This will be a very picture-heavy entry. But it is the most fun one yet I think.
Day 4 was boring, I spent a lot of time hunting souvenirs with my mom, so I’ll skip right over to Day 5: my day with my French friend, Bénédicte, one of my most favorite people in the world.
She first took me to Jaurès, one of the street arts-iest parts of Paris:
It was right next to a canal, and it was green, my favorite color:
Aack! What are these vandals doing?! Someone notify the authorities.
Ah, OK, punks, I get it now. Carry on.
Even this subway station is graffiti art:
What I really like about Paris’s metro stations is that each one has its own theme, flavor or personality. They even have different chairs at each station. This one looks to me like a smiling face that just says “sit on me”:
We exited the subway and saw this angel just reaching into the sky:
We walked down one of the rues and saw a jewish wedding about to take place at a synagogue. A group of random American tourists including myself stop to take pictures:
Oh no, what’s this? A man comes out and yells at all of us in French to leave, to get the fuck out. In turn, some of the Americans yell back, “Fuck off!” Béné explains to us the man said there is a bomb. We Americans think it is just a silly ploy to get some privacy.
Oh no, now the police have arrived! It must be serious. Béné explains to us that the jewish folks found a suspicious, unattended bag.
One of the American tourists says, “Oh right, that makes sense, with all the antisemitism going on right now because of people’s views on Israel bombing Gaza.” This was a rather thoughtful comment from a guy who I think earlier said “fuck off.” I figured not a lot of Americans know about a lot of the world being anti-Israel right now.
Anyway, the police cleared the bag, determined it was not a bomb and the wedding went on:
We took a vote and think this guy was the groom:
We went down another street and…oh my! These ladies in reflective vests are serious about their biking. Get out of the way, old woman! These girls are ready to rock and roll!
OK, I can’t see an archway without photographing it (and funny enough, Wikipedia uses this very same archway for its entry on archways):
Then we went to the Hotel de Sully:
This is an optical illusion. I freaked out a bit because I thought this man was carrying a woman’s head in his backpack:
Oh wow, this lioness is just putting it out there, isn’t she?
This would be the first of many Asian brides and grooms in Paris I see casually cross the street over and over again to take a picture. Like, you know, no biggie.
Béné and I loved this car. It reminds me of those plain backpacks or shoes when I was a kid that came with permanent markers and you were encouraged to mark them all up to make it your own:
OK, now follow the rainbow poles…
…right to Le Marais. If Paris was San Francisco, Le Marais would be the Castro. You know, just sittin’ and chillin’ and cruisin’ and all facing forward:
This is Paris…bitch:
Then we walked to the something something plaza:
You know how sometimes I say I’m the king of inadvertent physical comedy? Well, on this day, I was trying to climb to the top of a three-tiered fountain thinking it would make a cool shot, and before I knew it, one of my worn-out shoe soles slipped, I lurched forward, windmilled, and nearly fell face-first into the dried up fountain. But somehow I caught my balance in time. If I hadn’t died of crushing my skull falling into that deep fountain, I nearly died of embarrassment. Luckily Béné was too distracted making adjustments to the camera (or so she claimed), and the crowd of tourists were facing the other way. But really, someone should put up a sign or something.
Béné and I wanted a stranger to take a photo of us, but we’re both kind of um…iffy about approaching strangers. We first asked a bubbly tourist girl to take our photo, and after she snapped five pictures, I gave her a thumbs up and thanked her because I was too shy to tell her those photos were terrible. We waited until after she and her group passed, then we asked a man with a camera strapped to his neck, thinking, oh he has a camera strapped to his neck, he must be really good at this. He said yes and quickly snapped only two photos of us, but yes, he was good at this:
Then we went to the Centre Pompidou courtyard and watched a group break dance.
Honestly, as usual with these street break dancing shows, I thought it was a lot of hype and only 5-10 seconds of actual break dancing from each of the break dancers. But a lot of the tourists were impressed and they made a lot of money.
Then we popped into a Starbucks. Ever since we’ve been in Paris, I’ve been all about the yogurt drink craze here.
Béné got me this due to her stamp card, and I loved it:
And we visited a metro station undergoing reconstruction.
I really like pictures with the juxtaposition of old/classic and modern:
This place is called Au Chien Qui Fume. Jeez, even the dogs smoke here.
Then we headed to the Louvre. Poor Béné, always having to wait for me because I want to take pictures of everything and anything.
But ta da, the Louvre!
Ouch, this Louvre thing sure is pointy.
We wanted to wait for the sun to set on the Louvre but it was taking forever so we took a walk.
This lady is just relaxing, sunbathing and enjoying her ice cream:
And everywhere we go, immigrants are always pushing their wares on us. And OK, I admit it works on me. I buy this kind of stuff:
I think this statue is having the same problem I’ve been having trying to find deodorant in Paris:
And OK, Paris is known for very homoerotic statues, but this, what exactly is happening here?:
Oh look, another Asian bride crossing the street:
We crossed the street too, mostly to get closer to this bewitching obelisk:
Oh and we got a nice view of the Arc du Triomph and its place as the center of life in Paris:
Then we got back to the Louvre to see the sunset (but I don’t think these pictures do it justice. I think I took better photos last time).