Today Joey is in Paris. I always assumed that after having the opportunity to travel to some of these places myself, I’d be less jealous the next time he went without me. Apparently that is not the case and I find myself daydreaming of Paris. As my thoughts today are on this beautiful and still-magical seeming city, I thought I’d share my experience in Paris.
We traveled overnight from Amsterdam to Paris on the tour bus. I awoke in my bunk to a sliver of light coming in through the curtain and the sound of cars driving and honking. I peeked out the window and was eye level with a piece by the street artist, Space Invader on the side of a building. It momentarily brought me back to Brooklyn, where I would walk past another of his pieces on an almost daily basis. I woke Joey and we decided to stretch our legs and find out where the showers were.
It turned out we were parked outside the venue the band would be playing that evening and our tour manager was sorting out where everyone could get cleaned up, so Joey and I decided to take a stroll to find some coffee.
We didn’t have to walk very far before we found a patisserie and grabbed an espresso each, a slice of quiche, and an eclair to share. (When in Paris, right?)
After breakfast and determining it would be a few more hours before our hotel room would be ready, we decided to take another little stroll around the area. It was during this walk that I discovered that Paris is much more hilly than Texas. We walked up and down cobblestone streets, past brick walls with moss growing along the cracks in the walls and past some of the most charming little apartments and I was already picturing what it would be like to live there. It was very windy and kept threatening to rain- we actually did get caught in the tiniest of cloudbursts before we headed back to the venue for sound check.
We had about an hour before dinner and I really wanted to see Sacré-Cœur, so we hopped on the metro towards Anvers. When we hopped off, we had lost our sense of direction and weren’t sure which direction to walk. We stopped at this corner flower shop and asked the kind old man “which way to Sacré-Cœur?” He did not speak English and I don’t speak French, so I just repeated “Sacré-Cœur?” in a questioning tone. He still didn’t quite understand what I was asking for, but fortunately a man standing nearby spoke English and translated for us. When he told the old man we were looking for Sacré-Cœur, the old man’s face brightened and said “oh, Sacré-Cœur” in the most beautiful French and proceeded to tell is to take the metro to Anvers. Grateful for the assistance and embarrassed that my Texas-accented attempt at pronouncing Sacré-Cœur sounded not even remotely recognizable to this kind man, we turned to go. I was still so confused. We just got off the metro at Anvers, so why would he be telling us to get back on? We walked a couple more blocks, thinking that like the NYC subway sometimes each stop has multiple entrances and exits, perhaps we exited at the wrong sortie. We came upon the next metro entrance and quickly realized we had gotten off at Avron, not Anvers. Silly Americans! We arrived at Anvers not too long afterwards and arrived at the steps to Sacré-Cœur just as the sun was setting.
The show that night was a crowded and sweaty affair. The venue was way too small to hold the crowd that gathered and the air was thick with the heat and humidity from all those people crowded into a small room. The band sounded excellent and I spent part of the time watching from the small sound booth and then squeezing my way backstage to the tiniest upstairs green room with the most insane death-trap staircase/ladder that I’m not soon to forget. After the show, I could hear everyone milling about just outside the venue as cool crisp air wafted in the windows, a welcome refresher after the crowded show.