Baby hats and Paris

IMG_2209I’ve always fancied myself a baby person. And luckily for me, most babies I’ve met have fancied themselves a Daniel person (i like to think they respect me more because I never break eye contact and don’t speak down to them). Up until a few months ago, my only contact with babies has been at church (a german baby who just stares and points at me) and peering into strollers on my evening constitutional. But while I was back home studying for the boards, I had the great privilege of meeting my cousins’ kids (the first of their generation) for the first time, M and Z. And thus began the great experiment: to find whatever it takes to become their absolute favorite, coolest, knitest, most obsessively involved uncle-but-actually-second-cousin ever.

Step 1: baby hats. Lots of baby hats. Tons of baby hats. More baby hats than their cute little giant heads even know what to do with.IMG_6459I adapted purlsoho’s garter stitch baby hat to be done in stockinette because I have weird feelings about garter stitch. Next, I bought a couple skeins of Berroco Comfort, and then it was off to the races. In total, I made eight baby hats in the span of two weeks, at which point I finally stopped to re-examine some of my life choices. This pattern’s great not just because you can make a million hats out of two skeins, but also because the entire thing is knit continuously, including the little ear flaps! So no need for any provisional cast-ons or bothersome sewing.

Okay, are you ready for some ridiculously adorable baby pictures? (fingers crossed that one of these ends up being the thumbnail when i link this on facebook)IMG_1168 IMG_1172 IMG_2327Uggggghhhh they’re the best! As far as relatives go, they’re definitely top 5.

Well, as much as I’d like to rebrand this blog as a virtual declaration of my devotion to my baby cousins (MandZandme.wordpress.com), that would be borderline creepy (even for me), and besides, that would prevent me from sharing exciting life updates, such as 1) I recently purchased two dismembered heads for the price of one (bringing a literal interpretation to the payless shoesource slogan, ‘got bogo on the brain?’) and 2) I’m in Paris right now.

That’s right! You read correctly, I’m in Paris! If you’ve kept up with my traveling misadventures, you’ll know that this is my second time in Paris (#medschoolloans), which means I’ve been able to spend less time rushing from sight to sight and more time walking around, hanging out at cafes, and taking it all (i.e. any pastry even remotely resembling a croissant) in. And since I have my computer with me in Paris (‘to do work’ lol), here is what my days have looked like:

(fingers crossed this doesn’t end up being the thumbnail when i link this on facebook)IMG_6554Day 1: Landed exactly when the RER trains decided to fail so spent five hours getting to airbnb, my first meal was burger and fries (‘murica), and then accidentally fell asleep, locking my family out of the apartment for two hours (though tbh best sleep ever). Walked through park with coolest flax exhibit. Found a uniqlo, didn’t fall.

Day 2: Ran along Seine listening to Hamilton (‘murica), bought yarn at a flea market (baby socks coming soon to MandZandme.wordpress.com), and walked 20 miles. Fell asleep at Gustave Moreau’s house, fell asleep again at Sacre Coeur (right after i took the above photo, despite his disgusting rat tail), ate udon (because asian), and walked 20 miles. Went to Louvre and Eiffel Tower and walked 20 miles. Did I mention that I walked 20 miles?

Day 3: Walked through a five-street-long farmers market and only bought one piece of baklava (I LOVE BAKLAVA), fell asleep because walking hurt (did i mention that i walked 20 miles?), cafed, and read. Found a couple babies to smile with and falafels for dinner.

Day 4: Bread, cheese, fruit, and more bread. Printer struggles and watching LMM with James Corden over and over and over again (how does a bastard, orphan…). Tapas and crepes and conflicted over which mailbox slot to put my postcards in.

Day 5: Walked four miles for green tea and a muffin, accidentally tried to break into the Secretary General’s private garden, read-walked á la Belle from Beauty and the Beast another three miles, and L’Orangerie (luhhh chaim soutine). two tarts, eight macarons, one macha croissant, and eight macarons.

IMG_6596As you perhaps can tell, I’m not very good at documenting my travels, so I apologize if that was confusingly brief/literal/parenthetical. Unlike the rest of my family, who doodles/scrapbooks/posts endearingly honest and grammatically correct facebook updates to catalog their days while abroad, I’ve never been able to get into those sorts of things. Though contradictory to my entire disposition, traveling seems to be something I enjoy in the abstract. Perhaps it’s my one creative outlet (other than making stencils of martin sheen’s face). Though I take the occasional stunning photograph or two, I find that I often pick the in-the-moment experience over a souvenir or an over-saturated instagram, and I almost never keep a journal (except for the burn book i wrote in europe two years ago). To be honest, even I am a bit baffled by this preference for the subjective, especially given that pre-trip planning and organizing makes me quite literally giddy.

Maybe it’s because, when spelled out, traveling is just like everything else, reduced to the mundane, and only pieced together in hindsight does it become at all rewarding. Maybe it takes the perfect mix of novelty and anxiety and nostalgia to hit me just right for me to find it worthwhile. Maybe, as concrete as I am, even I understand that there are some things better experienced than understood, and that perhaps there’s a certain something–a je ne sais quoi–about exploring new places (even if for a second time) that makes it so inexplicably enjoyable.

***A coconut macaron contains approximately 97 calories.

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