Today is the last day of the Thomas Ahrens International Work and Study Program of 2018. Many of us are happy to go home while others continue their journey around Europe. My roommate Stephanie and I have finally booked our hotels and rides to Venice and Milan. France has been great but I’m truly looking forward to sitting on a gondola in the Rialto Bridge in Venice!
At 8am sharp, Professor Abreu and our Liaison Yvonne knocked on my door for room inspection. Our room inspection was suppose to take 10 minutes however it took more because we had an early morning chat with them. We were really chatting up a storm with a very good early morning conversation!
I continued my day by taking the metro for the last time to Champs- Elysees where Professor Zinder gave us our first walking tour. I stopped at Abercrombie & Fitch to do a little shopping. I walked around and decided to eat Parisian McDonalds for the last time. The McDonalds here is amazing! That’s something I’ll truly miss.
We then walked to the Arc de Triomphe, where we saw a marching band and many sergeants and guards under it. I did not understand exactly what was going on and I definitely did not want to ask the very serious police officer if he spoke enough English to be able to tell me what was going on.
Many students went out to explore Paris, buy last minute souvenirs while others stood back at the hotel to do laundry, cook and pack their suitcases.
For the grand finale, many of us will go out to dinner to celebrate these amazing 3 weeks that we’ve had with a cheerful toast of blanc or noir. Myself and five other really great students went out for dinner and had a wonderful night filled with lots of laughter,storytelling and picture taking. I feel like this program has brought new friends.
Paris has treated us great but now its time to say our goodbyes and go back to New York City.
Until next time, from Paris with love!
Abercrombie & Fitch
Arc de Triomphe
Dinner at Il Giardino
Celebratory toast with the whole group
Today is the last Thursday of the program and it has been a bitter sweet day! Of course we had to start it and end it with a bang. We began by having a midnight picnic in front of the Tour Eiffel with celebratory cheers during the first five minutes of the hour after 11pm as the tower sparkles. Afterwards everyone went home and got their very much needed beauty rest!
Everyone met in front of the famous, need-to-be-there Boullion Pigalle restaurant in their best Parisian outfits at 11:45. At noon we were able to go into the restaurant through a special door just for City Tech students (not really but we felt special!) and sat in nicely prepared tables. For my appetizer I got the leeks in french dressing with hazelnuts and for my entree I got the salt cod and potato mash. I was actually really surprised when I saw my entree because I thought that it’ll be cod fish on the side and mashed potatoes like my mother does it back home. My entree was actually a really nice mixture of mashed potatoes and cod drizzled with olive oil and topped with almonds. It was delicious! For dessert, my table ordered a variety of sweets and we all shared them. The most appealing dessert to me was the Chocolate Profiterole but the most tasty one was the Rum Baba. Of course wine could not be forgotten and we had a liter and a half of the great Sauvignon Blanc.
After everyone had gotten their meal I initiated a celebratory toast to the program, Paris and our meal. It was wonderful and even the professors cheered as well.
Here comes the sad part as we said our Au Revoir to Professor ZInder with the French style of greeting with a kiss on each cheek. Thank you Profesor Zinder for all of your guidance and smarts on this trip! We all hope to keep in contact!
Today was truly a wonderful day with wonderful food, wonderful people and wonderful
weather. Of course, I had to purchase another luggage because I have so many things to take back home specially wine. Last but not least, I will end by night by hanging out with the French students that I met in New York meaning that this program has actually brought me some life long friends!
Bon soir everybody!
Everyone seated at the nicely prepared tables
Salt cod and mashed potatoes
Cheers to the program!
Everyone waiting for the doors of the restaurant to open at 12pm
Late night picnic in front of the Tour Eiffel
Today is Wednesday June 27, we are so close to the end! The past few weeks has been nothing short of amazing. I have learned so much about this city and most importantly how hospitality and business in Paris.
Today was another day of exploring, in the morning around 9:30 we left the hotel to meet with the group that was set to make their presentation on the La Coupole Restaurant. Jeanily, Brittany and Johandry served as our tour guides. La coupole one of the oldest restaurants in Paris, it opened its door in 1927. In its prime La coupole used to be the “it” spot in Paris amongst artist to hangout. Although times have change , La coupole remains relevant with its remarkable arts and top quality customer service.
