Visiting The Real Paris

Visiting The Real Paris

Here are 4 recommended visits

In my last article on visiting Paris, I discussed the touristic version, and what you should do if you only get one chance to visit the city of love. For those of you fortunate enough to go multiple times, this is for you. Having traveled to Paris on many occasions, I have been able to really explore, and get to know the city. Here are the four things, I recommend visiting.

First on my list is, the Basilic Sacre Coeur.

Even though this is the 18th most visited attraction in the world (Huffington Post) not many people place it on their bucket list. The Sacre Coeur is located in the 18th arrondissement, in the “Montmartre” district. Visiting this Basilica costs a few Euros, and is quite a hike up 270 narrow stairs, but once you reach the top, you are rewarded with a panoramic view that rivals that of the Eiffel tower. Once you have walked around the top, you can go into the actual church and see the Ancient Roman architecture, and Byzantine architecture.

Staying in the 18th arrondissement, is the quartier “Montmartre”.

This historical district has played host to many films such as “Amelie”, “An American in Paris” “Midnight in Paris”, “Moulin Rouge” and many others. What makes this area so unique, is the romantic attraction it gives to people. The streets are filled with quaint brasseries, beautiful architecture, lovely brick roads, and stairs, not to mention the previously stated, mesmerizing “Sacre Coeur”. If you are visiting Paris with your significant other, this area is sure to charm. Stop by the “Pain Quotidian” for the best fresh baguette and jams the city has to offer.

Next up on the list is a museum, and no it isn’t the Louvre. Located in the center of Paris is the Musée d’Orsay.

Often overlooked because of the Louvre, this museum is filled with incredible artwork, such as “Lady Liberty”, the Luxembourg rooms, and many other fascinating exhibits.

Following the Musée d’Orsay, I would recommend a trip underneath Paris. No that isn’t a typo. What I am referring to is the Catacombs of Paris.

These mysterious, and strange series of tunnels lie underneath the city, and have been around since the time of the Romans. Carved out of the limestone under the city, these labyrinths of tunnels run for miles, and host the remains of over six million people. You can walk through the tunnels now, and see millions of skulls, and other compacted bones that have been used to reinforce walls to prevent cave-ins. Though extremely creepy, it is worth the trip down the “Barrière d’Enfer”.

All in all, for those of you fortunate enough to visit the City of Lights for an extended period of time, these are some of the many attractions that are well worth the time to take and visit.

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.

It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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5 Things Everyone From NOLA Knows To Be True

There is no other place in the world like New Orleans.


When someone says they're from New Orleans, there is a 75% chance they are not actually from New Orleans. They are probably from a city somewhere right outside of New Orleans like Metairie, Kenner, St. Rose, Destrehan, River Ridge, etc. Basically everywhere within a 15-minute radius outside of New Orleans is considered New Orleans.

Anyone who is from or near New Orleans knows these five things.

It's pronounced New Or-lenz, not New Or-leenz


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Other places do NOT know how to season their food


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Everywhere you look in New Orleans there is some kind of art. From art galleries and street art, to dancers and musicians you are constantly surrounded by art and it's a pretty amazing feeling.

Bourbon Street isn't all that great

Laura Devalcourt

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After Katrina wiped out a big part of our city, the people of New Orleans were devastated by the losses. No one thought we would bounce back, at least not to where we were before but they were wrong. The people of New Orleans and the surrounding areas rebuilt the city from the ground up, just like they have done throughout history.

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