Preparing for Halloween

Jack o’ lanterns (photo by Enzo)Jack o' lanterns (Enzo)  A halloween house (Camille)
Halloween House (photo by Camille)

On Wedneday, we went to Haight Street to find our costumes for Halloween. We walked through the whole street to find out a Halloween store that was not expensive! At first we went to a real halloween costume store and we wanted to be disney princess. As prices were very high we had to go further, the problem is that walking in san francisco is really exhausting. We finally went to a store that was doing sales for Halloween where we found some disney princess costumes but they did not fit us. We were exhausted and running out of time when the lady showed us burlesque costumes. We immediatly got really excited about the idea as it represents France with “Moulin Rouge”.

Haight Street is the perfect street for Halloween but i would never do my shopping there, this is not my style at all, it is more a hippies’ style as they are a lot hanging out in this street. You can find different types of people over there and some have a really unique style.

–Estelle and Victorine

In disguise (Camille)
n disguise  (photo by Camille)

Scientific phenomena as seen by Chloé

Chloé has an eye out for more scientific sightseeing than the average tourist.


An image of a solar eclipse on October 23, 2014 through a telescope in Urban’s back yard. There won’t be another until 2017!

solar eclipse through telescope (Chloe)


Sunlight refracting in the San Francisco sky
Rainbow in SF sky Chole

A colony of ladybugs in Muir Woods

ladybugs at Muir Woods (Chloe)

Since I didn’t know what was going on with those ladybugs, I sent the photo and a query to Matt Mederios on our science faculty.  He is known for his expertise in moths, but I thought he still might be able to help us out.  And I was right!

Here’s his reply:

Ooh, cool!  They are indeed ladybugs (a type of beetle, not actually bugs, which are a mutually exclusive group in their own right), and they’re clumping together to overwinter [hibernate].  Some gardeners actually seek out these clumps, collect them, and then spread the beetles in their garden, since the beetles eat pests like aphids.

Check this out.

So, now we’ve learned something.  Thanks, Chloé!


More outings

Hakim at the NBA

Hakim realizing his dream of attending an NBA game! The Warriors vs. The Los Angeles Clippers

Victorine and the King Fredels

Victorine and the King-Fredel family in the Marin Headlands

Victorine and the golden gate

Victorine and the Golden Gate

Elijah and Hakim after a game of golf

Elijah and Hakim after a game of golf


Union Square shopping (Estelle)
Shane, Marie, Sarah, Chloé, Estelle, Camille, and Veronica
head out to do some shopping

Group at beach (from Chloe)
Camille, Myriam, Chloé, Marie, Emily, Erika, Juliette, and Sarah
at Stinson Beach

San Francisco vistas

GG Bridge Victorine
From her host family’s house in Sea Cliff–the Marin Headlands, the Pacific, and the Golden Gate Bridge (by Victorine)

city vista by sigrid
A city vista (by Sigrid)

The Pacific coast (Cassandra)
The Pacific coast (by Cassandra)

Bridge in the mist by Thema
The Golden Gate in the mist (by Thèma)

San Francisco panorama (Cassandra)
A San Francisco panorama from bridge to bridge (by Cassandra)

Golden Gate (Julien)
The Golden Gate Bridge (by Julien)

Golden Gate panorama (Julien)
A Golden Gate panorama (by Julien)


group shot-Thema
Jeanne, Camille, Thèma, Hakim and Hugo

Emily and Sarah
Emily and Sarah


Thèma, Jeanne and Michela
Thèma, Jeanne, and Michela

Silly Chloe, Marie, Juliette, Sarah
Chloé, Marie, Juliette, and Sarah

Jeanne and Devan
Jeanne and Devan

Guillaume, Enzo, Sarah, Juliette (Sarah selfie)
Guillaume, Enzo, Sarah, and Juliette

Sarah, Juliette, Marie by Sarah
Sarah, Juliette, and Marie

Silly Sarah and Cassandra (Sarah)
Sarah and Cassandra

Out and about

Enzo and Sigrid bowling in Pacifica by Sigrid
Sigrid and Enzo bowling in Pacifica (by SIgrid)

San Francisco background by Thema
Jeanne, Thèma, and Julien with a very San Francisco background (by Thèma)