After the tour , we had enough time in between to shop and grab something to eat. In the afternoon around 2:45 we met up to walk towards the Pullman hotel. As we got to the hotel we sat down and were shortly directed toward another lounge area by 3 people, 2 of them being talent managers. The Pullman hotel is one of many around the world. There are 117 of them in 33 countries. Their business logo is a yang logo which refers to business and pleasure since they are mostly a business m/ conference hotel. According to one of their talent managers 60% of their revenues are from seminar/ meeting and 40% just regular guess guest. The hotel has 392 rooms which are the Classic , junior, delux, superior and presidential suite . Out of their 392 rooms 202 are just classic rooms. We were also told that they are now in their busy season with 80% occcupensy, but in the slow seasons such as August it gets down 60%-70%.
We were divided into 2 groups and had the chance to visit some of different type of rooms that they have and also one of their conference room, the new bar area , and the storage room. Since the hotel is currently under renovations which won’t be complete until September. The talent manager Morgan told us about their futuristic and less common ideas that will be implemented once the hotel is fully renovated such as a bar that can served drinks throughout the lobby. She showed us the constructions that are being done on what will be their pool area, she also spoke about their up coming spa, sauna area, and theater that can seat 20 people.
Morgan was very informative and captivating. She told us about internship opportunities and gave us her business card.
Today was our last tour day and visit. I will surely miss waking up early and having the opportunity to visit and speak with business professionals about what We are all passionate about.
Today we traveled outside of Paris to Chantilly, to visit Auberge Du Jeu De Paume a five-star hotel. Before going on the tour, the hotel manager, Nicole, the human resource manager Josephine and her assistant Catherine, gave us the full background of the hotel. Auberge Du Jeu De Paume has been opened for six years, contains 120 employees and 20 interns from all over the world. The hotel contains 92 rooms including 25 suites, spa, gym, fine dining restaurant and bistro style restaurant.
Each of the rooms interior design is inspired by the Chateau along with replicas of painting held in the Chateau. The first restaurant inside the hotel is a one Michelin star fine dining restaurant called La Table du Connetable. the chef of the restaurant is currently working on getting two Michelin stars. The second restaurant La Jardin d’Hiver is a bistro restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The spa in the Auberge Du Jeu De Paume was influenced by Switzerland and offers a special treatment in which you can be wrapped in chantilly cream. The hotel is right next door to the Chateau and the horse museum. I would definitely recommend going to the horse museum, with your ticket you get access to the Chateau, the gardens on the property and the horse show, for 10 euros with your student id.
Marie and Sarah in front of the Chateau
Learning the background of Auberge Du Jeu De Paume
Going to see the suites
la Jardin d’Hiver
The front of Auberge Du Jeu De Paume
Today we had a restaurant visit to Mamie burger. The lady from the restaurant had us seated on the second floor and introduced their company to us. She talked about the management, a little history, and the food they offer. Mamie burger is a bistro restaurant that offering mainly burgers. As they are expanding their businss, they are trying to introduce more concepts in food other than burgers. She was so patient to answer all our questions regarding business management, employee management and regulations.
The lady also showed us the other two branches in the same area. The second one that we visited is the original one that is smaller and more like a fast food restaurant. The third one is the most recent one that is more like moving on from burgers and introduce more other types of food.
After the restaurant tour, we traveled to Sacre Coeur together. Rukiya, Marie, Kariluz and Welthy were presenting this place to us. It’s basically a regular Catholuc church, but as the dome is the second highest point in Paris, there are a lot of visitors coming to take pictures and reach the top.
Menu of one of the Mamie Burger restaurants
After the walking tour, the majority of the group with Prof. Warner and Prof. Abreu were going back to Mamie burger to have our late lunch in the afternoon. It was a great meal and fun day.
Late lunch at Mamie Burger
Group picture in front of Sacre Coeur
The team is presenting Sacre Coeur
Today some of the students including myself traveled to Provinois. The travel to get there was not really difficult because we had to make 3 transfers. Transferring from m13 to the m4 and lastly to the p train to Provinois. Upon arriving, I noticed that the buildings are really old but the scenery around the area was very vibrant.
