May 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Runner's World Summer Run Streak 2013

Did you hear about this? I didn't, until fellow New York runner and oftentimes friend Bridget told me about it. 

Runner’s World magazine is hosting their annual Runner’s World Summer Run Streak 2013: 39 straight days of running at least a mile per day. It all starts TODAY, May 27th, and lasts until July 4th (book-ending American holidays!).

Why? Well, why not?

With two marathons coming up in September and October, I’m in no position to get lazy now, even if the hazy days of summer will soon (hopefully) be calling my name. 

In Paris, summer means running, but also picnics along the Canal with beer and pizza as well as countless hours lounging in the sun at the Buttes Chaumont. Sometimes it’s hard to get the motivation to go out and pound the pavement.

Speaking of pavement, the Pavement Runner, who launched the #BostonStrong runs that I helped organize in Paris in April, designed the logos for this endeavor. Check out his blog and get your shoes on. I’ll be running every day, so if you’d like to join – for at least one short mile – let me know and we’ll set the time and place! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

An Academic Coming Out

Some time to wander Strasbourg...
We travel for pleasure. We travel to escape. We travel to discover. Then there are those who travel for work. Poor devils.

When I was a student coordinator at a study abroad program in Paris, I organized weekend trips, but they hardly felt like “business” – they were more enjoyable than anything. We’d go away to new places, discovering new things, worrying only about making the train on time and not leaving any (or many) students behind. It was a relative breeze.

Now, as an academic of sorts, I have succumbed to traveling for more professional reasons, attending a colloquium in Strasbourg this past week. This is the beginning of a new lifestyle, globetrotting and discussing academic things, to keep it brief. It requires things like pants, shirts that need to be ironed, and shoes that aren't Chucks. 

It's a strange new world for me.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Froyo Crisis in Paris Relieved

So healthy...

So that whole lactose intolerance thing wasn’t a phase, apparently. Still no cream. No soft cheeses. No – gasp – ice cream. While Lactaid pills (my soon-to-be official sponsor…) allow me to get my fix at Pozetto of chocolate-hazelnut gelato, I’m out of pills. Sorbet it is. I’ve grown fond of fruit-flavored frozen treats, but let’s be honest – fat makes everything taste better.

Fortunately, the minuscule frozen yogurt scene in Paris has helped keep me in touch with the dairy world while offering “froyo” with live culture in them, allowing me to digest the otherwise nauseating milk-based dessert. Sadly, there are few locations, and they are, indeed, far between.

MyBerry, the go-to in the Marais, is more often closed than open, and with lines to boot when the sun starts shining. Their address on the Ile St-Louis is, sadly, no longer with us. There is a froyo crisis of sorts, it seems.

The other day, while on a hunt that turned epic for a froyo fix, a friend and I walked from the Marais to Odéon. Both MyBerry and newly opened Yogurt Factory were closed (comme d’hab). We walked to St-Germain, but our final attempt left us craving some cookie-topped yogurt at It Mylk. Of course they had recently closed this address to move up somewhere in Montmartre, and we weren't about to scale the hill with no energy to fuel us.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bike by Numbers

Meet Ace. The bike.

I once did a project on Numerology, the mystical study of numbers, for a geometry class in high school. The teacher was pretty religious – Catholic – so I'm not sure that she enjoyed my research into pagan symbolism, but it was interesting regardless. It’s fun to look at numbers and think of what they mean. Without getting all spiritual on it, I’d like to think my numbers in France are pretty good. When I go back and do some accounting, I’m generally pretty pleased. 

Certain ones are delightfully low:

1: apartments I've lived in since moving here.
2: times I've had to go to the police station for theft
1: traffic tickets given by a traffic cop

Others are fortunately high:

11: companies I've worked for in Paris (at least)
9: weeks of vacation during my first contract
10: pairs of Converse I have imported to France

But 4 is the new number that I’m angry at, and, despite being only 3 away from 1, it’s too high. I’m now on my 4th bicycle in Paris, after damage and theft have ruined my three previous ones. I’m pretty sure my annual bike budget may soon surpass my holiday spending budget and my gelato expenditures – and neither is particularly modest.