Perhaps the blog is to the book what Facebook is to the blog in immediacy. At least that’s what I’m counting on as I post details of our stay and show in Paris, almost a month ago, today.
We took the Megabus from London to Paris, passing through the depths of the Channel Tunnel in about an hour, it seemed. Our flat was the perfect French style, or what I imagine the French style to be, with thick old floorboards, tall endless windows masked with muslin curtains, doors that don’t quite shut, and beautiful antique armoires and woodwork throughout.
Near the apartment we found a bird, resting:
We left our neighborhood to explore Montmartre, home to, in years past, artists and bohemians. Below is the cafe where the fictional character from Amelie worked:
But we instead had a cafe down the road. We’ve become acclimated to coffee without soymilk:
We climbed the stairs to see the Basilica, or rather more precisely to check out the view from the Basilica:
We ate our vegan meat, olive tapenade, and fresh bread while taking in the view.
Somewhere along the way, Rob noticed the hanging dummy man:
After walking through Montmartre and then several parks, we headed to our show at Les Cariatides:
The performance space was in a cave-like setting in the basement, run by good people. To our surprise, the place became packed with each performance, even ours though no one knew us excepting two people.
Before the show, we ran about 4 miles total to eat at Loving Hut, the international chain of veg/vegan restaurants. The French version wasn’t quite what I expected, because it was adapted to the local cuisine (crepes, etc) and lacked many Asian dishes. But the “Supreme Master” and her teachings were present via television broadcast, as always.
Zodiac Folk opened the show, led by a Canadian from Vancouver BC originally and his French wife:
They played a nice mix of folksy melodies and we enjoyed their set. We played next and attempted a few French phrases including during our audience drawing sharing song.
Lux Montes closed the show with their moody mix of provocative French and Spanish rop (rock+pop):
We were so happy to learn that these kind folks (Olivier and his girlfriend) had made their way to our Paris show after attending Hopscotch 2013 and seeing us there … nice people … since Olivier is an illustrator I asked him more about the sadness of Charlie Hebdo and his perspective. It’s such a painful event and still very felt by the French.
We really needed more time in France, but hope to live there for a stint in the future and take our time. We’d planned to do outreach here as well but were unable to coordinate a time with the local activists.
In conducting interviews, I heard one sentiment repeated: The French are too depressed. It begins from a young age when kids are discouraged in school. Is this true? At least a few people felt this way. Either way, we felt very welcome and can’t wait to return.
Nous serons de retour!