When touring the surrounding area, we noticed that there was a jousting show about to start and was able to find out that the price is reduced for students. (11 euro for students and original price was 12.50 euro)
Seeing the show was fun especially because of the animals that were a part of the show. Which included: pigs, ducks, a wolf and last but not least horses. Shows duration was about 1 hour. When the show was finished some of us took photos with the horses and later we went to a restaurant.
Some of us while walking including myself went to an artisanal chocolate shop called Crèneaux Chocolat. When going inside, we were able to try samples of the artisanal chocolate along with being able to make purchases. Chocolates that were squared were .70 euro each and they also had other chocolates that were prepackaged at 3.80 euro of different flavors. Some of the flavors at the chocolate shop included raspberry, lemon, blueberry, matcha, passion fruit, etc. When tasting the chocolate it was not overpowering the fruit flavors that was for sale. Lastly, after shopping at the Crèneaux Chocolat we went to a restaurant called Le Dôme. Price range was inexpensive and the food that I had was good.
In conclusion, today was pretty amazing being able to attend a show with fellow citytech students. Throughout the day, we toured different areas of Provinois all while taking in the beautiful scenery that surrounded us. Lastly, the jousting show along with eating at a local restaurant nearby was a perfect way to start off the week.
As time begins to wind down, our stay here in France is coming to a close end. This has definitely been an experience. I had quite an eventful day; Visiting the Garden is Luxembourg, The Museum of Yves Saint Laurent, and to finish the day dinner at Gumbo YaYa(recommended by Professor Zinder)
One of the first Ponds and statues you will see when visiting the Garden Of Luxembourg. A beautiful pond with ducks at the end. This was my first encounter with the magic that this garden brings to everyone who visits it. There were so many people gathered around this stream just to take pictures or feed bread to the ducks, it was beautiful.
This is one of the many of the amazing views at the garden of Luxemburg. This was such a beautiful place, there were people having picnics, playing football, there even was a outdoor mini concert happening.
The Museum Of Yves Saint Laurent. This Museum was Yves Saint Laurent actual home many years ago. The works that are inside are that of his early works. His story was amazing, he was intrusted with such a big deal at the mere age of 20.
These are some of his first designs.
More designs created by Yves Saint Laurent early in his fashion career.
Gumbo YaYa, a small restaurant but it is worth the visit. They were scheduled to open at 7:30pm, i arrived at 7:00 and there was already a long line of eople waiting to get in. When all they’re seats are filled they give you a menu so that they can put your order in so when a table is ready for you your order will be ready as well. Something i thought was great because it saves alot of time for both the customer and the restaurant. Chicken and Waffles is one of my favorite meals, for me it was like i found a small piece of Brooklyn.
Two weeks already!! Some of us are beginning to feel home-sick, other student like me wish that program will never come to an end. There are so many things to do in Paris within the 3 weeks. That is not enough to cover all of those wonderful attractive sites. Consequently, I tried to cover most of the sites. Today most of the student went to Disneyland, the rest of the group seeking to discover Paris went to Le Grand Musee du Parfum, located in the ritzy Rue Faubourg de Saint-Honoré. The museum housed in a beautiful old building in the 8th arrondisement. The entrance fee is 9.50 euro with a student ID but I thought it was worth every penny. There is a history of perfume through the ages with interesting pictures and an unusual way of sniffing the assorted ingredients that make a perfume. This museum uses the best of modern technology to explore the cultural history and science of perfume. From ancient perfumes through the explosion of perfumes as luxury goods to the technology behind replicating and combining fragrances.
My favorite part was the large boutique on the ground floor which had a large variety of mostly niche perfumes some of which are not available in New York. I sampled my way through a lot of the bottles and placed the scented strips in a book to see how long the sillage lasted.
If you are passionate about perfume, this is a must visit museum entirely for the senses.
The front door of the museum
group picture at the entrance
the scent room
In the right picture It is kind of similar to wine you smell it and you associate what you smell to the picture on the left.The scent room is a great experience and has multilingual handheld balls that will dispense various aromas and then tell you about their origins, replications, and usages in perfume.
