Monday, June 22, 2009

Musique, Musique, Musique

Sunday in Paris was the annual Fête de la Musique, a day, we learned, in which Paris boasts upwards of 20,000 concerts, ranging from orchestral galas in the city's great parks to impromptu busking pretty much everywhere we looked. Despite all the apparent variety, though, it still seemed to us that about 19,900 of the concerts featured regrettable young people playing loud local variations on "le rock" circa 1993.

Even so, we had fun. The Egyptian Cultural Service, which we passed by chance, had rather surreally brought in an obscure star of state television, a beaming, wigged, elderly gentleman who plays what can best be described as an Arabic take on cocktail organ (now there's a forgotten genre. And with good reason). Enjoyed amongst a crowd of mostly entirely baffled French people at a street concert, his art took on an air of the sweetly surreal.

And in the Marais, the music ran from Piaf to techno (not all that far, really, with that crowd), and we lounged in the Rue des Lombards until all hours. Mr. Muscato is quite fond of an establishment called Le Bear's Den; I was actually rather taken with the local version of the Eagle, which is infinitely lighter-hearted and more festive than either its Dutch or American sisters.

On the way home we passed one of my favorite landmarks, this flamboyant tower not far from the Rue Sebastopol.

And then another old friend, the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt; in addition to having staged some of that great lady's greatest triumphs, the café on the corner there is where I had my first ever French lunch - a croque madame, if memory serves - all those yonks ago on my very first trip to Paris.


  1. I am VIBRATING with jealousy. I want to be in Paris. I want to be in Paris right now.

  2. If only American cities were as beautifully lit as Paris...le sigh.

  3. Ah... the Marias. How I adore it. Simply Adore it. When in paris we frequent the Marais and the Bears Den without fail. I only hope you ate at the Tapas resto next door.. Les Piétons... they have the most amazing food and the wait staff... ADORABLE! and then there is the Gelato place next to it, Gelati d'Alberto... DIVINE!

    The landmark is La Tour St Jacques if I'm not mistaken and it is a sight indeed. It has been under reconstruction for the past few years, hence it's pristine condition. I do love it so.

    I cannot wait to get back!

    Glad to see you have enjoyed Paris the way it should be... with passion, love and admiration.