Monday, June 22, 2009

Paris, Part 2: Fête de la Musique

After a slightly late start, I finally made it to meeting two of my friends at Notre Dame. Before we explored the church, we took a very worthwhile detour to a crêpe place, where we got both savory and sweet crêpes. Mmmm:

Then we took a quick spin through Notre Dame before one friend had to go catch her train. Here is a picture of the outside:

I wanted to go up to the tower where you can get a good view of the city (without waiting as long as you'd need to if you wanted to go up in the Eiffel Tower), but we didn't have time before we had to meet up with some of my friend's former coworkers. We did, however, have time for a quick stop into a clothes/shoes store, where the shoes were much cheaper than in Barcelona. I found two pairs I liked, for a combined cost less than the ones I bought in Barcelona, so I decided to invest in looking more European.

At this point, my camera batteries were starting to be dead, but after seeing the prices of batteries in that neighborhood, I decided that I didn't need pictures that badly. I can also get some from my friend, so never fear!

We stopped in a cafe and had hot chocolate because it wasn't that warm in Paris, and we had a great view for people-watching. After the hot chocolate, I went to the bathroom and observed an interesting phenomenon. In some bathrooms in Europe, you have to pay to get in, but in this one you had to pay to get into the stall. However, it is easy enough to hold the door open for the person after you. So even though there were two stalls, everyone formed a line waiting for the one that they could get into for free, and we just held the door open for the next person. I was pretty amused.

At that point in the afternoon, the Fête de la Musique was starting to pick up, so we spent the rest of the afternoon, evening, and night walking around from place to place listening to different types of music. The idea with this festival is that the city of Paris (and it has spread to many other cities as well) invites any and all musicians to come play their music outside, whether it's in the parks, or on the sidewalks, or along the river, or wherever. There are more formal performances outside of certain landmarks, and less formal performances everywhere else. It's a pretty cool idea, and I wish Boston had something like it. Here is an example of one of the bands that was playing:

Walking over a bridge from one place to another, the last thing I was expecting was to hear anyone call my name, but I did! And it was one of my friends who was an intern with me last summer! I can't believe I ran into two people I knew in random places in Paris this weekend, but I did! We talked for a while and I couldn't really get over the surprise, but it was fun.

I didn't end up getting to sleep at all last night, which didn't set me up well for work today. Our flight was late, unsurprisingly, and I experienced my first missed approach on a landing. I think it happened because another plane was on our runway, but I'm not sure. I was too sleepy to pay as much attention as I would have liked.

I went in to work, but only for a couple of hours before deciding I'd be better off bringing some work home with me to do after I took a serious nap. Which I did, and it was great.

Since I didn't post them before, here are some pictures I took in Paris. Some of them turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself.

From the Musée d'Orsay, a painting I like by Monet:

The Eiffel Tower with a pretty sky:

I have tons more photos, and I'll put them up somehow soon. This is probably enough for now, though. Bonsoir!


  1. man I wish I was there with you! who did you run into from SpaceX in Paris? was it Boris and Matt?

  2. Mmmm now I want some crepes. Who did you run into? I didn't have enough time in L.A. to get in touch with anyone, unfortunately. But I'm back in Boston now, and of course it's raining. I really like that picture of the Eiffel tower.