While writing Saturday’s post, I ended up digging a bit into the archives, searching for the original gelato photo that kicked off that tradition. Once found, I continued to backtrack, realizing that I was nearing my blog’s birthday. Sure enough, it turns out that Saturday (27 August) was the big day! Although I am rarely consistent (except for *almost* making NaBloPoMo in July 2010) and definitely lacking any thematic thread to tie things together, I am proud of the little corner of the Interwebs that I call my own. In the end, I feel that this blog has become a relatively accurate reflection of me – somewhat silly, easily distracted, worked upon in fits and starts, but also (I believe) genuine, optimistic and full of life.
Last week, Camille tagged me for my very first meme (always a late bloomer), for which I am to choose seven posts from the archives that exemplify this blog according to certain criteria. With the blogiversary upon me, it seems only appropriate to pause here and dig through the 116 posts from the past two years, to reflect on where I have been and contemplate where I am going. The fact that this post is going up two days post-birthday seems par for the course, as the blog always seems to be the first thing pushed aside in times of stress; but is, in reality, one of the best thing I have ever done for my creativity (and sanity). Thank you to all of those friends and readers (new and old) who join me, researching Paris (and life), one post at a time.
Now, my 7:
1. Most Beautiful
Although part of me is tempted by most recent “Tour de gelato” post (because who knew ice cream could be so photogenic?), I believe this title belongs to “Saturdays in Spring”. Winters in Paris are hard. Not trapped inside behind a meter of snow, Boston-hard, but still exhausting with their extremely short days and endless grey skies. That first weekend that I can shrug off the overcoat, put on cute flats and spend the afternoon wandering around my neighborhood, snapping photos of shockingly red strawberries and baskets overflowing with mushrooms marks a mental (and meteorological) turning point towards Spring. And, honestly, there is nowhere as beautiful and full of life as Paris in the springtime.
2. Most Popular
My post about spending the first Sunday of June exploring the “Musée du Quai Branly”, (somehow) garnered Freshly Pressed ‘fame’, resulting in more than 3000 hits in 24 hours. Craziness. Wonderful, amazing, interconnected craziness. I still have no idea who selects the Freshly Pressed posts, but I do want to give them a giant hug (and buy them several beers). I was self-consciously delighted, not only for the attention (who wouldn’t be?), but also for the commenters and their blogs, which I may not have found any other way and now enjoy regularly.
3. Most Controversial
Although I have cut back on the ‘Friday French Fashion Faux-Pas’ posts in recent months, they remain the most popular, discussed and controversial posts I have written. In particular, “Things That Make You Go FFFM” revealed my ambivalence-leaning-toward-distaste for spectacularly colored leggings, which led to some sharp comments from readers who enjoy the opportunity to flaunt their gams during crisper weather. After the fallout, I think I finally realized that I just have shapely leg envy.
4. Most Helpful
Since signing up a bit over a year ago, I have really enjoyed the weekly surprise of my panier bio. It also provides built-in blog fodder and an excuse to be creative in the kitchen (neither of which is ever a bad thing). Once again encouraged by Camille, I used one week’s harvest of artichokes to both feed friends and write “An Artichoke Primer” (California-style). I am not sure if anyone has actually used it, but after showing innumerable friends how to enjoy entire artichokes in the past, the post definitely has ‘most helpful’ potential written all over it.
5. Post Whose Success Surprised Me
As mentioned above, the FFFFP posts seem to please everyone (except, perhaps, the unidentified subjects). That surprises me a bit in general, as I am no fashion plate and, often times, my critiques make me feel a bit frumpy and out of the loop (maybe I am completely missing the point, you know?). However, the “U Can’t Touch FFFFP” post dedicated to the (then) newly emergent Hammer pants trend continues to be one of the most viewed posts on this blog, much to my surprise. Maybe it is because this trend Just. Won’t. Die.
6. Post I Feel Didn’t Get The Attention It Deserved
Visiting Paris is, for many people, a dream vacation. I have been very lucky to have several friends come visit during my time here (family? You are next!), and when they do arrive, I am ready with a trusty walking tour and a few key museum and restaurant recommendations. However, this city if full of hidden treasures that I would love to discover and so, to this end, I asked out loud what the “Must-Do(s) in Paris” are. Perhaps because I was just starting to get readers beyond friends and family, or maybe everyone agreed with me (doubtful), but I did not receive so many suggestions. However, it would be great to collect a few more ideas today of things to do in the coming weeks as the days cool and shorten (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink).
7. Post That I Am Most Proud Of
For the most part, I try to keep this blog light. Day-to-day existence can provide plenty of potential stress in itself. The things that keep me happy (i.e. sane) –exploring new places, spending time with friends, cooking – those are the topics I like to reflect on here. Yet every once in a while, life throws a curveball and it can be an overwhelming struggle to be honest with myself, figure out which doors to close, hope that new ones will open and focus on living in the present. I hit one of these walls this spring. I hesitated to talk about it here, lest the frustration, confusion or loneliness diminish the fun, witty atmosphere I had previously cultivated. Turns out that this is my space and opening up within it, to say whatever I need to, actually is now part of my process. “Synchronicity” said it all in that moment.
Enough reflection for now, methinks. Upwards and onwards! To infinity and beyond! Perhaps that it aiming too high? I am going to shoot for at least two posts a week from here on out… And definitely an About page sometime soon… maybe linking a Flikr account… oh dear.
And now the best part – tagging blogging friends and inspirations of mine!
Catherine, of Ciao Down!
Catherine, of Dig Girl
Anna, of Lab Life
Brittany, of Reflections
and, if I’m lucky, Adrienne, of Martinimade
Tag! You’re It!!