dimanche 7 octobre 2007

La Nuit Blanche: Paris's all-nighter PARTIE UNE

I'm splitting this into a two-part post series since it was very eventful, and I want to put pics and video up too.

I wish I can be more poetic than ever because this post deserves it, but I got home at 7 in the morning today. Why? It was because of La Nuit Blanche ("white night" literally, or "all-nighter"). From 7pm to 7am, museums (some) and monuments (a bunch) are open (and totally free!) to people during this all-nighter showcasing cultural events and works of art.

I met up with Lucia and Liz in the 1eme last night( whenever I write a number and "eme", I mean that arrondisement), cuz they were shopping for a bit. We then headed to Liz's place in 7eme. She cooked us a lovely pasta dinner, and Lucia and I provided wine, salad, and bread. Romina came by too for dinner. It was absolutely scrumptious, despite the electricity going out, so us girls had a candlelight dinner. Liz's place is amazing (even though it is 9 flights of crazy tiny stairs), it's worth it for the view of the Eiffel tower. You just have to poke your head out a bit. We talked a lot and really took our time; it was amazing. I hate how rushed things are in the states. It was really fun to have some girl talk too. I have girl friends at home, but I really don't feel that we do that a lot. Like I do that with some girls, and it's more like a one on one kind of talk. But a bunch of girls talking? About boys and school and gossip? It was really nice. We left Liz's place around 11:30 pm. That's usually so late for me! But we figured that a lot of cafes would be open for La Nuit Blanche so that we can get our caffeine.

Along line 14, which runs along the center-ish of the city, there were going to be a lot of exhibitions and open museums and stuff. We met up with our other IP friends, Lilli and Sarah, and we headed to the first stop on line 14 that was closest to us. We saw a huge line at the Eglise de la Madeleine, but we walked past it and headed toward le Jardin des Tuileries, where the ferris wheel was. All of Paris was out, taking in the night, celebrating their rugby victory over New Zealand and then mellowing out for some art. It was lovely.We stood by the ferris wheel, debating whether or not to go. The money would be worth it--it's Nuit Blanche, and it's only once a year, but on the other hand some of us were afraid of heights. A lady came by our group and gave us tickets to the ferris wheel, for FREE! That was the clincher. We got in line. And seriously, it wasn't that bad. You could see everything, from Sacre Coeur to L'arc de Triomphe. Wow.

From the top, you can see rows of little controlled fires in les jardins des tuileries. They also had a chandelier kind of thing that they were lighting. We headed to the place of fires after. I smelled the scent of incense before I even felt the heat of the fire. We stood, behind a circle of little potted fires--think potted plants, but instead of plants inside, it's a fire--as they got the chandelier ready. Several men and women, dressed in black, and looking like old-fashioned carnies, were preparing the chandelier. These guys looked like they walked off the set of a Tim Burton film. One guy had graying mutton chops, and later, after taking off his top hat, revealed a shiny, bald head that reflected the hundreds little fires surrounding us. They replaced burned out pots with new ones, filled them with gasoline, then set them on fire. After they lit all the pots, they raised the chandelier. Magnificent. I wish I knew the significance, but they were all out of Nuit Blanche pamphlets at the metro lines.

It was almost 2am. Lily and Sarah decided to leave. Metro shuts down at 1:45am. I got slightly worried, Romina noticed. I didn't want to go home--besides it being kinda scary--I really wanted to make this a true all-nighter. I remember one of us, after L. and S. left, saying, "What are we going to do?" It might have even been me who said it. I don't quite remember. In my head, the answer was perfect: I'm staying with the girls. I'm not going home. I'll crash at someone's if we chicken out, I don't care. But let's make the most of it. I'm all in."

We stood around the fire balls and talked for a bit, since it was very warm there. There was a cafe open at the Jardin des Tuileries, so we headed in to get a 2am caffeine kick. I had a cafe viennois, my drink of choice. It's coffee with whipped cream on top. It costs the same as a hot chocolate, and it's tasty. We talked for an hour or so about boys. I love being a girl!

We left when the cafe closed and hung around the fire balls once more. People even had seats surrounding it, like it was a bonfire. Teenage couples and young lovers were asleep on each others' shoulders. One guy had a guitar out. Everyone was winding down. But I was okay. Cold, but okay.

They started to close down the garden, around 4am. I saw a familiar group of people heading out, Kathy, Morgan, Kristen, and some French boys they met. We headed out with them. Outside the ferris wheel, they were selling churros and warm chocolate sauce to dip them in. Romina bought some and shared them. They were amazing.
It was cold, but utterly beautiful. The once loud and crowded streets that surround Place de la Concorde were almost vacant save for one or two taxis speeding off to their destinations. But we were brave. Poor. No taxis for us. We hoofed it towards the Metro. But the night didn't end there...TO BE CONTINUED!!!

UPDATE: So, I'm going to start school soon (tomorrow), so that might leave little time for posts or updating, but you know me, I love to write, so I'll try my darndest to write, but I could go days without if I'm too busy, but we'll see. Just a heads up. Pics might take longer to upload to photobucket too. But, enjoy your lives (I know I am), I'll still be here!

2 commentaires:

Ihuixochitl a dit…

I'm so glad we went on the Ferris Wheel! It is the best thing in Paris!

elaine a dit…

i'm glad you went on too, even if you did hide under that scarf for some of it. haha...