Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Paris! Day 3

While there's something like fifty museums in this city and just as many shows and such, much of our time here has been spent wandering. Get up in the morning, wander until we find a new bakery, grab a sandwich, wander until we find a produce market, grab a couple pieces of fruit, hit the metra (subway), take a few different lines into the city, and wander there some more. Writing this makes it seem boring, but the fact that we can be so aimless and careless navigating a major metropolis is fascinating to me.

Think about going to Detroit or Chicago or New York. There are places you simply can't go. And so much energy is wasted on being worried or afraid of something bad happening. Here, all that energy is spent enjoying every side street and excitedly awaiting what's around the corner. It's something I've never felt before, and it's awesome. Even when we're doing our own thing and each traveling the streets alone, there's still an innate feeling of being safe.

Anyway, on Sunday we wandered out to Cite de la Musique to see if any part of the huge Jazz festival going on was outdoors and open to the public. It's kindof like a DTE or Palace of Auburn Hills. And no, nothing for broke, un-ticket-bearing handed people to see. So we hopped back on the metra and headed back into the city to find some free (or at least cheap) music to watch. We eventually found ourselves in the heart of the Latin Quarter, where the food was exceedingly cheap and a clown street performer genuinely entertained the masses for a considerable amount of time while we munched on a gyro and a crepe.

We were so close to my parents' hotel that I figured we could pop in and say goodbye before their flight took off in the morning. To be able to think, "Hey, we're in the neighborhood, we should pop in and say hello," was very cool. And they were all just getting ready to spend their last night out, so we ended up all going out together again. Then we peaced out, for real this time, around midnight on a Sunday - while the town was still very much awake and going.

Kevin and I took the metra back to the hostel and walked up to the Sacre Couer to see the view at night. It's known as being the highest point in the north end of the city - so when you get to the top, the view is ahhhhmazing. But what we saw wasn't exactly what we had expected. There are about 200 steps going to the top Sunday night, every single one of them was home to a huge line of beer bottles. A huge staircase with hundreds of bottles lined and people sitting, drinking here and there. Turns out it's kindof a hangout. And cars would drive around blasting french and american rap music. In retrospect, it's hilarious, even in the moment it was kindof funny. A place SOOO family oriented (and religiously centered) during the day was perhaps the largest open area for drinking in all of Paris at night.

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