Aloha from Paris!
I am not even sure how to sum up yesterday - this is a time I wish I had my sturdy laptop instead of my iPhone keyboard - but I'll do my best!
I think I've found my new favorite place in all the world - and it happens to be a fantastic place that seems like dreams I've had and fairy stories I read when I was little - it is the Musée des Arts Forains.
I will backtrack a little here - we had a plan to walk over to the Musée des Arts Forains - spend a little time there as part of the JDP - then go over to the Latin Quarter and see some historic Hôtels there.
It was a perfect day - not a cloud in the sky as we walked from here in the rue de Lyon and past the Gare de Lyon - thru Parc Bercy ( what a beautiful park!) - into Bercy Village where I stopped into a wonderful Chocolats, Biscuits, & Confiseries store called La Cure Gourmand - bought a large tun of chocolate olives! No, they just look like olives!
So from there it was easy to find the entrance to the Musée des Arts Forains - this was at about 10:30 - - - we didn't leave until shortly before 5pm!!!!!
You walk into this complex of buildings that are darkened and that everywhere you look - up - down - there are amazing things from other eras and music playing everywhere as well. It was not crowded at that time and cost 7 euro to get in - then a euro per ticket if you wanted to participate in any of the attractions - I did!!
You have to understand that going into these buildings (if which there are 3 or 4) takes you completely out of yourself - the main bldg had a giant dance floor with flying pigs - a unicorn head on a white robed body next to a piano - and chairs set around the perimeter of the room for you to sit. The old carnival music played everything from Wagner to waltzes and all the while there were various amazing things being projected onto the walls and ceiling in time to the music - also there were mannequins all around the dark top of the room - like silent spectators to a long ago ball. I never wanted to leave!
But we then went into yet another section that had an amazing carrousel (it was featured in "Midnight in Paris" - it was from 1898 and instead of horses it had old fashioned bicycles!
Now let me tell you - I was wearing a skirt and my knee isn't 100% perfect but I jumped on and it was amazing! You really do have to pedal furiously and you are slanted at quite an angle towards the center si you feel as if you are going to topple over any minute! Quite an aerobic activity before aerobics were thought of! Modesty be damned I had great fun!
Then in yet another area there was a beautiful carrousel with horses that went up and down - thus one was from 1890. So beautiful and by my 4th time riding it (side saddle) - the carrousel girl who rang the bell to start and stop was my new best friend! lol.
You have to understand that I am not big on fair type activities - of the modern kind at least - I am usually too self conscious to put myself in a situation where I might be perceived as goofy or awkward. Not yesterday!
Each building has a theme - one was the Venetian bldg with amazing eventual themes animals, people - there was a
Bridge that with lights had simulated water for instance.
The area in between the blogs was lively with vines covering the old blogs and plaster heads of clowns and other fair type folks - also a huge plaster horse front jutted out from the ivy - the avenue was full of booths that you could purchase cotton candy, crepes, popcorn - frites and sandwiches - there was also live music all day by an amazing group consisting of one lady who sang in a manner of Edith Piaf - and a bunch of older gentlemen who played the piano - the banjo - the accordion and one amazing guy that played a contraption that hung around his neck that had everything from cymbals to strings to I'm not even sure what else. They were FABULOuS and played every old French song that I knew and quite a few others as well. I almost drained my battery on the videos I took of them - I will look up their names here in a bit since I took care to write them down.
There was also a large interior hall that had live entertainment thru the day - one act I saw twice it was wonderful - a man dressed in what I think of as typical French clowns attire who did a whole pantomime act to recorded music - he was a gymnast - dancer - and mime all together.
There were also games you could play - I ayed both of the race horse game - and the waiter race - all done by trying to throw balls like skee ball more or less.
The whole atmosphere of this place is so other worldly that I really cannot do justice to it here. I loved it and would have spent more time there but for their closing time! Any other activities we'd thought of for the day were instantly banished when I walked into this dreamland.
In short - I LOVED it! Thank you so much to the posters who told me about the JDP - because going to this place will be something I will always always remember and dream about.
I sadly said au revoir to the Musée des Arts Forains - and my new friend the carrousel girl and my favorite horse! LOL
We slowly walked thru a perfect late afternoon in Bercy Park - and in keeping with the fair theme there were actually people practicing juggling and tight rope walking there!
We went to the Cinemateque Française on our way back but had just missed a showing - we now know that it is closeby si we might try to catch a film there yet.
Once we got to the Gare de Lyon we weren't sure if a demonstration or parade was happening (I found out from this forum since that it was the technoparade - boy was that some big crowd of people! rue de Lyon was closed to traffic and there was such a mass of people by our door that we decided to have an early dinner and wound our way down the street (whole lotta drinking going on! lol) - to Opera Cafe where we sat and watched the slowly dwindling action and had a Croque Madam and frites.
Finally got home and what a day! My knee wasn't thanking me for that bicycle carrousel but it was totally worth it! And since I am still walking around in slippers (aka flip flops) due to my blisters - it was a perfect and warm day to do so!
So that is it - a very inadequate report for one of the very best days I think I have ever had and that will stay in my memory forever I am sure.
Today - off to Marche Richard Lenoir here in a bit - it is hubby's birthday today so we'll see what he wants to do!