Saturday, February 9, 2008

Nancy, France (roughly pronounced: non-C)

Today I met my friend Lexie and her friend Julia in the beautiful French town of Nancy, which was about 2 1/2 hours by train from Saarbrücken. Nancy is famous for its Art Nouveau buildings, and for its makeover in the 18th century (under Stanislas "the Magnificent").
These pictures, above and below, are from the Place Stanislas, an 18th-century square with beautiful wrought-iron railings. It was a gorgeous day and everyone was taking advantage of the sunshine, whether sitting in cafés, on benches, or walking through the nearby park. It was in the fifties, and really felt like spring!

Mmm...patisserie...every time I go to France I eat lots of pastries! Today I had a really good escargot, a snail-shaped, cinnamon roll-ish piece of heaven.

I took this picture down a main shopping street in Nancy. Does anything strike you? All of a sudden it hit me that everyone was wearing black. Really. In France in general.
While chatting with my friends about how well Europeans dress, Julia revealed her theory to me: Americans are in their cars too much. We don't walk in the city so much, so it's not as important what we look like. Here, where you walk to work, to go grocery shopping, to get your haircut, to run countless errands...and maybe we just don't dress so stylishly because of that? Still doesn't explain why we wear sweatpants outside... Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this.

We also went to the fabulous, gorgeous Art Nouveau-style Restaurant Excelsior. This is Lexie's beautiful dessert, with the regionally typical mirabelle fruits on top. She made fun of me because I always take food pictures. But what's more important than food? :)

By the way, I bought some good cheese to bring home...I hope it didn't stink up the train...


  1. I think Americans have more commitments than Europeans. We have to get to work, take the kids to soccer, run to the grocery store and get to the post office before it closes, and all these things are far away from each other, so we have to spend time getting there. This means 1.) We have less time to spend on our appearance and 2.) We need to be versatile, since we do so many things during the course of the day.

    Also, it's 2:45 a.m. and I've been drinking.

  2. Hmm...I don't know about that hypothesis. If anything, I would link the fashion quotient of a population to the size of a city and the wealth of its denizens. H&M (my most despised store, but oh well) isn't exactly prevalent in Anywhere, USA. I've never been, but I would imagine the same is true for Irgendwo, Germany. Anyways, how would that hypothesis account for Los Angeles, one of many cities choked with both traffic AND style?