It could be citrus,floral,wood etc.. it will also tells you in which kind of perfume you will find that particular fragrance.
the secret room
we also went to St Jacques it is an old church. there is a lot of restaurants in this area If you are a food lover don’t be scared to give it a try.
we ended our journey with a flavorful meal
Group picture at Notre Dame
Jose-Lyne, Samantha and Cherrish presenting about Notre Dame
Centre Georges Pompidou
Torey, Robert and Samael presenting about Centre Georges Pompidou
Group picture at Centre Georges Pompidou
Fish and fries at Le Cabalier Bleu restaurant
My classmates and I heading to the hotel after shopping
Delicious Sancocho made by Professor Abreu
Today June 21st, 2018, we had a short day as a class because we only had two walking tours which were the Notre Dame tour and the Centre Georges Pompidou tour. The class met at the hotel lobby at 9:15 a.m. to first head to the Notre Dame site where Samantha, Cherrish and Jose-Lyne where going to present. From the Notre Dame presentation, I learned that the cathedral is around 855 years old and it is one of the largest churches in Paris. Since the church’s architecture is very well detailed and the fact that the church is 69 meters long, it lasted 200 years for the church to be completed.
After the Notre Dame presentation, we took our group picture and then took 15 minutes to walk around and see the church. We then walked to Centre Georges Pompidou where Samael, Robert and Torey where going to give their presentation. From this presentation, I learned that the Centre Georges Pompidou is located in a very accessible area where visitors get to enjoy the rooftop restaurant called Georges, the two libraries, the music center and acoustic research and the museum all inside the centre. After the presentation, we took another group picture, we were giving some instructions by the professors and then we were dismissed to enjoy the rest of our day.
My friends and I visited a restaurant near Centre Georges Pompidou called Le Cavalier Bleu which means the blue rider. I ordered fish and fries with passion fruit juice. I really enjoyed the meal, it was delicious. We then headed to a Primark store where I bought a lot of stuff for very good prices. We headed back to the hotel where a delicious Sancocho made by Professor Abreu was waiting for us. Today was a very productive day and I look forward to keep enjoying my stay in France with my classmates.
Street view, where to one side of the street. is district 11 and the other district 12
Day 11 at the Thomas Ahrens International Work/Study Program in Paris. Today we visited one of the oldest market place in the city dated back to the 1600s’, but officially opened in 1779. It’s opens 6 day out of the week, closed on Mondays. Marche d’Alligre is the only one with a flea market within the market, as an exception to the rest of the markets in the city which consist of fruits, vegetable, cheeses, and meat. Flea market are only allowed by the government to be outside the city limits. We walk around the area and familiarized ourselves with the different types of vendors and the multiples shops around the area. Also, we learn about the different types of bakeries, which mostly consist of two; one is industrial and the other artisanal, meaning that the industrial will have their good prepared elsewhere and the artisanal will have it prepared on site. After the early hike around the area it was time for a little break. The group decided to try the different types of cheeses at the market and like a good Parisian, we had a small picnic. The group tried about 6 different types and the one that the group like the most was the Papillon cheese from Aveyron.
More over, it was time to got to out next location. A 20 min walk from the picnic was Hotel Le Boulet. Hotel Boulet, is a boutique hotel according to the company’s definition because is has less than 100 rooms. Is a 5 start hotel and the only one of its category in the 11th district when most of the luxurious hotel are located on other district. Before it became a hotel this was a wood manufacturer, and then became a chocolate factory, and finally a hotel. This hotel has 5 rooms categories and the average room rate run from 380-710 euros. Also it mostly for couples, tourist, and business men clientele since there’s not family rooms. The concept of t hotel is very modern in design and to complement the background history the hotel decided to implement the wood and chocolate scent in hotel environment. Our host Anais gave us a short tour to the main parts of the hotel and to two rooms to view their design. I have found it very chic and elegant. Really enjoy the tour. Finally, after Hotel Le Boulet it was time for the group to present and to take us to their location. We were to visiting Chateau de Vincennes. The group gave an excellent explanation of their location and the history of the Chateau. The Chateau de Vincennes originally was a hunting place for the King, became a prison for the elite prisoners of the King and eventually a Chateau for the King. The place is divided into 4 location the King and Queens chateau, the dungeon and a church. Today the Chateau is being used for different activities and exhibitions.
Coffee grinding machine at the Cafe Aouba
Bread tasting an Artisanal bakery
aInside the market at a cheese establishment
Cheese tasting at the picnic
Street view of the entrance at Hotel Boutet
Work of art for sale at the hotel.
Chateau de Vincennes- The Church
And then we say Au revoir! jusqu’a la prochaine tournee