I initially considered myself lost in Paris on a regular basis, but now I think I simply get to see unplanned, hidden gems everyday in a new route. There's no longer a "wrong turn," but rather, an alternate path that leads to unexpected finds. When I haven't known where to go next, I've always liked to follow the theory of, "where two or more are gathered" since the majority should signify a halfway decent bistro, boulangerie, or event.
Take Saturday for instance. I was doing some chores in my apartment in the afternoon and I had my windows open when I heard loud music and cheering coming from the street. I always hear something going on in the streets, but this felt bigger, and definitely like 2 or more had gathered somewhere nearby, so I threw my shoes on and off I went. I'm half a block from Place de la Bastille where about 9 streets converge into the craziest traffic circle you've ever seen. It takes about a half hour to cross all the streets on foot - except today. All of the streets that funnel into the circle were closed and there were thousands of people in all directions.
After half deciphering a sign and speaking to a woman, I learned that this was the annual "Techno Parade." Techno parade you ask? There were multiple, large, open, double decker trucks with DJs spinning music out the back, dozens of girls dancing on the float-like vehicles, and people singing and dancing along side all of them. There were people in the streets in costumes. There was some drinking going on, and young kids everywhere. All of this was happening at 3 in the afternoon. Viva Paris!
My other stumble and see discovery this week-end was a run in with a food and wine festival celebrating Southwest France. I saw it walking home from dinner over the week-end, and then made a visit on Sunday with my Serbian friend from French class and her French boyfriend. The festival was set-up right on the River Seine, with Notre Dame as its backdrop. They may have had the record for the most foie gras in the smallest space, so I of course had to have a foie gras sandwich. C'est bon!
We were also able to sample their collection of wines which ranged from ok whites to sweet roses, which confirmed my belief that Provence makes the best Roses. Evidently if you even stay slightly west, things go awry. I think the reds may have been a little more their forte, but more research is needed. We decided to sit on one of the boats next to the festival and drink more of a sure thing, and the Pomerol we had, delivered.
I'm looking forward to seeing what's behind the next corner tomorrow!