AnAmericanDogInParis

The Adventures of a 12 pound Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) going to Paris.

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Tom & Maxine like to travel. Blogging helps us create a record of the trips, and share with friends and family...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Paris -- Apparently A City Of Festivals




This weekend we (I) went to two festivals sponsored by the city of Paris. The first was the Montmartre Harvest Festival and the second was Nuit Blanche. More on both of these is a moment.

Some activities and observations since the last post:
1. I saw a man who otherwise looked like he was in good health fall to the ground in either a heart attack or a seizure on Saturday. (He was quickly helped by passers-by who made him comfortable and called for an ambulance). This is the 2nd near-death situation I've observed here in 5 weeks (see earlier blog entry). My point obviously isn't that more people take ill here in Paris. Rather, being in a city is just a very different experience than living in a place like LA which is one big suburb.
2. I saw a Smart Car parked wheels toward the curb Saturday AM. Check out what they look like here ( http://www.smart.com/ ). Smart Cars are Mercedes' launch of a very small urban car. They are so small that when you look at one you can conceive of it being parked wheels into the curb (versus cars typically parked wheel to wheel with other cars AGAINST the curb). It was funny to see an owner who had actually done it!
3. Maxine & I ran into a 3rd person we knew the other day on the street. (Not someone we'd arranged to meet, but someone who we were surprised to see). I've read that Paris is the smallest European capital in geographic area. We continue to experience that, running into English-language people we've met while here.
4. In the category of dogs living well here -- I saw a dog in a shoe store the other day. Presumably he was tolerantly waiting while his owner shopped...
5. Saturday Cassie & I made (without Maxine who is travelling -- more later) our weekly trip to the park at the Seine River (so she could run off leash on grass) and to the American Library (so I could stock up on more books).

Festival One -- Montmartre Harvest
http://www.fdvm.fr/
Maxine, D, and I went to this festival Friday night. It's up the hill where the community of Montmartre and also Sacre Coeur church are. The event was mostly a food festival -- there were probably 50 booths with small producer foods, wines, cheeses, candies, etc. from various areas. The official purpose of the festival is the annual launch of the Montmartre wine (they make about 500 bottles from a hillside vineyard a few blocks away), but it seems to have expanded to being an event to attract people to come visit Montmartre. The photo (with ribbon in hand) is of the mayor of Montmartre (each of the Paris arrondisements has its own mayor, along with there being a city-wide mayor) officially starting the festival.

Interestingly, in the brochure about the festival they mention a role within the city of Paris government -- coordinator of Festivals. That seems like a great thing! I like the idea of the city working at having a variety of interesting things going on for the residents (and for us tourists!)

Festival Two -- Nuit Blanche
Here's the link: http://www.nb2006.paris.fr/

This is the fifth annual. Nuit Blanche means "White Night" and the festival is about art and staying up all night. I went to about 8 different art expositions (check the URL if you are interested in the details of the art). Mostly what Nuit Blanche struck me as was both an excuse for Parisians to stay up all night (I left at midnight -- some were just arriving), and another festival for the city! To me the most interesting art display was an instrumental (rock?) band playing on an elevated platform, illuminated by large neon lighting tubes, against the side of the Hotel de Ville (the city center), a very classic grand building. The contrast in styles was great!!!

Saturday Maxine & D caught the TGV (fast train) to Avignon and rented a car to head to their cooking class in Provence. I'll share info on her trip when she returns. For now, know that my editor is gone! Typos and grammar mistakes are mine! Cassie & I are here in Paris.

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