I finished the move to my new place this morning and I’m really liking it. Lots more elbow room and the feel of being a real home. I’m coming to realize that this area draws a mix of tourists, visitors from the “banlieues” and Parisians that is more interesting than I first thought. I’m going to enjoy living here, even though I will miss Montorgueil.
After settling in I headed out to the national library to see an exhibit of Indian miniatures. It was closed, however, because May 1 is a “jour férié“. As I now understand it this is as if Christmas fell on a Saturday. Many things normally open on Saturdays would be closed. We have only a few days like that in the U.S. but there are lots of them here. I had a nice lunch at the library’s café instead.
Next I met up with my cousin Lisa for a gentle climb up to the Parc de Belleville, through a vibrant multi-cultural neighborhood. We ran into a whole series of unexpected delights: The militant May Day parade; a street completely covered with graffiti; some nice young men readying a makeshift screen on which to project a movie they had made about their neighborhood; an open-air community performance of Hamlet by four versatile actors; a gorgeous multi-racial family. Here’s Lisa at the May Day parade:
And here’s the Belleville family portrait:
Lisa’s partner, Ali, is Iranian. He guided us through a delicious dinner at a Persian restaurant in my neighborhood. After showing them my new place, and of course blogging, I’m off to bed just before midnight.