So Tuesday was Summer Solstice meaning the first day of Summer and the French celebrate by having a day of music (Fête de la Musique). Apparently, this has been an annual celebration which started 30 years ago and has spread all around the world. Each arrondissement has a list of concerts and times/locations so you can plan where to go but there are also so many performances not listed slash impromptu concerts along the street. The metro stays open all night (most lines with a select few stations…) and a few buses run all night.
My friends and I decided to celebrate in the Marais (an area in the 3rd/4th arr). I met up with them after dinner and we wandered around near Hotel de Ville searching for a good concert…unfortunately, there was no music playing anywhere! Just a lot of people. We ended up walking along the Seine enjoying the view until we got to Notre-Dame. I had class here on Monday but my camera was dead so I took some pics:
As we walked further along the Seine and more into the Latin Quarter, there were bigger crowds and we could hear some bands playing along the Seine. We decided to meet up with one of Indra’s friends who was performing in the 2nd arr. We then looked at the program and saw that there was a concert in the Jardin du Palais Royale which is right near the Louvre which we ended up next to. We were also trying to meet up with some girls, Lindsey, Naiomi, and Galit, from my classes who live in the FIAP (a dorm thing) and the Louvre stop was on their line. While we were waiting for them to get out of the metro we witnessed an impromptu dance performance in the square outside the Louvre…we thought it was a flash mob but unfortunately not 😦
When we met up with them we headed over to the Jardin where there was a huge crowd infront of a stage and this guy was singing a kind of French tribal song…hard to explain and I couldn’t see him so it really wasn’t that fun but everyone around me seemed to enjoy him. After a couple songs we headed back towards the Louvre to look for some bars and we ended up running into this performance at the corner of a street outside a cafe.
After this concert we headed towards the Latin Quarter to meet up with one of Galit’s friends. There were so many crowds/overpacked bars/drunk people/creepy guys and we ended up walking in a couple circles but we finally found her friend. He lives in the Latin Quarter and knows the area well so he took us to Rue Princesse (which he said means street of thirst…not entirely sure about that one) and we went to an American Bar called The Frog and Princess. They brew their own beer which was really good and there’s a fun, hip vibe. We decided to go across the street to a bar which was much different…nothing too exciting but I did get sprayed with beer, unpleasant. We decided to hang out at his appartment and eat crepes. Well, it was getting late so we called a cab (the metro was crazy earlier) and they said it would take half an hour. We waited. 3 AM rolls by and no cab. We call again and now it’ll be here at 3:30. 3:30 and no cab. We decide our best bet would be to get to a busier street and hail a cab. Well every other Parisian had that idea. We spent a good 30 min trying to get a cab when we finally decided we should just take the metro. I knew my line was open all night but the only problem was that the girls in the FIAP take a different line and none of us knew if their line was open. After trying to google it on Jessica’s iPhone slash calling my dad we decided the metro was a no go (it was also confusing because the metro stop we were near wasn’t open…the lines only stopped at a select few stations). We spent another 20 min trying to hail a cab while being heavily accosted by creepy French men (you do not want to know what they said in French and English to us…why do French guys think they can just yell at us and we’ll respond!?!) Finally, we decide to walk to the nearest metro stop when we stumble upon a map that shows what lines are open! I had to pick it up off the nasty sidewalk but it was 4:30 AM and I wanted to go home. So we learn that their line is open and we just need to get to a different stop so we start walking. This whole time, by the by, we’ve been seeing people get into cabs just seconds before we reach the cab, so we were frustrated. When we see the next stop, we realize we’re going the wrong way (ughh) and this whole time we keep asking cabs that are just sitting there because “they’ve been preordered” or cabs that are driving by but “are finished for the night” to take us home with no luck. So we turn back around walk about 200 feet when voilà a cab is letting someone out and we run to it, expecting to be let down again, but he says he’ll take us and make two stops!! SUCCESS! Finally made to Campusèa…at 5 AM. Ahhh French cabs.
The next day I had class at the Louvre and afterwards came home to take a nap because Indra, Becca, Lindsey, and I had reservations at the Moulin Rouge, yes, THE Moulin Rouge!! I saw Cabaret at the Dallas Theater Center (shout out!) right before I left so I was excited to see a cabaret. Here are some pics from the night but we had to check our cameras so there are no pics from inside.
The dinner was great, the champagne was tasty, and the show was…interesting. I enjoyed the atmosphere and ambiance of the place but I felt like the choreography just wasn’t amazing like I was expecting. The costumes, however, were awesome!! Although I could’ve done with a little more clothing on the women and a little less on the men (they pretty much always had a shirt on, just sayinnn) but it was a lot of fun! And I can now say I’ve seen the original French Can-Can on the Moulin Rouge stage!
I had class at the Louvre, again, today (bahah it’s funny how I used to it I am) and I came back to do homework/study since I have my French midterm tomorrow and another test Monday and I was SUPPOSED to go to Provence this weekend…the trip was cancelled so BOO for not going to Provence but YAY for staying in Paris for the weekend and not having to stress about my Art History midterm on Monday.
Tomorrow is Jess’ last night so we’re on the search of fun things to do.