Monthly Archives: June 2016

A walk through Paris !

Today we visited three historic and memorial sights. Sacré-Coeur Montmarte, Musée de l’Armée Invaldes, and Nationake d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou. Throughout the sight visits we took in the amazing view of Paris.


Thomas Ahrens International Study Program group 2016 in front of the Musée de l'Armée Invaldes

Thomas Ahrens International Study Program group 2016 in front of the Musée de l’Armée Invaldes

Confit Canard from L'Anvers Du Decor. It was delicious !

Confit Canard from L’Anvers Du Decor. It was delicious !

Inside of Sacré-Coeur

Inside of Sacré-Coeur



Another lovely day in Paris! Visite de la Tour Montparnasse & Restaurant LASSERRE.

Bonjour de Paris! Today we had a Tour to Montparnasse and a visit to Restaurant LASSERRE.

One of the best views you can have at Montparnasse Tower along with Notre-Dame de Paris, Sacre Coeur and Eiffel Tower.

Visite de la Tour Montparnasse

According to the tour guy, “At a height of 210 metres the Tour Montparnasse rises above the Paris skyline. We went to the rooftop of the tower in 40 seconds to the 56th floor, it was the fastest elevator I have taken to a height of about 200 metres. From the top of Montparnasse tower we were able to see a unique view of Paris.

Group picture at the top of Montparnasse Tower...

Group picture at the top of Montparnasse Tower…

Breakfast after the "Visite de la Tour Montparnasse."

Breakfast after the “Visite de la Tour Montparnasse.”

Taking the metro to get to the Restaurant  "LASSERRE"

Taking the metro to get to the Restaurant “LASSERRE”

Restaurant LASSERRE...

Restaurant LASSERRE…

Located at 17 Ac Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 75008 PARIS. Our visit to Lasserre was an experience that we probably will not forget. Walking into the restaurant you will see a room for private and professional events, it is a perfect place for company parties, business meetings, and for very special celebrations such as birthdays, weddings and national holidays of the year. It was one of the best known Paris restaurants in Paris.

The 2nd floor of the Lasserre was so unique...

The 2nd floor of the Lasserre was so unique…

After our restaurant visit, on our way back to the hotel stopped  at the boulangerie (bakery)...

After our restaurant visit, on our way back to the hotel stopped at the boulangerie (bakery)…

Cooking our own dinner, ^_^

Cooking our own dinner, ^_^

Overall it was another lovely day in Paris. We had a great tour to Montparnasse Tower and amazing visit to the restaurant LASSERE!

~Malika Ikramova



An early rise to the mrket

All of us freezing at the market but we succeeded

All of us freezing at the market but we succeeded

The poor little shark

The poor little shark

Cows head

Cows head

Meat hanging on racks. Buyers will be satisfied:)

Meat hanging on racks. Buyers will be satisfied:)

The sun is out

The sun is out

The fruits are color coordinated. Beautiful

The fruits are color coordinated. Beautiful

the market was so big, it’s one of the largest wholesale market in the world. They have meat, poultry, dairy, fruits and vegetables, and flowers. You need to drive to each sector. Overall, I enjoy the market experience. This is definitely the most eye opening experience.

A trip through Paris

Today, our group spent the entire day traveling through Paris. Our first stop was Mamie Burgers. The owner translated his entire story of how he started working his way up from a large corporation and then funded his own first string of shops. He originally had 7 stores, 3 salad stores, and 4 burger restaurants, he closed the salad stores and began shifting the money into his burger establishments. We got a tour of both the burger and bistro establishment and I personally was shocked at how small the kitchen was for the bistro, mainly the part where the fries were cut every morning. After the tour of both restaurants, we began our travels to Notre Dame.

Inside the bistro of Mamie

Inside the bistro of Mamie

Notre Dame was such a fantastic building, I have never seen any building like it before in my life. I was blown away by the church. The gothic style appeals to me so and all I wanna do is go inside the building, just once. It’s one of the oldest buildings in the world and still stands to this day. The statues of past kings of France stand at the entrance of the building, as well as “stories” of the virgin Mary being crowned the Queen of the Heaven’s. It was such a sight to see. I believe that Gabriel and his group did a fantastic job presenting the church. Once the tour was finished we headed off to lunch and then it was time to tour the Hôtel de Ville.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Hôtel de Ville is city hall. The hall currently houses an exhibit of refugees of the gypsies. It was such a tragic event, the destruction of nearly an entire culture. Their stories, plastered along the walls of the room speak volumes. The hall celebrates Frances liberation from the monarchy each year. Bastille Day is the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In France, it is formally called La fête nationale.


