Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Bit of Paris Right Here in New York City

This blog was written by Kyle Scott, the Spring 2013 Digital Media Apprentice.

Compagnie XY, the company behind Le Grand C, has finally arrived! The troupe joins us all the way from France, and the performers’ French accents have me reminiscing about my trip to Paris when I was fourteen. After thinking about that trip, I realized that many of the things I enjoyed about Paristhe art, culture and cuisinecan be experienced right here in New York City. I may not have realized it, but I’ve been incorporating French experiences into my New York life for quite some time!

When I visited Paris, I always started my morning with a croissant, yogurt and coffee. This meal was enough to keep me fueled and ready to take on the day without weighing me down. Fresh fruit, like apples, strawberries and blueberries, were also great to have for breakfast. In New York City, I depend on Trader Joe’s or a local bodega in my neighborhood to pick up these items so I can start my day with a light but filling breakfast just like I did in France.

Macarons are a personal favorite, so whenever I’m uptown I make sure to stop by Laduree. Laduree is a dessert shop straight from France, and their location on the Upper East Side is their only store in the United States. They feature a variety of macarons that are all equally delicious. I’m a fan of the caramel with salted butter, but you can’t go wrong with any of the sweet, fruity flavors or some of the more traditional ones, like chocolate or raspberry.

One of my favorite things to do on a casual Sunday is grab a cup of coffee and stroll through the West Village. The area reminds me of the Montmartre district in Paris. Many famous authors and artists lived in Montmartre throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dalí and Claude Monet. Similarly, the West Village was home to Oscar Wilde, e.e. cummings and Frank O’Hara, among many other celebrities, authors and intellectuals. The great amount of history in both Montmartre and the West Village, paired with the beautiful architecture, cobblestone streets and quaint shops, make you forget about the hustle and bustle of urban life as you wander and explore.

The French vocalists of the last century continue to influence the arts today and I always enjoy listening to their music. Edith Piaf, France Gall and Charles Aznavour are just a few of the artists who left their mark on vocal performance. Although the four years of French I took in high school is nearly lost, I don’t need to understand the language to empathize with the emotion these artists bring to their songs. Check out this playlist of a few of my favorite French melodies:

I recently discovered that the Metropolitan Museum is featuring an exhibit titled “Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity” through the end of May. Some of my favorite artists, including Manet, Monet and Renoir, have works on display that highlight the relationship between fashion and art from 1860 to the mid-1880s. My favorite piece in the exhibit is Monet’s Women in the Garden; a scene that makes me excited for the warmer months ahead.

I’m an avid runner and my typical training route takes me through Central Park. If I’m not in a hurry or if I need a break from my run I stop by the Conservatory Garden. Within the Conservatory Garden is the French Garden, which features colorful tulips that bloom in the spring and chrysanthemums that are at their best in the fall. The space is designated as a Quiet Zone, making this garden relaxing any time of year.

If you and your family are inspired to experience a French weekend in New York City after seeing Le Grand C, these are just a few great ways to continue learning about French history and culture while getting a taste of what it’s like to visit Paris. Who knows, maybe a trip to Paris is even in your future—I sure hope to go back soon!

Kyle Scott is the Spring 2013 Digital Media Apprentice. He’s a sophomore studying Film and Television Production with a minor in Producing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Kyle hopes to run a production company and produce independent, feature length films or produce live television. He grew up in a loving, dysfunctional family that continues to support his dream of pursuing a life and career in the arts.


  1. In a strange but wonderful French-New Vic season connection, french brasserie called The Little Prince just opened in Soho on Prince St (obviously)!

  2. Quite the coincidence! There's the very well-known children's novel, "Le Petit Prince," by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry that may have influenced the name.