Dragon disguise by Thèma
In disguise as a dragon on Haight Street (by Thèma)

American college football (Cassandra)
American college football!  At the Stanford game (by Cassandra)

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset
Jeanne and Thèma blend in with street art

Muir group (renata)
Erika, Emily, Sarah. Myriam, Camille, Marie, Chloé, and Juliette entering Muir Woods (photo by Emily’s mom)

The redwoods of Muir Woods

Muir group 2 (renata)
The group under the trees

Les amis à San Francisco

Enzo being goofy.
Enzo by Guillaume
(photo by Guillaume)


Jeanne contemplates how to become an award-winning athlete
Jeanne and trophies (Julien)
(photo by Julien)

Glenn and his trusty skateboard
Glenn by Guillaume
(photo by Guillaume)

Sarah, Remi and Victorine talk to Arnaud at Urban.
Sarah, Remi, Victorine by G
(photo by Guillaume)

Our trip to Alcatraz

On Wednesday the 22th of October, we went to Alcatraz island, to visit the famous former high security prison which existed from 1934 to 1963. We took the boat to reach the island.

“Break the rules and you go to prison; break the prison rules and you go to Alcatraz” that was the first sentence we could read when we entered in the prison. We followed an audioguide, it was really interesting. We could discover the conditions of the prisoners who lived there and even sometimes entered in some jails, and imagined ourselves as prisoners. Then we went outside, on the island, and we saw a wonderful panorama of the city of san Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay bridge. We didn’t have the time to go to the ai wei wei exhibition, but it was a great day.

–Guillaume, Myriam, and Camille

Alcatraz sign (Camille)
Pier 33 with Coit Tower in the background. From here we embarked on our boat trip to the island. (photo by Camille)

Alcatraz boat (Sarah)

Our boat! (photo by Sarah)

Bay Bridge Remi
The Bay Bridge in the distance and the sun glinting on the Bay.
(photo by Remi)

Approaching Alcatraz (Camille)
Approaching the island (photo by Camille)

Approaching Alcatraz (Cassandra)
Getting closer…(by Cassandra)

group at Alcatraz by Kelsey

In prison (Julien)
Julien, Marie and Chloé… in jail!  (by Julien)

A view from Alcatraz (Camille)
A view from the island (by Camille)

Juliette Cassandra and Sarah Alcatraz by Sarah
Juliette, Cassandra and Sarah with the skyline in the distance (by Sarah)

group Alcatraz by Sigrid
Hugo, Glenn, Guillaume, Estelle, Victorine, peeking SIgrid, (by Sigrid)

alcatraz boat by Kelsey
Back on the boat–no one left behind in prison.

Two landmarks

Benoît visited the Conservatory of Flowers and captured this glimpse of Urban students doing some maintenance on a San Francisco message spelled out in plants.

SF Conservatatory of Flowers by Benoit
(click to enlarge photo)

He also got two landmarks for the price of one with this photo of the Transamerica Pyramid and, to the right, the famous Sentinel Building (also known as Columbus Tower), now home to Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope film studio.

Transamerica by Benoit
(click to enlarge photo)

Ils sont là!

On Sunday night, our visitors from Lille arrived at Urban and were whisked home by their eager host families.

Yesterday, the group came to Urban for a tour of our labyrinthine building and then we headed out for a sightseeing tour of San Francisco.  Despite the drought in California, we were relieved that the rain stopped before we got into our open-topped bus.

Haight Street! (Julien)
Our neighborhood

Golden Gate
Some familiar faces on the north side
of the Golden Gate Bridge

Group and photobomber (Julien)
Glenn, Hugo, Thèma, Sigrid, Jeanne, and Julien
(with bonus goofy stranger)

Enzo and the bridge (selfie)
Enzo! (Along with a bit of Guillaume and a national landmark)

The Chinatown Gate
The Chinatown Gate

Choe and Cassandra
Cholé and Cassandra passing Chinatown

group on bus by Sigrid
Sigrid, Jeanne, Thèma, Julien, Glenn, Hugo, and Sigrid
(photo by SIgrid)

The Ferry Building
The Ferry Building

Enzo and Guillaume
Enzo and Guillaume in the Financial District

Transamerica Pyramid
The Transamerica Pyramid under blue skies