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Paris Has the Best Buskers

Today I played La Flaneure Flaneuse (one assumes there's a feminine form?) - one who wanders the streets, "going with the flow" of life.

My flowing took me from the Bastille to the Hotel de Ville, through Le Marais. I had lunch at a nice cafe - indoors because it was raining (the weather really has been crap; I think I'm doomed, because it was just like this last year in London). Then I wandered through the Marais, and discovered some fashionable shops, which was a mistake because now I'm lusting after a lot of clothes that I can't really afford. 350 euros for a suede jacket to die for... (no, it's okay, I didn't succumb... but I might yet). I flowed into the Picasso museum, which was interesting although I discovered that I don't like Picasso as a whole all that much. A whole lot of him in one place is... well interesting, because you can see how he repeats himself, but also a bit much of a good thing. I liked all the unconventional stuff best - the ceramic things and book illustrations.

The best thing that happened today, though, was the music. I mentioned the other day there being a jass band on the metro. Well, today it was two accordions. Jolly. Then there was a guy playing a chinese stringed instrument very beautifully at one of the stations. Then there was the celtic group playing at another station. But the BEST, the absolute best, was the string ensemble in the Place Des Vosges. Imagine wandering through the streets and hearing faint strains of Mozart. I turned a corner in the Place, and there was, not a trio, not a quartette, but a whole flipping string orchestra (10 or 12 players at least) playing really well. Then they played some Bach, which was also very good. Well, they slipped in and out of tune (it's hard staying in tune when it's cold and damp) and only one of the violinists was really, really good - the others were proficient but hit some wrong notes. But, hey, it was free, and it was on the street, and it was one heck of a lot more than you EVER see in Victoria!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
May. 17th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
If so, I didn't see it. I have to confess to some lack of serious dedication to this museum, though - I primarily went in so that I could use la toilette (!) although I did enjoy much of what was there.
May. 17th, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)
Sounds divine. Letting the daytime streets take you where they will is one of my favorite activities--even in one's home town it can be wonderful.

I don't think Victoria will ever see an entire orchestra on the street. Small as we are, we're lucky to have an entire orchestra in the Royal Theatre. I have seen here a marimba band, a string quartet, a jazz quintet, that amazing percussion band that usually has people dancing around it, and, of course, there's the violinist dressed as Darth Vader (WTF?). I have also seen, once, a man reciting Ginsberg's "Howl" as if it had been ripped from his own psyche--one of my favorite street moments, although I'm sure many of the well-shod tourists were appalled.
May. 17th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
Woops! anonymous--c'est moi.
May. 17th, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
I LIKE the Darth Vader violinist - he's actually quite good! Though, you're right, there are some great street performers in Victoria. I hear the marimba band is getting into trouble because they are too loud (!). I couldn't help thinking about that today, with the orchestra, that Victoria rules might ban them because they were making too much lovely noise.
May. 17th, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC)
Darth Vader violinist? I've got to get INTO Victoria this time! I love street music of all kinds. Last time I wandered through Portland there was an amazing violinist playing on a corner - I stopped and listened, mesmerized until I think I made *him* uncomfortable. I always loved the S. American bands on the streets in Scandinavia in the mid-80s when I lived there, and one of my class mates busked on the streets of Stockholm and Uppsala. I remember running into her one night just before I left to return home and thinking "that's a really good 'spelman'" right before I realized it was Galina! Then there was the time in Galway that I turned a corner to find a fiddler busking right smack, dab under the stenciled sign on the wall saying "NO BUSKING". I wasn't thinking fast enough to get a picture - wish I had. I love buskers!
May. 18th, 2007 02:17 am (UTC)
There used to be a guy here (Victoria) who'd offer to make up a poem on any subject for whatever you could pay--usually a dollar. They weren't always fantastic, but it always seemed like a great deal to me!
May. 18th, 2007 02:17 am (UTC)
Yeah, he is pretty good. Maybe the force is with him after all.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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