Each experience today was a culmination of our industry. Touring and the restaurant industry are two aspects that I know for a fact peak the interest of many of my affiliates. I took a liking to the events of today and hope that the next few days bring even more intrigue and phenomenon.

Alyssa Yung.

It is always sunny in Champagne, France

What a beautiful way to start the week! At last, the moment we have been waiting for, clear blue skies and sun!


First stop: Monet & Chandon in Espernay, France


Our guide started off with a brief introduction of the history of Monet & Chandon as well as a video showing us the process of their champagne. The most anticipated part was the tour of the wine cellars 13 meters below, the third level and coolest part.

Sights of interests included, the vintage bottles, which Monet & Chandon save parts of it because of its value.IMG_20160606_104623

A wine barrel gifted by Napoleon dyrinf his last visit in 1814, as a symbol of the friendship between him and the Monet family.


A close-up shot of thelabelling in the wine cellar. From top to bottom, the top number shows the year, middle is the location of where it is stored in the xellar, and last the number of bottles in that particular section.

9,615 bottles?! That number is a understatement to how many bottles Monet & Chandon has intotal. IMG_20160606_103128

Right before the riddling process, wine bottles are placed into these wooden racks so they can be turned once a day for up to 3 weeks. This process allows the sentiments or impurities that are in the wine travel to the neck of the bottle, which is part of the process to creating a clear and beautiful champagne.


Thank you to the staff at Monet & Chandon for hosting us! From the professional and demeanor of the tour guide to the building’s aesthetics, to the style of their champagne, and even the champagne packaging, Monet & Chandon is one of elegance, consistency, and discipline.


Some fun photos for your enjoyment!

From left to right: Professor Warner, Mayra (one of our amazing liaisons), Professor Lorenzini, Kim (amazing liaison #2!), And Professor Zinder.IMG_20160606_111218

Professor Wonder & I. Oh, and Yvonne the photobomber.


Professor Zinder & Sarah are huge fans of Monet. Can you tell?


Due to the length of this post, part II of “It’s always sunny in Champagn, France” to be continued in a second post.

In the next post, I will take us on a little tour of René Geoffrey’s vineyard in Ay, France. Till next time!

Bonne journée! Have a great day!

Little Trip to Chinatown

Today is Sunday, Me and my sister Laura decided to check the Chinatown area in Paris. We both craving for asian food since yesterday, so we found out there are few restaurants that we can visit in the area. I got two restaurants from Prof Hoffman’s Guide to Paris 2016 located in Tolbiac, which the chinatown is in Paris. We planned to go to Niwanna, a Korean barbecue restaurant without realizing that many places are closed on Sunday. However, even though I know that the place that we wanted to go is closed on Sunday, we decided to check the area anyway.

Photo Jun 05, 10 20 20 PM

So we took the Metro 13 from our place to Gare Montparnasse, then we transferred to Metro 6 toward Nation and stop at Place d’Italie. Then we transferred again to Metro 7 toward Mairie d’Ivry, one stop and we got off on Tolbiac.

Photo Jun 05, 6 34 47 PM

We started walking the neighborhood, without any directions, just trying to browse the area and see if there is any restaurant that open today. Apparently, we see many restaurants that still open today, and Laura found the Vietnamese restaurant that she went last year. She said the food was ok and the price is reasonable. So I agree to her to go back to that restaurant. The name is Pho Banh Cuon 14.

Photo Jun 05, 6 25 04 PM

We ordered the spring rolls and also the main dish that they have which is the Pho. I ordered the special Pho which is the noodle soup that includes the rare and cook sliced beef, beef meatball, tripe and also the tendon. Laura ordered the regular pho which was the noodle soup with the beef meatball.

Photo Jun 05, 6 00 39 PMIMG_4884

All the food that we ordered cost us about €30 which a little bit more expensive compare to New York for Pho restaurants. Overall the food were okay, the soup was tasty and delicious, but the spring roll just about right, I expected more taste in the inside.

After we full with the pho, we saw that many people passed by drinking bubble tea, so we tried to find the bubble tea store. Apparently its only few stores away from the restaurant. So we got bubble tea as our dessert!

Photo Jun 05, 6 28 50 PM

11 miles of walking in 12 hours

How do I begin to explain my Saturday? I guess first being that I took so. many. photos. The unfortunate thing is that I do not own a laptop so I did not think to bring my USB to upload pictures on someone else’s computer, so the less than great pictures from the phone I often forget I have here will have to do.

12:30-2:30- meeting with my group at the Pompidou for our project. After we decided on a meeting spot for the tour, we decided to take a walk around le Marais. On our way we stumbled upon an awesome parade that began at Hotel de Ville, and snaked it’s way all around the area. Never mind that it made it impossible for us to get back on the train- the dancing, drum beats, and beautiful colors were a great sight to see.

