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This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

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Paris

Blogvember #9: Meanwhile, in Paris…

…she has given me life. Liiiiife. 

Ride your vélo in those awesome heels, my lovely Parisienne. Rock your style. 

I love this. Happy Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, in Paris: To All the Crêpes I’ve Loved Before…

…bow before your benevolent mistress.

crepeParis

It was inevitable that I, a faithful lover of crêpes since my aunt introduced me to them when I was about six years old, would enjoy one of my favorite desserts in the country of its birth. I ate it in seconds, pausing only for one of my girls to snap this photo of me. (Can we talk about her marvelous photo, by the way? Capturing that lovely Eiffel and the breathtaking moon all in one fell swoop? I still hold my breath when I look at this picture.)

A few things:

  • Inside the crêpe was warm Nutella chocolate. So basically all of my dreams coming true and life being given.
  • You’ll notice my one gloved hand. It was chilly that evening, but I certainly had to eat my beloved delicacy with a free, naked hand. Enter the quirky compromise.
  • See that joy in my eyes? This is what crêpes do.

All right, that’s my cue to stop before I start penning sonnets.

Want to tell me everything about your favorite dessert? Make it good and yummy. 

Meanwhile, in Paris…

Parisienne4
Image courtesy of Pinterest, which was courtesy of Vicki Archer, who I am now following on Pinterest..

I think this Parisienne embodies my future life in the City of Lights. In every way you can think of.

Bursting with a thousand words, and I agree with every letter.

Happy Friday, and bon weekend, mes amis.

Meanwhile, (back) in Paris…

…we did a photo shoot in the City of Lights during our trip. One of my girls is developing a travel site and wanted some shots of the three of us gallivanting around the city. Here are three of my favorite shots (honestly, all of the photos are my favorite); I’ll share more as we merrily go along here on This Square Peg.

paris20161

Groupphoto1

groupphoto2

So here’s the thing:

  1. It was freezing that morning. That statement deserves italics: it was freezing that morning. As you can see, we didn’t have jackets, scarves, or gloves on in these photos, and we also wore our fancy shoes to and from le metro and on the streets. So yeah: cold, cranky, and craving a pair of flats. At least that was me.
  2. But I eventually appreciated, in line with the above, that such is the life of ladies who want lovely photos. My girls reminded me more than once about all those episodes of America’s Next Top Model I watched back in the day: you suffer for beauty and you smize while doing it. To get that dreamy light you see in the photos and to capture our chocolate selves in this amazing city, being cold/cranky/craving flats was worth it. And it really was. When we finally got back home and rubbed Aspercreme on our poor feet and limbs, we whooped with delight about the whole experience.
  3. My friends really are amazing. They didn’t have to ask me to join the photo (and real talk: I was minutes from going right back home on le metro when that cold air hit me) but they did. And I have these amazing pictorial memories to show for it.
  4. Our photographer was everything you imagine photogs to be: creative, intent on capturing awesome shots each and every time, and very comfortable with ordering us to “smile at each other!” over and over again. He was a delight.
  5. Parisians love seeing three women walking around the city as they pose for photos. We received more than a few smiles, curious stares in our direction, and a thumbs up from a funkily dressed lady who passed us by on the sidewalk.

It really was fun. As this Friday wears on and I find myself feeling slightly blue/down/not myself, it’s nice to reminisce and find a smile on my face as I recall that morning.

Have a lovely weekend, all.

Its Course is Fixed.

“So quietly flows the Seine that one hardly notices its presence. It is always there, quiet and unobtrusive, like a great artery running through the human body. In the wonderful peace that fell over me it seemed as if I had climbed to the top of a high mountain; for a little while I would be able to look around me, to take in the meaning of the landscape. Human beings make a strange fauna and flora. From a distance they appear negligible; close up they are apt to appear ugly and malicious. More than anything they need to be surrounded with sufficient space – space even more than time. The sun is setting. I feel this river flowing through me its past, its ancient soil, the changing climate. The hills gently girdle it about: its course is fixed.”

–Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

Seine1Seine2Seine3Seine4

All photos courtesy of This Square Peg. Quiet wonder courtesy of La Seine.

Bon weekend, all.

Meanwhile, in Paris…

…I don’t know what it is about Parisian doors.

Maybe it’s the promise of all the macarons that await me inside?

Could it be the handsome homme who awaits me inside, armed with the yummy crepes that he made me for brunch?

Or maybe it’s the lovely architecture of the les portes themselves, so artistic and majestic and ready to be captured on film so they can be adored long after I have reluctantly departed from them?

One can only guess. During my February trip to Paris, I took a few photos of said doors. Here are some of them.

Frenchdoor1

Frenchdoor2

Frenchdoor3

A Crochet Story.

Did she learn to crochet, those who don’t know me may wonder? No, dear ones: the girl who failed Home Economics in the seventh grade (true story) became the same woman who drove home in tears a few years ago after a sewing class. So when it comes to anything having to do with a needle and thread, I am hopelessly and, dare I say it, happily lost. (Some of us are all right with not being crafty and marveling at the crafty ones from afar. But don’t tell my mother.) Anyway, this crocheting has to do with my hair.

