in my head about where I would like to take this blog. Thankfully there have been some things coming along to help me out with that, such as the link I posted today as well as the book review.

      I have noticed your lovely spring things photos, and I am glad that you have been trying to capture things as well! So glad you have a new camera with which to do so!

      I hope you will continue to enjoy spring in your neck of the woods, Ken. 🙂

  4. Howdy doody Karin…long time no blog ha…so glad you are using your skills as a writer to review books…I’m a complete sucker for anything about Paris..the good and the bad…

    I’ll be there again in July for a few days on my way to Florence…can’t wait.

    take care girlfriend.

    • Hi Deb! I know, it’s been awhile. Thank you for noting I posted & for coming by. 🙂 I definitely think you will like this book. It’s one of the most enjoyable I’ve read in a while.

      Okay, so we HAD BETTER meet up when you are here in July, eh? I’d love to meet up with you again! Want the Ghetto Paris 19th tour when you are here? Just say the word. We’ll work something out!

      You take care, too. Thanks again for your faithful reading. 🙂

  5. Gorgeous photos, Karin! And thanks for posting the entire version of your piece. Loved it. Re the book review, that’s so cool that you were asked to review it. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

    • Well thank you, my dear! This city makes it so easy to get good photos, you know? There really is something beautiful and interesting everywhere. And thank you for the props on the “full version” of Springtime in Paris. I personally really liked the stuff about the Grinch, lol, but can kinda see why that was not GG2P kind of fare. (Okay, I’m kinda giggling to myself, as you might imagine. *snort* 😉 )

      I’m working on the book review *right now.* I have some questions for the author that I am about to email, and I saw in my inbox that you commented, so I thought I would pause a second to say “thank you.”

      Hope to see you again soon, chica! 🙂

  6. Lauri

    Springtime in Paris… ahh, just the thought of it makes me jealous of your opportunities and experiences! The pictures are beautiful!

    • Hello, Miss Lauri. 🙂

      Okay, normally I would probably say, “Don’t be jealous. I live in a mold-infested 62 sq-meter apartment in a semi-rough part of Paris living on a bare existence that does not allow me to participate in a lot that Paris has to offer.”

      BUT, for the sights of Paris in the springtime, which are free and available to all, ABSOFRICKENLUTELY you should feel jealous! It is *so* pretty here right now!!! 😀

      I hope that the photos have spread a little bit of the joy to be found here in the City of Light at this time of year. 🙂

  7. “Paris in the springtime on a warm, sunny day is as delightful as puppies and kittens and rainbows and laughter.”

    Karin, this sentence made my heart melt like gooey caramel warmed over a fire!

    The GOOD spring days thus far have been absolutely delicious – let’s hope that there are many more!


    • Hello, Monique. 🙂 I’m glad you liked the sentence! And yes, the GOOD days have been good; the rainy ones not so much, but I’d better be quiet. Jusqu’ici, tout va bien!!

      Hope you are able to get out and about & enjoy this particular good day!

      Take care, Monique.

  8. Super shots, m’love! Springtime in Paris almost looks as good as you make it look here. lol

    • Thank you, m’dear! Oh now, don’t be a cynic! At least the flowering trees and floral abundance distract from the graffiti and dog crap and general grunge of some of the buildings and/or construction going on! 🙂

      And those shots (here, anyway) are due to that little Kodak you got me for Xmas to tide me over until I become rich and can get a DSLR one day. Thank you. 🙂

  9. Miss T

    The photos are so pretty! Paris must really be beautiful, I can’t believe i’ve been everywhere BUT Paris! Looking forward to the review!

    • ken

      You were in Half Moon Bay and I missed you?? Waaaaa!!~!!!!!

    • So Miss T, what was Timbuktu like, eh?! LOL. Seriously, girl. You have peeps here with whom you can crash so you don’t have to spend all your euros on any expensive hotel room, and we can make vegetarian, macrobiotic foods right here in the apartment! Just ask Sarah: I’m wonderful (hahahaha). No really — the door is always open, so we need to do something to change this situation, mmmm? And if it is too scary to stay with someone you have only known several years on the internet but not face-to-face (lol) then we’ll help you find a comfortable place to stay for cheap. But the door is open. Just sayin’. It’s pretty here in summertime, too, except when it is too hot and humid! So get that little Greek butt over here. 😀

  10. Hey Karin. Your photos for the Girls’ Guide article were awesome! Also, that is very funny. I just emailed questions to Mr. Downie today about his book. Will look forward to your review. We can compare notes 🙂

    • Hello, Miss Sion! Thank you for the props on the photos. I’m glad they got to be showcased somewhere else besides here and Flickr! And I am so glad to know you are writing a review, too! I’m really looking forward to your perspective!