2:30-4:30- Pere Lachaise cemetery walk. If you want to go to a quiet place in Paris, go to pere lachaise (maybe you’ll hear an occasional siren in the distance, but we can’t have it all). Among  grandiose tombstones, you’ll find others fallen over from tree growth, and plenty of moss and mushrooms covering basically everything. It honestly looked like jungle ruins. I would say it is a must see. There are many famous people buried there, although I would reccomend finding an alternative map to the one that they have there to guide you to their tombs.

4:30-6- supper at La Mere Lachaise. For whatever reason, it’s difficult to find an open restaurant in the afternoon. This was a problem because we were starving. We first looked for a restaurant under Professor Hoffmans reccomendation only to find that it no longer exists. We found only one restaurant that did not have American dishes like burgers, and there I ordered the steak, two others had salmon tartare, one had beef tartare, one a rack of pork ribs, seared duck, and roasted lamb shoulder. Tres bien.

6-????? We took the train to the Notre Dame, got lost for an hour, and then went inside. I loved the details on the inside and out. Also, when we entered an organ was playing. How much more gothic church could that be? It was beautiful. I spent a while trying to get a good picture without flash in the darkness of the church. At this point in my day, the timeline is becoming a blur. We took the train to see the Statue of Liberty, and all found it laughable. It’s podium is larger than the statue, and you can only see her backside if you want to get close enough to see her well. I would say to not bother seeing lady liberty’s cousin, she’s not as cool or fun. From that point we walked to the tour Eiffel to catch a glimpse of the lights at night. Night Eiffel Tower is something you must see. Not only are the glittery lights that come on every hour gorgeous, but the atmosphere under and around the tower was very pleasant. While some of us went to the top (it took them 2.5 hours of mostly waiting), some stayed and waited for others nearby to go back to the hotel. Waiting turned into an hour of sitting, and when they arrived, it turned into another hour of photo sessions in front of the tower.


a photo of a photo of a flea market near the restaurant


Steak, Bernaise sauce, salade, et frites at la mer lachaise


The inside of the Notre Dame

Ledru- Rollin, Paris

Today, we found ourselves at the Ledru- Rollin in the 12th arrondissement. Then we headed over to the market. The market is open everyday expect Monday. There are three markets in one area.

Crash course of the area

Crash course of the area

Out door market

Out door market


Picnic with Professor Lorenzini and Professor Zinder. We had blue cheese, chicken liver, rabbit pate, Guinea head with Apricot.

Picnic with Professor Lorenzini and Professor Zinder. We had blue cheese, chicken liver, rabbit pate, Guinea head with Apricot.

Ble Sucre pastry shop- Several pastries we all shared. All great and tasty.

Ble Sucre pastry shop- Several pastries we all shared. All great and tasty.

Warm dinner meal to end the night.

Warm Dinner meal to end the night.

Overall, it was a great day and everyone was open to trying the rabbit pate, honestly I think everyone liked it. Everyone was excited and we all did a little bit of shopping at the markets. We learned a lot and the weather definitely helped today.

Paris, we’re here!!!!

Today we got a glimp of the center of Paris. We explored the Eiffel Tower, saw the Louve and got to see all the ancient architecture that still stands today.


But before we start, a snack and some wine!!!


According to Prof. Lorenzini these alley ways or wide entrances were used for horse and buggie and were once stables.


Good for you Mr. Eiffel, you found a way to make your money back in 6 months.


The Parisians added value to Egypt’s “gift”. Put gold on everything!!!!!


Professor Lorenzini, you have our attention.

So overall today was a very productive day. Most importantly we now have a first hand experience of getting to know the city we will be emerced in for the next few weeks. Lets have fun everyone!!!!!


Arrival in Paris

June 1st 2016

Today marks the first day of the Thomas Ahrens International Work/Study Program.  All the students arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport, some earlier than others… I got to meet Professor Zinder for the first time and she got to work memorizing everyone’s name.


Later arrivals


6am arrivals, studying French to pass the time


2016 Students ready to explore Paris

We all made our way to our home base pretty early and had plenty of time to take a tour of the neighborhood.


Professor Lorenzini, explaining do how the Paris Metro works


Professor Zinder, practicing her memory skills as she hands out maps of the Metro.

We took a mini tour of Malakoff/Vanves and did some shopping at the local market. We stopped at the post office which offers some of the best conversation rates when retrieving cash from the ATM.


The beautiful €500 bill #purple

It was a long day for the students, who are all on New York time but they’ll thank us later. Their jet lag will be non existent. 😉

Tomorrow will be another day full of walking and fun tours and we can wait to get started!!

A bientôt