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Ubuntu Developer Summit Paris, Day 4

  • 5th Jul, 2006 at 11:27 AM

22 June 2006

Paris is such a gorgeous city. Especially at night. I walked every night through the narrow old city, and as the sun would set, lamps would start flickering to life. Now Paris has a lot of streetlights. But unlike Hong Kong, they're rarely tacky. The lights are aimed to light the streets in a warm, orange glow. They light up elegant buildings to show the detailing.

I couldn't help but be happy wandering around. Although I took plenty of photographs, none of them can capture my wide-eyed delight. I walked along rue de Rivoli and sneered at the tourist menus posted outside the little cafés. I crouched down beside the cobblestones at Place Vendôme where cars and bicycles sped but inches beside me. And I marvelled at the sight of Place de la Concorde as it lit up at night.

Oh how I wish I had a better camera. And a flat overlooking the city.


Cyclist
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Obélisque de Luxor
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Bridge
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

In Montréal, there is a métro station that has wrought-iron railings and a huge sign that looks so old-world. So imagine my shock when I saw identical copies everywhere in Paris!


Arc de Triomphe
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Tour Eiffel
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Under repair
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

One time, as I was riding home on the train, I noticed that my car was getting emptier and emptier. Eventually, I was sitting behind five youths. Two girls, three boys. They were speaking in rapid-fire french and smoking on the non-smoking train. They noticed me and asked me where I'm from.

—Je suis Canadien.

They were quite happy to hear this and started burbling amongst themselves. I apologised for my terrible french and we have a broken conversation where they discovered that I was going to Terminal 2. That's when they asked me to help them out. Their plan was for me to get off at Terminal 1 and help them book a hotel room. Because they weren't old enough to do so themselves. They looked about sixteen or seventeen.

I pondered this situation and realized that, although I do like adventures, this one would happen way past my bedtime. So I figured that I'd just sit on the train and continue to my stop. As we got closer and closer to Terminal 1, the youths pleaded their case. Sometimes in French. Sometimes in very broken English. In the end, I lied:

—Desolé, desolé. Je ne comprends pas.

They left rather dejected. But they seemed resourceful. I'm sure they had an interesting night.


Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
sfllaw
5th Jul, 2006 16:13 (UTC)
Over there, they can buy their own beer.
(Deleted comment)
sfllaw
5th Jul, 2006 16:44 (UTC)
Sixteen.
cpirate
5th Jul, 2006 16:15 (UTC)
Note that the Montreal Metro entrance at Square Victoria isn't just a replica; it's an authentic Paris Metro entrance, donated by the Paris Metro a few years ago. It has a plaque on it somewhere with more details.
mynatt
5th Jul, 2006 16:15 (UTC)
Nice photos!

Which Montréal métro stop are you referring to? I can't think of one that looks like that.
mynatt
5th Jul, 2006 16:22 (UTC)
Never mind, I found a photo of the one here. I'm not in that neighbourhood often.
(Deleted comment)
da_lj
5th Jul, 2006 17:55 (UTC)
I discovered a replica in Chicago, last week. I'm amused by the synchronicity.

Metra
riseorbleed
5th Jul, 2006 20:20 (UTC)
It's probably best policy not to go under the table for minors in a foriegn country!

I want to be in Paris so badly right now!

Unless you absolutely hate cemetery art, I strongly recommend Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise as it is absolutely wonderful and I've spent 5 days there in my two trips to Paris. Cimetière Passy is convenient to Trocadero/Eiffel Tower area and a smaller, more ritzy place to visit.
Unless you absolutely hate goth clubs I strongly reccomend Blood Dolls Society as it is gorgeous and angular!

If you're in the vicinity of Chatelet-Les Halles and need an Internet cafe, there's a great one near the Novotel hotel sorta to the right of a currency exchange booth when your Le Iglese de St. Eustache is at your back. There's another 'net cafe in Chatelet that's a complete zoo, full of loud gaming teens. The one near Novotel is run by a sweet Lebanese guy named Yousef and it's a lot more private and tranquil.
...and if you're near Chatelet there's also a great cafe nearby, Le Centreville.

If you're near Le Jardin du Luxembourg and hungry, I'd recommend the Kiwi Stop restaurant which is across the street from the garden's Northern tip.
sfllaw
5th Jul, 2006 23:23 (UTC)
This is a policy that I normally adhere to. :)

If only I were still there. The next time I go, I'll keep your suggestions in mind.
riseorbleed
6th Jul, 2006 09:44 (UTC)
I think I found a photo of the back of my head at the Blood Dolls Society website. It wasn't a dated photo but I recognized part of the crowd. Hmmm...
xtat
5th Jul, 2006 20:49 (UTC)
Nice pictures! I must say, I'm quite jealous of your adventures in Paris.
sfllaw
6th Jul, 2006 15:42 (UTC)
Thanks! But my adventures are only glorious because I left out the dull parts.

That's the magic of LiveJournal.
mutex8
5th Jul, 2006 21:33 (UTC)
I love your pictures and travelogues. I can’t wait to finally see Paris in September!
sfllaw
6th Jul, 2006 15:43 (UTC)
Yes, yes! You must go. And soon.
ex_halfwitte432
5th Jul, 2006 22:38 (UTC)
That sounds like a lot of fun :)
sfllaw
6th Jul, 2006 14:15 (UTC)
It was!
(Anonymous)
5th Jul, 2006 22:54 (UTC)
Simon, dude, that is an authentic Hector Guimard Métro stop you photographed. Guimard is one of the Art Nouveau originals. Some of his work is in the Musee d'Orsay.

Sorry to read of your travails with conference food, which sucks the world over. It is getting harder to eat well in Europe; you have to be careful. Go back to Paris for yourself, and eat two blow-out three-course meals a day until you burst.
sfllaw
5th Jul, 2006 23:23 (UTC)
I plan to. Except for the bursting part. That sounds painful.
princessleia2
6th Jul, 2006 16:33 (UTC)
Great pictures %)
sfllaw
6th Jul, 2006 18:25 (UTC)
Aw... thanks! :)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )