Impressions of Paris (Part One)

I started my France adventure a week and a half early by staying with a family friend in Paris. Here were some of my findings this week!


Rue de MartyrAspire by API Gap Year Paris France - Paris sign

How is it that one street can be the home for so many different walks of life?  The home to the antique shop dealer and the fruit stand employee from Tunisia.  The little girl with blond hair pulled back into a ponytail who glides down the cobblestone road on her scooter and the old man who enjoys a leisurely stroll with his walker.  It is home to the newlywed husband and wife who wrap their arms around each other and the homosexual couple who do the same.  It is the livelihood for the volunteer who organizes a free book exchange each week and the streets of change for the young political advocates who will try any language to get their message across.  It is the best place to smell the fresh bread that bakes in the corner side pâtisseries.  The smell of soft butter melting in warm baguettes.  It is a place where dogs walk as freely as people, poking their heads into “une fromagerie” to see if their charm will earn them a nice snack.  Where you are free to “gouter” a fresh fig from the fruit market or peer into the window of a “chocolatier.”  Rue de Martyr is a street that is worth the six rainy days a week to get the one morning of Sunday sunshine.

Aspire by API Talia S blog - Rue de Martyr

A fruit stand on the Rue de Martyr


Piscines de Paris

Many things in Paris are different than the states.  The pools are no exception.  There are 38 “piscines” in Paris ranging from ones enclosed on boats to ones decorated with 19th century architecture.  If you decide to visit one, don’t forget your “bonnet” (swim cap) or they won’t let you in the pool.  Up the staircases of Piscine Pontoise, are floors and floors of old-fashioned changing rooms.  And as I walked back down them to the pool, I saw five lap lanes with at least a dozen people crammed into each lane. Remember to go to the one of your speed or you could end up butting heads with someone!


This post was written by Talia S., an Aspire by API student who is currently taking part in a gap semester program in Grenoble, France.  She will be updating the blog periodically throughout her time abroad.

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