Nuit Blanche

French Word of the Day: nuit blanche (new-e blah-ne-che)- literally white night; all-nighter

The mayor of Paris is crazy, as anyone could expect; the man runs a metropolis the size of a small country.  He’s openly gay (which has caused a controversy even here), and has made an effort to do insane things.  For example, he shut down the lower highway by the Seine and covered it in sand and imported palm trees this summer.  It was for the poorer people of Paris who couldn’t afford a vacation.

The people in the suburbs trying to get home were displeased, but the people who lived in Paris had a gay ol’ time.

He also started Nuit Blanche around 2002.  Paris turns into one big art festival and they have art and exhibits all over the streets, such as this light up display on the bridge by my foyer:

(I was not as impressed with this one, but it has been blocking the bridge for most of this week, so I thought I’d take a picture of it.)

The one by the Hôtel de Ville was much cooler.

All of the lights say “Love Differences” in different languages.  I couldn’t get them clearly, but you can see the Arabic in pink on the left.

The coolest display by far was at Louis Vuitton.  Normally, I believe you need an appointment to even enter the building.  (I could be horribly misled.  I’ve never bought any Louis Vuitton.)  Tonight, it was open to the public a.k.a. the people too poor to afford Louis Vuitton.

It had a Peter-Pan-themed modern art display.  Not being an avid admirer of modern art, I understood only part of it.  One was entitled “Spiders, Monkeys, and Spirits” and I’m pretty sure it contained none of those three things.  Nor did it have anything to do with Peter Pan.  The hallway, however, was painted as the forest of Neverland with all the Lost Boys asleep on the ground.  Some of them were actually dead and skeletal because… this is France.  Childhood innocence?  What’s that?

I can’t show you any pictures because the security guards were anti-cameras, but I can show you the view from the balcony.  This is the rich people view of Paris:

Not bad.

Of course, my favorite part of the night had to do with food.  In 2006, the French developed some program devoted entirely to proving that bread is healthy for you called “Observatoire du pain”.  Tonight, they are giving out a free bag containing a roll, croissant, and piece of baguette.  I’m using present tense because this ends at 7am.  Will I wake up and get some?  Probably not.

Jenna and I made dinner tonight with three others from our program (Emily, Dustin, and Courtney).  We went a little overboard and made enough food to feed a small nation.  Even though it was entirely too much, we managed to consume all of it.  With that meal and the bread from the Observatoire, I don’t believe I’ll need to eat for the next week.

Except maybe pain au chocolat.  Twice.  Tomorrow morning.

For now, sleep.  I’ve managed to acquire an ear infection and need a bit of rest.  The doctor I went to was very comforting.  He said, “Oh yeah, you’ll get just slammed with infections for the next month because everything is so new.  You’ll be fine just in time to go back to the US and get slammed with all their infections.”

I believe my response was “awesome; looking forward to that,” because I don’t think you can thank someone for giving you that kind of information.

Pain au chocolat count: 16


2 thoughts on “Nuit Blanche

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s