As you’ve read, I try to protect my natural hair during the cold months and give it some time to breathe and hide from my eager hands. You also know that when I’m about to travel internationally, I like the idea of not bogging my suitcase down with my beloved hair products (not a ton, but you get my idea). All that said, prior to heading to Paris and with the blast of angry, wintry air in the atmosphere, I decided to have something done for le fro. The only thing: I didn’t want standard individual braids, as per usual. I also didn’t want kinky twists, Senegalese twists, so on and so forth. I wanted something different, low maintenance, and new. Enter Pinterest and seeing an abundance of fellow naturalistas sporting crochet braids. Quite simply, crochet braids (or crochet weaving) is a process where your natural hair is cornrowed (which, by the way, has been a thriving style in the African-American community long, long, long before any Kardashian started sporting them), after which synthetic hair is crocheted with a latch hook in between the cornrows. I found a stylist through some friends and went to have them done. Prognosis: I am officially, utterly, and completely in love with them. (I’m in love with my stylist, too, and she will never be rid of me.)

First of all, there was no pain. I tend to feel almost light-headed when I get braids done (as much as you beg your braiders to be kind and not punish your tender edges, no one ever listens), so this was quite the departure. Secondly, it was so simple and easy and fast. Again, braiding takes hours to complete. In the past, I’ve entered salons in the morning and stayed until closing time. This took two hours, starting from when le fro was nicely washed and deep conditioned until the end when the process was done. Heavenly or what? Third: the hair is so lovely and natural looking. How I adore when styles look like they sprouted from one’s own scalp. Here I am. (And if you followed my Paris round-up, you’ve already seen how well they did.)

Crochet2Crochet3Crochet1

The above photos were taken days after the braids were installed. What I love, especially in Paris, was how fuller the style seemed to get: big, frizzy, and big. All the things I love. And did I mention the variety of styles you can choose for these crochets? From a giant fro to long, wavy hair, you can rock whatever style you please. Needless to say, I’m addicted and will be holding on to this style until I go on to the next set of crochets. In other words, I plan to have le fro protected and covered up until spring stops pretending and finally descends upon us.

Oh, but what about your impatience with the whole protective style thing, my mother may ask? I don’t know. I kind of love this style so much that I haven’t been longing for my natural hair as acutely as I have in the past. I just imagine that my strands are taking an extended nap until we meet again. Of course, as the weeks pass by, I may be singing a different tune. (Gimme my haiiiiirrrrrrr…) Anyway, until then, quite happy to say bye-bye to traditional braiding styles.

But wouldn’t it be interesting if I actually learned to crochet? Will you be around to wipe my tears?

Onwards, happy Friday, and bon weekend.

Meanwhile, in Paris…Round-Up #3 (Drama at Versailles!)

What drama, you ask?

Nothing. But while touring the majestic palace one morning during our trip, I gazed at the staircase shown below…

StaircaseParis

…and imagined an opulently dressed daughter of a marquis fleeing down the stairs in order to avoid meeting the ancient, pockmarked duke her parents had betrothed her to. I saw the fear and panic on her face as she descended in haste, heard her rapid breathing, and I got lost in my little imagined play as a swell of fellow tourists passed me by.

Again, I’m a writer. It’s what we do.

Can you see it, too? The better question: what do you see when you look at this staircase? Tell, tell…

Meanwhile, in Paris…Round-Up #2 (L’Homme at Pont Neuf)

So we know the Parisians exude a disaffected level of coolness that drips all over the cobble-stoned streets as they nonchalantly move past your wide, touristy eyes. Throw in their natural ability to look like images right out of the latest copy of a French fashion magazine. That said, during our trip, the disaffected, fashionable cool was all around us. Case in point: as my friends and I made our way across Pont Neuf, the famed bridge (per Wikipedia, it’s the “oldest standing bridge across the river Seine”), one of my girls caught sight of a guy adjacent to us. He was ostensibly headed to work. He was wearing a suit. He was glancing down at his phone. All the things we see on a daily basis, whatever city we inhabit.

But there was just something about this homme.

Owing to the fact that I have ninja photography skills (it comes from commuting to work and seeing a variety of things that, if not captured on a camera, would hardly be believed), I snapped a quick photo of him. Please feast your eyes below, won’t you?

ParisCool

Look at that ensemble. Look at it.  Look at his scarf. His tie. His briefcase. Look at all the blue. Oh, the effortlessness of it all. Perhaps beauty–and/or French cool–is in the eye of the beholder, but all three of us beheld him and thought the same, exact thing: there’s just something about Guillaume. (I gave him a name. I’m a writer. It’s what I do.) After snapping my ninja photo, we continued on our way, discussing just what it was about him that captured our attention so. In the end, it was basically that drip drip of French je ne sais quoi. No complaints here.

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