      Happy Writing, Sion!

  11. I believe if I sat on one of those benches with the blooming trees overhead I wouldn’t get up till summer! Never in my life have I seen a tree exhibit such magnificent colors. Too bad I won’t be there until June…Oh well, that just means I have to stick around till Spring! 🙂

    • Hi Elisa! Thank you for coming by to visit. 🙂 You know what June has that April does not? ROSES. It’s when the rosebushes bloom in various places around Paris!! Just lovely! So June is not too late to enjoy loveliness in Paris. It’s late October/November when it starts to suck, lol. But yes, you will have to plan on having at least one springtime in Paris, for all the stories are true.

      Just a couple of more months! Bon courage!

  12. First visit to your blog, nice to “meet” you!
    Love the photos! I just came across some of my own Parisian springtime photos last week and they made me quite homesick for Paris! I have the original version of Paris, Paris on my bookshelf right now and I love it. Bought it right before I moved to France for my study abroad and it gave me such fun little glimpses into the city in a way that was not like all the standard “tour” books 🙂

    • Hi Amanda! It’s really nice to meet you, too, and thank you for not only coming by, but for commenting, too! I know that a lot of people visit, and it is nice to see and know a little about the people who do. Thank you. 🙂

      Ahhh! A reader of the original title! Yay! I just asked Mr. Downie about some of the differences between the revised and updated version and the older one — it sounds like some good updates have been made. More on that later… You are right, though: it is not a standard tour book at all, and there were a lot of cool details in it, too. I learned a lot from reading it.

      Thanks again for coming by and commenting. 🙂

  13. Despite the persistent allergies and attacks, there’s nothing more magical than Paris in the Spring! Let’s hope the rain stays away….! I just received the book as well, looking forward to jumping in!

    • LOL! Oh man, I know what you mean. I need to go pick up some more antihistamines today! And maybe another box of Kleenex — or les mouchoirs, I guess I should write. 😉 Being high on antihistamines with all the beauty makes things REALLY magical some days, hahaha! I have been tracking and know of at least four bloggers who will be posting on the book. I am truly looking forward to each person’s perspective about it. Should be cool to see what everyone posts!

      Take care, Lindsey, and HEY to anyone reading this comment — you should go check out Lindsey’s posts of late! I have had the best time catching up on her posts this morning. Not much time to comment, but the reading was excellent. I’m really liking the Franco File Friday posts, Linds. And the Bitch Buzz stuff you have been writing, too.

      People: click on her name up there, or her photo, to gain access to Lost in Cheeseland. <—– Yeah, or thanks to my mad HTML Skilz, click the link there. 🙂

  14. Hey Karin! Those photos are amazing and your writing is hilarious! And congrats on the book review, too! I’m FINALLY headed your way – currently in AZ – and will be there in a week. I’m saving up the whole move saga for an Alien Parisienne-sized post on my blog ;). I’ll tweet you once the jetlag subsides and we can go walking in the Buttes Chaumont and marvel at all the loveliness!

    • YAY! You will be here soon! Bon voyage to you! ONE MORE WEEK! It should still be very pretty here. Well, I will have out the welcome wagon — just send me a note via here (the “Contact” page) or Twitter, like you wrote, and we’ll get you acclimated, mmmkay?

      Thanks for the props on the photos, and I am glad you laughed at the writing. 🙂

      Take care & safe travels!

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  16. We all got edited down I think! But that is okay, there were so many of us and I was thrilled to be included. Those photos are amazing – are they cherry blossoms, or similar? April is my second favorite month to be in Paris after October. It looks beautiful. I can’t wait to read your review. I saw the review and interview on Sion’s blog and I am intrigued by the book. It will definitely be one that I am picking up immediately!

    • Hello, m’dear!

      Yes, I think we all probably did get edited down. It was a lot of input! It was nice to be included.

      You know, there are bazillions of flowering trees here and my knowledge of them is next to nil! I have no idea what the pink trees are, but I have seen them around. Maybe they are these: Kwanzan cherry tree. I know for sure that based on the Google Image photos there is a big one in the Buttes Chaumont Park — these ones had flowers very similar to the ones in the photos there, too.

      I just posted the review before coming here to reply to your comment. I hope you like it. 🙂 Thank you, as always, Andi!

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