Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Music on the Metro

Music on the metro doesn't bother me as long as there are no lyrics involved and when the rhythm is true to the original song.
There is a trumpet (or some other horn instrument) player at Etoile and sometimes at Kleber who plays lovely music. His renditions of "It's a Wonderful World" and "Les Temps de Fleurs" are soothing on the way home at night.
On the other hand, there is music that involves the massacre of a masterpiece by butchering lyrics or dramatizing the tune by means of an accordion (ick).
As I wrote this post in my journal, a musician jumped on my wagon of the train and started placing a decent, violin version of "I Wish You Love," which in French is a delightful Charles Trenet classic, "Que reste-t-il de nos amours." Surprisingly, I don't want to break the violin or ask him to shut up as I do when people sing La Bamba or Volare on the train.
A few days ago, a man with an electric guitar and an amp (why these things were on the metro is beyond me) got on the train and started mumbling the words to "Dust in the Wind" and "Imagine" over a cacophonous mess of guitar strings. I'm sure I saw tears of agony stream down the face of the woman in front of me as I'm sure she saw my endless eye-rolls and must have thought I was having a seizure. As the man stopped playing, she tapped me on the knee and said, "I feel the same way."
Every time I hear "La Bamba," "Historia de un amor" or any song by the Gypsy Kings, I want to print the lyrics and the sheet music, bind them and offer them to the performer instead of any centimes from my coin purse.
Since I almost never carry my iPod anymore because I've been too lazy to charge and add new songs to it, whoever decides to provide musical entertainment on the trains will have to suffice - even if it means my ears and my heart bleeding.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Something delicious about Sundays

Sundays should last longer than they do. I don’t know what it is about them, but they are probably my favorite day of the week lately.

Last week, after our traditional brunch of warm tartines and jam and reading magazines, newspapers and blogs, we took the car out to the Bois de Boulogne for the first time ever. Although our walk was positively frozen, that of the birds was literally so – as they were walking instead of swimming over the ponds. A trip around the great basin was enough for us unfeathered humans so we got back in the car and took our walks over to the Parc Monsouris – to which we had never been together either. I had been once with school and for some reason, on that day, I had a blanket in my purse, which was super useful to ward off the freezing wind. Sunday’s visit did not include a blanketed lecture, but something even more delicious – a walk hand in hand with my boyfriend and a goûter of pink cotton candy for me and a powder sugar waffle for him.

Paris by car is not something I get to do often; and the trip out to Boulogne was great. We took the very scenic route from Port Royal to St. Michel and all up the Rue de Rivoli, Champs Elysées and round the Place de l’Étoile, which was surprisingly empty according to Mr. Driver (I would have died of terror on the spot if it would have been me driving).

Sunday afternoons like this one, you don’t want the sun to set – you don’t want to go back home, you just want to press pause on time that will inevitably lead you to Monday morning.

This Sunday was equally lovely. Notably less sun than last week, our day started with the traditional tartines and a much needed round of organization and clean-up. After the apartment was spit-spot clean, we took a walk along a very high-tide Seine up through the Marais to the Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris for an expo on the Seine floods of 1910. The expo visit, which my boyfriend was greatly looking forward to, is part of our initiative to participate in cultural activities more often.

After our museum tour, we walked – me rather quickly as I was wearing flats – to Angelina for a hot chocolate. Unfortunately, we weren’t the only cold kids on a Sunday afternoon looking for a good hot chocolate-y drink. As we approached the tea room, we quickly noticed a long line forming along the side of the building and we abandoned the idea and took our hungry stomachs to La Jacobine, a cozy little tea room near Odeon where the hot chocolate was so concentrated we thought we would slip straight out of our chairs and into sugar comas.

Back at home, and nearly revived, I put my Holly Homemaker hat on and for reasons I’m still unaware of, made my first-ever apple tart!