samedi, octobre 04, 2008

Nuit Blanche 2008

Phew. I’m so behind on blogging, it’s not funny. It’s been a busy week, and then the weekend was even busier. Anyway, here’s the run-down for Saturday.

I slept in after last night’s outing, and then quietly worked on my proposal revisions (and a bit of cooking, certainly) until the early evening. A friend of mine was returning to Mauritius in a few days, so she decided to have her last “night on the town” tonight, to coincide with the Parisian Nuit Blanche events.

Nuit Blanche is a public art event that started in Paris several years ago and has now been reproduced in similarly-named festivals all around the world (including Toronto!). The name comes from the French expression, “white night,” which also means a sleepless night. Large and usually spectacular art installations are put together all through the city in both outdoor and indoor spaces, and you have the entire night (until sunrise) to see everything. Public transit is usually augmented for the duration of the event, although—in true French fashion—I heard from others that the métro was still closed and that the buses were a disaster. I used the Vélib bike-sharing system, which was stretched to capacity this night. I had to pass three Vélib stations before I found one that had a bike in it.

Anyway, I headed over to my friend’s place for an apéro (aperitif drink, although also used in France to refer to some drinks and finger-foods usually done between work and the dinner hour). As the rest of her friends gathered at her place, our “best intentions” to be moving about the city by 20h00 turned into something of a disaster. As we waited for more friends, we had more drinks, and got less and less…capable of the sort of organization required to move as a group. By 23h00, we were finally moving, sort of.

We skipped the display at Montparnasse (which was supposedly quite lovely) and headed toward the Marais, since we were going to finish our night at Le Pin Up, where Fantômette was spinning. On the way over, at the Concorde métro station, we were treated to a skinny boy in typical H&M fashion, dancing like a fool to all the hits from the 2008 Eurovision contest. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t an official part of the Nuit Blanche festival, but we were pretty amused by his antics.

We made it to the Swedish Cultural Centre, where there was this lovely installation that took over the entire courtyard. There were zillions of thin white strings suspended above the courtyard, each one weighed down with a small metal nut to keep it roughly vertical. Nonetheless, every time the wind shifted, the whole sea of white fibers would move and drift in a really lovely way. Also, the Swedish café in the building was open, selling traditional Swedish cakes that were Swedish-awesome.

From there, we had wanted to go to Châtelet to see the tour St.-Jacques (St. Jacob’s Tower), which apparently had some projections on it. However, it started to rain and we decided to call it a night and head over to Le Pin Up to see Fantô. The rest of the night was a lot of fun, and I discovered a “special” drink of the bar, called “Le Pin-Up Bubble,” which involves ice, champagne, vodka and violet syrup. Surprisingly delicious.

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