Ah. Today was a true day of sloth. So much so, that I have very little to show for it, except for some pictures I took from my window (also, I made some headway on my Merleau-Ponty book, Causeries). I spent the morning sleeping in (I didn't get home last night till 3-ish) and then a fair bit of the day doing some retro-blogging; that is, cleaning up the formatting and spelling on a few posts and catching up on days missed. Afterwards, I wandered around my neighborhood to buy a few things (I had simultaneously run out of shaving cream, butter, deodorant, and lettuce). I also picked up a jug of orange juice, because I'm convinced that I'm giving myself scurvy. In N. America, I never had to think about maintaining my Vitamin C levels, because I was constantly adding lemon juice or lime juice to many of my recipes (let's hear it for latino cuisine). But the French diet—particularly the Northern/Norman French diet—is rather short on the citrus. Add to that the fact that I spent two weeks eating pasta and rice before I managed to buy fresh veggies, and you can see why I was checking my gums for bleeding. Anyway, I now have enough O/J to keep me un-scurvied.
As if the weather was an accomplice to my sloth, it began raining in the evening, eventually becoming a downpour. Since I didn't have an umbrella with me, this was yet another excuse to stay in and be lazy. Considering that I've had rather active Saturdays for the past three weeks, I didn't feel too bad about it. There was also an evening mixer going on in the cafeteria area of the residences, but at some point the party was changed from "drinks provided" to "BYOB," which also provided a convenient excuse to stay in my jammies. So, the final result is a fair bit of blogging and this lovely set of photos. This is Paris by night, but not the lovely, romantic, diffuse-glow Paris of the Louvre or the Latin Quarter. This is Porte des Lilas, the New Jersey of Paris. My building sits nearly on top of the boulevard péripherique (the highway/ring-road for Paris) and the city's strict laws about building height are slackened or entirely disregarded in this neighborhood. As night fell, this was also a good opportunity to test out my camera settings again.
Here's a shot of the skyline as the sun was setting:
And here's several test shots of the Boulevard Péripherique, as it approaches from the north:
This one is nice and blurry. Taken with 2s shutter, ISO 80, no flash.
This is too dark, but very precise. 1/30 shutter, ISO 1600, w/ flash.
A bit blurry, but much brighter. 1/10 shutter, ISO 1600, no flash
I also took a few pics of the actual Porte des Lilas roundabout. I'm not sure what triggers it, but every once in a while, the traffic at this intersection seizes like an epileptic kid at a Grateful Dead revival (how's that for imagery?). The result is a cacaphony of horns and insults for at least an hour.