Wednesday, August 31, 2011

French Visa Renewal -- First Appointment, So Far So Good.

This afternoon was a clear reminder of my status in Paris. "Immigrant". For some reason I like the term "foreigner" much better, but today I was clearly an Official Immigrant as I followed the stream of non-Parisians through the prison like enclosure and security of the immigration office. My one-year visa expires in a few months and it was recommended to start the renewal process early.

I was pleasantly surprised (once again) of the efficiency of the French immigration process. The office was located in a modern building and the processing system was set up very similar to the DMV system in the states, only an almost modern luxury interior with state of the art numbering system and modern design wooden seating. Very clean, very impressive.

Within 20 minutes of passing through the security entry, I was given a number, called to Window 4, processed and on my way back out the door. Done!

Granted, this was my initial renewal visit, so I was only registered and given a second appointment date to return with a list of documents. My only concern is that the return appointment is one week prior to my actual Visa expiration date. (I'm going to trust the "system") The required documents are basically the same requirements as the initial visa: Photocopies of Passport pages, Bank Statements,  Proof of Living arrangements in Paris, copy of the initial visa, and the one exception (now needed) is a translated copy of my Birth Certificate.

The only part of this renewal process (so far) that annoys me, is the birth certificate translation requirement. However, it's only a minor document to take care of, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the actual renewal process will go smoothly in a few months. So far, so good. On my way back home, I decided to snap a few photos of the area to share with those who's lives don't involve a visit to the immigration office.

The immigration office was just around the corner from a very modern "Paris".
My Immigration office (based on where I live) is very close to La Defense.

Yes, this is Paris...well, actually this is the La Defense Area, just above the 17th Arrondissment.

La Defense. 

Once again, my experience with the French Immigration was a pleasant surprise, since I have only heard horror stories of crowds, long waiting periods, and rude administration. For this initial renewal appointment, I was in and out the door in less than 30 minutes. (I decided to arrive at 3:30 in the maybe I missed the morning rush?). Today was just one more day to add to my reasons for absolutely lovin' life in Paris!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Place of Yes and a Margarita in Paris.

My younger sister's enthusiasm for this book (look left) has rubbed off on me as I watch her blazing through exciting goals and accomplishments in her own life in Las Vegas. She's fueled by her new BFF, Bethenny Franklel's book "A Place of Yes".

I bought the book. I'm inspired! From my own place of yes, I've decided to change my personal motto from "Just Live." to:

"Do your own "something" in the now."

Martini and Croque Monsieur meets (almost) Skinnygirl Margarita 
Bethenny Frankel also created the Skinnygirl Margarita , a product which I don't think has made it to Paris. Inspired by her anyway, I ordered the margarita and a croque monsieure to celebrate, discovering my "Place of Yes",  the last few days of summer and the beginning of a new season in Paris.  

Walking Home, just a random photo of Eglise de las Sainte-Trinte
...still walking, no matter how many times, I see the sparkling tower in the evening, it takes my breath away.
My place of yes, is still someplace in Paris...(to be continued).

Monday, August 22, 2011

The End of Summer.

On a random Monday summer afternoon, I decided to hop on the bus to capture a few more summer photos. Summer is coming to an end and the reminders are all around the city.

Traffic becomes more lively as the summer ends.

The "Paris Beach" begins it's depart.

The Summer is ending, the cars will be back soon.
Parisians are slowly returning to the city for "Rentree", who knows what changes the next season will bring? I'm looking forward to them all.
Although I love all four seasons, Fall and Spring are the best times of year in Paris with a few days in Winter (when the Christmas Lights come out) and a few mild days in Summer for bike rides and picnics.

Here's to changing seasons!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer Dancing on the Seine

Summer in Paris. Dancing on the Seine. What could be better?

On the way to meet a few friends along the Seine, I couldn't help capturing the summer cloudy sky.

Look like rain, but who cares? It's Paris rain!

"Uh on second thought. I will not be dancing. I decide to watch."
Tango in Paris.

The tempo of Paris never get's dull as I enjoy another Summer in Paris.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Single American Woman's Love of Paris

"Ah, you must like Paris because you are a single African-American women living over there right?" I was asked via email the other day.

"Wrong." I repied, in more or less words.

If a picture's worth 1,000 words, here are another few thousand more words to share just a few of the things I love about Paris. (double click the photos to enlarge)

First thing I love, the tower...of course!

Second thing, the outdoor cafe's and all the people that come with them.

I love the outdoor fresh fruit markets. 

....and vegetables. The French have a way of making everything so beautiful.

I'll admit, I hardly eat enough fresh fruits and veggies, but it's nice to know they're here.

I love the narrow streets that all look the same, but are all so different. And the artful cobblestone streets.

The old buildings, architecture, and history of Paris is amazing.

and, of course the pastries, on every corner, which I have eaten my fair share.

There's so much more about this city to love, but hopefully you get the picture; being a single American woman has absloutly nothing to do with my love for this city. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Night I Almost Forgot

[Conversation with Friend 1]:
"No, you didn't see me last night, it was the night before." a friend explained to me.
"Ah yes, it was two nights ago." I remember.

[Conversation with Friend 2]:
"I saw you when you finished working, yesterday. Remember" I told another friend.
"Oh no, it wasn't yesterday, it was the night before." my friend corrected me.

I thought for a while longer. "Ah yes, of course it wasn't yesterday, I was out with a few friends yesterday."

Yesterday is the day I almost forgot about, luckily I did have a few photos in my camera to remind me, that we must have had fun!

Party (Inside)

A Few New Friends

Party (Outside)

More New French Friends

Internationals Host Benoit

...and still a few more friends.
Excellent Food

Actually, I (almost) clearly remember the laughter, excellent food, good conversations and new friends at the Quartier Latin Ristorante-Bar-Pizzeria.(1 rue Mouetard, 75005)
There was also wonderful pizza and pasta (not pictured) all night long!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sometimes We Hold on Too Long

"You go your way, and I'll go mine." I'm too afraid to say outloud.

It's Healing Time.